Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Future Tale


“Jonny”! My mother called me from the kitchen as she brewed her morning coffee and toasted slices of packaged white bread that she would lather with butter, which seeped into the lightly browned pores covering the surface. We have to leave in ten minutes, she said.

I was upstairs in my room enjoying Christmas vacation from my third grade class—the class of 1955.

The white, heavy and crisp snow was widely blanketing the entire vast landscape. Several inches had fallen over the last two days and our mill town, just outside of Pittsburgh, appeared to be not very bothered by the wintery weather. We expected it. December often brought snow. Tire chains, rubber boots, wool coats and hats, while wrapped in scarves never stopped the Appalachian mountain valley industrial worker. With only one car, my dad used it this day to drive his carpooling co-workers to the Round House where they worked on coal trains that hauled material to be used in the steel mill’s blast furnaces.

I dressed in heavy clothes then joined my mother at the table as she ate her toast deliberately and without hurry, then drank the last of her black coffee, while I had my Cream of Wheat drizzled with maple syrup.

We were waiting for her older lady friend she met at the Carnegie Library, which was up the cobble stone covered hill from where we lived. Mom and Millie were volunteers there while I was at school sorting and shelving books, and tending to the old millworker retirees who would spend their time away from spouses reading newspapers and magazines and hanging out with their pals. The old men enjoyed flirting with Millie, whose husband had died some years back from an accident in the mill. He was almost 60 years old when it happened leaving her alone. Millie found friendship with mom and her library work.

Millie was going to pick us up in her ’41 two door Chevy Deluxe, the first year of this model, that still had shiny chrome because it stayed much of the time in her garage behind her small one and a half story bungalow off the dirt alley. Today we were driving over the Mon River and down into Boston, PA, which most everyone called Little Boston, so as not to confuse it with the big eastern city of the same name-- Boston, MA. It was always easier to say little Boston so as not to have to explain that you were not about to be driving all the way to the other Boston hundreds of miles away.

When they named the town didn’t anyone realize it would be confusing when people began to own cars and could drive to a place like the other Boston and not have to take a passenger train?

Millie was taking us to Janie’s house like we had done once or twice a year for the last few years, and will continue to do so for many more years to come.

Janie was about my mother’s age and had a lot of things decorating her wood paneled and wallpapered rooms, along with lace white curtains, and a large heavy deep red upholstered Victorian couch resting upon here hardwood floor. She liked cats, too, and had three that would like to curl up in my lap as I sat quietly on the couch watching the three women sit at the table drinking tea.

Millie and mother would sit across from Janie as she held a pendant that my mother handed to her. She would close her eyes and gently run her fingers all over the small silver locket and then, tell my mother things that had not yet happened yet but could be expected at some point in the future.

As I sat there stroking the calico cat’s soft, silky coat, I listened in on Janie’s predictions for my mother. How did this lady know the future of others? It was clear that there was a strong desire to know what has not yet happened, and then, see that story unfold was the ultimate outcome for those visits.

Change is time advancing, and time advancing is change. They both move around the clock face as does the second hand moves change from one second into another.

Mother had her secrets, which were kept close… She never revealed anything about those mysterious predictions. They appeared to move her closer to the truth she was seeking. Her eyes were always open to what might be. She was not fearful of it as many were. Her sight was keen like that of an owl in the dark of night perched on in a tree able to key in on what might be lying in the shadowed tall grass. The hidden crouches quietly trying to stay away from the sharp senses of stalking night creatures.  But once it moves or gives away its location, does the seeker reveal what lies still and silent before them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.