#56 I, Isabel Scheherazade, watch Mimi hang the clothes on the morning after the disastrous, so-called “caper.” I get a Way-Back-Seat memory that makes me smile and take heart–funny word, that: “take heart.”
Mimi’s hanging out the clothes. It’s the morning after the Court Caper (dumb word), and I watch her from my dormer window seat up in my bedroom.
Mom and I used to hang clothes together all the time. I have this sun-bright memory from a long time ago, I think even before we had the twins…
‘Bye, Mom! I’m running away now. I have a backpack full of comics. Mom has two clothespins in her mouth and is stretching to hang my favorite “blankie” on the line. She keeps one hand on the blanket and takes the clothespins out of her mouth with the other.
Okay, Isabel, but first do a little job for me, would you? More clothespins? Under the sink in the mudroom?
I slip my pack off my shoulders and trudge into the mudroom. I bend over and drag the clothespin bag out from under the sink.
I hand the bag to Mom. I stare at blankie. It’s drying fast, I think. I put one arm through the backpack strap.
Isabel? One more little job? Mom shakes out one of my socks. Could you get me the little wooden drying rack? She smiles down at me from over the clothesline. Her face looks like a full moon peeking over a hill.
I drop my pack again and march back inside. I know where to find the little rack. I loved hanging my socks on it and always put it back in the mudroom closet when the socks were dry.
I daydream. Maybe I’ll cross the big road and go to the drugstore. I could sit on one of the twirling stools and spin around. I could get a sundae with no cherry and no hot fudge.
I find the little rack right where I put it the last time. I set it up in the sun next to Mom.
Just as I am about to leave, she says, One more little job? I slip my thumbs through the backpack straps, just to let her know this better be the last job. Could you hang the socks before you go?
I shrug and say, Okay, Mom.
First, I pull the sock right side out. Then I shake it so the wrinkles smooth. Last, I drape the sock over the wooden bar so it hangs evenly. Mom tells me stories while we stand there working together. I am very happy that she’s doing this because I’m beginning to feel a little tired and hungry. I yawn as I curve the last sock over the rod.
Mom says, I know! How about this, Isabel? Why don’t we go inside and have a little reading time? With a snack maybe?
I think, A little reading time sounds good, but what about the drugstore?
Mom picks up the empty basket. Better yet, she says while she takes my hand, let’s you and I go to the drug store. We can sit at the counter while you have a sundae. No cherry? No hot fudge?
And maybe you could read me some of these? I pull an Unca’ Scrooge out of the backpack.
I jump out of the Way Backseat of my memory and into the Front.
I lean out my window and call down to Mimi, Need help with the socks?
She waves and nods her head.
I’ll get the rack.