This week’s flash narrative is from Hattie’s last diary volume, January 1 – June 2, 1957, written when she was 76 years old, the year before her death. On July 6th of 1957, part of her foot was amputated, probably the result of both diabetes and poor circulation from a poorly healed injury that occurred when she fell down a toilet hole 25 years earlier. For more information regarding Flash Narratives, go here .


Saturday, January 12, 1957: What’s in the Wind

Will isn’t speaking. I wish I could tell him what’s in the wind. He started cleaning the floors and wanted to do the front room, but I have my papers in here and so much writing and income tax report work to do, so I asked him just to get the bad spots, and when I’m finished, we’ll get all the dust and clean nicely.

“I’ll never clean the front room again, then,” is what he said in a huff as he took his broom to the porch. I haven’t heard a word from him since, and that was over two hours ago.

He feels terribly abused these days.

He doesn’t know about the surprise the neighbors plan on him and me for our thirty-ninth wedding anniversary. The only reason Mrs. Abbott and Frankie told me was so that we could get the house ready, but Will doesn’t know, and I aim for him not to know. He thinks some people are coming over for Frankie’s birthday, so he isn’t one bit excited about all of our cooking and baking. This morning I got up at seven to cook an old hen in the pressure cooker, then I scraped the meat off the bones for dressing. Frankie and I made two roaster pans of homemade bread, cubed the sweet potatoes and fried the sausage. Yesterday Frankie made four cherry pies and four pumpkin and one apple and, for me, one plum with Sucaryl.

Yesterday the last of our Christmas orders arrived in the mail. Will and I are very poor gift shoppers, but we got such nice things from others this year, a magazine rack and smoker’s stand, suspenders and handkerchiefs and a bath towel set and, from Abbotts, a dressed duck. Were we ever glad! Next year I’m going to start planning and shopping on the Fourth of July, so that I’m ready.

Will appears and is speaking again. “I finished the kitchen and pantry,” he says, pie crumbs trailing down his chin.

Sucaryl ad

Image credit: SenseiAlan, 1956 Sucaryl Advertisement Readers Digest December 1956, CC BY 2.0