Friday afternoon I was mindlessly ironing shirts, watching House Hunter's International. The phone rang and Marty answered. He came down stairs and said it's for you, Valerie H, and handed me the phone.
Valerie grew up in the same small town I did. I don't think I have talked to Valerie in nearly 15 years. She was really my sister's friend, I was the tag along little sister. I remember sometimes the big kids would let me play with them. I loved the murder game. Unfortunately, I was always the victim. I can't tell you how many times I was stretched out on the driveway, not allowed to talk, as everyone else guessed who dunit. But hey, I was with the big kids.
Valerie called for several reasons. One was to talk about the death of my sister, who died in 1997. V knew she had died, but didn't know the story. She had tried to talk to my mother, and Mother couldn't talk about it. So I gave her the short story of her illness because I can barely talk about it.
Valerie and I then talked about how tied our families were. We had picnics together at the State Parks close to us. Her mother and mine were good friends. Her mother defended my mother, The Doctor’s Widow, when she married a much much younger man. Mrs. H told the town that is was wonderful Anna had found some young to love.
Valerie’s father was our family movie photographer. Mr. H filmed us Easter mornings before church as well as on Christmas mornings. I was grown before it occurred to me that he had a little girl at home waiting on Daddy to come home from work so they could have Christmas.
We talked about my grandmother. V remembered my grandmother correcting the pronunciation of my sister’s name. Maryann, everyone called her Merryann. Grandmother would correct people and said it is May-ree-ann. We lived in the mountains of Kentucky, but Grandmother was from the Bluegrass section of the state. There was just a little bit of snobbery there.
Valerie also wanted the recipe for Pool Hall Chili. I mention it from time to time. She had seen my post on Facebook about cooking the chili. She lives a thousand miles from the source and wanted to taste it again. She is having it for supper tomorrow night.
She is sending me pictures of a visit to our home nearly 20 years ago. Also she has pictures of her wedding she is sending. My sister was Maid of Honor and I was a last minute substitute bride’s maid. One of her friends was pregnant and couldn’t (wasn’t allowed to) be in the wedding. She “dropped out” and I fit in the dress, so was in. In 1961 no pregnant bridesmaids, even if married allowed.
It was a nice phone visit. Thanks to Facebook and this blog Valerie had kept up with my family. And I am learning about hers. From the pictures she thought my brother looked just like he did as a little boy. And he does, he still has that sweet smile. She saw pictures of Mother and Papa Jack, and commented on them.
So Valerie, thanks for the memories.