As they reached the edge of the town, Golden knew (because Button had told her) that their first stop would be to see Mary Lynn Bannock. “Can you tell me about her?” she asked Button. “Who is she?”
“Ye will soon find out!” Button teased.
“Please tell me,” Golden begged.
Button relented. “She is nicknamed Mary Lynn ‘Bannock’ because she makes the best bannock in the River Clan territory. Her husband was a Brehon who was killed during one of the early Ivarian raids. This tragedy left Mary to fend for herself.
“She has three sons. Mark, her oldest son, works in the mines at Loch Craobh Beithe (Lock CRAY-of BAY-heh), in the Bog Clan territory. Morris, her second son, is a doctor in Geata (GATH-da). Her youngest son, Oliver, does street theatre in Caor and also performs at the summer and winter solstice celebrations.”
Golden nodded, intrigued.
“Any other woman might have given up once her husband passed away and just moved in with one of her children, but not Mary. Mary became a street vendor in the Caor town square. She started selling baked goods such as bannock, farl, soda bread, barmbrack, blaa, and scuffler.” He licked his lips, clearly thinking of her delicious baking.
“Ooh!” Golden gasped. “I can hardly wait to meet her. She sounds like quite the woman.”
“That was two years ago,” Button added. “Mary’s business has continued to grow and grow. Everyone in the land has heard about her, not only because of her amazing baking but also because of her remarkable bartering skills. Mary always seems to find whatever a customer is looking for, and somehow, each time, she manages to get the item for the best price. As a result, people throughout the Darach realm seek her out to find scarce items and to get a fair price on goods.”
Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 110-112.
I started working in the Department of Surgery almost six years ago. I never imagined that I would have such a deep friendship with my co-worker Marilyn Baniak. She is sweet and kind and tells me about great sales so I get amazing deals on my purchases. In addition, she regularly brings baking to the office for us and it is so delicious! Every Christmas, she promotes inclusivity and buys everyone a gift.
I grew to respect her even more as the years went by. Her positive attitude and her happy disposition brighten our office. She is always ready to lend a helping hand no matter how busy she is. She doesn’t seek the spotlight for herself and is quick to praise those around her. What stood out the most for me was her gift of encouragement and how she always believes the best in me and continually encourages me to reach my full potential and achieve my personal and career goals.
I attended her retirement party yesterday. I will miss her greatly but we will continue to be good friends. At the party, her words touched me deeply when she said “my friends are just like family to me”. Marilyn is such an amazing person. I am grateful to have her in my life. She is such a positive female role model for me to aspire to and a true, blue friend.
Karen E. Mosier