Thursday, March 14, 2013

Writing Class

New nurses Brenda and Robin - Boise, Idaho 1966
 Brenda's 'Amigo'  - her first car - 1965 or 1966 Mustang - what? no convertible?

My Nursing School friend, Brenda, has been taking a creative writing class. She gave me her permission to post two of her papers. I think they are wonderful stories and very well written. I'd give her an A+ :

                                 MS. MILLER 
                   Driving a new Easter egg yellow convertible, Ms. Miller pulled into the driveway, turned off the engine and stepped out from behind the wheel. She was a vision like no other, wearing a strapless flowered dress, red lipstick, sunglasses and high heeled shoes, resembling glass.
                  After knocking on the screen door, adjacent to the pump, and receiving no response, she turned to go, as my Mother, in a flour sack cotton dress, returned from the chicken house with an empty grain bucket dangling from her forearm. Introducing herself, Billie Miller mentioned that Mr. Harry at the corner grocery store offered our names for possible chores she needed done around her newly leased farmhouse.
                  Holding my breath as I peered out the kitchen window, my Mother answered affirmatively, my brothers and I were available for her tasks, commencing in the morning. Thanking my mother, she turned and strolled back to her car, with the afternoon sun casting golden shadows on her bare tan shoulders.
                  Beside myself with anticipation, the evening felt like molasses running uphill, slowly inching toward darkness.  I could hardly wait until morning when I'd be walking up her long driveway and knocking on her door.  

                 The next morning, she answered the door, wearing pedal pushers, halter top and sandals with jewels! As she greeted me, I focused on the vast space beyond her silhouette  She invited me in, picked up her list from the kitchen counter, and motioned for me to follow her room to room.  I'd never seen anything so spacious and beautiful.  Growing up in our cramped Maryland farmhouse quarters, two rooms with a lean-to kitchen, left little room for space, privacy or beauty.
                  She laid out various chores for each week, sweep and vacuum all rooms, clean floors, shake throw rugs, dust, clean walkways, clean kitchen, hang clothes outside to dry, among others. I'd performed most of the chores for others in the small town, however, never had I seen a room like her
bedroom. This was nirvana. The highlight of chores was to clean her bedroom closet and try on her exotic shoes, prancing around the room, pretending to be a movie star!  Adjacent to the closet stood a floor length mirror, surrounded by a dark wooden frame.  When tilted, ones entire body could be viewed all at one time. My familiarity with a mirror was on the front of the medicine chest, hanging in our kitchen.
                  After work, she'd invite me to jump through the sprinkler in the yard, the spray of water cooling me as I twirled.  This was a new experience as our water source was a hand pump. When I'd recite my multiplication tables, she'd listen and exclaim how smart I was.  She taught me how to walk up and down stairs like a "lady". Occasionally, she'd invite me to ride in her convertible to a neighboring town to pick up her dry cleaning and laundry.  Feeling like a princess, I'd choose a pair of her numerous sunglasses from the visor.  Pulling into a gas station created quite a buzz as the attendants would jockey to pump her gas and check the oil, never a moments wait.
                  Back home, at suppertime when rehashing our day, some things were left unsaid.  Being from a teetotal-ling household, I'd never seen such beautiful and exotic bottles that perched in her glass front cupboard in the dining room. My Father would not have approved.
                 In the afternoon, after my chores, I'd join her in the yard as she sunbathed in her two-piece bathing suit, lying on a lounger sipping on a sweating glass of ice, filled with a honey colored liquid.
                Hanging up her lacy underwear on the clothes line did not, in the least, resemble my rainbow panties from Sears and Roebuck catalog, with a " day of the week" stamped on the back of each pair.
               In the living room stood a framed picture of a handsome teen-aged boy in a uniform.  Later, I learned he was her 14 yr. old son.  He attended a military academy in Baltimore.  From all accounts, there was no sign of a Mr. Miller.  There were whispered rumors floating around town that she was
               Sometimes on the week-ends, a dark haired handsome man would drive down from the city.  On Monday morning, there'd be unwashed dishes piled beside the sink, cigarette butts in the ash trays, and empty bottles from the corner cupboard.
              One evening she dropped me off in her convertible.  My Father, a serious man, was in the garden across the country road, leaning on his hoe.  As she stepped out of the car to open the trunk, my father stood a little straighter and I saw the corners of his mouth curl in to a wide grin as he called Hello to her.
             She was unlike any woman I'd known in my short life of 10 years.  That impressionable, magical summer produced gifts not wrapped in a fancy box.. however, treasures of another sort, confidence, self esteem, believing in myself and independence. 
             I'd met a woman who was the pilot of her own ship.

No comments: