Saturday, March 26, 2011


I mentioned briefly my time spent with Hattie and her lavendar plants and hooked rugs and canary, a magical time in my childhood.  But I need to explain more about Hattie - she just wasn't my special friend and neighbour, this 75 - 90 year old woman ( I never did know how old she was---I just knew she was a lot older than any of the parents in our neighbourhood.)  But she was someone who could move well and weighed just a bit more than a feather!

Hattie lived alone in a small cottage at the bottom of our street.  She belonged to every child in the neighbourhood.  She had a son, but I never knew him--he was older and had moved away--I never asked if she had any other children because we were her children--she belonged to us!

I can remember all the afternoons that I just had Hattie to myself, and we would sit and talk - I probably did most of the talking, but Hattie was a very good listener.  But sometimes when I would drop in for a visit there would be some of the other kids of the neighbourhood there already.  On these special days Hattie would make her carmel popcorn--probably the best things I have ever tasted in my life!  It was like eating warm, melting kernels of brown sugar and fun.

She usually had always at least one rug on her frame that she was working on, but usually on one of those days we would climb into the attic and bring down some of her others, and we would all pick one to sit on, while we sat in her very small parlor and just were together.  Sometimes Hattie would tell us stories, but usually we just loved being there--I think all of us were always on our best behaviour and showed very much respect.  I can remember laying on my favourite, colourful flower covered hook rug, often close to where Hattie was sitting, and would close my eyes and just smile and listen. I'd listen to the canary singing out in the small sunroom, and would listen to the excited jabber of my neighbourhood buddies, and would anticipate the possible carmel popcorn treat.  I was very content.  This was my treasured place, and Hattie was the white-haired ruler of this magical world.

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