A few days later, Aunt Daisy continued the email about Marisol’s sketchbook.
Sorry to leave you hangin’, Sylvia Honey! I was interrupted by a truck deliverin’ a seed package catalogue.
When Marisol put her sketchbook on the kitchen table for me to see, was I surprised! – pages and pages of drawin’s and paintin’s of the horses, chickens, the barn, trees around the house, the kitchen. I’m no expert at judgin’ art, but these seemed good.
Tonight at dinner, I got a little surprise for you and your daddy. Hold on to your saddles!
I said, turnin’ the pages, “Honey, you sure do mighty fine work!” – and then there was a drawin’ of me!
“I didn’t think I looked that good,” I said.
“Thanks for everything, Aunt Daisy.” She had a smile broad and sunny as a cloudless sky.
That brought a tear to my eyes.
“Remember, Honey,” I said. “There’s no guarantees in life but you gotta live it 100 percent anyway.” When I said this, it got me to thinkin’ it was time to uncork the barrel and let out the news.
“Marisol, Honey, tonight at dinner, I got a little surprise for you and your daddy.”
Sylvia, remember me tellin’ you that the cold of the North Country is finally gettin’ to me? So here’s what I said.
“Hold on to your saddles! I sold the farm and animals to a real nice, young, city couple eager to start a life in the country. I need to move on!”
Were they flabbergasted!
“Aunt Daisy, what about my job as farmhand?”
“Pepe –it’s all worked out. You will stay here as manager of the farm!”
“Marisol?” he asked, lookin’ worried.
“That’s been worked out, too! She’ll keep her room in the house and care for the children – three year old twins.”
Marisol, eyes wide, said, “I never took care of children. What do I do?”
“The young mom is a real sweet gal and she’ll teach you. You got a good heart and a smart brain. It will seem real natural after a while. Don’t you worry none.”
Pepe said, “Where are you going?”
“Florida!” I said, smilin’ big.
They frowned. “We’ll miss you. We’re like family.”
I felt a knot in my stomach but it had to be said. I covered their hands with mine.
“I’m an old lady. You both got a new life here on this farm and in the school. One more good thing I can do for you both is let you go – time for you to be with a family of young people. It was grand spendin’ the long, tiresome winter with you but I gotta be free as the wind over the prairie. Never did like bein’ hog-tied. Always had to do what I had to do, when I had to do it.” I was tearin’ up. “But you will always be part of my life.”
Pepe and Marisol was sniffin’.
“What you going to do in Florida?” Pepe asked.
I brightened. “Growin’ season’s a long one in Florida and I like preservin’ fruit. No tellin’ what kind of jams and jellies I’ll come up with.”
“What about your newspaper column ‘Shootin’ from the Hip?’”
“Last I heard, they got computers in Florida so that ain’t gonna stop me from communicatin’ with the newspaper and my readers. …. And whenever you get a hankerin’ I expect you to visit!”
They gave me hugs and said if anyone could do it, I could! It was just the kind o’ support I needed.
Love, Aunt Daisy
Leave it to Aunt Daisy to start a new adventure at 84. I’m sure she’ll be successful at it, too. You go girl!