The Pink Wool Suit

My godmother(and aunt)  was widowed young and had to back to work to support her 5 sons.  Money was tight and luxuries weren’t possible.  After all five of my cousins were grown, graduated from college and married, she finally had the chance to take some time for her own needs and desires.

She was a curvy, petite redhead woman with a beautiful soprano voice(sang solo in her church choir for years), a champion bridge player(once played in an international bridge tournament and the actor Omar Sharif was playing bridge in the table next to hers), a rose gardener, her signature perfume was English Violet, made various wines and cordials every year…raspberry, elderberry and dandelion, was an accomplished pianist, crocheter and avid cook.

She always had at least one cat in her life…I remember Spotty…a gray female cat with white spots…who lived to be 21 and who had many litters of kittens along the way.  I lived 1/2 block away and I adored those kittens.  One time she wanted to play a joke on my Dad and sent me home with a basket of kittens…I was sent right back out again!

She had lived in the same area for most of her life…the only time away was during her finishing school years.  Had not traveled much at all, nor had she expressed any desire to.

Imagine our surprise when she informed us that she was going on a long weekend trip to Bermuda…a lovely long weekend winter getaway sponsored by a local women’s club she belonged to.  A bus would take them down to the airport and back, 3 days in Bermuda with everything included.  She was so excited because this was going to be an adventure for her.

The morning arrived.  Dad was watching her from his window in the bakery.  She was standing at the corner waiting for the bus wearing her favorite pink wool suit along with a hat and coat plus her purse and small suitcase.  It started to snow and by the time the bus arrived(an old school bus), it was snowing quite heavily.  Dad was concerned at this point. (it eventually became a major blizzard along the whole east coast…everything was closed).

She was supposed to come home Monday afternoon.  We got a phonecall from her Monday morning asking Mom to call her work and let them know she was going to be delayed…flights were cancelled and she wasen’t sure when she would be home.(In those days, long distance phonecalls were a rarity and for emergencies only…)

Wednesday they were able to get a flight home and we saw when she arrived home.  She stepped off the bus in her pink wool suit, hat and coat, purse and a large touristy bag.  No suitcase. Wearily she trudged towards her house and closed the door. She called a short while later to let us know she was home, was very tired and would talk later.

We later found out that they’d arrived in Bermuda as scheduled…but her luggage didn’t arrive when they did…and never did come(she never got her luggage back).  So, all my poor godmother had was her pink wool suit…she haden’t brought much money along(except for a few souvenirs) and this was before charge and debit cards.  The other women gave her odds and ends of clothing to wear plus toiletries.  The hotel gave her some items from the lost and found.  She was so sick of the pink wool suit that I don’t believe she ever wore it again!

Instead of the original 3 days, they ended up with 6.  The hotel and airlines arranged for them to stay there without charge.

My godmother took it in stride and as the adventure it was…but she never ventured outside of the country again…it was her adventure of a lifetime

til next time…Eva

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