“One Day We’ll Build a House” says my Clara and I.
We are sitting at our big table, drinking pomegranate tea out of antique cups; the kind your grandmother would use. Two sisters. Slurpling tea rather un-daintily.
“One day, I want to live in Maine,” she says, thoughtfully, while dipping her paper-thin wafer into her tea. One end of it breaks off and floats away. She mutters frustration and digs it out with her pinky finger.
I squint at her. The sun from the window is burning into my eyes, and casting glowing halos around her head. My Clara is rather angelic-like in its glow.
“I want to live in Maine too!” I say emphatically. “When we are old maids, we could live in an old brick house in Maine together. We could live by the ocean, smell the salty sea breeze, grow a garden and be super nice spinster sisters; the ones that generously give out smiles and gingersnap cookies.”
“….and we could read books by the fireplace each night,” she finishes, excitedly. She is holding the other half of the wafer in her finger, poising it high, as though she has forgotten it’s even there.
I admire the dainty crumbling nature of the wafer she is holding and stop to sip my tea. It has become lukewarm but it still tastes of pomegranate. Lukewarm pomegranate. Even that is worth something in this, our frosty Minnesota weather.
“We don’t like cats, so we definitely won’t be old cat ladies. Instead, we could have a chicken or two. Or maybe an old horse who does nothing but eat daisies and rotten apples.”
“I will have a frog,” I say. “I will name him Sir William MacPherson, III, and he will be exceedingly wonderful.”
My Clara laughs. Her wafer crumbles and scatters dustings of crumbs all over the brown table. She scowls, then looks up.
“I will have a Pomeranian puppy, she says happily. “They are so small and fluffy and some of them fit into your hand.”
“But we can’t just sit around with our pets,” I say. “I mean, we have to DO something with our lives, even in our old age.”
What should we do?
We both stare off into the distance; tea and wafers all forgotten as we dream about the grand house we will build (hopefully one with a yellow door, because those are the best), of the cookies we will bake, the neighbors we will meet, the daisies we will pick and most of all, for the things we will DO in our old age. Things we’re not even quite sure of yet.
I can’t wait to build our house.