Mrs. Oxford woke up with a terrible headache. She was not sure if it was the effects of the experimental medication she was taking or something else. Either way she hoisted herself up showered and went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for lunch. She carried a medium sized travel bag with her. She walked past Jimmy's post and waved at him. He looked up and smiled at Mrs. Oxford.
Mrs. Oxford was greeted by the restaurant hostess and shown to her seat. She put her bag in the chair next to her at the table. After placing her order she opened the bag and began looking through her box of photos again and she took out a few and placed them on the table. The waiter brought her favorite beverage boysenberry tea and her soup. She smiled graciously as to say "thank you" and the waiter smiled back at her.
Jimmy was about to take his lunch when he noticed Mrs. Oxford sitting in the restaurant alone. He noticed that she had photos on the table. He felt a little sorry for her so he went in and greeted her. Her eyes gleamed when she saw Jimmy standing there. She gestured to him to sit down. He sat. She waived to the waiter to come and bring Jimmy something. Jimmy declined. Mrs. Oxford smacked his hand and gave him a firm look as if to insist he share his noon meal with her. Then she smiled again and he gave his order to the waiter. Jimmy said to Mrs.
Oxford, "You are persistent aren't you?" She winked and smiled.
"So what pictures have you here?" Jimmy said.
Mrs. Oxford passed the three photos over to him. He looked at the first one of a young Mrs. Oxford and a handsome young man sitting at one of the dining tables here at the hotel. "This must be your husband," he said. She smiled and inhaled deeply and shook her head affectionately to say 'yes'. He looked at the next picture and there was the happy couple again but this time they were in front of a house and he was holding her as though carrying her up stairs and they were looking intently at each other. He had just set the photo down and picked up the next when something had struck him. He looked back at the photo and noticed a dove carving on the door frame of the house. He wanted to be sure he wasn't seeing things. "Mrs. Oxford is that a carving of a dove or a bird on this frame?" She looked at Jimmy a little puzzled, then he handed her the photo and she took out a pair of glassed from her bag. She looked at the photo and confirmed the carving.
"Was this your house?" Jimmy asked.
Mrs. Oxford took out her notepad and wrote: "Yes, my beloved William built this for me as an engagement present. We lived there until Williams' parents got sick then we moved closer to them. We lived so long with his folks that we sold the house as times were a little difficult then. My William was an excellent craftsman and architect and that house was truly his handiwork at its best."
Jimmy just sat there staring at Mrs. Oxford is shock and delight. He started putting the pieces together as she continued to tell him about her life and the house that William built for her. He was intrigued. She was so happy to be able to share this with someone. Sadly her daughter was not interested in past history especially not of her parents. She was a very "modern and thankless" person and was only interested in running and managing the family business. William had loved the little house he built for Vivian and was sad that they had to sell it. He kept his original drawings and sketches of the house. Then during their stay with his parents he got an idea. He told Vivian that he wanted to build houses again. He contacted an old friend of his and they planned the company around his idea. The next year the building of a small tract of homes began and it was a success. His designs were loved by many and became a favorite in that area. As time went on the business grew. Williams' signature on each house was the stamp of a dove on the side of the door frame.
- ▼ 2010 (9)