Kay Patterson

Ginger cradled the postcards, a faded green ribbon at her feet. 

Do other grieving daughters clean closets one week after losing their mothers? she mused as she read.

“Dear Grace,” wrote Daddy, all formal and proper in 1905. “I was pleased to make your acquaintance last week on the B & O. May I have the pleasure of calling on you the next time the train stops in town?”

So, this is how they met! Daddy worked on the train and Mama must have been going–somewhere. Picture postcards traced their sweet romance from a serendipitous encounter to their wedding two years later.

Ginger's bridal gown was still at the cleaners and she was wildly excited to be Mrs. Ralph Anderson. Tears washed dust from her cheeks as she discovered that Mama and Daddy had been madly in love, too.

Then, a memory: herself, age 12, at the kitchen sink washing the Sunday china while Mama dried. Daddy and her brothers were in the parlor, feet up, reading magazines on the only day they didn’t work the fields until dark.

She’d gathered her nerve to pose a daring question. “How did you and Daddy meet? He lived in Michigan and you lived in Ohio.”

Mama pursed her lips. Times were modern. Still, no one discussed personal matters in 1921. Ginger turned back to the greasy sink, wanting not to see the irritation she’d caused.

To her surprise, Mama’s voice was soft.  “Someday I’ll tell you the story.”

Finally, she had.

First published: February 2018
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