An envisioning . . . 1920, a summer evening with everything in a dusk falling glow in the house in Whitefish.

Oh to be here.

A Montana summer and all that goes with it. Mornings in the garden with the flowers. Afternoons playing cribbage and hearts with the grandchildren but the evenings not. In the little house at the other end of the back yard, they are. Still playing freeze tag but tucked into bed soon so the grownups can have dinner.

Cocktails on the porch and watching as the random automobile and wagon go by. Cook banging her gong and dinner and then coffee in the living room.

Quieter than Chicago but the whole point. Not as quiet as Grandmother’s house on one of those islands in Michigan but that long gone. Too many grandchildren and no one wanting to look after it. Hard. Half of them terrified of water and not wanting to be anywhere you had to get in a boat to reach.

But this house with a bigger yard and maids easier to find. But some things the same. Wagon after wagon it had been when grandmother’s house was broken up. Things to everyone who even wanted a summer house and more for those who didn’t. Even the youngest with that tiny apartment in New York wanting one of the bookcases. Half of a special car for the eldest down in Saint Louis and enough for three wagons from the railroad station in Missoula.

Special Fourth of July plates with their special colors to use. Big china mugs for hot chocolate and cambric tea.

Book after book to fill every nook and cranny with enough left over for two trunks in the back garret.

Half an hour before the martinis come around and the last book from the shelf in the inglenook. One of those sweet novels it is from before the War started. Girl from Philadelphia meeting a boy from Richmond. Two chapters and an old photograph for a bookmark from almost before they even had photographs.

Uncle and auntie on their honeymoon, it must be. . .only reason anyone ever went to Niagara Falls . . .funny. . . very happy they were but both looking miserable . . . maybe it’s better to start out sad and turn happy . . . maybe not.

Young man and woman seated on the side of Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York. 1858.
Young man and woman seated on the side of Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York. 1858. via Facebook.

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