Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"It's Been Two Years" - Part Three (B) - "The Dreadful News"

"It's Been Two Years"

Part Three (B)

"The Dreadful News"

            Seacus did not come back
            For two days.
            “SHE... THAT DAY – NO”. he said about the first day after he left.
            “THEN HISSY DAY.  Randy there (local electrician).  SOMETHING fix?  I stay away”.
            “Today:  SMILE I say.  I do it.”
            That means that on the late morning of the third day... of mid October two falls (one and one half years) ago, Seacus came back into my yard and ...we... finished unloading the SECOND truck load of ‘clean out’ ... of one basement room; “THIS ONE FIRST”... of Helen Cransmore’s seven room ‘opens onto the terrace’ basement room apartment complex that she ...in this room... had hired Randy the electrician to “rewire” “starting in here” so she “clean this (room) out” “MOD-er-ATED” a “barrel head” deal with Seacus for “ALL THAT JUNK” in that room... and, it turned out, a little more “JUNK; where does IT come from?” from the back ‘entry way’ room that “come from her house” (upstairs):  That is... the room that one goes through from ‘coming down from’ upstairs to go into the apartment complex in the basement... that Helen had filled full of her antiquarian... and hoarder’s worse... ‘hoards’.
            AS Seacus was ‘away’ for two days AND that this sudden clean out for the electrician made little sense or care to either of us (Seacus and I) at that time... I skip ahead one and one half years to... just three weeks ago... to the where, when and how... suddenly... ALL of this that-then... was made to... make sense to me... with it being the true “The Dreadful News” and with that... being of such a strong ‘dreadful news’ that it... prompted me to write all of this ‘It’s been two years’ estate tale saga out ‘to date’; this what I am writing ‘right now’.
            This is not a surprise to me:  Antiquarian estate affairs and actions... often take years to ‘make sense’.  Therefore:
            Three weeks ago I had... ten days before... at the edge of winter’s close... assisted... by purchased antiquarian truck lots... from the barn... of the old sea captain’s mansion ‘Defiance”... Cadence Snow ability to pay for a ‘final’ (winter) heating oil tank ‘fill’.  After doing that and... with Cadence filling her oil tank... that day... winter ‘broke’.  I, ten days later, was ‘it’s spring’ ‘now’.  My thoughts were ‘Crocus’ “bloom”... as I drove about my antiquarian business... locally... in my truck... ‘before lunch’... of a ‘start of spring’ morning.  BEING ‘in the village’ ‘up the hill’ ‘near her street’ and ‘coming upon that’ with ‘a few minutes to spare’... I ... ‘Guess I’ll stop by’ and ‘see how’s she’s making out’.

            See how Cadence is making out?  I KNOW she’s making out “JUST FINE THANK YOU LEAVE ME ALONE”.  I know... that I have had only TWO contacts with Cadence over the past quarter-century; the ‘Fox Gets Goose’ transaction... and... the ‘oil fill’ transaction.  And... otherwise... a couple of furtive glance from Cadence at ...a safe distance... towards I... probably relating to something to do with her sister’s (Helen Snow Cransmore) local antiquarian ‘prowess’ (word choice by Helen) that... probably... regularly ‘mentioned your (my) name’.
            So I have ‘some balls’ bothering the undisputed village princess spinster in her sea captain’s mansion?  I have ‘the audacity’?  I have the commercial kill-creep to... IN HER OWN MANSION?  “ME?” show up?  Unannounced... there... without a calling card... ‘requesting’ ‘written in her hand’?  Proper protocol, etiquette, grace... leading the winding path TO Wasp sea captain dignity, position, calling... that then is ...lending to... the bending... to... of THAT, TOO... for I... be THAT TOO... so THEREFORE
            Am A-OK to just all that because “WE” “JUST” “ANYWAY” and no need to discuss THAT NOW but... “It is pleasant of you to STOP BY (BUY?) I was just THINKNG of YOU.”
            Cadence said...
            After I had parked to the thawed-out left of the driveway ‘don’t block the barn door’ and... started toward the FRONT DOOR to ...push her doorbell... or is it ... hammer her door knocker?  Didn’t matter for I was mid-way-across HALED (hailed?) by Cadence who was standing in the sunlight in the kitchen shed doorway... to “come this way”.
            The kitchen was not ‘the temperature of hot blood’.  The sink faucet was not dribbling.  The room was not filled with a thick yellow haze of ‘bad air’.  There were no cats in sight.  The kitchen windows captured sunlight and blasted this into the room.  Their window sills... were empty.
            The long and tired winter moved away leaving ... “It’s TOO HOT for THEM THERE.  That’s how I know it’s SPRING”.
            What... in that old kitchen... could be empty and too hot?
            The good sense of the good Maine woman knows... and chats about them... too.  The good sense of the window sills of the old New England Wasp sea captain’s mansions knows ...and devils in the delight of the season’s changes that ‘moves them’.  “Moved them’ is the surest sign of... all is well.  The knowing eye catches them ON the old window sills... including the “It’s too hot right there in SUMMER so I move them back to the radiator (before the ‘back side’ [north side] set of double windows) in the dining room “till fall”.  The kitchen... window sill... is... their winter rest for it is... ‘the temperature of hot blood’ there.
            Cadence had moved her African Violets from “the kitchen” to the “living room”.  The living room was an odd room similar to a Victorian front parlor... but smaller, “less grand” and with a... lower  (seven foot) ‘original homestead’ ceiling “in this part of the house”.  We went into that room and sat down.  I in THE foremost visitor chair ...with African Violets ‘in the sun’ on the window sill to my left.  Cadence sat in the ‘her chair’... with African Violets in the sun on the window sill... to her ...right.
            We did not sip sherry.
            I did not have a reason for ...being there (“calling”).  Cadence had cell phone resting on the top of the...old birch Sheraton drop leaf table against the wall beneath the window sill... holding her African Violets.
            “They seem to like the change.” I said ...of African Violets and slightly gesturing... as we both looked at them:  Cadence’s African Violets.
            “It’s a relief when their MOVE finally comes.  Now they are already traveling on their trail BACK to the Kitchen for NEXT winter...
            ...If I’m still here.”
            Said Cadence turning her head back from her... African Violets on the ‘living room’ window sill... and staring directly into my eyes.
            Do ...you... ask Cadence ‘What does that mean”?
            Do I...
            Do that?
            “Die you say?”
            It couldn’t possibly be that simple for Cadence.  She is, by her own words, ‘going to die hard.”  That is ‘part of it’ (her life):  “Die hard”.  It’s a Wasp thing... in old New England sea captain’s mansions; to ‘die hard’.  It is... best illustrated by the English version that is called ‘to die standing up’.  Same deal.  Either you get it or you don’t.  No wiggle room.  Most humans are not included with this option; “to die hard”.  In Cadence’s case... some cats... too... ‘die hard’.  To die hard ...does include the resulting failure to be able to ... “move them; the African Violets”.  They... in turn... then... will... ‘die hard’
            Unless... someone like Cadence ‘takes them over’ as in “Muriel’s... those were HER pots”.
            AND:  “That’s the ONE my grandmother gave me.” ...when she (Cadence) was ...twelve years old.  “That’s the same pot”.
            It is... all of this... ‘the same pot’.
            Do not think it has changed.  OTHER has ... CHANGE.  But this... is the very deep dark old New England... sitting there before... the African Violets... in the sun... on the window sill.  ‘NO ONE’... even ‘knows’ ‘it’s THERE’.  That is why... I... am sitting there... with no one else there and Cadence having just turned her eyes deep into my eyes when she said “If I am still here”.

            This photograph is not of a grave.  It is the ‘top of the stair to the cellar’; a colonial New England homestead ‘cellar’  The three potatoes and onions in their store bag... are to eat.  Old New England does not hoard ‘bushels’ potatoes and onion; they ‘have a few to eat’.  They ‘keep cool there’ and ‘don’t freeze’ there ‘in winter’.  The old cellar door is open.  The kitchen floor is worn... as it must be.  The top stair step is worn even more... as it must be.  Between the two is a hand made and hand sewn fabric scrap cloth bag filled with sand, all from about 1918-1930.  That is a ‘draft stop’ at ‘the top of the cellar stairs’.  It has never been moved or touched since being ‘put there’ other than to be ‘stepped on’ every now and then.  The dark ‘hole’ down the stairs is the four and one half foot high ‘ceiling’ and field stone lined ‘dug cellar hole’ (hand dug by one man using one shovel).  It is, if not a grave, as close to ‘getting in one as one may get’.  “Going down” in this cellar... is NOT ‘to die hard’.  It simply illustrates how close to the grave old New England... “lives”.


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