I heard the computer ping! It was Aunt Daisy emailing me from New York City again.
I left off where I was just about to meet up with cousin Jasmine at her apartment building after many years of not seein’ her.
I walked down a fancy hall fitted out with a red carpet, little glowin’ lamps shaped like upside down umbrellas, past shiny black doors with peepholes. I checked my notes and came to the apartment door with Jasmine’s number on it. I took a breath and rang the bell.
I checked my notes and came to the apartment door with Jasmine’s number on it. I took a breath and rang the bell.When she opened the door, was I surprised! I remember Jasmine’s blonde hair and sunburnt complexion from when she was a kid. Here stood a real sophisticated slender lady in a black dress, big red lips, eyes all done up, wearin’ gold earrin’s, and piles of red hair pinned on top of her head. Considerin’ she was a 75-year old woman, she was the cat’s meow!
“Jasmine?” I asked, all at sea, not knowin’ if this lady was my cousin or not.
“Daisy?” she asked.
As smooth as fine cream gravy, we fell into each other’s arms, huggin’ and bawlin’. The years disappeared and we were young again.
Jasmine’s apartment was simple and elegant with the livin’ room overlookin’ a courtyard garden. She showed me my room and the bathroom. It would suit me real good while I was in the big city. She made me comfortable as a cat by a woodstove.
We sat on the big beige sofa by a glass coffee table and kicked off our shoes – my tie string flats and her elegant red suede heels.
She asked if I wanted some grub and a glass of firewater, only she really said, “Are you hungry, Daisy? May I offer you a plate of hors d’oeuvres and chilled champagne?”
“Sounds like a good trail to head on down!”
The chow was real good and we bent and bent and bent our elbows while Jasmine told me about her climb to success.
As a true gal brought up in the North Country, she sprouted lots of quotes. “Don’t let your dreams just be dreams.” Jasmine worked hard many years in the New York garment industry and havin’ brains enough for two, she knew where to rent a shop to sell the clothes she designed. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” She kept sproutin’ those sayin’s. And it worked!
I said, pattin’ her hand, “You’re a marvel, honey. Sorry, we weren’t closer back then. But it’s good catchin’ up now.”
She looked kinda wistful and said, “You always kind of scared me, Daisy.”
“What?” I said, my eyes poppin’ open. “Little Daisy scart you?”
“I was a giggling girl and always thought about clothes. I didn’t think you would be interested in my friendship, but I always admired you. Frankly, you were my inspiration for coming to New York and trying my luck. You always followed where your nose led. You were the reason I could chew my rope and run away.”
“Thank you, darlin’.” Was I flummoxed! You never know how you influence other people.
Then came more elbow bendin’. That champagne kept comin’ and our tongues got looser. We got the giggles real bad and started reminiscin’.
Jasmine put down her glass and clapped her hands. “Can you believe all the girls in our family were named after flowers? Daisy, Jasmine, Poppy, Grandma Rose, Great Aunt Tulip, second cousins Hydrangea, Bluebell, Buttercup, Hyacinth, and Marigold. Be happy we weren’t born boys!”
“By gum,” I said. “The boys are always named “something” and Roy. Billy Bob Roy, Earl Roy, Roy Roy and so on.”
Whatever happened to Billy Bob Roy?”
“He married Hydrangea.”
“Aren’t they first cousins?”
“Yes, and they had a son Butch Roy who turned out kinda funny. Sleeps under the bed instead of on top.”
“And Vern Roy?”
“He’s the one with funny teeth but makes a good livin’ bein’ the “before” photo on cable TV dentist ads.”
“What happened to the triplets Clint Roy, Flint Roy and Quint Roy?”
I hiccupped. “You know they always did things together and went through lotsa jobs but now they’s workin’ side by side by side bein’ professional paint dryin’ watchers.”
She chortled. “They what?”
“Yes, it’s a real job. They’re hired by paint companies to watch how colors change when they dry and inspect paint pigments under microscopes. At parties, they chaw about it for hours.” I slapped my thigh. “And you thought I had a crazy job bouncin’ on the back of a horse!”
“Not so lucky. Went in for a life of crime and wound up in the hoosegow.”
“He’s a potato chip inspector. What doesn’t pass inspectin’, he takes home and brings to family parties.”
We laughed until it was time for bed. Lotsa bent elbows that night. Sure as shootin’ we both had barrel fever in the mornin’. Jasmine called it a hangover. We spoke in whispers to each other all mornin’ and drank a gallon of coffee. Family reunions can be hard on the nerves! And I’ve got a board meetin’ in front o’ me. Tell you more when I got more to tell.
Daisy, some people can’t get it off the ground, but you sure know how to fly your kite!