Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BLUE UMBRELLA YELLOW MACKINTOSH 10th installment

That baby again. I assume it is Mrs. Montgomery's. This is the only Tighsolas photo with images of local workers. 1910 era.

I have a list of trees and shrubs planted on Tighsolas grounds in 1897. "Purchased from H.W.Beebe, Plain, Quebec, Grower, Dealer and Importer of Hardy Varieties of Fruit and Nursery Stock. One current tree, one McIntosh Red Apple, one Bismarck Apple, one Bradshaw plum, 6 Floyd currant, 6 white grape currant, one Norway Maple, one Weeping Birch, one Paul's new double thorn, one hydrangea, one purple Clematis, one Malbara raspberry and a partridge in a pear tree."

Next day, in the evening mail, a letter finally did come from brother Herb in Montreal. Flora handed it to her mother in the vestibule first thing. As Flora removed her raincoat, Margaret ripped it open, read it, turned white, and told Flora, "I am going to the Hills. I am not sure when I will be back."

And then she whipped her own frayed yellow Mackintosh from the stand inside, wrapped it tightly around her, and stomped out the front door, grabbing Flora's wet umbrella, open in full bluish bloom on the porch, by its upturned handle as she blew by. Flora closed the front door.

No homework help tonight, either. That was clear. Flora had hoped her mother would have the time to ask her her Latin verbs.

But no. Margaret didn't even have the time to ask about the other envelope in Flora's hand.

What has Herb done now? Poor Mother. She seemed to bounce from one family crisis to another.

Flora casually hung her slicker on the newly naked hook of the rickety coat tree and looked again at the envelope in her hand. It was addressed to her and postmarked Newton Center, Massachusetts. Cousin Henry! But she already knew that.

She decided to brew herself a cup of tea to warm her blood before taking the letter opener to it.