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The Carriage Driver³ - Louise

Updated on January 27, 2017

The nurse rolled Louise to the garden window, where she liked to spend an hour in the morning as the sun cascaded through the roses. The facility was quiet at this time of day. At age 97 the world is a quiet place.

Louise’s hand trembled as she lifted it to adjust her eyeglasses. She leaned forward ever so slightly. The sun brought the roses to life. She could see dew drops glistening on yellow petals, and those of shimmering pink and blood red. She could hear the water escaping a leaky, moss covered garden spigot tapping out a rhythm. She sensed the swirl of rose perfume around here. The ambrosia of rose wine touched her lips, and she saw the three angels.

The Angels were enjoying the garden, but as Louise’s eyes restfully closed, they entered the room where she sat. When Louise opened her eyes, she stood free from care.

“Come,” the angel with long straight brunette hair called. She wrapped Louise in a fully pleated skirt that would open wider than a saucer when spun. The second angel lifted one of Louise’s arms and slipped it into a white silk blouse that flowed sensually over her form. Once situated, she buttoned the delicate pearl buttons.

Louise sat down in a chair near her dressing table. The smallest of the three angels began doing her hair as the four chatted. In a very short time, Louise was pampered and polished. As nonchalantly as possible she bent her knees and her elbows and felt no pain. She exercised her eyes, inspecting the grace and form of the angels in her mists. She examined her fingernails and leaned toward the mirror for a close look at her full, luxurious hair. She looked at her painted toenails and paused.

Louise stood up in her bare feet and looked around. She bent to one knee and peeked under the bed. The three angels smiled at each other. The shortest of the three angels had her hands behind her back, holding a shoe box. They watched as Louise looked in the closet and in opened bottom drawers in her search.

Finally, the angel with long brunette hair guided Louise to the bed and had her sit down. The smallest angel came over and handed her the shoe box marked Brown Shoe Company. Louise took the top off, and a little squeal escaped her freshly painted lips.

She lifted an emerald green t-strap, opened toed pair of dancing shoes fit for a ballroom. She bent her leg and slipped on the shoe that was in her hand. An angel took the other shoe and placed in on Louise and buckled them. Of course, they were a perfect fit. They were just as fine a pair of shoes worn by any Cinderella. Feeling jubilant she stood and swirled, showing her long sleek legs.

Griffin was in no hurry. He tended to Nuelle, getting her groomed and polished. The carriage was impeccable, and the leather shined. Griffin even dug out the silver studded reins. He put on his best coat and newest hat.

Back at the home, Louise was ready. Escorted by her three angels, she stopped at the garden window. There was a gentle smile on the face of the women in the chair by the window. Her hands were folded peacefully in her lap, and there seemed to be a bit of mischief in her look.

The four turned towards the door and walked through. At the curb, Griffin waited by the steps of the carriage. Nuelle stood tall as royalty approached. When they arrived, Griffin held out his hand, and Louise took it and stepped inside followed by her angels.

The four girls got cozy, hip to hip, across the seat. “Comfortable?” Griffin asked.

All the angels smiled.

Griffin checked his book. “It says here, that you loved to dance and that your prayers have been to spend some time again in a great dance hall.”

The girls giggled with delight at the smile that produced.

“Will my prayers be answered?” Louise seemed to know the answer. She always knew.

“We are on our way now. Each of us is here to see that your prayers are met and the transition is free from worry.”

Griffin took his seat and gave Nuelle her rein. Nuelle knew the way, so there was little for Griffin to do while they traveled the universe; through a galaxy of glittering stars the carriage glided providing an unparalleled panoramic view. Before they were half way there, Louise could hear inviting music making her foot tap against the carpeted carriage floor.

They arrived at the building with marble pillars and geometric tile patterns decorating the outer walls. There were young men and woman by the fountains sipping on the nectar of the gods. From the doorway on this side of the building music escaped into the warm night air.

Griffin climbed down and extended his hand to Louise. She climbed down. She was followed by the three angels. Griffin reached into his pocket and produced an apple. He cut it into four pieces and shared two with Nuelle and ate the other two.

“Come on,” the tiny angel called after Griffin.

“I’ll get Nuelle taken care of then I’ll meet you inside.”

The four disappeared into the great hall.

Louise’s eyes swelled as she heard the music of Glen Miller coming from another room off to her right. To her left, Tommy Dorsey and his band were playing to a crowded dance floor. A poster that lets people know that Artie Shaw would perform at eleven hung on the wall near the concession.

A man dressed in slacks and white shirt approached. His shoes were broken in but polished, his tie broad and colorful, his hands clean and warm, his smile inviting and bright. He put his hand out and led Louise to the dance floor.

In a blink, the music reached inside her and twirled her. Her heart beat with the joy of youth and her legs had the strength of a Viking. Her partner twisted her this way and that. She felt like part of the composition of the music as lightening moved her feet.

The music stopped, and all took a deep breath. Her partner thanked her and moved off, the crowd moved away from the dance floor in different directions. Some left for another hall; some went and picked up a cup of refreshment.

Louise looked around. She saw the three angels that escorted her, gathered around the Carriage Driver. They were having a cup of punch. Two girls and a guy standing near her said hello and welcomed her. “We watched you dance, you were great.”


A voice behind her said, “I hear you like to dance?”

She turned and looked at the tall, handsome man. “I waited so long.” She ran her fingers through his long wavy brown hair. She gazed into the shimmering pools of his eyes. She felt the lean, strong muscles in his arms.

Someone was talking in the background. It was Count Basie. He and his band began to play. The young man led Louise to the dance floor. He twirled her around and around. Her shirt lifted high exposing her young, lean, limber legs. And the band played on.

Griffin enjoyed the company of angels in the great concert hall at the end of the universe, content in the fact that he had chosen his true vocation in his hereafter.

Source

In the Mood, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra

Count Basie - The Atomic Mr. Basie - 1957 (FULL ALBUM)

Dedicated to

Aunt Louise

© 2017 mckbirdbks

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    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh, I know your Aunt Louise is smiling BIG time. What a wonderful day you gave her! Your mystical writing is shinning more beautifully with each story. This has to be another favorite of mine. The thought of being old and living in a nursing home is so sad. All the great bands of yesteryear and her young love dancing with her made the story complete. I loved it! Now back up to listen to the music...

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      You've put a smile on my face with this one, Mike. The story is so dear to my heart and you've added such a sensation of jubilance and pleasure. I can just imagine the swinging skirts and the high heeled shoes. Thank you for this lovely, thoughtful tale. Smiling now as I listen to Glenn Miller and his Band.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby, Thank you for stopping by to comment on this weeks TCD story. I do think that many of those here on earth that dream of a beautiful life, are given the opportunity to experience the fullest possible version of their wishes. Who would not want to dance all night in the company of free spirits?

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg. Thanks for letting me borrow the inspiration for this story. Aunt Louise and your Mom have lived full and rich lives. A big part of that is you to look out for them as needed.

      Traveling the world and dancing in various contests must have been very exciting for your Aunt and her sister.

      Glad this made you smile.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Your Aunt Louise would have loved this for sure, Mike. Great job.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Thanks John. aunt Louise, feels like my aunt when news is shared about her from our Peg Cole, right here on HP.

      I am kind of envious about that motor home of yours. I have a cousin who talked about a motor home for 20 years 'when he retired' He is now retired, yet no motor home.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Mike, I must give credit for the motorhome to my wife. It is something we have often talked about but it was only through her persistence that we actually bought one. Tell your cousin to "just do it!"

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      What a special and enriching story ... thanks to dear Peg, we get to share in knowing and loving Aunt Louise as well.

      Wonderful photograph - love that Big Band sound, listening now.

      Happy Friday, Mike. Hugs, mar

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Thanks John, I will do that. Wishing you many fun miles in your van. Here is to new adventures.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar. Peg's loving care of her Mom and Aunt Louise is the inspiration for this story. So many stories are theirs for the telling sharing close to a century of living and traveling the world.

      I have always told people to get their stories written down or recorded.

      Happy Friday to you also, hugs, Mike

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 months ago from Shelton

      I find you mckbirdbks and your writing intelligent and I missed it especially the Carriage Driver

    • mckbirdbks profile image
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      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Thanks Frank - I saw when you announced a break from HP, and hoped you would return or at least continue to write. Your work draws so many readers.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is impossible to read one of your stories and not smile...that is the sign of a talented writer, my friend.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Thanks Bill. This series does have its loyal readers.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "The facility was quiet at this time of day. At age 97 the world is a quiet place." These are the sentences I so love...brief and unassuming, but hold so much depth in meaning, with a thousand words, unsaid. Aunt Louise is smiling, as are we, in that mystical knowing and sharing of the miracles of the heart that live on, and on. Glen Miller is wonderful. My Dad used to love him and would often play his music. Thank you, Mike. :-)

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna – From time to time I wonder if anything I write is any good at all. When I receive a comment like yours today, that makes me feel like a writer.

    • snakeslane profile image

      snakeslane 2 months ago from Canada

      Dear mckbbks, Re: that last comment you made about being a writer. Is there any doubt? Please forgive my long absence, it would take a lengthy explanation, but be assured I am a loyal reader.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello snakeslane - It is so good to know that you are around and active. I appreciate your kind words. Any doubts about writing? - you bet

      Thank you.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 months ago from South Africa

      Those are my kind of shoes! And I love Glen Miller and the Big Band music of the 50s.

      I saw myself in this story, as I loved to dance whenever I got the opportunity. Sadly, I am no longer fit enough to dance more than one dance at a time. Way back in the past I could dance a night away.

      This beautiful story has given me a fright. By now I am as fond of Peg's Mother and Aunt Louise as if they are part of my family. As far as I know Aunt Louise was not well in December. I haven't seen any notification of her passing, so, I honestly hope she is fine and that this story is only a glimpse into the future.

      Thank you for another heart-warming story, Mck!

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie - Yes, we were all young and fit to dance in our youth. To relieve your worry, Peg just gave me a thread of an idea for a hub. Aunt Louise is going strong as far as I know. I wove the ideas that Peg gave me into a story for this series that has out lasted my imagination.

      Peg gives us an example of her courage and fortitude in taking care of her family.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      When I share the kindness of the online friends who feel a bond to my auntie, tears well up in her eyes. She is amazed at the outpouring of thoughtfulness and the sense of kinship that people express. It truly gets lonely when you reach that age as most of your friends are long gone or unable to keep in touch. I am blessed to have friends like Mike and so many others, Maria, Martie, Genna, Ruby, John, James, Bill, "V, plus those unnamed who cherish the lives of these folks.

      Louise recently had a couple of bouts with pneumonia. The "experts" put her through a series of x-rays with Barium to see if she is aspirating food into her lungs, and she is. They wanted to put her on pureed food and thickened liquids. She opted not to do so. I'm hopeful that she can continue to enjoy some of the few pleasures left including eating whatever she likes at this point. They have warned me of the consequences.

      Thank you, each of you, for the kindness in your thoughts and words. For now, she remains hopeful of reaching her 97th birthday in April and takes one day at a time. Love and Smiles.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg. This is an amazing online community. Wishing Louise all the very best.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 months ago from Central Florida

      Mike, I love this story. I'm sure this is exactly what Peg's Aunt Louise would have wished for. In fact, she's probably still dancing and enjoying the ability to kick up her heels anytime the music strikes her!

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