“I thought maybe you and the girls could stay; that’ll make the load even lighter. It won’t be dark for a couple of hours, and I’ll be back way before then anyway.”
Kara and Nila watched the debate, munching on crisp Washington apples. There was a waving of arms, shaking of heads, a stomping of a foot (Dorothy) and a smoking of a cigarette (Jim). Finally, they seemed to have arrived at an agreement. Jim chocked the trailer wheels with rocks and Dorothy went inside to start moving items toward the door.
Out came the army trunk, the upholstered chair, a footstool, suitcases, a rug, pillows, cast iron pots and pans, and Dorothy’s prized Remington typewriter. Jim took the propane tank off the trailer tongue and added it to the pile. Together they checked outside storage bins, removing a recently-added spare tire, a length of hose, buckets, and a spool of power cord.
The last item out of the trailer was the accordion.
When nothing was left to contribute to the makeshift gypsy camp Jim opened the car door and propped one booted foot on the running board. Like a cavalryman off to fight the Indians, he saluted his girls, swung into the driver’s saddle, and tooted the horn as he pulled away.
Dorothy passed household goods over the guardrail for Kara and Nila to carry, then, by herself, wrestled the army trunk to the center of the rug and stood it on end.
She opened the accordion case, flung the instrument’s straps over her shoulders, and perched on the upturned trunk. “What’ll we sing?”
The travelers had yodeled out several songs before ... a beat-up old pickup passed, slowed, and the brake lights came on. The truck backed down into the turnout. A cowboy stepped out...
Touching the brim of his Stetson and letting his eyes wander lazily up and down Dorothy’s slim body, he drawled, “Y’all in trouble?”
Thoughts thus far:
"Improbably joyful"-What Dorothy is and what a good way to be. Sadly her sisters have become codependent on the trauma from their shared tragedy.