Getting ready for the day was always Minnie’s favorite part of any outing. As a force of habit she would choose the proper outfit for the occasion, decide the colors to fit the mood, lay out her jewelry, stockings, lingerie, and shoes the night before. Minnie carefully undressed and happily walked about the bedroom in the nude. How delicious the cool morning air felt on her skin. Poor Charlie was not so much a fan of the cold and decided instead to scuttle out of the room to find his warm bed by the bookcase in the hallway. There he dug himself into the little blanket and made sure the only thing showing was the end of his long poochie snout.
Ah…the feeling of being young again. In her mind’s eye Minnie was still young and vibrant and all firm flesh and rounded hips and breasts. Still, she knew that the image on the other side of the mirror would betray her and show the truth but Minnie never cared. This body has seen and felt so much life. As she gazed into the full length mirror hanging over the back of the door Minnie smoothed her gray hair and smiled. There are the stretch marks that announced the beginning of a new life growing inside her. My goodness that Brian was a huge child. You would have thought I was going to birth a baby walrus for the size of that boy. All nine pounds of him came out with fists in the air and a defiant firmness in his lips. And my son never changed his ways from that first introduction into the world. Frank Jr. was the easiest. Just like his father, Frank Jr. didn’t make a fuss; just passed into the world with eyes wide open, very quiet and sure of himself with an expression of an old man that seemed to know Minnie the moment he laid his eyes on her waiting face. Johnny and Arthur both wanted to snuggle and cuddle up to Minnie and suckle the most milk possible. Minnie always laughed to hear Johnny’s sucking noises and then watch him lay back his head on her arm and make puppy noises because he was so happy. How she loved her boys. Each one in his own way loved her back; always protective of their Mom.
Minnie, are you going to wear my favorite dress tonight?
Which one Frank?
You know, the white one with red dots on it. I love that dress on you Minnie. It shows off your figure and makes me a proud man to know you.
Frank Poppe you behave! – Of course, Minnie had already put the dress out to wear because this was Frank’s favorite dress and Minnie knew this. How his eyes would spark when she wore that dress. -Perhaps this is why we now have four boys.
Yes, that may be, and it was fun making them too. Why I believe I could go for four more Mrs. Poppe.
Frank! Minnie blushed and laughed as Frank came up behind Minnie and held her tightly around her waist; kissing her warmly on her left shoulder. Standing together quietly with Frank’s head leaning on her shoulder and standing behind her Minnie asked:
What jewelry would you like to see on me tonight?
Ah…I have a surprise for you.
With that Minnie spun around and pushed Frank away with a joyous laugh filled scream began to clap her hands and said smiling, A surprise?! For me?! Where? Where? Oh boy! What is it Frank?
Minnie never stopped behaving like a little girl at Christmas no matter how many times Frank would surprise her with trinkets. Although they were not often, Frank tried the best he could to make life fun for Minnie by giving her little presents here and there. A crystal blue bracelet from Chase’s, a rhinestone broach in the shape of a rose for her Sunday coat, and today was the most special of all: a pearl necklace. Not just any pearl necklace but a real one. Frank had a heck of a time secretly putting money aside each week for a year to pay for it but he knew that Minnie had always wanted one and could not wait to see the look on her face.
Turn around. Close your eyes. Close them Minnie. I can see you looking. – Minnie could not stop herself from giggling and wiggling for the excitement of what could possibly be her new present. Gently from his pants pocket Frank pulled out the pearl necklace and from behind he began to work the necklace onto Minnie’s neck. Instantly Minnie felt the cool pearls on her skin and grabbed Frank’s hand and stopped him to turn around. Her eyes filled with tears. She knew they were real. Knew the sacrifice they meant. Knew how hard Frank had to work to save up for that necklace.
Frank this is too much. We can’t afford this. We can’t.
Minnie Poppe I love you too much for you to say no to my love trinket. Now, please put this on so your husband can see how beautiful you are, he whispered into her ear and kissed her gently on the neck. With tears of joy streaming down her face she quietly clasped the necklace and adjusted it to lay about her neck. Without a word she kissed her beautiful Frank and there they stood in a warm embrace neither one moving; just breathing together; arms tangled about each other.
Minnie turned from the mirror and went to the bathroom to take a nice hot shower. Charlie liked to come to see her then because the steam filled the room and he liked to poke his nose through the shower curtain to see what Minnie might be doing in there all wet. Climbing out very slowly Minnie dried off and then covered her body with talcum powder. She smoothed her hair into a smart chignon and carefully made up her face always remembering to play up her mouth with a warm red lipstick. It was funny to Minnie to see that her mouth had not seemed to age like the rest of her body. Everywhere else she was wrinkled. Not so her mouth. Still full and round like her younger more saucy days. She had to wear red lipstick she told herself because it matched her red patent leather pocketbook. Perfect. Now to put on her pearls and then to dress. Minnie liked to do things her own way. She found something alluring and rather dangerous about preparing one’s face and hair in the nude and putting on one’s jewelry before dressing. Maybe this is why we had four sons….hhmmm…
Charlie let’s get in the car. With that he ran down stairs and bounded out the door for the car in the driveway to see Dr. McGrath. She was the best vet in all of Mount Dora and well worth the drive into town to see her. And besides, Charlie loved her. Driving down main street through the town was an easy drive today. Not that many people here during the week. It was on the weekends that people came from all over to see lovely Mount Dora. My how the town had grown from the small community Minnie had known. But something about its’ charm seemed to enchant people who came to see her Lake and walk along it’s downtown shops and restaurants. Minnie turned the corner to Grant Street to find parking near Dr. McGrath’s office. Parking the car, Minnie opened the passenger door to let Charlie out and the two walked together into the vet to see the doc and decide what to do about his skin itchys.
Hello Mrs. Poppe. How are and Charlie doing today?
We’re just fine, thank you Elena. Just an itchy issue with Charlie.
Alright. Here’s a treat Charlie. I’ll let the Doctor know you’re here.
Thanks. Minnie and Charlie sat for a moment and waited for Dr. McGrath to appear.
Hi Charlie. Hi Minnie. How are you? I’m so glad to see you both. Come on in here.
Minnie followed behind Dr. McGrath into the examining room and suddenly Charlie remembered this place and began to shake and try to hide behind Minnie.
Now don’t be silly Charlie. You know Dr. McGrath. Come on then. Let’s get up on the table.
Placing him on the metal table Charlie decided nobody would see him if he hid his muzzle under Minnie’s arm.
It won’t work darling Charlie but if that helps you that’s fine with me. Now let’s see…yes. It looks like allergies. See how flaky his skin is under the fur? It looks like dandruff. See?
Minnie thought she would be sick at the sight of dry flaky skin but she soldiered on only to seem brave in front of Charlie.
I need you to bathe Charlie with this oatmeal shampoo once a week and then put this moisturizing spray on everyday until the condition improves.
I think I can do that.
Great. Well, everything else seems to be ok. Ears look good. Weight is just right. Teeth look good. Great. Alright I will see you in a few weeks if you need to. Otherwise I will say goodbye for now as I have a moody cat in need of my help in the next room. Bye Minnie. Bye Charlie.
Thank you. Bye for now Dr. McGrath. After the visit to the vet Minnie decided to take Charlie for a stroll downtown before heading back to the house.
To be continued…..