Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fly in the ointment

Life in Princeton was safe and enjoyable. The work was hard and constant. There were so many potatoes to peel and so much parsley to chop and when the rush was over so many floors to wash. Ulla became nervous and who better to get mad at than me. She always apologized when things settled down.

One day when Angelo came to pick up the chopped food for the parrots I asked him when next he would go into town. Could I ride along for I needed a few things. He said he would take me wherever I needed to go. I want to get two orange boxes and I need to go to a fabric store. He said 'you really should ask Tom to take you'. I said he scared me and I would rather go with him. Angelo said 'I think we better synchronizee it with Urban and Ulla.

So we had a little meeting, the four of us. Of course the question was: Why was I scared of Tom. I huffed and I puffed and before long I had to tell them that Tom had showed me a horrible comic book. Nowadays we would call it PORN. I had never seen anything like it and I didn't like his leer and his getting closer. All I wanted was get away but he had me cornered.

They let me go with Angelo and next day I had new and beautiful curtains and a dressing table made of oraange crates. As far as I know Tom was never spoken to, and he forever terrified me.

One Sunday when the family was away, Ulla asked me if I wanted to go to church on Sunday. I said yes and since we came from many different countries we wanted to go to different churches. Elsa was an Episcopelian, Inga and I were Lutherans. Ulla and Urban would remain in the house. That meant Tom would drive us. But I didn' have to be alone with him for Inga and I were going to the same church.

It was a lovely service with coffee hour following. As the woman served us coffee she asked me if I was new and Inga answered 'That yes, I was new, and I had just come from Sweden on the ship with Greta Garbo. She took a long and looked very proud of herself. I had never heard her speak with sentences longer than three words. Mrs B, according to her name tag, said, 'please remain a few minutes after I finish here. I would like to talk to you.

That little chat changed my life.

9 comments:

Emiana said...

Your blog is just superb! The descriptions of the world you lived in are fascinating and so vivid. Admittedly, your stories make me miss my grandmothers terribly. I wish they had told me even more stories than they did and that I'd asked more questions -even the ones I wasn't supposed to ask. I cannot wait for the next instalment. Kudos to you.

Pam said...

Why?Why? Why did it change your life? I know the answer."You'll just have to wait and see..."

Evelyn said...

..cliff hanger... arrrgh!

BumbleVee said...

oh how I love those dangling carrots at the end of an entry.....

scargosun said...

I am So enjoying your blog! I am not far from the Princeton area (I am near Philly) and it's great to be able to identify with the area.

Anne said...

Oh, dear - you definitely know the art of storytelling - ending a snippet and leaving us in a state of anxiety, begging for more. I hope you will not be taking weekends off as Shreve does. lol

MJ's doghouse said...

hi
i JUST FOUND your blog because your grandchild posted it on the daily coyote. It is great to read...although the blog for the 7th just says change...but \i didnt get any words after that. i am going to forward this to my 70 year old mother, maybe it will inspire her to start blogging. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I bet you are going to become very popular on here.

hello haha narf said...

you give me goosebumps daily. how exciting it is to read about your memories!

hollyheartfree said...

I am so much enjoying your stories. I've been reading Shreve and Charlie for months now, and also her Vespa Vagabond days. It seems writing is in the blood of your family! Blessings to you from Watertown, Wisconsin