Tag Archives: elderly

2622.  Rhubarb jam

“It’s definitely food for thought,” declared Ava-Margaret. She had been entertaining a guest at her apartment in the retirement village and they had discussed how late December-early January seemed to be the time the Grim Reaper made an appearance. “It’s funny,” said Ava-Margaret, “we older people don’t seem to have the resilience against illnesses that we used to have in younger years.”

Because Ava-Margaret and her visitor were enjoying a lovely cup of tea didn’t mean that Ava-Margaret was doing nothing. She was busy chopping up rhubarb to make rhubarb jam. “I know I’m early,” said Ava-Margaret, “but I avoid the Christmas rush by preparing a few little gifts well in advance. Little jars of rhubarb jam are just what the doctor ordered.”

“You realize,” said the visitor, “that you are chopping up the rhubarb leaves as well as the stems. The leaves are poisonous.”

“Dear me, so they are!” laughed Ava-Margaret. “I’ll have to be careful as to who I give these little gifts to.”

Jim chortled. “It’s fun to be in on it,” he said.

2033. Trudy knew

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Inese of Making Memories. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, please leave your suggestion in the comments – only one suggestion per person!)

Trudy knew better than to be alone with Mr Hughes. No, he wasn’t one of those. Nor was he one of those.

Trudy and Mr Hughes went way back. She had always called him Mr Hughes, even though they were roughly the same age and had been neighbours for a long time. These days he had retired, as had Trudy, but his cognitive processes were more than slightly on the wane. Trudy leaned towards kindness, but it was disconcerting that in his dotage Mr Hughes was calling on her nearly every day, and sometimes twice a day.

Throughout the years Trudy never knew what Mr Hughes did. She had asked but he would never really say. He tried once to explain that he worked as a “handyman”, but where and how he did so was never properly explained.

Now in his current state Trudy found out; he had been a spy working for the police department. His job was simply to suss out the burglars, and tax avoiders, and bigamists, and so on.  Did Trudy want to know about the Chesterton Family down the road? Possibly not, but she got a blow by blow account nonetheless. And the Browns. And the Archers. And the Cuthbert household. The list and narratives of private information went on and on.

Then things got worse. He had spent some time in the secret service and started to tell Trudy some highly scary political things. Not only did Trudy not want to know, but she was frightened to know. Knowledge of such things can put one in danger. Trudy informed the police.

Some people came and took Mr Hughes away. It was a sad tragedy several days later when Mr Hughes fell off his roof while cleaning the spouting.

“But he wasn’t even home,” observed Trudy.

It wasn’t long before Trudy herself was visited by the same people who had taken Mr Hughes away.