I met Rose one day as she was hauling a piece of downed tree out of her driveway. An old woman, with a sweater on over her housecoat, and I stopped to help. She lived on the highway just down from my road and I drove past her house every day on my way to the high school, or the store, and wondered who lived there. She wasn’t particularly talkative, or overly grateful for the help, so I didn’t stop by often. Once to buy a wreath at Christmas from the rack out by the road, once just because she was out in the yard and I wanted a photo, for a painting, of the outbuilding up the hill.
Sunday I stopped by because there were tables in the front yard loaded up with dust collectors and glassware, and piles of old lady sweaters and housecoats. I thought I’d seen an obituary with a familiar name and sure enough, Genevieve, her grandson’s partner, informed me kindly that “Rose is gone, you know”. They are still leaving a bowl of cat food for the fox on the back porch and Genevieve was amused that I knew about that. They thought she had a cat.
I bought four flower plates, a tan lustre-ware vase with a yellow bird and cherry blossoms and a short pickling crock with an ancient, heavy lid for $4.00 total. Good bye Rose, that’s all I know.