Sunday, March 11, 2018

Good God Woman

The conversation at Dot's was lively. Kathleen shared her mother's reaction when she told her that her wedding gown was coming from a rental shop in Rochester, NY called 'Marilyn's We Rent it All'.

Vivian asked, "You are renting a wedding gown? That is brilliant."

Terse looked at Kathleen, then at Vivian,"Renting a wedding gown? Why do that?"

Della laughed,"To be able to wear a designer gown for almost nothing."

Mike asked, "Why not buy it?"

"Because I have no desire to spend 1,000's of dollars on a dress I only plan to wear once."

Trying to be practical, Bunny suggested,"Well, you can always save it for your daughter."

Kathleen laughed,"Should I be so lucky that my mother's wedding gown be something desirable, much less fit. She is, what, 5'3"? and I'm 5'10"."

Vivian looked at Bunny,"She's got a good point there."

After some other subjects were discussed, Bob asked the group, "Has anyone else met Colleen Cantrell? She's the knock out Hayne's is dating these days."

Parker laughed, "Yeah, I never thought I would have a step-mother, much less one that sexy."

Several had met her, a few had not. Bob told them about Haynes falling head over heels at first site.

Bunny said,"I met her when she came in to rent her house. She is beautiful. And, for some reason, I feel like I have seen her some where."

Parker laughed, "Probably in an issue of Vogue Magazine."

"No, not in a magazine," said Bunny trying to think and failing to realize that Parker wasn't being serious.

As Sam had predicted, after hours of conversation and adult beverages, the group paid their tabs, bid Ike goodbye, and made their way to Ed's. Few could have missed the crew as they walked up the street. Between the laughs and the off-key version of the University of the South's fight song, they were an animated group.

Mercer had invited Iris, Haynes, and Colleen over for dinner. The 4 had gotten in the habit of eating together. Mercer and Haynes loved to cook. Iris and Colleen were happy to clean up after their sumptuous meals. Haynes just watched Colleen in the kitchen, she was almost bewitching. Mercer was thrilled at Iris' progress. She was making her own life in Gallagher - and his life very happy.

When the kitchen was clean and they were in Hayne's large comfortable den in front of a warm fire, Iris asked, to no one in particular, "What is the story on Hollis Sadler?"

Mercer laughed, "Hollis, the coroner?"

"Yes, Dr. Sadler."

Haynes started,"Well, down here, he is what we call a good ol' boy. He goes around in rumpled clothes, boat shoes, and no socks. Don't be deceived. Hollis is the last of the Sadlers, an old family from 'round here."

"And, don't let him fool you. He is one of the brightest folks I know," Mercer added. "He finished the University of Alabama with honors, then got his MD at Duke. When he got bored of practicing medicine, he went to GW, in Georgetown and got a Masters in Anatomic Pathology."

"Well, I'm very impressed. I would like to get to know him. But that is not why I am inquiring." Iris looked over at Colleen. "We think he may be good company for Stella."

"Good God, women!" Haynes laughed.

Mercer shook his head,"When was Madison's funeral, just a week or so ago?"

Iris took another sip of her wine, "I was just thinking and Colleen agrees. But, what would we know, after all, we're only women."

The following morning Cordelia happened to see Colleen at the post office. "Good morning, you are just the one I am looking for."

"Me?" laughed Colleen, surprised.

"Yes, I was going to call you when I got back to the house."

"Well, what can I do for you?"

"Do you have time for some tea, or maybe coffee?"

Colleen hesitated. "Well, I suppose I could take some time. I have a conference call with 2 clients later this morning."

"Oh, I don't want to interrupt your work, but if you have time this morning, let's walk over to the Tea Room."

"That would be nice. Come to think of it I think I skipped my coffee this morning."

The two lady's walked into The Tea Room. Caroline greeted them and seated them at a table for 2. Since 'Miss' Cordelia hadn't told her more would be joining them, Caroline assumed there was no need for Cordelia's larger table.

Grice came over and took their order. Cordelia asked Colleen how she liked it in Gallagher.

"Honestly, I have been able to make more friends here than anywhere else I have lived. Everyone is so friendly."

Grice served them their tea and coffee and asked if they would like something else. Cordelia asked Colleen, who declined. Cordelia thanked Grice and the waitress left the table.

"Oh, that is why I never wanted to leave." Cordelia took a sip of he tea. "And family - family is so important to me."

Colleen took a sip of her coffee and didn't say anything.

"Colleen, Belva and Wells came over for dinner night before last."

Colleen didn't say anything.

"Wells is doing surprisingly well. But then children have such uncluttered minds. Belva is OK but still finding her footing."

Before Colleen could answer, Cordelia reached across the table and put her hand on top of Colleen's. "It's OK. I would never say anything. You are a brave."

"How long have you known?"

"The first time I saw you, I knew there was something familiar about you." Cordelia took a sip of her tea. "Then I noticed the scar on your left arm." She paused, "I was there that night when you were trying to slice that beef roast and the knife slipped and cut your arm. Belva just knew you were going to die." 

Colleen remained quiet.

Cordelia took another sip of her tea. Then she continued. "Other than being concerned about Belva, I totally understand. If you had just been up front with her earlier."

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