Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christmas Mermaid

Then there is Melinda Jenkins. Melinda, PhD, now works in New York City coordinating health informatics for mental health. When I met Melinda, she was sewing a canvas tent on a treadle machine; she and her husband Ed Rothwell were going to live in the tent. It was December and freezing cold. I lived in a cinder block house that had been converted from a laundromat in a trailer park and the treadle machine sat proudly in the living room of that four-room structure. When she became pregnant, she and Ed had to find a house to rent that they could afford -- both being students, it wasn't easy. Eventually, Blake was born and Melinda made almost all their food from scratch -- soy milk, bread from flour ground in a grain mill, yogurt, etc. Again, another child was born in the bed (in a different location) and we visited to see the pretty little boy. Ed said "We're thinking of calling him Hart Fountain." Appalled, I exclaimed "Are you KIDDING? The kids at school will call him Fart Mountain! Please, have MERCY!" So Melinda asked, "What do you suggest?" and immediately I replied, "Gabriel." And that is what he was named. He is a photographer.

When the Rothwell family moved to Kansas City, I bought their old Maytag washing machine. It must have been '78. I finally had to replace it five years ago. I don't know what happened between Ed & Melinda, but like most couples joined in the 70's, they parted. Melinda was very creative (as well as being somewhat obsessive about diet, etc.) and at one point was making and selling cloth toys. I was lucky enough to receive a mermaid (hopefully, pictured here), which has taken the top spot on all my xmas trees since I received it. I have never had or seen a doll I loved more.

No comments: