Second Cousin

When it was visiting hours it was the same as any other time except for that time when you brought the pretty pink geraniums in a white plastic pot. Speech denied itself except for a p…ppp…ppp…sound. You seemed to understand and nodded and it was enough to remind you  whenever the pink geraniums bloomed. Maybe you try to keep the slips of geraniums now over the winter but most likely you just buy some new plants in the spring.

When you were just a small child there were times for visiting together under the old maple tee  at the front of the farmhouse. There was time for a nice lunch of cold oatmeal cookies from the freezer, cucumber sandwiches and homemade lemonade made from the concentrate from the travelling salesman. Kittens from the barn with sweet wee faces and picky little sharp clinging claws on your school jacket were the most fun to play with after lunch was cleared away. You sometimes made up spoofy stories about elves in the bush or under the bridge by the school grounds.

You have the big dented kettle high up on your kitchen shelf to remind you. It was for all things and was kept boiling for washing up at the stone sink, making tea and sterilizing jars. Parsley tea wasn’t your favourite but now you seem to eat the raw parsley from your garden hoping it is medicinal and the right thing to do.

Age doesn’t matter when you play with a friend having a nice lunch under the old maple tree, cuddling a wee orange kitten. You did all the talking then, a little storyteller. Describing the stories and songs from school and tales about the other kids. You know, don’t you that when you brought the pretty pink geraniums and speech was denied, eyes watered with tears and held yours.


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