Friday Night At The Old Mill

It was Friday night and that meant the Green’s and everyone else in town would be going to The Old Mill in Marriottsville Maryland. The Mill was a wonderful old building made of stone. It was no longer used as a Mill but was transformed each day of the week into something different and wonderful.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoon everyone came to The Old Mill for ice cream, candy, cake and pies.

On Monday the Old Mill became a place for anyone who wanted to be an artist for the evening. Pottery wheels spun and art canvases were splattered with paint. People spun glass and spinning wheels.

Tuesday night was movie night. The Old Mill showed old movies on a giant screen. Little ones, teenagers and grandparents all sat together and laughed and cried in black and white.

By Wednesday no one felt like cooking dinner so, The Old Mill became Sample Something New Night. Restaurants came in and served up samples of everything from Chinese food to tacos.

Thursday was roller skate night. Young and old spun around The Old Mill work in the basement and drank root beer brought in by a shop called the Rootbrewery, in Ellicott City.

Friday night was the best night of all. It was Mrs. Green’s favorite night of the week. Friday night was always dance night. The stage was set and bands came in. Sometimes they had One Song Night, where there were so many bands that wanted to play they each got to play just one song. Other nights the bands played big band or country or popular radio tunes. There was music for everyone.

Mrs. Green felt as excited as a child as they drove down the street in her old yet new Rolls Royce. Mr. Green had reworked the old Rolls Royce for Mrs. Green years ago and many times over. She loved it and called it Rosy.  The car suited her perfectly. The outside had classic style and the inside was fresh and new. Mrs. Green drove it everywhere and everyone in town waved when she drove by.

Tonight Mr. Green drove the shiny car up to the parking lot of the Old Mill and went around to the passenger side and opened the door for his date.

“You look lovely as ever, Mrs. Green.” Mr. Green loved Mrs. Green and everyone knew it.

They stepped into the Old Mill hand in hand and began dancing right away. Tonight it was One Song Night. The Green’s could dance to anything and they did. Mr. Green held Mrs. Green tight as they swayed to a teenage duet version of Unforgettable, by Nate King Cole. They swirled around and around to the high school jazz bands version of Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman. They danced with all of their might with the teenagers and sang along at the top of their lungs to If I Had a Million Dollars. They two stepped over to the lemonade stand to The Wagon Wheel Song by a local country band. Then they slow danced out the door and back into Mrs. Green’s shiny Rolls Royce  named Rosy to the Hallelujah song.

Friday night was definitely the best night of all at The Old Mill.

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Juliette

Juliette was a darling three year old little girl, who often came for a visit with Mrs. Green. Juliette had rosy round cheeks and short brown hair. Her eyes were golden brown with long dark heavy lashes that seemed to blink in slow motion. Juliette loved hats and she had many. Today she wore a cream-colored round fleece hat with felt rosettes of red, purple, and green on the side. Her little bangs peeked out just under the rim of the hat and wisps of hair curled up like the letter c behind each ear.

Though Juliette spoke French perfectly, she did not speak much English. In fact, when her family first moved to America, she stopped speaking all together. Mrs. Green worked with her every week and Juliette’s English had come a long, long way.

Juliette walked in the door with a wide smile on her face. Mrs. Green knelt down and looked Juliette in the eye. She held Juliette’s cold face in her warm hands and said,

“I am so glad you are here Juliette.”

Juliette smiled and gave Mrs. Green a big hug. She waved goodbye to her mother and walked over to Ampersand, who was wagging his tail so fast it was hard to see.

She looked at Mrs. Green and said, “Cookie?”

Mrs. Green walked into the kitchen and handed Juliette a small dog biscuit shaped like a tiny chicken wing. Juliette held it tightly between her thumb and index finger. Ampersand did not take his eyes off of it for one second.

Mrs. Green said, “Sit.”

Ampersand waited patiently.

Juliette repeated, “Sit.”

Ampersand sat.

Mrs. Green said, “Circle.”

Ampersand waited patiently.

Juliette repeated, “Circle.”

Ampersand spun around in a quick circle.

Mrs. Green said, “Roll over.”

Ampersand waited patiently.

Juliette repeated, “Roll over.”

Ampersand got down on the floor and rolled over.

Mrs. Green smiled at the two friends and said, “Dance.”

Juliette repeated, “Dance.”

Ampersand stood on his hind legs and hopped up and down and bobbed his head ever so slightly.

Juliette laughed so hard she almost dropped the cookie.

Mrs. Green laughed along side of her friend and nodded her head. Juliette handed the tiny dog biscuit to Ampersand and he gobbled it up.

Juliette looked at Mrs. Green and said, “Acorn?”

Juliette had visited Mrs. Green in the fall and they went on a nature walk and collected acorns and leaves and rocks. Acorn was the first English word Mrs. Green had heard Juliette say.

Mrs. Green had a project all ready. She led Juliette into the dining room. On the table were two milkweed pods.  They looked like pea pods, only they were bigger and had fuzzy skin on the outside. Mrs. Green had cleaned out the seeds and the milkweed fluff. She also had two round beads, some lovely green, red, and blue spun wool fabric, and the tops of two acorns. She pointed to each object and Juliette repeated the words after her.

She took the acorn cap and showed Juliette how to glue it onto the bead and said, “hat.”

Juliette caught on quickly and said, “Oh, hat.”

They placed the little bead head with the acorn cap on it in the very top corner of the milkweed pod and glued it there.

“Head,” Mrs. Green said.

Juliette repeated, “Head.”

Mrs. Green took the fluffy spun wool. It looked like cotton candy. She twisted it around Juliette’s index finger. She slipped it off and tucked it snugly into the milkweed pod, like she was tucking in a tiny little baby. Mrs. Green said, “Blanket.”

Juliette nodded her head, “Blanket.” She repeated.

Mrs. Green held up the milkweed pod. It was transformed. Inside the pod slept a tiny, snugly warm little milkweed baby with the cutest little acorn cap hat Juliette had ever seen.

Juliet’s face lit up. “Baby!” Juliette said.

Mrs. Green smiled a wide and happy smile. She did a little dance with the baby and rocked it back and forth. Ampersand joined in and danced a jig on his hind legs, all the time trying to jump up and see the tiny little milkweed baby.

This time it was Mrs. Green who repeated after Juliette, “Baby!”

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It is going to be a good Day

Mrs. Green awoke early. It was nearly 5:00 am on a January day and though snow was predicted by the weather man, there was none on the ground. No flakes in the sky as she looked up and out the window toward the lamp post. She put on her favorite white hat. She had knitted it years ago. It was very long and came down to a point all the way down to the back of her knees. Sometimes she wrapped it around her neck to help keep that snuggled down in bed feeling.

Mrs. Green loved hot chocolate. She loved any kind of chocolate. The very first thing she drank every morning was hot chocolate. She poured the milk into her favorite glass mug with the curvy handle and sturdy rim, popped the mug in the microwave and looked for her camera.

She wanted to catch the first few flakes of the day. At 5:00 am her senses were more awake than usual and it occurred to her that snapping a picture of the first few snow flakes she saw falling from the sky might be a challenge. Mrs. Green loved a challenge. The microwave dinged a happy ding and the warm mug felt good in Mrs. Green’s hands. Today was a day for extra chocolate. She poured melted chocolate into the mug and watched it dance to the very bottom.

“This is definitely a day for extra chocolate.”

She stirred the milk with a spoon and walked to the back door and looked up at the sky. There seemed to be a hint of snow somewhere in the air, so she set her mug on the counter and grabbed her camera from the desk nearby.

She opened the back door and felt the cold air hit her face. Pointing the camera towards the glow from the porch light she looked through the lens. Then she gasped like a child. One, two, three snowflakes floated by and click, click, click.

She shut the door and quickly went over to the sofa. She snuggled up with her dog Ampersand, and tucked him under a blanket. Ampersand sighed a grateful sigh, for under a blanket was his favorite place to be on a snowy day.

She drank her hot chocolate and looked over the pictures on her camera. The snow began to create a blanket over the grass and the trees. It was going to be a good day.

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Welcome to Mrs. Green’s house!

Mrs. Green was the ultimate authority on everything. She lived with Mr. Green, in a sweet cozy cape cod on an acre of land in Howard County Maryland, with an enormous willow tree in the side yard, and a stream in the way back. Her garden was almost as amazing as she was. The Green’s had no children of their own and yet every child she ever met eventually became her friend.

Mrs. Green had been a school teacher. Her age and experience had turned her into way more than that. If you needed help with piano, math, spelling, science or hurt feelings you went for a visit to Mrs. Green. She knew how to cook, sew and create everything out of nothing. She could plan a wedding and a birthday party, pack a lunch the pickiest child would eat and recite scripture for any occasion. She knew how to take you on an imaginary adventure you never forgot, turn your worst day into your best, find the joy in things taken for granted and set you off in the right direction. Mrs. Green was wise beyond her years.

She was considered old by those that did not know her and young by those who did. She had gray hair that curled wherever it wanted to and a raspy voice that only said positive wise things.

Mrs. Green was someone everyone should know.  Come along side of her. She will comfort you, celebrate with you, create adventures for you, and treat you better than anyone ever has.

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.