Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Memories...part deux.

When we last spoke of Melrose she was spurning potential partners after the death of her Husband.
   The second part of this archive will be less of a narrative and more of a collection of fond memories and "Mel-isms."   Enjoy!
     Mel loved elephants and often voiced the wish that she could have one of her own, to keep as a pet.  I'm sure this stemmed form a childhood memory of an elephant chained up in a parking lot, to advertise the opening of some sort of retail establishment.  The poor thing was out in the heat, rocking from side to side and even then, she cried over the cruelty this involved.    But Mel loved animals of all kinds and always had at least two birdfeeders all year long.  The feeling must have been mutual for the Chickadees knew her and "rode" on her seed container from the garage to the feeder.  Once there, they often chose to eat from her hand, rather than the feeder...a mutual admiration society if there ever was one.    Another of her favorites were Chipmunks.  Of course, they were all named Alvin and because they liked the sunflower seed she kept in the garage, one of the garage doors was kept propped open with a tuna fish can so Alvin would always have access to the seed.   The one exception to this love affair was ...don't even say it...S-N-A-K-E-S.  I have never known anyone with such an aversion to the hapless reptiles in and around her home.  Even a shedded, empty skin would send her shrieking and dancing away.   In keeping with the subject, I must tell you that  Mel believed in a well stocked larder and each Fall would buy 150 lbs. of potatoes which would be stored in three covered bins in her basement.  Said basement was lined with laid up stone so it was inevitable that snakes would occasionally find their way in.   You can imagine what followed...the frantic phone call,  the rush to Mel's basement and the removal of the offending serpent.   At one point she bought  some sort of "Snake Repellent" that had a drawing of a Cobra on the package.  She refused to look at it and always made sure the snake was always facing the cellar wall.   Mel  referred to snakes with only one adjective, "GROSS!"  and she had a unique way of pronouncing the word that I could never duplicate and always made us laugh.  Eventually, my husband and another neighbor inspected the cellar, inside and out and caulked or otherwise filled any potential snake portals.   On a side note...Mel made the best Potato Salad I have ever tasted and oh...they were "potatees,"  not potatoes.
     Mel believed you could tell everything about a man (sort of like Sherlock Holmes)  by the state of his shoes.   Clean and polished shoes meant a clean and polished man and of course the reverse was also true.  Oh, she loved her a shiny pair of shoes.  In fact, she'd offer to polish anyone's and she meant it.  "Just bring 'em over.  They'll be shined to a fare-thee-well."
     Another of Mel's loves were Birthdays.  Everyone needed a party or at the very least, a cake.  They were important because "it's the only day that's just your own."   She would go to any length to make sure her friends had some sort of celebration.  Her favorite cake was called "Orange Crunch,"  but the rest of us couldn't get enough of her Cream Puffs....everything homemade and filled with real whipped cream.  She always tried to make them when she knew my daughter was coming home...a special treat for Jennifer.   They were absolutely delicious!    Another of her favorite holidays was New Year's Eve.   The beginning of each new year was full of such possibility that it was imperative to celebrate.  We would show up at her house dressed in our finest.   All our jewelry, faux furs, feather boas and of course hats had to be worn.  Even if this finery was worn over jeans and a sweatshirt, that just made it more fun.  Why did I NOT take pictures? 
     Another thing we had in common was a love of Bugs Bunny.  In Mel's opinion, Saturday morning was dedicated to  Warner Bros. cartoons.  Her favorite was Tweety Pie.  How can you not love someone who loves Tweety!
     I just have to mention this one...Mel's husband had been Highway Supt. when he retired and she had absolutely no respect for his replacement.  We only knew him as "Drag Ass Harold,"  and I suppose the "shoe fit."
     I couldn't finish this document without mentioning Mel's generosity, especially to her friends.  I had to be careful of what I said.  If I were to mention ....say....that I needed a new mixer, more often than not , one would appear.  I had to put my foot down when she wanted to buy us a new freezer.  From then on her gifts would be limited to food.  I assumed this would mean pie or cookies, but in Mel's opinion, "nothin' says lovin'" like the gift of meat.  Turkeys and roasts and hams, oh my!
     She was a unique and loving person, one of the finest I've ever known,  never judgmental and always accepting  and I often find myself smiling and thinking of her when something happy or sad occurs.  She would have had an opinion that would leave everyone smiling.
     Alas, the conversations ended in 1994 when she chose to leave us and join her beloved husband.   She left the rest of us sad and bereft,  but also happy that we had experienced the pleasure of her company.                                                            


  1. I sensed that this was someone you lost some time back, but didn't want to "faux paws-mis-step". What a treasure of a purrrrrrson!!! Bless ur soul for sharin'!!!