The trees out the window were letting go of their summer dresses. Yellow, orange, brown bits drifted down like colored rain. Lucille and Pearl, just two old dear friends, wisely decided to have their afternoon tea inside. They hated to give up those lazy summer afternoons out under the garden umbrella, but for now, this day, they must.

"There's something about fall," spoke Lucille that makes you want to look back a bit. Where's that old photograph album of yours?"

Lucille and Pearl had moved in together about middle age. Lucille's Paul had had a heart attack, and Pearl just never found Mr. Right. Pearl was flattered at the request and went to an old highboy, pulling out a brittle leather-bound album. Then she moved her chair around by Pearl's. Those leaves they both were facing framed their mood.

"Would you look at that! There you are on Brighton Street with your cat. I remember that cat!" Lucille had lived in the same block as Pearl through grade school.

Pearl said, "That's not all I remember about that day. I remember your old dog, Trey - the fuzzy no-breed one. I remember why I'm holding Tiger in that picture. I had just rescued him from Trey. See that hang-dog look on my face? If you could look close enough, you could see the tears."

And that's how the afternoon went. First Lucille would remember a story, then Pearl. Laughter - Solemnity. The teapot whistled more than one time, and a half box of Danish shortbreads disappeared. It wasn't that the album was so thick. It was their memories of all the stories, the boys, the old cars, the funny hats, the years that went by. Most all taken by one of those big square Kodaks in black and white, and the pictures had little decorations in the borders.

They were just about to turn the last page when Pearl gasped. "Oh, Lucille, here's mama. She loved you like she loved me, remember. There she is in her old wraparound sitting at the bottom of those old wooden stairs. Look how her lovely hair so disheveled is hanging over one eye. You can tell it's washday. The sheets are flappin' on the line. Oh, how I love the smell of sheets that have flapped outdoors. You know she made those wraparounds herself. That one was lilac- colored with tiny pink rosebuds in it. She was so young, and life was so promising to her. Don't we always think of our parents as old? My goodness, she was just in her early thirties. She used that same Simplicity wraparound pattern to make me a silk kimono for a Christmas present, remember?"

"Yes, I remember how she loved me, too, Pearl. She almost raised me while Mother worked in the defense factory making bombs. Remember when we thought it was fun to iron for my mother at night when you came to my house?" Lucille and Pearl, Pearl and Lucille. So many leaves ago.

By Norma (










A Touch of Her Hand

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Resort By The Sea

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Autumn Rhapsody

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My Scarecrow



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