The Canada Day holiday started quietly.
It began with Chef, our youngest son; he got dressed, ate and rode his bike to work. An hour later, it was Captain and Junior, but they required rides in to work as it was thundering outside by then.
“Well, that ruins the holiday, doesn’t it?” I said later, looking surprised out the bay window, as ten minutes’ worth of swirling water backed up the sewer on the street corner.
“But, the yard and garden need it,” my wife commented trying to lighten the mood, when there came a faint rap at the door followed by a muffled tone — a cross between screaming with a mouth full of water or yelling with a sock stuffed in your mouth!
“Do you hear that, Dear’st?” I asked my wife, whose hearing is so much better than mine.
“Hear what?” she answered, slightly distracted.
[Oh, no, I thought. She wouldn’t. Not in this.] I dashed to the window, again, and looked outside … [Yep, she did!].
I tore open the front door and glaring back at me through the glass was a sopping mess.
“I’ve been out here drowning for over twenty minutes!” the wet woman shrieked, shaking her crumpled brolly (umbrella). “Couldn’t you hear me?”
“I fixed the gate,” I answered, pointing at it. “You didn’t notice?”
“Nostalgia!” MiLady cried, bringing a couple guest towels, “You poor dear! Come with me, and we’ll get you out of those wet things.”
[No, please don’t, I thought. Don’t do that, she’ll never leave!]
In the time it took me to close the door and turn around, both women were gone.
I moved to the kitchen with the blinding speed of a funeral dirge. Turned on the coffee maker and the teapot, put out three place settings on the dining table and like the condemned man, quietly waited for the ill-timed return of my old family friend.
For those not acquainted with Nostalgia, it is easiest to describe her as a combination of seven women. To look at her, she could quickly double for Bo Derek in “10”, except for a flowing mane resembling Farrah Fawcett, Christie Brinkley’s smoldering eyes and legs rivaling Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach) from “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
But it was her temperament that set her apart from any rational woman: she was absolutely confused but purely innocent like Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne) from “Bewitched,” and easily riled like “Maude” (Bea Arthur).
Now imagine a pre-teen version of this vision of loveliness with all the feminine charms and appeal of Peppermint Patty, where every visit was always ill-timed, bringing back memories with the flooding intensity of a tsunami when focused concentration to complete the task at hand was needed.
She has been my greatest muse and worst torment for all these years!
My mind returned to the tranquility of the dining room upon the hearing of faint mutterings.
“That was the year,” MiLady recalled, “when Mr. Fix-It ran out into the street to collect candy thrown by the parade participants and almost got trampled by a horse!”
“Oh, my!” Nostalgia replied, wearing a Team Canada hockey sweater over a pair of dark Levis. “How old was he back then?”
“Three,” my wife answered, grabbing the carafe. “How do you take your coffee?”
“Black,” she happily responded, taking the open chair beside me. “Thank you, Dearie.”