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I walked into the gallery to escape the rain. I had no interest in art especially modern.

I wandered around sighing in the pretension and paint fumes.

I found a small table covered with photos of landscapes. Some reminded me of my old stomping ground Culpeper, Virginia.

“So, what do you think?”

I looked at her with her thick glasses and glossy, blonde hair.

I couldn’t gage if she was the photographer, so I looked again at the photographs, until one grabbed me.

The large, abandoned spool in the picture drew my eye and reminded me of the smaller spool we used as a table at our pretend tea parties.

We would gather together on your low, wicker stools every summer from my age five to ten.

You in your floral sundress and pink sandals.
Me in my Mom-made jumper and Winnie-the-Pooh, ruffled socks.

You would tell me funny stories without morals or plot.
You would teach me how to verbally spar as you teased a sensitive, don’t talk back me.

I thought you so wise and elegant. You thought me so novel and fresh.

We were a funny pair sitting in your front driveway drinking fake tea from white and purple flowered cups.

You were one of the few adults who didn’t tell me what to do or think.
You were more interested in what I felt about things.
You were one of my greatest teachers about tea, manners, and life.

Thank you, dear one.

“I think it reminds me of my misspent youth.”

I smile without further explanation and offer to buy it.