Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Couple's Dance

The most romantic couple I have ever known were my Uncle Howard and Aunt Mildred. Howard had been an airplane mechanic in War World II and continued in that field after the war. Aunt Mildred was a homemaker. I never wanted visits to their home to come to an end.

Their home was quintessentially 1940's Americana. Knotty pine walls yellowed with age, oval braided rugs, pipe stand and fringed lamps. High backed couch and step down end tables, walk around fireplace. Starched white Priscillas and Miss America glass pattern. Big open kitchen, bread and butter pickles, homemade biscuits, Uncle Howard at the sink. Every evening after supper he would wash the dishes for Mildred, happily whistling. He said he loved washing dishes because he could really get his nails clean after a day working on airplanes. Aunt Mildred at his side quietly drying and putting away, the light above the sink in the darkening kitchen, just for them. Dishes done, a breakfast spot set for Uncle Howard's early rise, his coffee cup turned upside down on it's saucer, their quiet dance done for the evening.

My last visit to Uncle Howard and Aunt Mildred's house was the same as my first visit as a child. The simple sharing of the routine of the day showed me the type of love I wanted for myself. Aunt Mildred was very ill on that last visit. Uncle Howard slept on the floor by her bedside so as not to disturb her painful sleep. He said to me, "I have never spent a day apart from her. She has given me so much, I am happy just to be near her." Uncle Howard would pass away very shortly after the death of Aunt Mildred. I have always loved to wash dishes. I know this is because of this most romantic couple.


Shari said...

The instant I saw the title of your post, I could visualize that green curvy bottle and the pearl!

Loved this sweet story! Your writing always draws me in - I feel as if I am right there by you in each scene, along with the people you describe so lovingly. Such a treat to visit you here!!

annemarie said...

I remember Prell shampoo also - the old tv commercials showing the pearl slowing sinking to the bottom of the bottle - good memories. I loved this story - I can just picture your aunt and uncle and their beautiful home.

Mrs.Kwitty said...

What a lovely story, and told with such love and sweetness. I am tearing up a little :o}

I have an Aunt and Uncle very similar to that...they never had children and are so close to each other, it's touching to see them and be around them. I loved being invited to spend the weekend with them. Thanks for reminding me!

Smiles, Karen

fullofbliss said...

Once again I had to finish this story through teary blurred vision. I could feel the love and warmth of that home. Beautifully written Elizabeth. Thank you for letting me visit your Aunt and Uncle's home with you, in that sweet memory! Oh, by the way I loved the smell of Prell, as a little girl. We didn't get it very often but I do remember THAT lovely smell.

Pieceful Bits said...

Wow what a coincidence..Prell as a security word. I did not remember the pearl until you told your sweet story and then it reminded me!!
Thanks for playing

Mary said...

Oh Prell I loved that shampoo! I used to pretend it was Scarlett O'hara from gone with the wind.

She'sSewPretty said...

What a wonderful story! My hubby washes dishes for me. I cook. He helps me clean up. I'll have to ask him to whistle next time.'s just so sweet!!!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

What a beautiful love story! I love hearing about your aunt and uncle. Twyla

Tammyca said...

What Tender love. I love your descriptive writing.