Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rose Ross brings my baby brother home from the hospital

I remember watching our neighbour, Rose, carry my brother in to the farm house. The snow was deep and drifted; the only things that were not white were a few fence posts that protruded above the silent sea of unremitting white.

The door opened and Rose stepped from the car into the fresh-fallen snow, decisively planting her delicate high-heeled boots with their swinging pompoms. They sank in the snow until only her slender legs were visible.

The driveway had not been cleared, but Rose plunged bravely forward, the bundled baby in her arms. Her slim-waisted coat was bottle green, with the wide fur collar that was fashionable then. An elegant winter hat was perched on her soft brown curls.

As she approached, I saw that she was smiling. Though her husband Clayton drank as heavily as Dad and the other war vet farmers in the area, Rose seemed to view their excesses with a humorous forbearance I couldn't help but admire. But I must have noticed that much later.

At the time of this memory, I was only two. I don't recall what my new brother looked like. I have no idea whether my mother got out of the car before or after her kind neighbour, or what look Dad had on his face when he came to the door to greet them.

Yet how well I remember the ineffably beautiful Rose.

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