Daydreams | Part 1 of 2

by Elouise

I don’t do dreams; I do daydreams. Especially about young men.

It’s summer 1957.  I’m 13 ½ years old, going into 10th grade.  I’m back in the achingly beautiful and romantic mountains of North Carolina.  This time at a historic old inn at the top of a steep hill.  A long porch lined with rocking chairs looks out for miles and miles toward the east.

My family is here for a week at a mission conference.  It’s crowded and lively.  There are lots of missionaries, important-looking adults, and families with children.  The younger children are lucky.  There’s a special day camp just for them while the adults go to Bible studies and prayer meetings.

In the morning we all eat together in the huge dining room at family style tables.  There’s plenty of good food.  We stand to sing grace together, sit down, eat and talk, listen to a devotional and then sing again, praising the Lord in song.  The old rafters echo.

Sister #4 and Me
Sister #4 is about 4 years old.  She sits in a high-chair at the end of our family’s table.  She also wiggles around and dances on her butt in the high-chair when we’re singing and praising the Lord.

A few dour adults at the table next to ours make comments about how unseemly this is.  I think they don’t understand children or music very well, but I keep my semi-adult mouth shut.  I say ‘semi-adult’ because most people assume I’m at least a young adult.

Right now I’m looking at a picture my father took that week of Sister #4 and me.  Here’s what I see:

Sister #4

  • petite and cute
  • short; doesn’t quite reach up to my waist
  • smiling at the camera
  • shiny, naturally curly blond hair
  • puffed-sleeve dress with ruffles on the sleeves
  • white mary janes and light-colored ankle socks

Me

  • tall and ‘well-developed’
  • hair light brown, mid-way to shoulders, neatly combed, lightly curled
  • pleasant-looking, not a little princess
  • no eyeglasses, even though I wear them to read
  • smiling, but not too much
  • rather demure yet pretty sleeveless dress-not too fussy
  • broach on one shoulder, belted waist, bracelet, wrist watch, no necklace
  • white pumps, stockings
  • carrying a good-size woven bucket handbag
  • clasping what looks like a large Bible in my hands

The Daily Routine
Every morning just after breakfast, Sisters #2 and #3 get on a bus and head off for day camp.  I get to babysit Sister #4 during the morning and afternoon.  That’s so my parents are free to attend meetings, visit with friends, do laundry or other things.  Sometimes Mother feels tired and takes a nap while I take care of Sister #4.

Before they leave for the day, one of my parents reminds Sister #4 she’s to obey me as though I were her parent.  I don’t like this.  She rarely obeys me.  Besides, she likes to pester me and get me upset, so this doesn’t help at all.  It means that if she doesn’t like what I say or do, she’ll tell on me and I’ll be in trouble!  Most of the time, though, she’s OK.  There are usually other people around which seems to help a bit.

When I’m taking care of Sister #4 people sometimes ask about my cute little girl.  I explain that I’m not her mother, I’m her sister.  Then they get all apologetic, and I tell them it’s OK because it happens a lot.  This is not, however, good for my image or my reputation!

Secretly, I’m shocked they would think I have a little girl when I’m not wearing a wedding ring!  I don’t want any eligible young men to think I’m already married.  That’s super important in the evenings when I can just be myself–a single young woman with time on my hands.

My Evening Daydream
I love the evenings.  Everyone gets to attend the big inspirational meeting in the open air tabernacle on the top of the hill.  It’s a large, round, stone structure.  It has a roof, and is open on three sides so we can see the gorgeous view and watch the setting sun.

I also love not being a babysitter in the evenings.  I’m just a semi-adult, single young woman who decides not to sit with a parent or other adults during the evening meetings.

Also, I’m eligible!  I’m 13 ½ years old and looking for love!  In fact, I’ve already spotted him during the day.  When I arrive in the evening he’s seated on the very back row, taking care of all the audio-visual setup for the evening meetings.

When I lay eyes on him,
I go weak and limp inside.

My heart beats faster as my adrenalin kicks in.
Who is this young god?

He turns and smiles at me.
He’s stunningly good-looking, quiet and reserved.
Sometimes he sings solos at the evening meetings.
He even has the voice of a young god.

And would you believe it—
He’s thinking about going to the Bible college
my very first infatuation attended!
He’s a bit older than I am, but not by much.
I can’t wait to get to that Bible college and see him there.

I never sit right beside or in front of him.
I sit on the row just ahead of him.
Nonchalantly.

 With another young woman about my age.
I don’t want to look overeager.

* * *

To be continued….

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 October 2014