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The Carriage Driver³ - Rosemary

Updated on April 13, 2017

There was a spring in her step. She was Spring in appearance. There was a spring of joy bubbling from her heart. So often those she passed, turned and watched the wake of her, like a majestic ship. An encounter with her was worthy of mention. There was a nostalgic effect seeing her, like seeing a jar of marbles, or a rowing oar hung from hooks on a wall as a reminder of some far off summer afternoon. She was a reminder of your youth.

She arrived like a gift and left as a memory. It was her way. Memories age, as all those that carry them. They touch you; they can be as warm as close friends and as pleasant as shade in Summer.

Rosemary, throughout her life, traveled: she was often pursued, but seldom caught. Spring is thought of mostly as a sign that the earth is beginning to escape from the cold. Rosemary was like Spring, she arrived with a burst of color and promise of warmth. People responded to her, like light glimmering on still water.

Captain Griffin Caffey readied the carriage. The leather was polished and supple from years of care. The wheels were balanced and new varnish applied to the spokes. He took extra time to brush Nuelle. He talked to her throughout the chore. He led her out of the stable and brought out the carriage. No other outfit compared.

He arrived at his destination just after dusk. The lanterns on the carriage provided all the light that was necessary. He watched as Rosemary approached; in these moments he felt so much joy. He stepped down as she approached and waited.

Her smile casts more light than the carriage lanterns. Nuelle, no stranger to the cold, was instantly elevated. Griffin held out his hand, the touch of Rosemary’s hand sent a surge of youthful wellbeing through him.

Rosemary stepped into the carriage and sat down. Griffin took off his jacket and stored it under his seat. He gave Nuelle her rein.

“Do you know where you want to go?” Griffin thought of so many places he thought might suit her.

“On one of my passing through this plane, I had the privilege of meeting many of the most creative people. It was far away, and long ago. I think of those days often. There was such a sense that all that life had to offer, could be obtained.” She paused, “I am not talking about monetary things you have to understand. No one had any money. What we had and so liberally shared is the adventure of life. That elusive feeling that everywhere you turned, if you needed it, help would be there. No one ever really needed any help, because if something needed to be done, everyone showed up to do it. I think they call it; ‘short work’ – the work needed to be done, and everyone pitched in and did it. Do you know what I mean?”

Griffin paused before responding, “That is not the system I am used to hearing about. Tell me more.”

Rosemary leaned back, smiling, “It was a simple place. Not a lot of gadgets, like we see today. People led simple lives. They talked to each other. There was a fellow who fixed automobiles. He could take a car apart and put it all back together and he did it with a smile. He worked six days a week and kept all the cars in the area running. He was great. There was this gal, who heard about this place and packed everything she owned and drove her bakery truck there hoping to find a place she could call her own. As I recall, she fit right in with the rest of them. Maybe she even made them all better for knowing her. Of course, there was the cook; he liked nothing better than fixing a breakfast fit for a king for all that entered their doorway. If he was not cooking he was sitting on a stool in the kitchen reading the newspaper, waiting for the next customer to come along. And there were some pretty famous customers that stopped in as their journeys crossed paths with our own. We had a gay old time. The evenings brought out the fireflies and the summer breeze. With the work day done, the people gathered and celebrated all that was good and shared any distress that may have come their way.”

“It sounds like an interesting place. Does it have a name? I’ll see if it is on the map.”

That look of someone that just recalled a fond memory came to Rosemary’s face. “I remember it was just off the crossroads. Does that help?”

Nuelle turned her head to look at their fare.

“Can you tell me anything else?”

“I remember a tall strutting cowboy came to town. He changed the history of the place. There was a place for everything before he got there. The mechanic had his eye on the prettiest girl in town. As a matter of fact, the cook had his eye on the prettiest girl in town also. Men are such funny creatures.” She leaned forward, “No offense.”

“None taken.”

“Before you know it, he had the idea of playing movies on the side of the café in the summer evenings. The cook would string the wires for the speakers and many of the people would arrive in their pickup trucks and park with their tailgates down. The projector would start and it was like magic.” She clapped her hands and brought them to her chest with the joy of remembering. “Oh, I don’t remember who had the idea, I think the waitress, oh, what was her name? About once a mouth we all gathered at the café and anyone who wanted to would read a poem or recite something they had written. The cowboy or the mechanic would make sure there was wine to drink or Coke for those that preferred Coke. And the Baker would spend her day making the most delicious pastry for all of us. The waitress would bring out her Mother’s fine China tea cups, her heirlooms, and serve the ‘special tea’ - as one after another we shared what was in our soul with each other for all to see. Seems the cook was always talking about building a little place to call his own. Seems he finally was able to do that. Seems he wanted nothing more than the shade of some Pecan trees near a river, and someone to share it with. Now, the cowboy wanted the world. He wanted to be able to offer the prettiest girl, all that the world had to offer. I am leaving someone out, oh, the gal who ran the boutique, she could sew up a piece of clothing and anyone that tried it on would feel like a Cinderella, no matter what shape she inherited. I think you would have liked her. Everybody there loved her. The waitress held us all together. She had a natural smile and was good through and through. She understood that the men were pursuing her and made them all feel like they were in the race. I guess it is tough being the girl that many men want. You know their egos are so fragile. I know it is a long journey from where we are now, but could you bring me to Emerald Wells, Texas, just off the crossroads. If we hurry we may make it in time for Speakeasy night.”

Source

My Sweet Lady by John Denver

John Denver Like A Sad Song

© 2017 mckbirdbks

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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 11 days ago from Texas

      Mike, this is beautiful, now I have to look-up Mineral Well. It sounds like Hatton, the town Where I lived with my grandparents when I was a little girl, I think I would like it there.

      Blessings my friend

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 11 days ago from Hereford, AZ

      I remember visiting this town a few times. I still miss it, although so much has changed since then. Good to hear about them a little bit.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 11 days ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh Mike,

      What a sentimental story, with the perfect accent of John Denver.

      I miss our days of cheese Danish, the juke box and laughter with the EWC crowd... thinking of our Rosemary and the smiles we shared.

      Thanks for this walk down memory lane. Happy Easter hugs, mar

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 11 days ago from Southern Illinois

      A walk down memory lane. It seems like yesterday when we all gathered at the café, played the jukebox, danced the night away and listened to poetry. Rose's pastry was so good. What about Em, Earl, Carl and Dale the Sheriff? " In my heart I'm from Emerald Wells," what a great line I read from your book. Happy Easter season to you and yours. Thank you for writing a book that I treasure.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 11 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Shy – Near the beginning of my experience with Hubpages, I wrote a series called, ‘Emerald Wells Café.’ It turned into quite a journey and many of the people who stopped by my hubs now, were there at EWC, we drank wine, wrote poetry, and told our stories. I bet it was a lot like Hatton. Thank you for the blessings. Happy Easter.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 11 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Becky – Thank you for remembering your visits. Yes, a good deal has happened over the years since EWC drew us all together. Some good, some not so good. None of that can change the friendships that grew out of the days at the Café. Happy Easter.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 11 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar – Thank you. It is a sentimental story. A few days ago Rosemay, as she was known at the Café, entered my consciousness. The next morning a Facebook, share the memory notice appeared when I signed on. It of course was in regards to Rosemary. Then when I shared it, Peg commented that she had been thinking about Rosemary also. Hence the story. It is out of place in this collection. (The second in a row now.) Thanks for the Easter well wishes.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 11 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby – Yes, a nice little stroll down memory lane. I may have to dig out a copy and read the thing again myself. Haha. There was a certain aire about the place that made those that stopped by for coffee and breakfast build bonds with each other. The jukebox is always ready, as is the glass domed pastry dish, always filled with Rose’s pastry. This does not fit with the rest of The Carriage Driver stories, but I thought it was fitting. Happy Easter.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 11 days ago from Southern Illinois

      Mike, did Rosemary pass away? I remember her so well. Since I'm not on Facebook anymore I miss a lot of news.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 11 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - I do not know that. The last news came from Facebook. She was battling an illness. That was back in September 2016. No news since, she just came to mind, and I wrote about it.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 10 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      The days of the Emerald Wells Cafe and our gatherings there are so well captured in this story of Rosemary's memories. You did a great job on the writing prompt. The lady glows with the happiness of spring and Nuelle is as beautiful as ever. True, much has happened in our lives since the EWC. It's always wonderful to see those from the old gang gather here for Speakeasy night along with your new fans.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 10 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg - Those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end. The group from EWC is very special. I am glad you are part of the experience. Happy Easter to you and yours. Say hi to the girls for me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 10 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I was just talking to my childhood friend about memories of the 50's in Tacoma...how simple life was...how sweet it was...anyway, that's what this beautiful story reminded me of.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 10 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - Thanks for the visit. I wonder if the times were simpler because we were children. Did the adults think things were simple and cozy. This was a walk down memory lane for me.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 days ago from North America

      I absolutely wish we had something even close to Emerald Wells Cafe in my city! Peace and wellness to Rosemary during this Holy Week.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 10 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty - Yes, Emerald Wells Cafe in a location near all of us would be very welcome. Happy Easter to you and yours.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 10 days ago from South Africa

      So strange! Rosemay (Rosemary) entered my thoughts about half-an-hour ago, before I saw this post of yours. I even visited her FB page to see if she's still there.

      "People responded to her, like light glimmering on still water." Beautiful metaphor, and so true.

      I miss those delicious breakfasts in EWC, and the people :) Fortunately, I have the book.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 10 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie - Strange how she is visiting each one of us. Perhaps she has been busy, thinking of her friends. Happy Birthday. Happy Easter.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 9 days ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Mike. This is simply gorgeous writing. We all miss the Cafe...it will long be cherished. Happy Easter. :-)

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 9 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna - Happy Easter. Thank you for your kind comment. There is no way I can express, how Emerald Wells Cafe impacted me. I am ever thankful to the Emerald Wells Cafe family.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 days ago from Riga, Latvia

      Just lovely and a delight to read. Thank you for making my day brighter.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 6 days ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Gypsy - Thank you. The two years of Emerald Wells Cafe, was something magical. Rosemay (as she introduced herself) was a big part of the journey.

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