Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Dream about Mildred

I had a dream about my Great-Aunt Mildred last night. If this fact alone weren’t a little odd, realize that my Great-Aunt Mildred died in 1923 at the age of 17. True, I never met her, but I do own her copy of Hamlet. I also heard stories about her from her sisters, Mabel (my grandmother) and Dorothy (whom we called Aunt Dorothy even though technically she was my great-aunt). “Stories” is perhaps an exaggeration. Mostly I knew that they believed she had died of some sort of cancer that in 1923 was yet undiagnosable.

In my dream, in addition to owning her copy of Hamlet, I also owned her dresser. It was a fairly tall dresser made of dark wood with the top few drawers being not as deep as the bottom and therefore set back from the others. I start to tell my family the story that Grandma and Aunt Dorothy had told me about the dresser and as I tell it I begin to see the actual events, as is the way of dreams.

Mabel and Dorothy had to take the horse and buggy into town to pick up Mildred at the train station and to pick up the dresser (presumably from the store although that was never specified). When they arrived at the New Buffalo train station, Mildred wasn’t there so they went to get the dresser first. Before they could make it back to the train station, it started to rain. When they did arrive they found Mildred soaking wet and furious with a look on her face that I can only imagine must have been similar to a look Mildred would have actually given them based on the looks I’ve seen on the faces of her sisters and my dad. You know that look. Yeah, that one.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.