Aunt Daisy sent me an email a couple of weeks ago. She and Pepe, the man who helps around the farm, sent for his 14-year old daughter Marisol to live at the farm.
Aunt Daisy had read the Anne of Green Gables books in which a sweet young girl was adopted by an elderly couple to help out. But when Marisol stepped off the bus, Aunt Daisy’s fantasy shattered. Marisol was no Anne.
Sylvia, honey, here’s the latest –
Marisol was pitiful thin, carryin’ a beat up plastic bag, wearin’ tiny shorts and an attitude. I guess livin’ in sunny California did not ready her for the North Country.
Pepe rushed to hug her, but Marisol turned away and I could see the hurt in Pepe’s eyes. Uh, oh. Trouble ahead.
I didn’t try to hug her. Best to let a wild bronco have a wide berth.
Best to let a wild bronco have a wide berth.
Temperatures were droppin’ fast and she was shiverin’. I said, “Honey, first thing is gettin’ you warm clothes.”
“Whatever,” she mumbled, arms crossed, not crackin’ a smile, teeth chatterin’, avoidin’ eye contact.
At the general store we bought her some winter gear- long, fleece lined pants, a lined jeans jacket, boots, hat, sweater and a load o’ unmentionables.
We drove home in the pick-up, Marisol between us silent as a snowfall. When we got to the farm, I fired up the wood stove and made strong cowboy coffee, a raft o’ flapjacks with meltin’ butter, a heap o’ crisp bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice. We sat at the kitchen table chowin’ down and through the window we watched snowflakes startin’ to fall. It was real cozy like and she didn’t jaw a word but I was pleased to see how she cottoned to the grub.
After eatin’, I took her upstairs where I had fixed up the spare room pink bein’ the dominant color – a new computer on the desk by a window overlookin’ the barn and paddock, a rockin’ chair with a giant stuffed panda.
I think I saw a tiny smile on her face but she is a tough nut to crack and rememberin’ she didn’t have a momma and not knowin’ her daddy real well, I cut her lots of slack and left her to settle in.
I went back to the kitchen and poured more coffee. Pepe looked real down so I patted his hand.
He said, “I’m sorry she didn’t appreciate what you did for her.”
“Hon, you don’t know she didn’t. She’s been livin’ with your next o’ kin, your cousin and she’s a fine gal who works long, hard hours but I think Marisol needs a heap load of attention and love and we’re goin’ to give it to her! That little gal’s been dealt a real bum stack o’ cards.”
“But how are we going to do it?” Pepe asked, shakin’ his head. “I don’t know where to start.”
“You got a good heart and I got my cowgirl trainin’ manual. We’ll start by takin’ each day as it comes.”
I believed my words but I also knew the truth. We were in the middle of winter, snowdrifts pilin’ up against the house and a non talkin’ teenage girl with tattoos and piercin’s livin’ under the roof. She ain’t no Anne of Green Gables, that’s the truth. Havin’ her here wasn’t goin’ to be as easy as lickin’ butter off a knife.
Buck up, I said to myself. I’ll teach her the cowgirl code. I’ll start tomorrow, by gum! Saddle up and ride, Daisy girl!