Now Worzel, Beatrice asked softly, not long after we met. You have not shared much of your childhood story yet… She had eaten a batch of biscuits, was preparing to bake another, so I told her the story of how I was, blessed with Mrs Gibberflat, my stepmother.

There was something green floating in the cup of warm sheep’s milk Mrs Gibberflat set before me, My siblings fled laughing at my facial expression, as I too bolted out the door and ran free. Mrs Gibberflat made her own cod liver oil,hid it in the sheep’s milk and told us to drink it, but she also docked an old fish boat in the yard, that we happily called The Bumtrinket. My desire to roam and ramble, was born in me that summer, in the decrepit farmhouse we called home.

Where the nasty blackberry leaves hid the large hole neath the eaves, and in the front yard where the grass was never mowed.Rusting tractors and a logging truck decomposed. And on the yard’s other side as if left there by the tide where only the years could sink it… my siblings and I would play sail the stormy seas all day, on the old boat we called The Bumtrinket.

Through the faded paint of green could be seen her real name-DARLENE . Parts of her deck and rigging had been chopped off for the stove. We would climb up there, pirates foul and fair, as round the world on Bumtrinket we would rove.

Legend had it she began her sea life long ago in Finland, and was sailed out west after the big war. For years she fished the cod and herring from Sointula to Cape Fairing, Bumtrinket chugging home always safely with her yieldld, to end her day in the deep grass, by the open sewer in our field.

Mrs Gibberflat raised 12 children, never threw anything out except me. She never gave a thought to quit living, she collected wrecked cars, empty Cheez-Whiz jars, she square danced when not glued to the T.V.

Warm sheep’s milk cod liver oil, the books she read us, are the gifts from her that keep on giving. The farm is now a subdivision and I smile at the vision of whomever cleared the debris off that place, for they would find The Bumtrinket, where only the years could sink it.. only the years could sink the old Buntrinket.

Beatrice was elbow deep in ginger-snap batter, after the laughter and tears had been wiped away, and another pot of tea made, her special” Scent of Socks in Spearmint” brew, I told her stories of time spent with Godfrey, and his special love for my hideous Turquoise Chair- stories for a future time …by Worzel.


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