Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Rest of the Story (23)

   Frank delivered the material for the bunny pen the next day. He looked at the shack and thought to himself, the rabbit pen will be in better shape than the house. He knocked on the door and was startled to see a woman without legs in a wheelchair opening the door.
   "Hello!" Frank said loudly to Edie in her face.
   "Another one that thinks because I don't have legs, I can't hear or see," Edie thought disgustedly. 
   "Where do you want your order, Mrs.?"
   "Put it in the backyard. Go to the left."
   After Frank put the material in the yard, he came around front and knocked on the door. 
   Edie came with the money promptly and handed it to him. "Thank you, sir."
   "Ma'am, excuse me for asking, but who is going to build that pen?"
   "I am," Edie answered, straightening herself as tall as she could sitting in her chair.
   "You are?" Frank asked loudly. "How?"
   "None of your business." And Edie slammed the door. "Nosy s.o.b. He's got his nerve. Who does he think he is? I'll show him."

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Rest of the Story (22)

  "Mommy, I'm sorry."
  "Come here. Me too." Edie hugged Susan. "Want to play checkers?"
   "Mommy, what are you drawing?"
   "I'm drawing a pen for Buzzy. She has to go outside."
   "No, mommy. She's too little."
   "Susan, we can't keep her in the house any longer. If she stays in any longer, we'll have to move outside."
   Susan laughed at that.
   "I'll build a nice home for her. She'll be happy. You'll see."
   "Promise?" asked Susan.
   "I promise."
   Edie stayed up most of the night planning the pen. The next morning she gave Susan a note to give Mary before she went to school. (Edie didn't have a phone.)
   Mary came over shortly wondering what Edie wanted.
   Edie asked if she knew where she could buy some supplies to build the pen for Buzzy.
   Mary knew the right person. His name was Frank and she knew he would give her a good deal. He owned a lumber yard and Mary knew him a long time. She called him and he said that he could deliver everything tomorrow.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


   When Mary opened the door to let Edie in, the kitchen smelled to high heaven. 
   "Oh, my word," Edie yelled. "Leave the door open! Have you been changing Buzzy's papers?"
   Susan answered, "Yes," shyly.
   "Well, not enough. Take her and the box to the front room and put clean paper in the box.. Tear the paper up in small pieces. And come back here. I want to talk to you."
   From the tone of her voice, Susan knew she was in trouble with her mother for lying about changing the papers in Buzzy's box. Some days Susan was in a hurry to go with her friends and the papers didn't get changed. Who would know? No playing with friends for one week was Susan's punishment for not changing the papers and three more weeks for lying.
   The evening after supper, Susan was sent to bed early and Edie sat at the table having a cup of coffee. She was drawing a pen for Buzzy. She was going to build it herself, but how? Then a little voice broke the silence of the room.

Friday, July 19, 2013


   The weather started to break and it was time for Edie and Susan to go back to their home. Mary hated to see them leave and Edie didn't want to leave either. They were good company for one another. With Mary's husband working the night shift and sleeping most of the day. Mary and Edie did the chores together. Edie did most of the cooking. Mary said she was the better cook. The kids agreed. And after all the kids were all in bed, Edie and Mary talked and drank coffee, cup after cup. They talked about old boyfriends and husbands and friends and neighbors and laughed. Everything about their childhood. Mary cried when Edie told her about her father breaking her nose and how mean he was. Mary's dad was like Santa and as big. Mary's husband was no company for her. Even on his night off he would go play darts and have a few beers with the boys at Pat's Beer Garden down the street. It was a man's bar. Very few women came in and they had to sit at a table That was the law in Pennsylvania). The bar had a large jar of food, like a jar of deviled eggs, another with sausage, another with sauerkraut, and one with pickled pigs feet. Oh, and baskets of peanuts in the shells which were thrown on the floor. Pat said he was going to clean them up someday but he never did.
    Mary pushed Edie's chair with a bundle of clothes from her lap while Susan carried an armful of a variety of things that Mary had given her. Clothes, toys and books her kids no longer wanted. Susan ws glad to get them. One of her daughter's was her size a year older. The clothes were store bought: Sears & Roebucks!  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


   Everyone on Canal Street without a doubt agreed the winter was the coolest they had seen in years. Even the canal froze over in the lower parts. The children from all over Deepwater came with ice skates new and bright, no doubt from Christmas. The children on Canal Street weren't as fortunate--well, maybe next year. But shoes will slide on ice, too. Everyone was laughing, even the ones who fell and started to cry stopped quickly and started to laugh.
    Susan pushed Edie down the street in her wheelchair to a lower bank of the canal so she could see Susan slide on the ice.
   "Now be careful, Susan," Edie called to Susan as she started to step out on the ice. Edie remembered the days when she ice skated and twirled around and around. She was good. Her Aunt Emma taught her, like she taught how to horseback ride and swim and tennis. She wished she could be out on the ice with Susan or at least afford to buy her a pair of skates. She thought, "I'll save some money and buy her a pair for Christmas next year." Then she thought "The canal may not freeze over." It hadn't in fifty-two years. "Maybe I should buy her roller skates instead."

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Mary's house was two stories and was on a little bit of a slant.  It was old.  But it was warm and cozy,and full of toys from her four children.  There was also a lot of laughter as well as crying.  Smells of breakfast foods like bacon, pancakes, coffee and oatmeal and laundry soap were abundant.

"Oh my what a busy household!"  Edie thought. "No wonder that Mary is so thin!"

Then a big dog ran through the kitchen with child chasing it with half his diaper off.  More smells.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Canal Street, Deep Water NJ (17)

Susan thought, "Oh Goody!"  She hated school.  The kids were mean to her and made fun of her because her clothes were hand-made and not in style.  Plus, the lady from the Red Cross would come get her to get her shoes.  They were the ugly, brown tie-up shoes. The girls would ask Susan if those were the shoes the Red Cross Lady got for her and would go away laughing. They would never ask her to play with them.  Furthermore, the lunch ladies would always ask loudly if she got FREE LUNCH.  They already knew she did, but the asked anyway every day.

And not one of the girls ever sat close to Susan at lunch.  They said she smelled.  Her mother bathed her every night, but they didn't have a tub.  She hand-washed her.  Edie always said you could be poor, but, there was no excuse to be dirty.  Soap was cheap.

Even the teachers were mean.  Because Susan was slow, the teachers either ignored her or yelled at her if her grades were poor. Susan was dyslexic...But no one knew what that was in the 40's.