Just Wanted To Tell You How It Is

April 9th, 2010

The time has come, all decisions have been made and I will walk out of here and into a new life. She convinced the others that everything was taken care of. No worries. If no one else is worried, why should I worry? The minute Helen read the advertisement she instantly planned the rest of my life.  Someone left a magazine on a table in the restaurant lobby. She picked it up. The picture told it all, the security, the beauty, the peace, the architecture. I’m convinced it was the architecture that captured her imagination. Elegant buildings with magnificent facades always fascinated her.  I know the way her mind works. Like an intricate blueprint, she knew each step she had to take, each turn and how to switch on lights here and close doors there.

It was so easy and the others fell right in with her plans. I don’t know if they really cared except for the waffles on Sunday morning. Sarah let that be my thing and I tried many variations, strange and wonderful. A simple recipe was the one I liked best; adding walnuts, made it exceptional. Memories like that bring Sarah back, if only for a minute. Even as they grew up the kids would drop in occasionally on Sunday morning.

Judy has always gone along with Helen in everything and George – – – well, I wish he could have been on my side. I think he would have been here when Helen called if he hadn’t been involved in that big development he was working on. He used to come and help me with the garden, the whole process from preparation to harvest. Sugar peas in spring; green beans in early summer; we always had the biggest Halloween pumpkin. Even when he was out of town he would call and say, “Dad, did you plant the garlic?” He always wanted to be sure it was in by the first week in December.

Helen was a beautiful baby. You realize, I suppose, that in those days they didn’t let us into the delivery room. Boy oh boy, it was tough sitting there in the waiting room. Did I say “sitting?” There was a lot more “pacing” than “sitting”. Then the announcement, “You have a baby girl.” I have to admit I was thinking about a son but when I looked in the window of the nursery I fell in love.

So there it is. I sort of hoped that Judy would speak up and tell them I need to live here in this old house and to sit here under this redwood tree. It was a sad little tree when I found it in the corner of the nursery and suggested it be our live Christmas tree. They all complained, “But, Dad;“  “It’s so little;”  “We’ve always had a big tree.”  I guess it was sort of a “Charlie Brown” tree, but they let me have my way. It did seem weighted down with the ornaments and was almost hidden by the wreaths.  It disappeared completely when the presents were piled around on Christmas morning. Somehow it really seemed to be my tree. Now look how it has grown; it will go on living for hundreds of years. Birds come back year after year to build their nests. I take my drink out here to the patio every late afternoon and what a concert accompanies my meditations.

Note: I entered this in the three minute fiction on NPR.
It didn’t win so now I am publishing it myself.

©Patricia Grube
February 22, 2010