She Walks In Confidence 12

She Walks In Confidence 12

She Walks In Confidence 12
The next day Rosie spent the day with Pamela and Robert. They were going to go visit Rupert in hospital. She asked if Naomi could come along to show them where the sights were. Her parents agreed. Robert had rented an auto to get them around town. The only car they had was a jeep and it was a stick drive.
“We will not have a manual drive in until this afternoon.” said the attendant.
“I can drive a stick but I’m too young to have a license. Why not have Rosie drive. You ought to have seen her up on the flats where the plane was stuck! ” piped up Naomi.

Robert sneered “Rosie? You are now called Rosie? My word. How quaint.”

Pamela clapped her hands saying:
“Never mind my husband the stuffed shirt. Rosie I’m very proud of you. Let’s have you drive today. I know we’ll have a fun day.”

Rosie all signed in for one day’s driving took off out of the lot carefully. When she had driven a few miles Robert started in on the lecture of driving too fast, too close. Anything else he could think of to be a backseat pain in the arse.
They were driving in the direction of the hospital when Naomi asked Rosie to take a right turn. They were going down a bumpy dirt road.
Rosie looked at Naomi who gave her the thumbs up. They reached an open field. Two boys were there with an older jeep. Naomi spoke to them. She talked to Rosie. Rosie said yes. She asked Pamela for ten dollars. They paid the boys a total of twenty dollars.

Naomi knew the boys and they gave Pamela and Robert the drag race of their life! Pamela laughed the whole time while Robert turned white as a sheet.

Naomi thanked the boys and they took off gingerly to the hospital.

The story was repeated to Rupert who laughed so robustly the nurses came in to see if he was in any
danger.

After seeing Rupert the four went for lunch at a local outside Greek cafe that was suggested by Naomi. The food was delicious. They returned the jeep to the car rental. Robert got himself a Buick and was quite content to drive. He never again complained about Rosie’s driving.
Back at Rosemary’s by the Sea Robert pulled into the parking lot of the unit where they were staying.
He got out and started wiping off the car of dust.
The ladies saw Bill and Jack were busy white washing the fence at the unit next to the office.
Both men donned straw hats.
“Rosemary thinks the two of us are related to Tom Sawyer!” laughed Bill.

“Now hold still. This is so funny. Best thing I’ve seen all day. I have to get a picture of you two.” said Rosie.

“ I rather think the best thing I’ve seen all day is my husband get outmaneuvered by a woman in driving skills.”said Pamela.

The two men looked dumbfounded. Pamela said let’s go sit at the table and let Rosemary and Cynthia in on our adventures of the day. Pamela told the story and embellished and exaggerated on every detail she could at the expense of her dear husband.

Saturday the men cooked lunch all day. It was Bar B Q days. They dressed in their western clothing and some locals they knew would bring their guitars and sing and play all day or their lunches.
Rosemary, Cynthia, Rosie and Naomi took to the yard sales of the day. There were plenty going on. The clothes were cheap. Rosie found some beautiful Pendleton Skirts.
“They are not outdated. Why do people get rid of these skirts. I know this one cost eighty dollars. I have one at home just like it. They are asking two dollars!”

“They want new. The old clothes are sold and out of the way so they go buy new clothes. Not as well made but new for a while. A vicious circle. I have clothes that I bought ten years ago. They are well made and when I tire of them they go in a trunk with Lavender sachets. I reuse my clothes until I tire of them.” said Rosemary.

Rosie said she did the same thing with her clothes.
“I’m going to go through some of my shoes and boots when I get back home. My special diet for gout from Cynthia has made my feet less swollen. Who knows perhaps some of those shoes at home will still fit.
I’ll still show the items to Naomi for the Honeybee closet before I send them to you.” said Rosie with a big smile.

Naomi found some sheet music and the vendor said to take it all for one dollar. Naomi asked Rosie who said to grab it.
The ladies returned home happy with their purchases. Bill was happy he had put a big long rack up on top the Nomad.

She had a vivid imagination and would carry it on for the rest of her life.

©Julia A Knaake

Margo y Pearl 3

Margo y Pearl 3

The girls settled in their attic bedroom well. Except for Cindy Lou having a blood curdling nightmare the first night. The lightening bolts pounding into trees frightened her to no end. The flashes of light through the windows did not help.

Gizmo came bounding out of his mud room bed with the speed of lightening up the stairs. Margo was out of her bed trying to sooth her littlest sister, Cindy Lou. Cheryl was sound asleep. Gizmo jumped onto Cindy Lou’s bed and lay next to her.
Margo walked over to the landing and listened in case her Grandmother was awake. She did not hear any noise.

Knowing Grandmother would not want Gizmo on the bed she told Cindy Lou Gizmo could stay tonight. He had to sleep on a rug on the floor. Margo went to the linen closet in the hall and found a fluffy old rug. That would be Gizmo’s bed for tonight.

Next morning Margo was up an hour before her sisters. She quickly dressed, brushed her teeth and washed her face.

“Come Gizmo. You can’t stay up here without permission. Be quiet while we go downstairs.”

Margo walked quietly down the stairs sidestepping the one place that squeaked when one stepped on it. Gizmo did not mind and he hopped right down the stairs making it known he was on the squeaking step!
Grandfather was in the kitchen making coffee.

“I figured Gizmo was upstairs with you three. Hope he did not sleep on the beds. Your Grandmother would not go for that at all!”

“When Cindy Lou let out a sudden, piercing, bloodcurdling scream he cam flying up into our room. Gizmo pounced onto her bed and lay down next to her. When Cindy Lou calmed down I explained it was lightening outside. I Also told her he could not sleep on the bed.
Hoping not to disturb the household I took an old fluffy rug and lay it o the floor next to Cindy Lou’s bed. I also told her to speak to Grandmother about Gizmo’s visit. Cheryl slept through the whole commotion!”

Grandfather asked if she would like a cup of coffee. Margo thanked him saying yes her parents allowed her one cup if she wished.

“I have milk and honey in my coffee please.”

“Just like your Grandmother.”

Benny asked Margo if she wanted to go outside and look at the damage the lightening strikes had done last night. She said yes. Grandfather put on a light flannel shirt and offered a small sweater to Margo.

“We can carry our cups outside. I want to access the damage right now. I might put you three girls to work after breakfast.”

Grandfather and granddaughter toured the back side yard first. Gizmo caught up with them checking for rabbits. The back side of the house had no damage at all. There were a lot of leaves down. Margo said this was a perfect job for Cindy Lou and Gizmo.

There was a bit of debris near the garden. When Benny approached the actual garden he said:
” This mess looks like a bomb hit the trees, showering debris from all sides onto the garden. Your Grandmother will have us all out here today. Looks like a soup day for us.”

“We love Grandmother’s soup. It’s the best. Every time it is different and every time it is great.”

When they got done touring the grounds Margie and the sisters were up and dressed. Cindy Lou told Grandma that Gizmo had saved her life from the horrid lightening.

“Hummm and what about your two sisters? Did they help?” asked Grandmother.

“With a sheepish look Cindy Lou said Margo was the real hero.

“Margo hopped right out of her bed with bare feet and hugged me and rocked me telling me not to be afraid.
Then Gizmo flew up the stairs with leaps and bounds like a Super Dog. Well, Margo is a super sister too because she is always telling me to remember what Mother and Father tell me.

Margo even explained to me and Gizmo that he can not sleep on my bed. Margo got him a fluffy rug to sleep on the floor.
I told Gizmo it was up to Grandmother if he could stay on the rug while we are here. Come Gizmo make your wishing face.” said Cindy Lou.

Gizmo stood in front of Grandmother, lay down on his belly then put his paws over his eyes then gave a tiny whimper.

Grandmother looked at Grandfather stifling a smile saying:
”Go wash up we have a lot to do. It’s soup day. Glad I still have an Apple Crisp left.”

It was a magical setting. Margo could live here forever.

©Julia A Knaake

Margo y Pearl 2

Margo y Pearl 2
Margie had finished all the baking. The breads and rolls were on racks sitting on the counter. Six loaves of bread and three pans of flaky rolls. Two large apple crisps were already cooled on the racks.

Gizmo was resting in his dog bed in the mud room. He whimpered then gave a warning yip that a vehicle was approaching.

“Must be Papa and the girls. Let’s go see.” Margie said.

Gizmo was out his dog door in a flash. He met Margie on the porch. Together they went down to the closed gate. As soon as the truck stopped Margie opened the gate. Benny called Gizmo. He sniffed the girls and remembered each of them.

“Hello Mama. Becca sends you hugs and kisses and Samuel wanted Apple Crisp. Here are your precious three granddaughters.”

Each girl ran to Grandmother showering her with hugs and kisses. Benny set the suitcases near the gate for the girls to carry and he followed with the box of shoes and books. When Margie had a moment Benny kissed her on the cheek. He told her a tree was in his way down the road so he tangled with it for a while.

“I cut the wood to fit the kitchen stove. There are more wind damage trees down. I told Pastor Riley so there may be a few parishioners down there today gleaning wood.

Grandmother told the girls they would not be sleeping in the room they slept in before.

“I wanted that room for my sewing room. Grandpa and your Papa made the attic suitable for the three of you when you visit. They put a TV up there for video watching on cold days.

Your Mama even helped with the beds and storage. I think the beds are suitable but Margo should have first choice. Then Cheryl and finally Cindy Lou. I am going by oldest first so there will be no complaining.

Now that you will all have your own bed and storage you will take care of your own. The closet you will have to share. It is long and roomy for clothes on hangers. Space provided for shoes.

Grandfather and I think you will love your new home away from home.” said Margie sweetly.

The girls carried their suitcases up to their room. This room used to be the attic. Grandfather and their father, Samuel, converted it into a beautiful space. Margo chose the bed furthest from the door.
Cheryl wanted the bed closest to the door. Cindy Lou ended with the middle bed. She did not mind being in the center at all.

There was a small powder room style bathroom. No shower or tub but just right to wash faces and brush teeth or hair. The new sleeping quarters suited the girls well.
Their suitcases were unpacked with their clothes put in the closet along with the shoes. Other folded clothing were neatly placed in the storage seat at the end of each bed. Each suitcase was stored under the bed. Grandfather put the big box on the top shelf of the closet.
At the far end of the room Grandmother had placed a small bookcase and three comfortable reading chairs. There was one table under a window with puzzles and folding chairs.
The girls loved their room and agreed to keep it tidy.
When they went downstairs they asked Grandmother if they could help her with cooking.

“Tomorrow you can help me. I think it would be nice if you went outside with Grandfather. He is going to check the chickens for eggs. He has some other chores you might help him with. Gizmo could use a walk also. Do you all have the watches we gave you for Christmas?”

Margo said they all still had them and indeed they were waterproof tested.

“How delightful you have tested them.” said Margie.

“ Cindy Lou did the testing when she jumped into the swimming pool.” laughed Cheryl.

“I wanted to see how long it took to swim across the pool long way.” said Cindy Lou with a huge smile.

The girls and Gizmo were outside with Grandfather for almost an hour. They heard the bell for lunch and all started back to the cottage. After washing up and sitting at the table Benny said grace over the meal:

“Our Father…
Make us worthy, Lord,
to serve our brothers
and sisters throughout
the world, who live and die
in poverty and pain.
Give them today,
through our hands,
their daily bread and through
our understanding love,
give peace and joy. Amen”

Thus the beginning of six weeks at the grandparents Yorkshire Cottage.
It was a magical setting. Margo could live here forever.

©Julia A Knaake

Margo y Pearl

Margo y Pearl
Rebecca and Samuel’s first born child came into this world screaming loudly and kicking. Samuel wanted the name Pearl. Rebecca wanted to name her Margo.

“Darling why Margo?” asked Samuel.

“For a month I have been so uncomfortable. I can barely sleep because this child is so active inside of me. I love her but she exhausts me. Today I watched yet another old movie. The dancer was Margo Albert. Our baby calmed down when this woman spoke.”

Samuel looked at his wife as though she had lost her mind. He would do anything in the world to calm her down.

” Margo María Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O’Donnell, was a Mexican-American actress and dancer. She appeared in many American film, stage, and television productions, including Lost Horizon, The Leopard Man, Viva Zapata!, and I’ll Cry Tomorrow. She married actor Eddie Albert in 1945 and was later known as Margo Albert.” said Rebecca.

Samuel looked surprised raising his bushy eyebrows.

“I looked her up. I want to name our baby Margo y Pearl.”

Thus Margo came into the world Margo y Pearl.

The thin glass window of the church was covered in mid-morning sunlight.
One was unable to see inside as the shadow of the tree branches with small green leaves gently swaying in the Spring breeze covered the view.

Pastor Riley was at the end of his sermon:

“The Fruit of the Holy Spirit. A biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit. This is according to chapter five of the Epistle to the Galatians 5:22‎:
…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace.
Patience, kindness, goodness.
Faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Grandfather York arrived too late to go inside. A tree had fallen across the road blocking him from going around to the highway. He was happy to have chosen to drive his truck. In the tool box he had a small gas powered Echo chainsaw. It did not take him much time to cut the tree into small logs. He loaded some in his truck. The rest he left stacked in rough piles.

Margie would be happy as he cut them to the size fitting the wood stove in the kitchen. Once dried he’d bring them into the kitchen wood box for winter use.

Church services were over and Pastor Riley opened the vestibule and called to Benny. “We missed you today. From the look of your truck you had to chainsaw yourself out of the backwoods.”

“Yes, I started out with a clean shirt but there were several trees down from last nights storm. This one covered the road.

Glad I had my Echo with me. Some of the parishioners in need of wood might drive down Big Bear Road and collect some easy firewood.” said Benny.

“Grandfather come inside and have coffee. I’ll dust you off. Cheryl and Cindy Lou are inside passing out cookies to the little ones.” said Margo.

“ Wait till your Grandmother sees that bruise. What happened to your arm Margo?” asked Benny.

“ I was in the basement helping Mother with the canned goods. Cindy Lou was on the other side of the shelving. She was trying to help us but she knocked over six cans from the top shelf. I was on the bottom shelf and they hit my arm. I was lucky.”

“Lucky”? Asked Pastor Riley.

“Yes, lucky it wasn’t my head ! The purple and green contusion on my arm looks much worse than it actually feels. I will live and Cindy Lou will not work on the shelves until she is more responsible.

Actually Mother found out Cindy Lou is much better sorting vegetables and wrapping fruits. She also excels at sorting nuts and bagging them in mesh sacks.”

Inside the church some of the parishioners shook hands with Benny. The girls Mother and Father collected the three large suitcases out of their car. They would be transferred to Benny’s truck along with another box of shoes and books.

“So you’re going to be gone only six weeks? Looks like we have enough clothes here for six months!”

“Oh. Dad! Mom and the girls will be busy making school clothes in the next six weeks.”

“What? No time for Grandfather. No help feeding chickens or slopping the hogs. I need to paint the barn…and and…”

“Dad! I love you. We’ll be back in six weeks. Kiss Mom from us. Why didn’t she come with you.?” asked Rebecca.

“ Dear daughter. You know your Mother. She did not bake yesterday. Home making bread and who knows what. I did see an Apple Crisp on the counter.”

“Becca, you go on the trip by yourself. I’m going with your Dad to get some Apple Crisp.” laughed Samuel her husband.

“No you won’t stay with my parents.”

“You know I wouldn’t. Come girls give us some hugs. We have to get on our way. Thanks Benny. Kiss Margie.”

Into the truck the two younger girls got into the back seats. Margo took the front passenger seat. Grandfather drove down the lane, only one mile away towards the cottage. He went slow as the two lane road was still slippery from the fallen leaves. After a half mile they were out of the trees. Margo could hardly wait to see Grandmother.

“There it is squealed Cheryl and Cindy Lou together.”

“ Remember Mother and Father said to be respectful in the house. That means no running. Speaking loudly nor messing up the rooms.” chided Margo to her younger siblings.

There it was the cottage of Grandfather and Grandmother. A white picket fence surrounded the stone cottage. The roof made of slate.

When the sun hit different angles the slate turned shades of blue and gray. Flowers grew profusely on the outside of the fence. It was a magical setting. Margo could live here forever.

©Julia A Knaake

Maude’s Farm 9

Maude’s Farm 9

A happy place to live for everyone did happen down on the farm.
Marni and Kevin’s home was a kit so it went up fast. They now were about to move into that home.

Linda and Carla were both in Mr McCone’s class. Busy girls they were two of the top teacher helpers.

It was obvious that Ray and Susan were becoming closer. Their pain from his loss of his wife, Her loss of a marriage was slowly mending.

No one noticed Harold and Maude becoming closer. It was thought at their ages they were just seeking companionship. That was fine with them because they would announce on the night before Christmas their love for each other.

Christmas school vacation came with many festivities. The locals yearly had sleigh rides. This year was no exception. Bundled up in their warmest the whole crew went on the rides. Carols were sung, hot chocolate and cookies was consumed.

Christmas Eve was celebrated at Grannie Maude’s house. This Christmas Eve everyone told of an event happening in their life. They were to write it on a paper, fold and write their name then place it in Harold’s new cowboy hat. Harold was oldest so he got to pick. He swirled the papers around then chose.

“Marni, you are first.” said Harold.
“ Linda remember last month when we asked you to stay with Carla instead of coming home after school?”
“Yes, Mama.”
“Your Dad and I were at the doctors office. In six months there will be a brother or sister addition to our family.”

Harold swirled the papers around then chose.
“Linda is next”

“ I am now helping other students with American Sign Language.”

Harold swirled the papers around then chose another name.
“Susan.”

“ I was offered a part time job at the bakery in town. I am seriously thinking of taking it. With Carla in school and Grannie Maude not really needing me at the farm I’m thinking it’s about time I get out and meet some new people.”

Harold swirled the papers around then chose a name.
“Maude.”

“I’m getting married next year. Not sure of the month but it will happen.”

What everyone shouted. Harold set his hat down and put his arms around Maude saying: “It’s about time we were wed. I’m over here everyday for coffee and most meals. We belong together.”

Picking up his hat he swirled the notes again.
“Ray”

“I have a two part announcement. I have been offered the position of Principal at the school. I may or may not take it.
My other announcement is a mutual agreement between Susan and I to be married.
Darling your engagement ring in under the tree.”
He went over to the tree, picked up a small box and presented the ring to Susan.

“The ring was Mothers and Dad and I agreed you should be wearing it. Hugs and congratulations went all around the room.

Picking up his hat Harold swirled the notes again.
“Kevin, you’re up next.”

“I have a permit from the city to renovate that old run down farmhouse into an office. It seems it was originally well constructed. Next Spring we will start the remake of our Real Estate Office.”

“Carla you are next to last.”

“I am pleased to say our school has a collection of give-a-books for our library. We also have started a collection of give-a-books for other schools.”

“OK that’s it lets sing now.” said Harold.

“Oh no you don’t get away without telling your message.” cried Maude.

“OK,OK. I’m next. I also had a doctor visit. I was a bit worried about some itchy skin patches on the back of my neck. Doc Quinlin had them examined and I was told I am well. He told me to wear a hat that covered my neck. Maude got me this hat for Christmas.
Ain’t it a dandy?” hooted Harold.

The year came and went again it was Christmas Eve. Linda had a new little brother. Her parents were doing well.

Maude and Harold were married and living in Harold’s house.

Ray and Susan were also married and living in Grannies farm.

Carla got up and started singing then everyone joined in:

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la la la la la la
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la la la la la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la la la la la la la
Troll the ancient yuletide carol
Fa la la la la la la la la
See the blazing yule before us
Fa la la la la la la la la
Strike the harp and join the chorus
Fa la la la la la la la la
Follow me in merry measure
Fa la la la la la la la la
While I tell of yuletide treasure
Fa la la la la la la la la
Sing we joyous all together
Fa la la la la la la la la
Heedless of the wind and weather
Fa la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la
La la la la la
La la la

Ending the Beginning.
©Julia A Knaake

Maude’s Farm 8

Maude’s Farm 8
Marni, Kevin and Linda moved from the old neighborhood within the month. Unknown to anyone they bought the old rundown farmhouse right down the street from Grannie Maude’s farm. Maude and Harold were sitting on the porch drinking coffee.
“Look Maude,pointing down to the farmhouse, There’s some action going on down there. Looks like a moving van pulling up their driveway. Tucker Hardware had a large delivery truck there also. Wonder what’s going on?” said Harold.
Maude went inside and pulled her bird watching binoculars off the peg near the door. She looked down at the farmhouse.
“Here Harold, you take a look. It looks like they are going to put up a couple of storage buildings.

” That ground is pretty uneven and rocky down there. I’m gonna take the four wheeler down and see what’s going on.” said Harold.

Harold drove down to the farmhouse. Staying about an hour talking to the men. He came back to Maude’s place with some interesting news.
It seemed that the farmhouse had been sold a couple of months ago. They had surveyors come in to see the best spot to build a house. Down in the old farmhouse area two cement slabs had been put in and now two steel storage units were being put in place. Within a few hours the moving truck contents would be placed inside these very large buildings.
“ The new owners will be here tomorrow. They have decided to live in a motor home while their home is being built on sight. I saw the sight and it’s high on a hill with a beautiful view.” said Harold.
“I never noticed them surveying or making the cement pads.” said Maude.
“Probably done when we were off on a trip to town. We pretty much drive the back road shortcut to town.
Carla loves looking at the animals on those rides.” said Susan.
She heard their conversation about the old farmhouse through the screen. She carried a tray of egg salad sandwiches and her cup of coffee. The three of them had a nice lunch and talked about the old farmhouse.
That evening Marni called asking if they would be home tomorrow afternoon.
“We are coming to visit your great town. We want to look at properties there and visit with all of you.”
“Grannie said you are welcome to stay with us.” said Susan.
“We will talk about that when we get there.” said Marni.
When Carla came home from school and heard the news that her best friend, Linda, was coming to visit she was excited.
“I have to get my room cleaned up in case she stays all night. Do you think they will stay the weekend?” asked Carla.
“Marni didn’t say how long. Kevin wanted to look at properties. That’s all I know my excited daughter.” replied Susan.
“We are going to have new neighbors down the road.” said Great Grannie.
The next morning, after breakfast, Carla started on her room. Susan elected Ray to help her make apple pies. Harold and Maude went over to his property to get the old doghouse.
“I’ll never use it again and I’m thinking their dog would love sleeping in it instead of his crate.” said Harold.
The all were sitting on the porch after lunch. Looking down at the farmhouse they see a motor home. It had been placed near the farmhouse. An awning had been pulled out and Ray saw patio furniture under the awning.
“Looks like the new neighbors are moving in today.” said Ray.
Soon a car drove out onto the road. It was coming towards Grannie Maude’s house.
“I told the people setting up the steel storage units to let the owners know we could help them with information about out town. Told forman to send them here. I should have asked you first Maude. “ said Harold.
“Harold you are over here everyday. It’s like you live here just as much as you do at home.” laughed Maude.
“Look here they come up the drive. I think I know this car ” said Susan.
The car doors opened. Spotty and Linda from the back. Marni and Kevin all climbed out the car.
“We were so busy gawking at the new neighbors down at the farmhouse we forgot you were coming.” said Harold.
“Well we can just turn around and go back home.” said Kevin
“Daddy we don’t need to drive home. All we have to do is walk. Spotty would love the walk.” said Linda.
“Now, now let’s stop the silly talk. Susan and Ray made apple pies. Let’s go have a piece and talk.” said Maude.
“Daddy, Daddy is it time? Is it time to tell?” asked Linda.
Kevin pulled out his harmonica very dramatically. The three of them sang:
Houses are red
Houses are blue
We’re happy to move
into your neighborhood
“Oh my goodness you are our new neighbors. We are so happy you moved here.” said Susan.
“It just looked like a happy place to live. Kevin can work from home. Linda will be in school with Carla. I will be setting up my stained glass shop later after the barn house kit is built.” said Marni.
©Julia A Knaake

Maude’s Farm 7

Maude’s Farm 7
A month has passed. September brought the opening of school. Carla, age eight, would be in the third grade. Her teacher was Mr McCone. He had fiery red hair, covered in freckles with huge hazel eyes. Everyday he sported some sort of plaid clothing. A hat, belt, shirt tie or even shoes. His chair seat even had a plaid covered pillow.
He told the children the reason he loved plaid so much was that he hand grown up in Madras, India and having a little bit of plaid on every day made him not miss his friends so much.
”We were all little brothers and sisters. We played together every day. We took lunch together and went to school together. When my family had to return to America I did not want to leave. Our very kind teacher had a good-bye party with gifts all wrapper in plaid for me to remember my friends. Most of us still write letters, sent photos and call on our birthdays. I wear plaid to remember my times in India.”
Mr. McCone went on to explain: “Madras is a lightweight cotton fabric with typically patterned texture and tartan design, used primarily for summer clothing such as pants, shorts, dresses, and jackets. The fabric takes its name from the former name of the city Madras now Chennai in South India.”
Back to Class
“Good Morning Boys and Girls. My name is Mr. McCone. I have written the subjects we will be learning this year on the chalkboard. I have handouts for you to take home to your parent or caregiver.
I expect you and myself to follow the Golden Rule. We will treat others as we wish to be treated. Do not be overwhelmed by my long list of subjects. We have a whole school year to learn. We will study hard and we will all learn.
If there are any students that speak Spanish you will become my Spanish speaking helpers. If there are students who excel in any other subjects I expect you to help me with any student that needs help.
I find that this helps everyone with the subjects. With our extra time we will work on the last four subjects. Art, Spanish, Computer Knowledge and Music will be our fun classes. Every year this class puts on a one act play. This year it will be in Spanish.
Here’s what subjects I will be teaching….
Math
Reading
Phonics
Spelling
Grammar
Writing
Social Studies
Science
Handwriting (Cursive)
Art
Spanish
Computer Knowledge
Music

Carla got off the school bus and came bursting into the house.

”Mama me encanta la escuela.” Carla spoke in Spanish.

“Slow down Carla, so you love school. That is good.” said Harold.

“ My school is so fun and I am helping Mr. McCone teach reading. He also said I wrote very beautiful handwriting. I told him Mama taught me.” said Carla.
Ray walked in the door saying he was happy she liked Mr McCone.
“He is one of our best teachers. Some come and some go but he stays. He has more subjects than the others. He has never failed a student in thirty years.” said Ray.
“His list of subjects are well rounded. I think Carla will love this school. Now it looks like Mama will have to learn Spanish also.” said Susan.
“Mama I love school. I will teach you what I learn. Mama me encanta la escuela means Mama I love school. Harold you understood me. You speak and understand Spanish.” said Carla.
Harold told Carla he learned Spanish from the migrant laborers who came to work the farms and orchards. Those six little houses out back of my barn is where those Texans lived. Some brought their wives and children to pick.
My wife and I kept the buildings livable and clean. The workers appreciated that very much. When Ray learned to drive he would take them into town to their church. One day a month my wife took the ladies to town to buy groceries.
Once a month I would start up the BBQ and cook some type of meat. My wife and the ladies would make the other food. The men and I would then get the ice cream and the cones out for the kiddies.
“Ray do you speak Spanish?” asked Carla.

“Señorita Carla sí hablo español.” replied Ray

“That is good. Since I do not know many words you may teach Mama. I also am helping others to hand write and read. I love my school.” said Carla.
Another month passed and Marni called to tell Susan her house was sold.
“Kevin got you the price you were asking. The new owner asked about the furniture. I sold all your furniture at the price you paid plus I charged five percent more on the furniture.” said Marni smugly.
“What? I said the furniture could go with the house. Why did you sell it?” asked Susan.
“I sold your furniture just for the hell of it. The new owner insisted on paying. Her husband was out of town and she told me in no uncertain terms that she rulled the roost and the rooster. She wanted the furniture so I sold it. If you don’t want the furniture monies donate it to Carla’s school.” said Marni.
“My oh my the house sold and the furniture. Wonder what kind of neighbors they will be for you and Kevin?” Said Susan in amazement.
“We have met him a while ago. Do not care for either one. We will be out of here soon because we sold our home the next day.Seems the woman that bought you house had a sister that bought ours. I could not stand the foul mouth woman myself. Kevin promised me if I kept my mouth shut I could have final decision on the house we buy up where we live. I bit my tongue and kept quiet.” laughed Marni.
“So you met the man before but his wife bought my house and furniture. Just who is this woman?” asked Susan.
“Are you sitting down?” asked Marni.
Susan said “Yes. Now quit being so mysterious and tell me?”
“Your ex-husbands wife, the Rooster Ruler bought the place.” said Susan.

©Julia A Knaake

Maude’s Farm 6

Maude’s Farm 6

Arriving at their home tears fell down from Susan’s eyes. Carla saw her Mama was sad.

“Mama don’t be sad. Great Grannie told me we are going to be working on a clean slate. Out with the old and in with the new. Linda and I already decided to have a yard sale. We will get rid of my old clothes and toys. I will donate my money to my new school for books for kids that need books.” said Carla.

Now it was time for Ray to get misty eyed. “Carla you are such a dear unselfish young lady. I love you so much. You truly are unselfish and have a good plan for everything.” said Ray.

Ray pulled Susan close to him and kissed her on the head. It was the first time he had kissed her and she felt good in his arms. Susan also felt good in his protective arms.

They went inside the home. The first thing they did was smell coffee and hot chocolate. On the kitchen table were flowers and a big sign. Welcome to the huge selling party. Linda and Marni were near the stove in aprons. Kevin stood near the basement with a stockpile of boxes and wrapping tape.

“Welcome neighbors. We are here to help. Our home is up for sale and yours will be soon.” said Kevin.

After two hours of sorting. Saving or placing into the sell or donate piles it was time to take a break. Kevin placed an order for delivery pizza and drinks. Out to the patio the six of them gathered for lunch.

“Linda and I are almost finished with my room. I have a pile of things I want on my bed. I took the quilt off the bed that Great Grannie made me and it is in my saved pile. Now we need another box for the sale items. I saved all my books. I will keep what I need then donate the others to my new school.” said Carla.

“ All I have to sort is my kitchen utensils. Next it will be the patio items then I will be done with this place.” said Susan.

“What about your furniture?” asked Marni. I do not want or need it. I saved the things from Grannie and that is all I desire.” said Susan.

They went over to Marni and Kevins to stay the night. Ray had spoken to Kevin about not wanting Susan to stay at her house. It was affirmed to stay next door instead of a hotel.

A few days passed and the house went up for sale. The girls had their yard sale and sold almost everything for Carla. Ray and Kevin loaded up the moving van. The next day they took off for the farm. Maude and Harold had the clean barn spaces ready for the packing boxes.

Carla moved her items into her new room. Grannie had washed the sheets and made the bed. Carla put her quilt on the bed. The quilt that had been on the bed was placed in the linen closet.

“Mama I hope you will not be lonesome in your bedroom without me. Would you like me to leave my Pooh bear to keep you company?” asked Carla.

“I will be fine. You keep Pooh he needs you. Someday I will have a bear for my bed.” said Susan.

Harold and Ray took the moving truck to the rental store in town. They barely made it back for dinner.

“We stopped at the church rummage sale. I picked up a neat pair of overalls. I even got a neat cowgirl hat for Carla when we go fishing.” said Harold.

Ray was carrying a plastic bag. “ This is for you Susan. So you won’t be lonesome at night.” said Ray.

Inside was a beautiful plushy white Teddy Bear with a purple ribbon tied around it’s neck. “Ray she smells of lavender.” said Susan. “I heard Carla say you did not have a bear. When I passed a table at the rummage sale I saw the display of homemade lavender items. There were soaps, cookies and bears. I could not resist. In the back is a little hidden pouch of lavender seeds. Lavender has a calming effect on some people. I thought of you. Sweet Dreams Susan.” said Ray.

Susan gave Ray a long tight hug. Dinner was eaten.

Dishes were done by Grannie and Carla while Harold read the paper.

Ray and Susan took a walk holding hands. Harold turned on the radio and Roy Orbison was singing:

“All I Have To Do Is Dream”
(originally by The Everly Brothers)

When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream
Dream, dream, dream

When I feel blue in the night
And I want you to hold me tight
Whenever I want you all I have to do
Is dream

I can make you mine
Taste your lip of wine
Any time night or day
Only trouble is gee whiz
I’m dreamin’ my life away

I need you so that I could die
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream
Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream

I need you so that I could die
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream
Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream

Dream, dream
Dream, dream

Susan and Ray deeply heard the music playing and had their first kiss.

©Julia A Knaake

Maude’s Farm 5

Maude’s Farm 5

The next day, a little before lunchtime, Marni, Kevin and Linda arrived. Spotty was quite a well behaved dog. When she jumped out of her cage she carried her neon green Frisbee in mouth.
Introductions to all were made. Susan and Marni looked like they were glued together. They were crying and laughing together.
“Come on you two help me set the table. Carla you help Linda to her room. Gents it looks like Spotty needs to run so you three take care of her.” said Maude.
After a long leisurely lunch the pie was served.
“Maude you have to teach me how to make this pie filling. It is heavenly.” said Marni.
“I didn’t make the pies.” said Maude.
“Then Susan?” asked Marni.
“Nope not me.” laughed Susan.
“Then who?” questioned Marni.
By then Carla was giggling. She got Ray giggling. The whole room started giggling.
“I must confess it was we that made the pie.” said Ray
Marni still had a puzzled look on her face.

Ray and Carla sang:
It was I that made the pie.
A big box of apples
came to the house
I knew I needed help
It was I that made the pie.
Glad it was not pineapples
or Mr and Mrs mouse
I knew I needed help
It was we that made the pie.
Mr Ray the teacher
Miss Carla the teacher
All on a summer day

“Carla teaches Ray and Ray teaches Carla.” said Susan.
Susan and Marni took a walk after lunch. They had a long talk about Susan’s ex- husband.
Marni told Susan that his new wife was thinking of buying a home in their neighborhood.
She told Susan she ought to spruce up her house and put it up for sale.
“That’s funny you say that because I have seriously considered selling. I have bad memories in that house. I really like it here quite a lot. Carla and I are fitting into this farm life. Grannie Maude said we could stay here with her. She could use the help. Carla has already made friends.” said Susan.
“I see you have also made a very nice friend in Ray.” said Marni.
“Yes, we both have had a bit of heartbreak in our past.” replied Susan.
She went on to explain that Ray’s wife passing and her divorce made them both shy away from commitments. She also told Marni about their official friendship agreement.
“We both have told others that we are just being friends at this time in our lives. Carla is in on the friendship deal also.” said Susan.

“Well I like this new you. Gratitude is my Attitude.” said Marni.

“What are you two up to?” asked Kevin.

“I may have started putting a bug in Susan’s ear about selling. I think she beat me to it tho.” laughed Marni.
“Now, Susan I know we have been friends for a long time. I am a Realtor and I could sell your home for a great price. The housing market is going up. You seem to have no repairs. We go inside once a week to check for you as you asked. I can see possibilities. If you want a different Realtor it would not ruin our friendship.” said Kevin.
“You would be the Realtor, no doubt in my mind about that. I need to speak to Carla and Grannie Maude first. We have a lot of items in that house. I would have to decide what to sell or donate and what to keep. School will be starting here soon. I would like Carla to come and help me pick. Then it WILL go up for sale.” said Susan.
Susan went back inside. She talked to Carla about selling and moving. Carla was jumping up and down and told everyone their decision. It was agreed that since Ray had some time before returning to his teaching position he would also go with them. When they returned Susan would drive his pickup and Ray would drive the moving van.
The next few days at Grannies were lots of fun. The day for Marni and family to return home came. Hugs and kisses to Grannie and to Harold were passed.
Harold would stay behind to help Grannie. They all went off early to get to the city.
Maude told Harold she hoped all went well on the drive.
“Looks like our hopes that those two getting together might work out.” said Harold
“Give it time love, give it time. Let’s go see if there’s any pie left.” said Maude as she leaned up to give Harold a big kiss.


©Julia A Knaake

Maude’s Farm 4
Susan and Grannie Maude were in the kitchen having coffee.
“Grannie I am not sure what to do. Carla and I love it here on the farm. I truly do not want to go back to our home. Carla is young and can forget the pain. I will never forget the pain. I tried to cover up his infidelities.
One of my dear friends, Marni, knew exactly what was going on. She tried to tell me. I did not believe her but she never gave up. I was very cool to her and hurt her. She told me someday I would believe. I feel so bad I was rough on her.” confessed Susan.

“You get yourself right over to the phone and call her now. You tell her to come visit us. If she has a husband and children invite them.” said Grannie in a sharp tone.
Susan kissed Grannie and went for her phone. She talked to her friend Marni for almost an hour.
“Grannie they will be here tomorrow. Marni, Kevin and Linda. Oh yes and Spotty the dog. He is an outside dog and will be happy in the barn.” said Susan.
“That is great news. Now we will have to do some real work cleaning up the extra back bedrooms. Shouldn’t be too hard for the three of us.” laughed Grannie.
Harold and Ray walked inside with Carla tagging behind. Carla was happily carrying a basket of eggs. Ray had a big box of summer apples.
“They’re green and tough-skinned, tart, almost a lemony flavor. Dad said applesauce or pies.” said Ray.
“Where’d you get those apples.” asked Maude.
“They came from a student’s Aunt. The student’s Mom said she could not use them. She gave them to me to give to someone. Naturally I thought of Susan who makes wonderful pies.” laughed Ray.
“How about you and Carla peel them while I help Grannie get two rooms ready for company. Carla knows how to make a pie. You can be her helper!” slyly said Susan.
Harold told Maude he’d love to sit in the kitchen and watch the two mischief workers.
Maude told him she needed his help.
“Come on now. Chop chop. There’s work to do.” said Maude.
Two hours passed and the trio was finished. The biggest room was ready for Marni, and Kevin. The smaller room needed a bit more work. It was a bit cluttered at first. Now it was just perfect for a little girl. A canopy bed with a patchwork quilt next to a bookcase filled with Nancy Drew books. Any girl would love this room.
Meanwhile out in the kitchen there was clattering. Ray and Carla had made four pies. They were decorated beautifully and in the oven. The clatter was Ray and Carla trying to clean up their mess.
Maude peeked around the corner and saw them sweeping up flour.
“Well, they’re getting along just fine plus cleaning up their mess. Harold you go ahead and get the coffee going. We’ll be right behind you.” said Maude.
“My it smells wonderful in this kitchen.” said Susan.
She heard singing from Carla, Ray and Harold:
Apples in the attic.
Apples in the hall.
Apples in the summer.
Apples in the fall.
Apples make you healthy.
Apples make you tall.
I will eat some apples.
I will eat them all.

“Hello Mama. We made four apple pies. A few were leftover so Ray made sauce.” said Carla happily.
“Those pies look delicious. Where did you ever learn to bake like that?” asked Maude.
“I am a teacher dear Maude. One time I had to sub for the Home Economics teacher. She was out having a baby and her sub was sick. The girls in class are all farm girls. I told them I did not know how to cook unless it was in a box with instructions. Those girls taught this old teacher well. They taught me the basics of cooking. I am forever grateful to them. The pie idea was their idea to get the shop guys to come into class!
That was a great day for all. I learn many lessons from my students. Why even Carla taught me to toss in a handful of raisins to sweeten the apples.” said Ray.
During coffee break Maude told them company was coming tomorrow. When Carla found out Linda was coming she was so happy. When she saw the bedroom set up for Linda she made a pout.
“What’s wrong Carla?” asked Great Grannie.
“Linda is my friend and should get a nice room. It is a beautiful room. I would love that room if I were Linda.” said Carla with a sad face.
“When our guests leave the room will be yours then. We knew you would want that room.” said Maude and Susan at the same time.
©Julia A Knaake

Maude’s Farm 4

Maude’s Farm 3

Maude’s Farm 3

Today was the fourth of July. Carla was quite excited as this would be her first time to go to see the fireworks. The town always held the event at the football field. The bleachers would hold all that attended. Local fire department and police volunteers were on standby. The hospital sent over two doctors and six nurses along with an ambulance.

Most people came for fun and food. Drinking alcoholic beverages on the football grounds allowed you to spend one night free at the county jail being a volunteer.

Harold and Ray came over in their station wagon to pick up Maude, Susan and Carla.

Carla loved the station wagon because it was so big and roomy.

Maude’s Sewing Club had a food booth. Maude brought BBQ glazed kielbasa on a stick. To help her Grannies club Susan made cup cakes with chocolate icing. Carla put red white and blue candies on the cupcakes. The proceeds from the sewing club would go back to the club. They would make items for the children in the hospital.

Ray and his students had a booth with big crepe paper flowers for sale. The students put a lot of work into the making of these flowers. The proceeds would go to purchase books for the children in hospital. Ray paid for the materials and the students volunteered. Many people who bought flowers would buy more than they needed to support this cause.

It was announced that the fireworks would begin in an hour. Most people scrambled to the bleachers for a good view. Harold and Maude climbed to the top.

“We got great seats. Hope the going down is not too hard.” laughed Harold.

“Dad, you got me. I’ll guide my old decrepit broken down Dad down the steps to safety.” laughed Ray.

“Mr Harold you can use my little flashlight. I will hold your hand too.” said Carla seriously.

“Such a dear girl. I see your Mama raised you with consideration of others. “ Ray said softly.

Soon the announcer introduced the local band and singers. A short program of assorted people speaking. Then a local girl sang the Star Spangled Banner. The announcer returned and said let the show begin.

Bursts of sparks and colored flames lit up the sky.

Red.

Orange.

Green.

Blue.

Yellow.

Even Purple.

One burst after another. Carla was thrilled.

Harold and Maude walked down the steps with care. Ray carried the sleepy Carla and Susan walked on the other side.

Harold nudged Maude in the ribs saying: “They look good together don’t they?” Maude nodded yes.

When they returned to the farm Maude asked the two men for coffee and pie. Carla was put to bed and the adults sat on the porch talking.

“ Grannie. Carla loves it here. We’ve been here a month and she wants us to move. I’m beginning to think that might be a good idea. Our home is not a happy memory home. I do not have good memories. Carla really never knew her father. He was never home even on weekends. There was always something he had to do at work.”

“I’m sorry to hear that happened to you and Carla. That must be hard on the child. I on the other hand have too many memories of my late wife. I miss her still but I am happy we had no children. I don’t know how you cope raising a child alone.” said Ray.

“Oh, I was just feeling sorry for myself I guess. Only one month at the farm helps to chase the blues away. We have two more months here. Carla will have to go back to school. I will work it out.” said Susan.

Maude piped in saying she would love the two of them stay longer. Carla could go to school and I would love your company.

Harold asked Ray if he would mind showing Susan around town the next day. The two agreed and early next morning a tour of the town was made. Carla stayed with Harold and Great Grannie.

For the next four weeks Ray and Susan toured the town once a week. Sometimes Carla was included.

One evening Ray and Susan announced they now were wearing friendship bracelets.

“Now Dad and Maude do not get all excited. No engagement party. No wedding plans. We are official friends. That is all so far. Susan and I decided together using our common sense. “ said a very happy Ray.

Susan handed Carla a small box saying it was from Ray and Mama.

Inside was a small bracelet with two hands clasped together.

“Oh how beautiful.” exclaimed Carla.

Ray told Carla she was part of this friendship team.

©Julia A Knaake