Page 19 - Scene Magazine 45-12 December 2020
P. 19

 “Loved it!” Liddy said toying with her trademark bandana. “But my moth-
er would never have let me out of the house, except to do barn chores, in jeans with such big holes!” Once again, the two launched into conversations of barns and horses, country living, and days gone by. Minutes later, Casey glanced up at the clock and then through the front doors.
“That’s my husband!” she chirped, as a lanky, dark-haired man of perhaps forty, strode across the room to them.
“Jason,” Casey said. “This is Liddy. We’ve been having the best talk while I’ve been waiting for you!”
“I am pleased to meet you Ma’am,” he said, lightly touching Liddy’s arthritic hand.
“Oh how nice to be called Ma’am!” Lydia said with delight. “That’s rare.”
Jason tilted his head slightly and looked from Liddy to his wife and back again. “I feel like I should know you, he said. “You look familiar.”
Casey clapped her hands together. “I said the same thing!”
“Well my goodness,” Lydia said in her happiest voice in a very long time, “What do you make of that? I am your grandma too?”
Jason grinned. “We will have to figure this out another time, because Carsey and I have an appointment in a few min- utes. It was so good to meet you.”
As Casey gathered her belongings, she smiled. “Liddy, we would really like to have you meet our daughter, Chloie, and see where I am going to put my garden. Do you think that is something you would like to do?”
Gazing fondly at the bright-eyed young woman before her, a warm glow drifted
through Lydia she’d not felt in a very long time. Her nephew meant well when he promised to visit, but he rarely came. Other nieces and nephews were always “Just so-o-o busy.”
“I would love that!” she said without hesitation. “And,” she added with a twinkle, “Will you show me your barn? What I miss most of all is being in a barn, near a horse. The smell of a horse and hay and stalls and wood. I miss the light and the love...”
“It’s a deal!” Casey bubbled. “Oh yes. How about if I pick you up around ten
or so Christmas morning? We can go right to the barn and you could help feed Chloie’s horse. You can have Christmas dinner with us. Don’t dress up. Wear barn clothes!”
It was with all the anticipation of a date to the prom that Lydia dressed for her Christmas outing. She pulled on a pair
of jeans, now a bit baggy since she’d recovered from the broken hip. And, over a soft red sweater, the red, black, and blue wool work shirt she had always worn to the barn on cold mornings to feed her own horses. And lastly, the black and white bandana, her trademark good luck charm. She slipped wool-stockinged feet into garden boots, the very pair her neph- ew had discouraged her from keeping. Together they had made decisions – what she would keep, what she would sell or give away, and even things that would be left behind.
“Aunt Lydia, what’s with keeping these clothes and old boots?” he had asked in a voice that suggested she was addled as she set them in the “keep” pile.
“Because I like them. Because they are me. Because they are HOME,” she had replied in a firm voice that allowed no
room for argument. Of course, she had never expected to need them again. But she could not part with them, especially not with the plaid shirt and black bandana.
And then, she pulled from a cedar chest at the foot of her bed, a faded, patched, oversized blue jean jacket with deep pockets. The one that, like the shirt and bandana, she’d had for many, many years. A jacket that had once belonged to her own father. Memories of growing up on a Michigan farm, working beside her father in the century-old barn always comforted her when she wore his jacket.
A pair of gloves, her winter barn cap, and Lydia was ready. She took a seat, right where she had been the day she and Casey had met.
“What in the world...?”
Lydia looked up to see Carl, her neigh- bor from Apartment 201-B peering down at her, a curious look blanketing his face.
“Where in the world are you going, dressed like that?”
Lydia could not have been more pleased to tell him. “I am going to a barn!”
Carl shook his head in disbelief as he shuffled away.
Moments later, Casey danced happily into WindWood, reaching out her arm for Lydia to hold as she escorted her to the car. On the drive, that would be perhaps ten miles or so, the two women again chattered like old friends.
But then, Lydia grew suddenly quiet. “Casey,” she said hesitantly. “I don’t know if I should impose upon you. But would you mind terribly, driving past my old place? I want to see it again. It isn’t far off the highway. I so loved that barn. I want it to be cared for.”

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