In a series of letters written home to her mother, young doctor's wife, Amanda Fitzpatrick, shares the ups and downs of small town life in 1947 Cherry Hill Saskatchewan.
When last we left Amanda, she and her husband Paul had been invited to a Parisienne Dinner by town matriarch, a certain Mrs. Beverly Wilson!
May 30, 1947
I had to write because I'm still positively reeling after what happened at Mrs. Wilson's Parisienne dinner last Saturday night! You'll recall from my last letter, she invited a group of us over for a night of "fine dining a la Francais" and extended the invitation to Jack and Paul's nurse Val - which I am certain was a ruse to get them together.
I never would have pegged Mrs. Wilson as the match making type, but when it comes to her son, she certainly isn't afraid to pull out all the stops!
But I have to give credit where it is due because the meal was lovely.
We began with something called Coquille St. Jaques which included an assortment of seafood bathed in a cream sauce - certainly not your average fare for Cherry Hill - but delicious nonetheless.
Of course, Mrs. Wilson was more than vocal throughout the evening, letting us know we were being treated to the latest in food.
Mother, if I didn't know any better, I could have sworn I caught Jack rolling his eyes!
However, it wasn't the food that created the melee that evening, no, it was a certain Nurse Val who, over our entree of Coq au Vin and Duchesse potatoes discovered a hair in her haricots almandine, and made such a fuss about it, I honestly wished the floor had opened up and swallowed me whole; I was so embarrassed!
She pulled the offending hair from her green beans as if in slow motion and then, staring at it like it was some kind of bug on a stick, she began to gag - at which point Paul jumped up and began thumping her on the back, asking Mrs. Wilson to pour some more wine, and after Val finished off an entire glass of white wine with a second glass at the ready, sanity was restored.
I will say, though, it put a damper on the rest of the evening and the wind was certainly out of Mrs. Wilson's sails as she served the Baked Alaska.
In the meantime, I picked up something in Val's smile as she looked at my husband that told me the entire production was somewhat amusing to her and the feeling I have in the pit of my stomach grew stronger and more alarming.
Mother, I have decided to take your advice and approach Paul about this. Based on her behaviour at Saturday's dinner, I think Val might be a little unbalanced and I would be far more comfortable if my husband had a different nurse!
As for any kind of romance between herself and Jack, I don't see that occurring. After the hair incident, Jack excused himself, and Mrs Wilson, who has never been adept at hiding her feelings, cast an icy pall around the table that I would be content never to experience again!
Well, that's all the news from Cherry Hill for this week! I will write again next Thursday.
Your loving daughter,
Click here to read the next installment in the Cherry Hill series: Mother's Little Helper
To read other installments in the series, visit HERE.
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