Saturday, April 19, 2014

"It' been a long time since that Easter Snowstorm, Ivy."

Ivy and Greta waved as Pauline drove off. The first time Greta had been away from home, far away from home. Ivy was the only Grandma that Greta had  ever known.   Ivy stretched out her arm and wrapped Greta in the fabric of her wool cape, and when the dark green SUV had disappeared  at the end of the street, instead of going into the house Ivy said, "Lets go over to the railing and then we can see Mom again for a few more seconds , right down there by that big red brick building."  They both stood quietly as they watched the SUV travel through farmland and disappear into the trees on it's way out of town. 'Common let's go inside and get out of these silly dress clothes and get warmed up." She gently hugged Greta as the two walked inside.

Ivy was excited and filled with trepidations at the same time, not exactly sure what to do next.  the girls sat on the sofa and watched the snow fall. Ivy jokingly said "I think we should be listening to Christmas music instead of  talking about Easter."  Gretta broke into a broad smile, "could we, could we listen to Christmas music?"  "Of course!" Ivy replied.  As they settled on the sofa,  and began stringing the brightly colored plastic eggs that sat by her chair, onto to a cord.  Gretta and Mr. Chips sang along with the carols.  

After that week Greta went to live with her other grandma, her biological grandmother.  They exchanged, cards letters, photos, phone calls and confidences, always keeping in touch. Ivy was excited and worried about how it would be to have her under her roof again. Sweet shy Greta was almost grown now, and Ivy was no longer the introverted new widow,
Ivy kept reminding herself that she was worrying for nothing.  But she worried anyway.  "It's been a long time since that Easter snowstorm, Ivy, don't expect too much." she told herself as she straightened the mirror.  "Not bad for an old girl, not bad." she murmured.  Her eyes darted around the room, everything was in place, just like it was, only better, she hoped Greta would remember how it looked when she visited last, but much more than that she hoped the years hadn't change either of them too much.

ivy kept herself busy with the kind of little chores one does when one is waiting, and  stopped to put out water for Millie and Skye after she saw them racing around the yard, back and forth over the bridge to Gus's house and back.  Then shes settled down with a big mug of fresh coffee, to watch them playing  like puppies in the sunshine.  The late afternoon no longer cast rainbows sparkled on the prisms in the windows, but it no longer cast rainbows around her kitchen, it may be as cold a February, but it was still the month of April.   The school bus passed by, no one got off at the corner as someone usually did, and as he usually did Skye immediately rocketed off down the sidewalk and disappeared, leaving Millie to race around the yard by herself.  Ivy absentmindedly began to put fresh eggs into the salted water, her thoughts rambled across the fields, and the years.  While the eggs boiled merrily on the stove, ivy  smile to herself about the egg hunts, and mishaps that ruined Easter outfits, the big family gatherings that she stressed about, but almost always enjoyed.  The timer on the stove buzzed, interrupting her thoughts, she turned off the stove, and  then went to cover Mr Chips' cage.  "Well tomorrow in the big day,  Greta will be here tomorrow, do you have a happy song for her?  Oh I hope everything goes OK." As she spread the cover over his cage saying "Goodnight my little friend."

Ivy retrieved the eggs from the pan and placed them gently into the cups of home made coloring on the counter by the sink.  The sun was near the horizon, the lights were coming on,  taking the eggs out of the cups of coloring, she put them on a plate to dry and put more eggs into the dye.  And then arranged a nest of green plastic Easter grass on the table, Once more she walked to the sink and looking out the window whispered "Safe travels, granddaughter, safe travels."   So lost in thought she never noticed the car in the driveway, as she collected her shawl and lantern and headed for the stair, she heard a knock at the door. 

"I wanted to surprise you, I wanted to go up to the attic and wave with you."  The lovely young woman said.  Stunned, happy, excited and a bit flustered,  "Come in, come in, leave your jacket on, I was just going up." As they climbed  the narrow stair, they were both smiling to hard to even speak, they reached the attic and Ivy broke the silence saying "You can sit in my chair", "nope, can't do that, I'm gonna sit on the little bench, like last time, don't want to ruin this, it's like magic being here again."



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