Friday, October 5, 2012

Day Five

Thirty-One, A Novel
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
To read in consecutive order, go to

Day Five, Friday

Friday had always been cleaning day. She enjoyed the smell of clean, the feeling of complete. The routine. She had to hold on to some of her old routines or she felt like she would fly all to pieces, a dandelion puff scattered, drifted, disappeared into the wind.

The day was gorgeous. A deep blue sky. White billowy clouds. A soft breeze. She opened the windows in several of the rooms, allowing the fresh, brisk air to flow through. A scent of apple and cinnamon drifted in.  Baked apples. She hadn’t made those in years. That would be an easy  treat to make for herself, one that would fill the empty rooms with warmth and good smells. Topped with some walnuts, too.  This would be a good afternoon to take a walk. Pick up some baking apples while I am out.

At eleven-thirty, she heard the mail truck pull up out front. The brakes squealed as it stopped at each mail box. Morgan swiped the mop over the last stretch of the wood floor in the hall, set it into the bucket. She walked out to the mailbox. The door of the mailbox was propped half open, a package sticking out. She wasn’t expecting a package. The return address was Washington, her friend from years ago. A smile stayed on her face as she walked inside.

Scissors, cut open the box, what could it be? A book, Winter Solstice, by Rosamunde Pilcher.  The letter was written on bright yellow paper, a few flowers sketched in colored pencil among the words. Becky, her friend, wrote of her new house, the antics of her grandchildren, her afternoon work when kids came to her house after school and she kept them busy until their parents picked them up, and the art she was developing. The book, she said, she found at the thrift store, and thought of Morgan. “I read my own copy every year in the late fall. I love Elfrida and her crazy hair and her crazy joi-de-vivre, and her ability to make a home, built with her heart. Read it. You’ll love her, too,” she wrote.

October is close enough to winter. I will start this today, thought Morgan. She put away the mop, dumped the murky water out on the lawn, poured another cup of coffee, and sat outside on the patio. The sun warmed the chair, the breeze and the concrete beneath her feet. For awhile, she sat and watched the few clouds drift across the sky, grateful, remembering, thinking of her friend, of their times together. She sat back and opened the book.

What favorite book would you send to a friend you wanted to encourage?


  1. I'm loving this story, Maureen. Time got away from me yesterday for commenting. But today I must tell you I can see, feel and smell Morgan's cleaning day. Love it. And I plan to find a copy of Winter Soltice as soon as I can!