The house I grew up in had many lovely architectural features – a fireplace, a lovely stairwell, and a beautiful oval stained glass window that was in my mother’s closet.
I loved sitting in that closet. It was a cozy and private place for a child to play, and the light coming through the stained glass would bathe the closet floor in lovely colors as I sat between the windowed wall and the wall opposite that held a rod for my mother’s clothing and a shelf below for her shoes.
My mother wasn’t much of a clothes horse, and I can’t remember that she had any really memorable outfits; she used no make-up other than lipstick, and the only jewelry she usually wore were earrings and a strand of pearls. But I do remember she had a pair of strappy, alligator shoes that she prized and were probably rather costly.
My dog Fluffy was a puppy then. (See Fluffy, or How I Got My Dog) In fact Fluffy often followed me into that closet, and we were playing there once when I heard my mother call the family to dinner. I ran out leaving the dog behind.
Hours later I was upstairs in my third floor bedroom when I heard my mother cry out from my parents’ bedroom a floor below. “Look what that dog has done! She’s been in my closet and she’s destroyed my pair of alligator shoes!”
“Ah Jess”, I heard my calm and ever-conciliatory father say, “don’t be too hard on Fluffy, and don’t exaggerate. She only chewed up one shoe, not the pair.”
I don’t think my mother was amused.
Dana Susan Lehrman