Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tea and Crumpets With the Queen

Breaking from some fifty years ago, I watch many very fond memories flicking towards me (as in the quick flicks of the previews in a movie) from the eyes of these old boots. It was a pair very like them, just a tad smaller, I used to place my little-girl feet inside, lace up around my little-girl legs and walk my little-girl body away in, across the farm yard, as proud as any new mama of her brand new baby.
Feeling the comfort once secured from wearing them, withdrawing to those little-girl feet, little-girl legs and perching a baseball hat on that little-girl body is effortless when I look at these boots. They switch me back to a shy little girl who loved to wear and play in boys old hats and boots.
Picturing now the dirt path down to the old car I used to spend a lot of my pretend life in, I can feel the wind blowing the braids that hung out from the ball cap I wore every day. Rushing along in my old boots I would hop in that broken down old car that was merely a body, push the starter button to the sounds Urrrr.....Urrrr......Urrrr, sit back turning the steering wheel this way then that, bounce up and down in my seat over the imaginary bumps in the pretend road, finally reach my destination where I would hop out, go inside the general store (a pile of old boards kept for some construction project or another) and pick up some flour and sugar (a stash of old containers placed for just this ocassion). Then I would go back to that old car, hop in the driver's seat again and head back home. All this never having to leave the yard. I was always sad when my mom would call me in to dinner or supper, especially supper because that meant there wasn't much of the day left to do all I had to do, alone in my little imaginary world, for soon it would be time for bed. I could always manage to sneak my ball cap into bed though so I would have it first thing when my eyes opened in the morning and with my old boots beside my bed I could be ready to go almost before anyone knew I was awake.
Come Sunday at our house my mom used to dress me up for Church or Sunday School. As the years grew on me that became quite a chore for her because I would fight that plight, boot and hat. Running away to hide I would cry when she found me because being found meant a fate worse than death; I would have to put on a dress; it was Sunday and little girls must get dressed up and look pretty on Sunday. Perfectly willing to go to Sunday School, I preferred to be pretty in a pair of pants, an old boys hat and a pair of old boys shoes or boots. She couldn't bring herself to allow me that privilege so it was a very sober tear stained face that accompanied her to church; one that couldn't wait for the outing to be over so she could get back to her old hat and old boots.
I'm not quite sure how this strange need was born or where it came from. I guess it could have had something to do with growing up around brothers and one older in particular who took especially good care of his little sister. I'm also not sure when I outgrew this phase of needing to wear old boys hats and boots but outgrow it I finally did.
Times like this though, when I look at the picture, I feel certain I could don a ball cap, lace up a pair of old boots and be perfectly content, Sunday or any day of the week, driving, walking or having tea and crumpets with the Queen.
(WFSC Writing prompt)

1 comment:

Linda J said...

Hey Grace - this is great. I am looking forward to seeing this piece published in the Anthology :)

Love the "little girl feet, little girl legs, little girl body..."