Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is my entry to Sam Wright's blog about his sister Jacquie
What a tender and enchanting idea. It spurred my imagination.
I was going to put a link here but I'll be damned if I can figure
out how to do it. but here is the address. I hope you will
all send him something. I can't wait to read the entries!

Hi Sam, I just got a phone call from my friend Anna. She said
you were looking for some stories about your sister Jacquie and
asked if I might have something you’d be interested in.
You know, I used to have Jacquie and Anna over for tea
about once a month.

Here’s a an old journal entry of the first time I met your sister.
I hope you can read my scribble.
And here’s their picture, that’s my Henry with them.
You may keep it if you like. I have an album full.

Sunday June 27th 1968

Oh fun fun day! This morning I called to invite my little
Anna for tea and she said asked if it would be okay if she
brought her girlfriend. Of course I said YES!

I spend all morning, worked like a dog, in that dining room
until it just gleamed. I dressed the table with Mummie’s
hand embroidered linen cloth. She’d be so proud to see
that room sparkling with her good china on that beautiful cloth.
The peonies are gorgeous this year and I arranged a
bouquet in the cut glass vase.

I was bathed and in my good navy silk when promptly
at three the doorbell rang. Henry and I invited
them in. He wore his purple feather boa –
kids get such a kick out of that silly old dog - and of course
he danced and sprang and leaped. I swear sparks flew
from his feet.

Anna must have told her friend that high tea is a dress up
affair as their mothers had them polished and garnished in
party dresses, their stick legs circled in lace, patent shoes
glossy as tar. Jacquie, this is the friend, holds out her hand
just like a duchess and get this, this kid is only six years old,
says my name is Jacquie – spelled the French way. She is missing
her two front teeth and has a delightful lisp. Her long hair
simply speaks of gardens. She observed the room and
said, ‘you have a gorgeous home.’ This kid is six!

My guests were careful not to clink or drip while sipping
honeyed tea, and crunching chocolate chip cookies. Jacquie
especially loved the ones with the tiny pieces of orange peel.
Puccini… not intrusive…played in the background. Henry, that
silly old dog threw his head back and wailed a soprano
accompaniment with Joan Sutherland. Jacquie raised
one eyebrow of disapproval. Apparently she has good taste in music.
We sipped and crunched around talk of puppies and kittens.
(they both would like a pet).

Tea finished I invited them into my closet:
Anna must have told about this little ritual as decorum
vanished as they raced for the prize: my red high heels!
I thought we might have a little bit of a todo as Anna
pounced on them first. I gave her that look only an
old maid school teacher has (good grief in this me!)
and she handed them over to our special guest then chose
the silver sling backs and even though I whispered to her
that they were much more expensive than the red ones a
tiny tear trembled on her lashes. Oh well that little
disappointment might make some of the bigger ones along
the way easier to bear. ‘It will be your turn, next time,’
I said. ‘Now come on it’s makeup time!

I think perhaps Jacquie’s mother might not approve
as the child looked a bit shocked as I painted blushed and
mascaraed Anna’s face. But not for long, she raised her
little face and I soon had her matching her friend.
They smiled their approval.

‘Now, get the loot,’ I said. Anna teetered off into the
closet and dragged out that pillowslip filled with the treasure.
Good Grief all that costume jewelry that Mummie brought home
from all those auctions she went to over the years.
I keep saying I’m going to have a yard sale and get
rid of all that junk but I don’t know if I could bear it.

They each took a corner and dumped! The bed sparkled with
rubies and diamonds and gold. Jacquie got the tiara, to go
with the red shoes. Anna the long ‘sapphire’ earrings.

Last week I was busy altering some of those fancy old nighties
for dress up. If I do say so myself they are quite enchanting
with the fronts cut short – I thought I might go blind hemming!
- and the backs trailing. Our old lace curtains from the house
on Elm St. were veils. So cute! When they were all gussied up we had
a fashion show with lemonade on the patio. I took their picture
posing beside the peonies with Henry. I hope it turns out.

Now they are gone, those darling, darling children; it seems
they’ve taken the light with them. Oh well I guess Henry will have to do.
He’s sitting there waiting patiently with his leash.

Goodnight Diary.


Blogger Atyllah said...

Oh what a colourful delight, Anna! Brings back memories of my own dressing up games.

I saw Sam's site and have been meaning to write something, but just don't seem to find the time to sit still and dream for long enough.

And you have to tell, just what sort of dog is Henry? :-)

10:04 AM  
Blogger anna said...

Oh Little Chickie, do write something!
When I was a little girl I loved to play dress up. This was such an easy little story to write.
Henry is a smooth fox terrier/
usually just a terror.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Shadowrite said...

Oh Anna, what a delight! You've given Jacquie some precious memories. She would be proud!

And btw. . . the easiest way to insert a link in blogger is to type out the name of the address (ie: Jacquie's journal) highlight the address, click on the link icon on top of the compose box (its right next to the font icon). When the pop up box appears, type in the full web address (ie: http://etcetc).


11:11 AM  
Blogger anna said...

And btw. . . the easiest way to insert a link in blogger is to type out the name of the address (ie: Jacquie's journal) highlight the address, click on the link icon on top of the compose box (its right next to the font icon). When the pop up box appears, type in the full web address (ie: http://etcetc).


thanks Jas for Always! taking the time to read and Always leaving such a nice response. BTW i read your charming little offering on Sat's blog. Wonderful!

12:07 PM  
Blogger jason evans said...

Very nice Anna. I'm actually planning my own submission as I sit here now.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Thoughtfully crayoned with its vibrant girlish exuberance. Dearest Anna...your journal entry for a lost Jacqui, swings and dances to the light heartbeats of childhood.

8:34 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Jason, thanks for stopping by - can't wait to read your entry
and Susan, everyone loves getting your responses and no wonder!
they are always thoughtful and
well written. You ever think of being a book editor?

5:35 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

"taken the light with them"
The most telling line of all.
There are people in whose absence the world is dark.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Atyllah said...

Well, I've just gone and written something - you'll see the unAtyllaherish side to me :-)

Went for a walk the other day in the forest. Was joined by a smooth haired foxie - who decided a walk was just what she needed. Expected to be picked up and carried when the bigger dogs approached and then when we neared her home again, dashed off with out so much as a thank you - cheeky baggage!

8:41 AM  
Blogger anna said...

atyllah said ' Well, I've just gone and written something - you'll see the unAtyllaherish side to me :-)'

i have checked your blog - nuthin
i have checked Sam's blog - nuthin
i'm anticipating sumthin - nuthin

and yes foxys are a cheeky lot! :)
See - you too are attracting mutts!
tell me: does you hair stand on end?

8:49 AM  
Blogger anna said...

Blogger is not playing nice today.
Bernie as always
and yes that was the most meaningful line - i think children keep away the darkness. without them where would we be?

9:11 AM  
Blogger Kajgreb said...

How beautifully imagined. I am glad you started your blog. I visit it everyday.


5:57 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

As I mentioned over on Jacquie's Journey... I loved playing dress up and having tea parties when I was a little girl. So this was such a wonderful addition to the stories of Jacquie's life.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Sorry... Jacquie's Journal.

7:50 AM  

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