Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I can't wait to hear what yarn stores you went to. Hope you have a good day. Jane

By Blogger jane, at 2:37 PM  

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Thursday, August 04, 2005  

It’s the wee dawn hours here - actually pre-dawn hours. Seems as if this is the 7 hours of sleep month since I seem to pop awake at that point and either roll around wishing it were Saturday instead of Thursday - or just get up. Lying in bed dithering, the word coffeeeeeeeeeeeee floats through my brain and the rest is ambulatory.

Thank you all for the kind words about my ankle. It is healing. It’s at that point where the wrappings are as uncomfortable as the weakness I feel when the ankle is unwrapped. If I didn’t have a stick shift car I would pretty much say it’s well. I will be driving that s-f-car to Richmond today, to take both my face and a dear non-driving friend’s neck to the dermatologist to have Little Things taken care of. Isn’t it fortunate that Richmond has so many yarn shops? Too bad it’s going to be standard August hot for the south. But it’s not like July - when the nights are too durn short to even pretend to cool off the baked to clay-like substance earth. Here it is 5:30 and not the glimmer of dawn anywhere.

August brings with it some of the light of early May. The sun’s angle slants through the emerald of forest in a familiar pattern, reminding you of fresher days before, and of crisper ones up ahead. There is an August scent too - a ripening smell different from July’s green growing fragrance. We discovered our first patch of goldenrod, that harbinger of school, 10 days ago. I had never thought of goldenrod as either a July blossom or an outrider for the troop of school days fast closing in on my summer vacation, but Grandma did. My mother-in-law could still grow sad, in her late 80’s, at the sight of a patch of goldenrod. Since we shared September as a birthday month, I found her September sadness a puzzle. I, who can’t wait for 9/1, to begin thinking about, dreaming about, talking about my birthday, was perfectly willing to take school’s imprisonment and nodding golden blossoms as a pretty mild bitter along with the sweetly delicious better of a day AllAboutMe. But then, I, middle child that I am, probably wasn’t as indulged the rest of the year as she, the last child and only daughter of an extraordinarily elderly, post-civil war Southern Papa, was. The slightest interruption of her blissful summer play probably seemed like a gross imposition.

Still, the sight of the rich golden clusters, bobbing heavily on their slender stems, reminds me now of Grandma and I miss her so much. How I wish we could loll on her porch, cool drinks in hand, and gossip about things. She was particularly fond of LD and we could spend hours praising him and comparing him favorably to his paternal grandfather. She also had a gift for story telling and a turn of the century way of combining words in her rich Tidewater accent that held all of the 19th century in it. Hers was no Hollywood caterwaul that lengthens syllables by stretching their vowels out with breathy grunts. It’s the old Tidewater pronunciation, rich with the memory of 18th century Englishmen staking claims in the El Dorado of tobacco country. I could imagine George Washington speaking this way, or Patrick Henry, crying out for justice and liberty. I don’t believe there are 10 people left with that old Virginia drawl in their voice. BD has it a bit, as when he says fow-ard for forward, and both of us will say cyaar just to be silly and to bring back sweet memories of ancient ladies with black lace up shoes and blue flowered shirtwaist dresses.

There was Carrie Faulkner, who drove some behemoth of green Detroit Steel through town and taught LD how to pronounce Tappahannock. There were the sisters, cousin Betty and Gusta, who’s house was filled with Wright heirlooms, including the most beautiful chenille flowers in a shadow box. They were really the generation before Grandma, so she enjoyed being the young thing around them. Neither drove a car, so Grandma would drive them to the liquor store, after it moved out of town to the shopping center. It was their naughty outing and they relished it.

There was Teddy Acree, who would send you an invitation every summer to come Dancing on the Green in King and Queen, where you were sure to find Klinks Fauntleroy with his steel guitar in the back room singing his signature blues piece, Furniture Man. She was the postmistress at New Town. I first met her on a bicycle trip through the back country from Richmond to Tappahannock, way back in ‘72. She always called BD ‘cousin’, though he said he had no idea how, or even if, they were kin.

There was Helen Warfield, who had been a Ruffin, from the Richmond Ruffin’s and their only daughter. Dr. Warfield had taught in university and was kindly, elegant and gentle. Helen had a bit more lemon in her bloos but was ever gracious and warm to me. She certainly was a match in grace and elegance for her husband and neither of them ever batted an eye when LD would greet them at the door, 2 years old, buck naked, and full of his own elegant manners, to invite them to "come join me on the porch for a drink."

I can remember a host of these women, and in my mind’s eye they are all tall and sturdy and utterly dependable, with a softness wrapped around a core of steel that was prepared to stop any child from stepping across the line of decorum, yet with twinkles in their eyes that spoke of a wealth of stories to tell; but after the gentlemen left. They told them, too, now and then, without malice or cruelty, but with a kind of global understanding of humanity that accepted, and even sometimes laughed at, the foibles of human nature.

Who is going to take their place, I wonder. Can you imagine Roseanne or the Osborns or the folks on Friends, as ladies with scope and a global view? I can’t. And I shall never be comfortable in a slip and stockings in the summertime, though with my ankles, I can see those black lace-up shoes in my future. Still, who could have dreamed that bellbottoms and ponchos would ever ever come back in style. Maybe little berry print shirtwaists have their future too.

Well. Humph. How did I get here? (scroll back up) Oh yeah. Sunlight. August. Goldenrod. Well. The dawn’s here now - it’s more than an hour later and I’ve been sitting here dreaming about days gone by. Not much news about fiber other than the above mentioned yarn stores in Richmond. But there is time for another cup of coffee so come join me, on the green, next to King and Queen.

posted by Bess | 5:42 AM