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For one precious week a year for seven years in a row, the woman timed hanging her laundry out to dry with the crop duster’s arrival.  She never saw his face, but he always dropped a handwritten note for her as he made his last pass for the day.  At times it would flutter down into the raspberry patch, though one time it got caught on the top of the horse barn and she ripped her best stockings climbing up the old ladder to get it.  She didn’t mind, though.  In fact, when she made it to the general store to order another pair, her surreptitious smile almost made the clerk charge her an extra five cents by mistake.
She saved each note for after supper, savoring a glance now and then as it rested on top of her pie safe.  It wasn’t until her plate was washed and the old claw-foot table was clear that she would splash a little whiskey in her lemonade and sit out on the porch swing in the balmy evening air to examine her treasure.   It was there by the steady light of her kerosene lantern that she would unfold cream colored paper from the envelope and study the curves of his S’s, the slant of his T’s.  Sometimes there would be a poem, sometimes a pressed flower or two.  Once, he even included a neatly folded two dollar bill and told her to go find anything by Mississippi John Hurt.  She found a 78 with “Avalon Blues’” on it, and played it at dusk from that night onward.One sultry Sunday afternoon as thunderheads were building along the horizon, she stood in the doorway where the creak meets the screech in the screen door, watching grasshoppers move across the front lawn.   She in turn moved about her property, propping open the gate to the chicken coop, taking her clothes in off the drying line, finally going back inside to pack a fresh rhubarb pie in a green checkered picnic basket along with the old 78 of Avalon Blues and a bundle of letters tied with blue ribbon.  She took the crimson scarf that her mama had given her out of the cracked celluloid box on her vanity and wandered out past the fence line to wait.  She waved waved it against the darkening sky as the crop duster finally flew overhead. The bi-plane kicked up a cloud of dust when it landed on a barren patch of land a half mile away.  She walked out across the cotton fields, and never looked back.   
~by Aimee Stewart~
Avalon Blues: http://youtu.be/klcDgu2f_pQPhoto from the Library of Congress

For one precious week a year for seven years in a row, the woman timed hanging her laundry out to dry with the crop duster’s arrival.  She never saw his face, but he always dropped a handwritten note for her as he made his last pass for the day.  At times it would flutter down into the raspberry patch, though one time it got caught on the top of the horse barn and she ripped her best stockings climbing up the old ladder to get it.  She didn’t mind, though.  In fact, when she made it to the general store to order another pair, her surreptitious smile almost made the clerk charge her an extra five cents by mistake.

She saved each note for after supper, savoring a glance now and then as it rested on top of her pie safe.  It wasn’t until her plate was washed and the old claw-foot table was clear that she would splash a little whiskey in her lemonade and sit out on the porch swing in the balmy evening air to examine her treasure.   It was there by the steady light of her kerosene lantern that she would unfold cream colored paper from the envelope and study the curves of his S’s, the slant of his T’s.  Sometimes there would be a poem, sometimes a pressed flower or two.  Once, he even included a neatly folded two dollar bill and told her to go find anything by Mississippi John Hurt.  She found a 78 with “Avalon Blues’” on it, and played it at dusk from that night onward.

One sultry Sunday afternoon as thunderheads were building along the horizon, she stood in the doorway where the creak meets the screech in the screen door, watching grasshoppers move across the front lawn.   She in turn moved about her property, propping open the gate to the chicken coop, taking her clothes in off the drying line, finally going back inside to pack a fresh rhubarb pie in a green checkered picnic basket along with the old 78 of Avalon Blues and a bundle of letters tied with blue ribbon.  She took the crimson scarf that her mama had given her out of the cracked celluloid box on her vanity and wandered out past the fence line to wait.  She waved waved it against the darkening sky as the crop duster finally flew overhead. The bi-plane kicked up a cloud of dust when it landed on a barren patch of land a half mile away.  She walked out across the cotton fields, and never looked back.   

~by Aimee Stewart~

Avalon Blues: http://youtu.be/klcDgu2f_pQ
Photo from the Library of Congress

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