Miss Sarah’s Weave
Miss Sarah, as everybody who knew her called her, was near onto ninety years old. She was a real “Fox” if I ever knew one. She helped me to take care of my mother. When my mother died, she sold her house and moved into mother’s house across the patio from us. She was family, of course, and truly “She Who Must Be Obeyed”. Miss Sarah was from Cajun country back when her mother hid the kids in the woods to escape the KKK. Lord, what a colorful life she had. Moved to California and worked for Kenan Winn. She raised the children of a wealthy Jewish family who considered her to be their real mother until the day she died and beyond. I can still hear her stomping in the back door after sunrise calling out to my husband to get up to help her with that gumbo…all the while banging pots and pans loudly enough to wake the dead. She’d have plans for the day, every day. She cooked at a little family care home until she died…rain or snow. Once she had to walk in the snow for several blocks to get there, but she went trudging down the slippery street in her rubber boots with her coat tail swinging behind. Nobody had the nerve to try to stop her so we watched as she turned the corner on her way to work. Her car and ours were snowed in. She didn’t have much hair left, but she liked hair so she alternately had weaves and wore wigs. She was a dresser too. She invited my husband and me to a church banquet once. Her main concern was, as she said, whether I had anything “shiny” enough to wear! I happened to own a shiny bejeweled jacket, thank God. My husband left his job thirty years earlier to start his own business, grew a beard, took off his tie and his watch and refused to go anywhere that required a dress code higher than a pair of jeans and boots. Even he couldn’t refuse her. So…off we went. I was both amused and furious when we arrived at the banquet. Everyone was seated. She had deliberately arranged for us to be fashionably late so she could lead us down the length of the room like royalty. She strutting in her high heels with her back as straight as an arrow with us trailing behind. I tried my best to look as regal as she. I could have strangled her. Ah, how I miss her sometimes still.