However, I needed to get back on track with my mission of getting the dress; looking at my watch I could see that it was getting late. Time to get a move on; bending over the trunk I reverently removed the dress I had chosen for tonight. Standing up I gently shook the gorgeous black dress out to remove any sprigs of lavender hidden in its folds. I carefully laid the dress inside the dress bag I had brought with me and then placed the bag on the nearby chair. Squatting back down, I gathered the jewelry out of the trunk drawer into my hand and placed the pieces in the small blue velvet bag I had brought for just this purpose; twisting around I laid the bag on the chair as well on top of the dress bag. After quickly giving the old trunk a once over to make sure that none of the other lovely garments cocooned there were sticking out, I replaced the drawer in the chest and closed the lid softly. Using both hands I pushed the heavy trunk back into its resting place. Sitting back on my heels, I took a few more moments to contemplate my Great Aunt Helen and her amazing life.
She was a woman I had admired greatly. I had often thought growing up that I wanted to be just like her. Carefree, adventurous, well-read, her company greatly sought after by her friends, and a little aloof, I had always thought that made her seem mysterious and perhaps the letter was the reason why she chose to live as she had. I could be quite nosey and pushy when I wanted. I would get to the bottom of the letter.
Great Aunt Helen had traveled extensively in her life visiting so many wonderfully exotic places in the world, Africa, Far East, Europe, The Artic (via dog sled), jungles of South America. Each of her travels brought back marvelous stories for her to tell to the nieces and nephews. We would crowd around her and beg for stories on her return. She would laugh, settle into the couch curling her feet under herself and with a fragrant cup of hot tea tell us about her latest adventure. She would spend at the most six weeks with the family at G.G.’s house and then like a whirlwind she was gone again. The pictures she took would find their way into posh magazines like McClure’s, Photoplay and The New Yorker. She was always surrounded by people and she never seemed to be lonely. Now after having read the card, I wondered.
I looked at my watch again and knew I would have to hurry to get ready. I despised hurrying in all of its forms, but I had lost myself in the attic’s old trunk and the farewell card and would have to pay the piper for my dallying. I promised myself that I would soon return and search for the diaries of Great Aunt Helen, but for now, I had a party to get ready for and attend. It promised to be an excellent time with period music, good food and lots of fun. Time to leave the attic. Standing up, I dusted my hands off and picked up the dress bag and the small velvet jewelry bag. Making my way over to the door, I opened it. Turning off the lights and closing the door, I said a mental goodbye to the world of dreams as I stepped back into the present, the hectic world I lived in. I hurried down the stairs and toward my favorite room in G.G.’s house. Her gigantic bathroom with its claw tub, glass-walled waterfall shower, and pulsating hot tube. There were live plants, skylights, comfy chairs, music, TV and a coffee bar. I could live there!