Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Blue Door...continued (part 13)

That first summer at the house together was the most brilliant of all.

Marta swept the front porch and wiped down the Adirondack chairs. Their paint a washed out and peeling slate gray. She brought out cushions, one for each seat. Both sewn by hand, by her, using fabric she had found in the old chest that sat at the foot of her grandmother’s sleigh bed. Now her sleigh bed. She had stuck her fingers no less than three times, drawing blood. Swearing and wincing, but happy.

A wicker table with glass top that her grandfather had won for $2 at auction stood regal with glass top between the two chairs. On top, a white embroidered hankerchief, another relic of her grandmothers, lay beneath a large glass vase, spilling over with blue and green hydrangea from the back yard.

All that was left, a good polishing of the front windows and a wipe down of the front door while she waited for delivery of the new mattress set.

Richard was on his way. A two hour drive that seemed to last forever. A promise he was looking forward to. A pile of books in the passenger seat, a stuffed duffle bag in the back. Sunblock from a convenience store purchased along the way. He looked in the rearview mirror and grinned. He had just passed the last mile marker sign for Rehoboth beach.

A delivery truck eased up to the curb in front of the house. Marta burst out the door, wedging it open with an old brick salvaged from who knows where or when. Just another quirky prop dignified by her grandfather. It had a permanent place inside the front door, nestled in the corner.

The driver yelled to his helper at the back of the truck. Marta gestured using a nod of the head that they were in fact at the correct address. The helper flung open the back door to the truck, jumped inside, and slid both mattresses to the edge. The driver grabbed and pulled the set while the helper jumped out. They both charged up the front steps following behind Marta.

They pulled the old mattress from the bed, discarded the plastic from the new set and plopped them haphazardly into place.

The helper lifted the old mattress and charged back out the front door. The driver handed Marta a paper to sign while he grabbed the packaging plastic.

He nodded and took exit. Marta followed, said thank you, and waved goodbye.

They had come just in time. Richard would be there any minute.

Marta went back inside, putting the brick back into place, locking the front door behind her. She turned all of the air conditioning units on in the house and ran into the bedroom to make the bed.

New sheets. A light blue fitted and top. Four new firm pillows. The quilt her grandmother had made for Marta’s 25th birthday. An additional throw draped over the end of the sleigh bed, just in case. It was always cold at night with the air conditioning cranking against the shore humidity.

Marta took one final look around the room. Everything was in place. The furniture polished. New curtains hung. Another vase of hydrangea on the dresser.

The air conditioner sprung into another cycle. Stuttering at full force. She almost didn’t here the knocking at the front door. 


  1. Happily waiting to learn more about these two.

  2. Well, Marta is making me feel like I am seriously lacking in the domestic sciences arena. I better tidy up and start sewing something : )

  3. Am I imaging things, or did I see a 'soundtrack' pop up somewhere? I haven't been able to find it since. : o

  4. Michele - I'm afriad that was a blip. What sounded right one morning sounded not right the next.

  5. Phew! At least I'm not delusional; I just can't spell!