Sunday, March 15, 2015


As we rode through the long olive hills of Kentucky a while back, I glimpsed a lady at the mailbox, comfortable in a yellow sleeveless blouse and jeans, putting in a handful of envelopes and swinging the small red flag to Attention.

I imagined her day there in that green spot, that immaculate yard with its baskets of begonias swinging on the porch, as she went back into the house, into the orderly rooms smelling of breakfast.   The Dawn bubbles in the empty sink are long-gone, along with their kin from the Purexed single wash-load, gurgled out and down into the faraway ditch in the field.  The almost-done clothes are now perfuming the hall with warm Downy air from the dryer.

She’d washed up the the few dishes “real quick,” except for the black skillet where she’d fried the bacon.   It’s sitting still on the stove, gleaming with bacon grease, for the supper cornbread she’ll bake later.   She’d written a few checks with her first cup of coffee, sitting there at the table in her duster and slides, and soon as she was showered and dressed, she’d run out to the mailbox to get all the bills in before the carrier comes by. 

She’s completed all her little morning rightenings---beds made, yesterday’s Bluegrass Press, well read before supper and folded in the can, and her long shelves of African Violets given their weekly feed of Miracle Gro beneath their blue-light awnings.   Her husband rode off early after his third cup of Folger’s, away to the Co-op to check out those new butterbeans that cook up like speckled ones, into a big pot of purple-brown pot liquor and soft, rich old-fashioned beans.   He’ll be back with the seeds, and probably a lot more, and put the hills in before suppertime, coming in smiling and muddy-handed, pants-legs wet up the shins, from giving the rows a good drenching with the hose. Marlee has done all the chores with 

the TV on louder than usual, for she’s been following along with that awful trial way out there in the West.   She’s followed it all the way through, missing in only a few places when she had to go out to help with the Missionary Luncheon, or the days she takes her Mama to the doctor, and she’d give anything to haul off and slap the smug smirk off that murdering hussy’s face.   She’s just had about enough of the primping and smiling and lying, and she broke down completely yesterday when the family spoke about their lost brother and friend.  

Marlee is a good Christian woman, and does right by everybody, but she knows, sure as she knows her shoe size and all the grandchildren’s birthdays, that SOME FOLKS just Pure-D need killin’.


donna baker said...

That Marlee is funny.

Patsy said...

Great story!
If you think The Bennie's cat story was enjoyable just read about his bird.

GSL said...

Marlee needs to squeeze off a few rounds at the pistol range...that bacon grease and cornbread can wait.

Jeanne said...

Hello Rachel, I just read your comments and had a good laugh. I am imagining Marlee shooting a gun. Heaven forbid!!! Your character is a fun read and I love your wonderful mind and the way you think.

I love you too,

Kim S. said...

I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who makes up full stories for folks that I catch only a glimpse of. Yours, my dear, are incomparable.