08 November, 2011

The Rainy West

I woke up to the rain pattering against my bedroom window. It was going on ten in the morning, but the room was a gloomy grey. My little border collie mutt was all spread out on the other side of the bed, enjoying the extra sleeping time.

“Come on, Tansy. Let’s get you something to eat, and outside for a walk. Though I think we need the rain boots again.” Tansy looked up at me, and crawled her way to my side, so she could lick my hands and face. “Okay, girl. That’s enough.”

I went to the kitchen and put the tea on before I fixed Tansy her breakfast. She was the best dog I ever had. I found her on the streets a couple of weeks after I moved to Portland. Poor little thing was as lost as I was. I don’t know what I would have done without her through the hardships here.

I was working two jobs, missing life back home, and hating everything. But, when I came home, and saw how happy she was to see me, I knew things would be okay.

Tansy barked at the person who knocked at the door, and I jumped out of my daydreams.

“Shh. Tansy, be quiet. Let’s see who’s at the door.” It was Mrs. Beasly from across the hall.

Mrs. Beasly was the kindest and gentlest old lady. Her and her husband have been living in these apartments since they were nineteen. They mostly keep to their own business, but Mrs. Beasly and I always find time to have tea and talk. Though it was usually later in the afternoons.

“Good morning, Mrs. Beasly. Do you want to come in and have some tea? It should be about ready.”

“Oh sure, deary. I was just coming over to give you some biscotti’s I baked last night. But, I guess it’s always pleasant to have some company with your morning tea.” She smiled and handed me a plate full of biscotti’s.

No one could ever beat Mrs. Beasly’s Italian cooking. She made home cooked meals four times a day. Every day. And she always brought me the leftovers.

She sat down at the tiny table beside the window. I brought over the tea, milk, and sugar and sat down opposite of her.

The window is fairly large, and it’s definitely the main source of natural lighting in the small apartment. On the window sill, there are pots filled with herbs and manageable veggies. It’s the perfect place to sit at night with a cup of hot chocolate and overlook the city.

“Tilly, I love coming over here and having talks with you. Your home is so bright and clean. The yellow walls in here just make me the cheeriest person all day. I’d say you’re quiet the homemaker.” She smiled, and brought the tea cup to her lips. Mrs. Beasly was the ideal old lady in my mind. Her grey, almost white, hair was always up in a tight bun. Every day she wore her dresses, and her make up was perfect. I would love to have her as a grandmother.

“Thank you, Mrs. Beasly. But, I’d be a better homemaker if I only knew how to really cook.”

“Hunny, please call me Edith. You make me feel so old when you call me Missus. And you’re so young! You have all the time in the world to perfect your cooking skills. I’ll even come over in the noons you don’t waitress and teach you.”

“That would be wonderful. Bringing home and eating leftovers from the restaurant isn’t always appetizing.” Mrs. Beasly nodded in argeement, and glanced outside as a bird fluttered out of view.

“I know it’s so rude to ask of others’ business, but I’ve been very curious. What made you come to the west coast? You’re so far from your home.”

“Oh, well, that’s such a long story. Really, I guess I needed something new. I felt like I would be stuck in my small town forever, and I wanted to explore.” I took a small sip from my cup, and set it down slowly. “My life wasn’t going in a good direction either. It was better for me to leave.” I added softly.

Mrs. Beasly looked at me for awhile, and nodded her head. “Well, I’m glad to have such a strong, beautiful woman living next door to me. Sometimes I wish I could’ve been as adventurous as you, Tilly. But, I must be off. Mr. Beasly will be wondering where I wondered off to now.”

She hobbled her way to the door, and I followed closely behind, thinking of her words. At the door, she hesitated a few moments, and turned to me.

“Tilly, you are a very strong and lucky lady. I know good things will head your way. God has some great things in store for you. I’ll be sure to pray that the bad stays away from you and your home.” She gave me a small hug, and scurried to her apartment. I closed my door as she entered hers. I stood facing the door for a couple more moments to think over everything that she said.

I really do hope she’s right. I thought. I can use some good right now.

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