An envisioning . . . Winter of 1910 and tea in the finest women’s club in the city of Boston.

Oh to be here

Four in the afternoon and the waitresses laying out the tablecloths at the Chilton Club. Fruitcake and whatever else.

Not as interesting as what they had back in Baltimore when Mother was a girl but what can one do. No work after the war and a need to move north. Odd accents and Irish girls for help instead of auntie’s mammy and her daughters.

Children playing in the park across the street. That the same even if there was more snow.

A husband who made money electrifying places and that a good thing what with everywhere wanting it. So more up to date than gasoliers and all that. Different things to use it for in the houses, though. Motors for punkah fans in Maryland and things that make furnaces get hotter for Yankees.

Children happy in either place. Enough money for a nurse or the other there. School much the same and the ladies just as fascinated by their forefathers.

Hard. A need not to say anything. Just as much as any of them and blood just as blue that went even further back in time. But the war come and gone and not much left.

A husband in trade. Good that Grandmother had died when that shell hit her what with those ideas of hers. But no. Better a husband who can make money instead of a minister husband who has nothing but a free house that belongs to his church.

What’s left from papa’s money after the merchant house collapsed when the cotton went someplace else. Diamonds, rubies and sapphires, and silver as glorious as anything in New York. But the war lost and just the trappings, not the real thing anymore.

A house but not like Grandfather’s house in Annapolis with its three ballrooms. No, just one ballroom and that with only a big enough alcove for a tiny orchestra and not even the best. Third best instead. . . the other something to dream of . . . . .but now for Earl Gray and a scone or two while the children ice skate and the husband dreams over his bourbon in the bar . . . . . .the rest for later and maybe never. . .

Ladies' tea room. South Shore Country Club, Chicago, Illinois. 1910's.
Ladies’ tea room. South Shore Country Club, Chicago, Illinois. 1910’s. Vintage postcard. via

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