Laura Jensen

Every summer Linnea had driven Laura and Elizabeth out to the country to visit Grandma’s Auntie Hanna, where the yard next to the little house was really a field of hay and behind the house was a barn with hay. When they had sat a while in Auntie Hanna’s living room on old chairs, the screen door would creak and slam behind someone. After a moment a big Collie would step into the room.

“Sarge. Here’s Sarge. He wants you girls to go outside with him.

So Laura and Elizabeth would go outside and visit the barn and the hay up the little stairs, they would go next door to visit Pete the donkey and they would peep into the other barn buildings where there were tools and tack.

One summer after their neighbors Marianne and Jeanne moved away, Elizabeth and Laura were invited out to their new house in Spanaway. On the wide back porch of their new house was their cat from before, Scram, and in the living room in the evening Jeanne’s rabbit leaned against the heavy fabric of the side of the couch, and Jeanne picked him up.

During the day Jeanne took Elizabeth and Laura along the alley to the next road where the houses lined the lakeshore. A neighbor allowed Jeanne to tie up her boat at their dock, and Jeanne rowed them around the lake and let them row.

At grandma’s house the old dog lay upon the old sewing machine near the window.

But the years went by and grandma had to hear about them buying a new Chevy Biscayne, and about Betty taking driver training.

Steve Allen

Upstairs, Laura painted in more of the flower colors on the painting. But time had gone by and it was time to stop for now. So she rinsed the brushes in turpentine. When she was done she walked down the staircase, past the piano in the front hall, and out to the large heavy utility sink on the back porch to pour the turpentine from the large coffee can down the drain.

Mom did not say anything.

Saturday evenings they were allowed to stay up and eat popcorn and watch late night tv. Pop was in his room and mom was in her room and Elizabeth and Laura sat in their pajamas and robes and slippers on the chair and on the couch. They could watch Steve Allen until midnight. Outside the studio near the vegetable market, Steve Allen climbed the ladder to a platform above a vat on the medium size black and white screen.

Mom came out into the living room - Time for bed now, it’s late.

Steve Allen is about to jump into a vat of jello.


When they were done watching, they opened the attic door past the piano in the front hall and climbed the staircase to the upstairs room.