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’ in big black letters on an old parchment like background. The bottom half of the sign added this explaination: “Wanted: LiveIn companion, lovely home and beautiful garden with senior citizen still active in the community. Must enjoy ‘Red Hat’ clubs, go to church on Sunday and leave toilet seat down after using. Apply at front door. ” With a foot in two different worlds, Mabina found herself on the stoop as she raised the doorknocker of the Tudor's front door. Mabina had her glamour in place. No sense frightening the poor woman by letting her see the wings. “Hello, I’m inquiring about your sign on the mail post.” Mabina gave her most glamorous smile to the nice looking white haired woman. “Let me introduce myself, I am Mabina Murphy I live over on Elm Street.” The white haired woman smiled and said, “Come in so we can chat, I’m Ruth Heaton and I just moved to Mt. Hood from Anderson, Indiana. Are you interested in the position?” “Oh, no not me, but I can explain that too.” Mabina cautioned herself against using any magic at this point. “You see Ruth; may I call you Ruth dear?” Ruth nodded her head as they took seats in a large family room with deep leather chairs and couches. “I lived in Ireland all my life until a dozen years ago; therefore, I still have friends who wish to wish to come or already have come to Oregon. I have a friend Juni who has been staying at my home for two weeks now.” “I see,” said Ruth, rising and asking Mabina if she would like tea.
“Thank you, I would like a nice cup of hot tea” replied Mabina. Ruth left the room without asking what kind of tea Mabina wanted. Mabina thought Ruth seemed a little sad and was wobbly on her feet. Ruth returned quickly, saying that she always kept a kettle of water on the burner. “Milk or sweetener?” she asked. “Thank you for offering, but I like to smell and taste my tea as it was made. The thought just occurred to me, are you related to Hank Heaton?” Ruth’s eyebrows shot up and a pleasant look of surprise transformed her face from socially polite to interested. “Why, yes he is my great grandson!” Ruth answered. It turned out that Hank delivered the Mt. Hood paper to Miss Murphy once a week. With that simple connection, the get together went swimmingly from there. Mabina promised to return the next day with Juni, the new immigrant from Ireland. Mabina hopped into her ‘Mini Moke”, which she had imported from Ireland twelve years ago. Here in the US of A, Mini Mokes are a strange thing; however, over in the UK they are quite common. You understand that the old Mini Coopers rebodied with a safari shell like in Jamaica. You can always tell an original Mini due to its ten-inch wheels. Mabina whispers ‘home Morris’ and the Mini by the name of Morris drivers itself back to the Witchy House. Another import from Ireland thought Mabina as she drove home. She thought back to three days ago when she first saw the ‘Help Wanted!’ sign for the first time in front of Ruth’s home. …………………………………………………………………… Huffing, puffing and dabbing at a bit of perspiration on the forehead, Mabina glanced down at her cross-trainers Nu-Balance: a good label for a new outlook on life. After all, it was one of Mabina’s New Year’s resolutions to get fit, so 10,000 steps a day registered on her pedometer four days a week. Just then a bushy tailed squirrel bounded across the quiet street, stopping by the mailbox. Spotting the ‘Help Wanted!’ sign, Mabina took out a small spiral notebook and wrote down the description from the sign. The house was a stately old English Tudor on a large lot with many trees and a well-manicured lawn. ……………………………………………………………………
Back at her own home Mabina turned on her laptop and jumped onto the web at Spider Crawler, her trusty search engine. “Let me see what a Red Hat Lady is,” thought Mabina. “Ah, here it is,” said Mabina talking to herself. ‘Red Hat Society: an organization of women who meet for tea wearing red hats and purple dresses. Most members are over fifty-five years of age.’ “There must be more to Red Hat Society than this,” so she dug deeper. ‘In 1997, Sue Ellen Cooper gave a friend a 55th birthday gift consisting of a red fedora purchased a year earlier at a thrift store along with a copy of Jenny Joseph's poem
The opening lines of the poem read:
“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit me.”
Cooper repeated the gift on request several times, and eventually several of the women bought purple outfits and held a tea party. The society was just for fun. Women over 50 called themselves ‘Red Hatters’ and the person starting the group was called the ‘Queen’. Mabina clapped her hands together; this is too good to be true she thought. 'Ok, let's see who is in the Yew and who is on the way.' Mabina flipped through the personal files on her laptop. "Now this would be an interesting match for our 'Help Wanted' friend," Mabina muttered aloud. The page revealed this info:
She wears purple juniper colors. She has icy blue butterfly wings. Former residence: Sliabh na Caillí, the hag's mountain, Loughcrew in County Math, Ireland. Occupation: Tuatha Dé Danann designated Faery Hag. Social Interests: Regular sitter upon “The Hag’s Chair”, annual pilgrimage to Hill of Tara, Winter Solstice participant and the Loughcrew Equinox four times a year.
Evaluation: Juni’s eight hundred years of service to Tuatha Dé Danann ("peoples of the goddess Danu, they were the fae or faery") has had many high points and a few low points. She has been faithful in all her duties, first one there, last one to leave type of gal. Loves to party and socialize, but does get a bit bean-sidhe (banshees of the faeries) but she could not be called a keener at her times of upset. Mabina printed out a copy of Juni’s background file; she had come through the Pacific yew in the back yard last month. Retirement hits faeries in different ways. After a life on the Emerald Isle, to be retired to the Pacific Northwest, even with a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, is a shock. You see, Mabina is a placement agent for the Tuatha Dé Danann, the most ancient and honored fae of Ireland. She runs a front business of Faery figures on the Internet and mails out her orders every Wednesday. People think they are getting an eight-inch high life-like doll made from balsa wood and other materials. In truth, each fae is alive and in a freeze pose until the right time to enter the world of the host. Sometimes the duty is hazardous when you end up in the hands of a child. The label in the packing clearly states, “DO NOT PULL THE WINGS OFF.’ That is at the top of the offense list. The abuse squad helps to bring bad dreams to the child until he or she sees the error of his ways. Nevertheless, other assignments come up as well. Here is a short list: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. House faery Garden faery (good contracts with the Gnomes) Woods faery Water faery Blessings fae corps (good faeries with hearts for Jesu) o Faery God Mother o Tooth Faery o Wish upon a Star Faery o Santa Faery (temp service to overworked Elves) o Guardian Angel Faery (imaginary friend for lonely children) 6. F.A.R.T. work group faeries. (Fae-Alliance-of-Retired-Tuatha Dé Danann). These gentle people (yes, there are men fae) are the ambassadors to the USA humans.
Mabina is the oldest FART in Mt. Hood; she kept a nice home and was sociable with the town folk. Now she needed to join a Red Hat group and meet the Help Wanted sign lady. Of course, she could just cast a spell on the old gal in the Tudor house, but that was against the by-laws of FART. Therefore, Mabina went shopping for a red hat, purple dress and red shoes. She did not want Juni to be alone at her first Red Hat tea. Thus ends the first chapter "Help Wanted!” the tale about these old FARTs.
The Red Hat Ladies at Villa Montalvo
By permission of http://celioarts.blogspot.com/
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