Stretching and yawning I pour my morning coffee, black and strong. Oohing and aahing over the tantalizing aroma arising from the cup, I step barefoot onto the dew-covered deck. Taking in the coos of the mourning doves and the clucking of the chickens I let my mind drift to my to do list of the day.
A flash of white crosses my peripheral vision. I look up from admiring the sunflowers growing next to the deck and see Lily. Lily and her husband Boss occupy the property adjacent to our small backyard.
Forgetting my to do list, I wave and motion to Lily to come over for a visit. Lily doesn’t get out much so a visit will be nice. I enjoy Lily’s rare visits tremendously; she seems to enjoy my company as well.
I know from previous visits that Lily prefers tea over coffee. Lily turns and begins to walk softly toward the house. As she is making her way I return to the kitchen and pull out a small decorative canister of Mugwort tea, Lily’s favorite. I set the water on the stove to heat.
Turning to the tall kitchen hutch I remove a treasured heirloom tea set that had once belonged to my great grandmother. Tea with Lily is as special as the tea set. I know my great grandmother is smiling with approval from the heavens above seeing that the tea set is being used.
Steam begins to rise off the water as Lily quietly enters the kitchen door. I thank her for coming. I beckon her to sit as I add the Mugwort and water to the teapot to steep. After sitting the teapot and cups on the table I pull out a jar of honey recently harvested from our beehives.
Lily loves honey.
I tell Lily that my husband has been gone for several days to help our youngest daughter on a home improvement project. I mention that the house sure has been quiet with him gone. She laughs softly.
Everything Lily does is done softly. She is so graceful and beautiful.
Lily divulges that Boss too is gone, but only for the day. He is out visiting family and friends. He had wanted her to accompany him, but she had preferred not to go.
Lily and I have never talked in depth about our husbands. I know very little about Boss or their relationship. Most of our talks have been about the weather, the cooing birds that we share, herbs and the different seasons.
I have noticed that each time Lily says Boss’s name a dreamy look comes over her face. I pour the tea into the cups and offer the jar of honey to Lily. After the first sip of tea Lily begins her story of how her and Boss met. I remain quiet as Lily ponders what to share.
My mother left my father, three brothers and myself when I was only six years old Lily says in a trembling voice. My brothers were older. They were ten, twelve and sixteen. They were big enough to care for themselves. I was not.
My father worked long, hard hours in a coalmine. He knew that he could not be there for me during the week and did not trust my brothers to care for me. There was no one else, no family, no close neighbors. He made a hard, heart wrenching decision. He talked to the head mistress at the orphanage in the next town.
The orphanage agreed to let me stay there during the week. I would have to work to earn my room and board by helping with the babies. I also had to lend a hand with washing the dirty dishes and sweeping the floors.
My father made a weekly donation of one dollar to the orphanage, this guaranteed that I would never be adopted out. My dad promised me and the head mistress that it was only temporary until he could figure out a way to take me home.
My heart was breaking, I wanted to cry so bad the first time my dad and brothers walked away from the orphanage leaving me behind. Before leaving my father promised that nothing short of death would keep him from coming to get me every Saturday.
Each Saturday I would be up and dressed before the sun rose. I knew that as soon as breakfast was over, and the dishes were washed that my dad and brothers would be walking up the dirt path.
As soon as I would catch a glimpse of them my eyes would grow big, my heart would beat so fast and I would be grinning like a Cheshire cat as tears of happiness slipped from my eyes. My father, brothers and I would all have arms outstretched as we ran toward each other.
My father was a handsome man with red hair, freckles and green eyes.
Sunday evening were hard for all five of us. Five hearts would be breaking, tears wanted to flow down five sad faces, but we all pasted smiles on our faces. We knew that it wasn’t forever, but it was time for me to return to the orphanage.
Time Marches On
I had been at the orphanage nearly a year when my father came for his weekly visit with a lady walking by his side. No, it was not my mother. She was beautiful. She hugged me and handed me a bag of peppermint sticks. I had just met my new mother.
During my father’s wedding I met him…Boss. He was at the table where the wedding cake was. I watch as he glanced around, thinking no one was watching. He stuck his finger into the cake icing and then into his mouth. He looked up and saw me watching him. Grinning mischievously, he pressed his finger to his mouth as a sign not to tell. I grinned and he knew I would keep his secret.
After the I do’s and cake the dancing began. I had never danced with anyone other than my father and brothers. Gathering seven years of courage I marched right up to Boss and asked him to dance. At fifteen, he was eight years older than me and could have told me no that I was just a baby, but he did not. He took my hand and together we danced and giggled.
I looked into his green eyes and told him I was going to marry him some day. The blush ran from the roots of his red hair and made his freckles even more noticeable.
Home Sweet Home
With a new mom to look after me I was able to leave the orphanage and return home. It felt so good to be back with my father and brothers. My new mom was kind and sweet. She loved having a daughter and I loved having a mother. It felt so good to be home permanently.
Over the years I watched my mom intently. She taught me many things. I wanted to be just like her when I became a wife and mother. When I married Boss.
I discovered that Boss was my oldest brothers’ friend. Boss was at our house almost as much as my brothers were. I was in love with him, he treated me like a little sister. Just as I had to have patience while staying at the orphanage, I would have to have patience with Boss until he saw me in a different light.
Love Finds Boss
My patience paid off. I had just celebrated my sixteenth birthday when I noticed that Boss was looking at me like I looked at him. Cupid had finally let his arrow fly.
Our courtship was short. We both knew that we were meant for each other. Our parents gave us their blessings. We planned a Valentine wedding.
Finally, February arrived, and we were ready for our wedding day. I would wear my mother’s wedding dress and Boss would wear his father’s black suit. My wedding ring would be his grandmothers ruby ring. She had left the ring to him just for this occasion.
Standing in front of the preacher with family and friends behind us I was so happy that I thought my heart was going to burst. I kept looking down to make sure my feet were on the floor.
The preacher was taking his slow, sweet time getting to the I DO part of the ceremony. Finally, the moment we had waited for arrived. We were pronounced husband and wife.
We ran through a shower of rice toward the car that would whisk us away to our new life together. Silvery, glistening flakes of snow fell covering the ground in a blanket of white. It was a beautiful, magickal time as we drove toward our future. A life of happy ever after.
Our Forever Home
A memory of a slippery skid and a crash flashed through my mind just before I woke up in a tiny white room. Was it a room? Boss was not beside me. There was no light. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t breathe. I was frightened and scared. I called and called for Boss, for my father, my mother, my brothers but no one answered.
I closed my eyes. Soon I heard a muffled sound. It was Boss, he was calling my name. Where was he? I tried to answer him, but he couldn’t hear me. I must have slept, for how long I do not know.
When I awoke, I was sitting next to Boss under a canopy of snow-covered trees still in our wedding attire. Crying, I kissed him hard and hugged him tight. During the hug I saw it, the double cemetery stone baring our names and our wedding date.
Tea Party is Over
The tea pot is empty. Lily says she must leave, Boss will be back soon. He will worry if she is not there when he returns. Lily knows that their love will keep them side by side for eternity.
See the Magick…Feel the Magick…Experience the Magick
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