Wading in the OceanBy Ruth
My Aunt woke me early on Sunday. She said I should wear my best dress and shoes as we were going to church and to dinner. I was excited and wondered who we were going to visit for dinner. I put on my new pink blouse with the pearl buttons and short puffed sleeves my mother had bought for me. The skirt was white with hem-stitching around the bottom. The shoes were white patent leather with a strap. The salesman told my mother they were called, ‘Mary Janes’. I felt all frown up as I went down to breakfast. My Aunt and Uncle were pleased that I looked so nice. I also had put on a pink ribbon in my hair and a locket with a gold chain my parents had given to me for my birthday, last year.
We finally got into the car and were off. My Aunt said she would sit with me in the back seat. The Church was a small building with very few seats. I was anxious to get back into the car and see where we were going. When I asked my Aunt, she told me my Uncle had made reservations at a private restaurant. “What are reservations?” I asked.
“It’s when you call ahead and set a day and time and also tell them how many will be in the party. Your Uncle is entertaining some of his business associates and their wives, today.”
“Oh! This is going to be fun,” I thought. A real, grown-up, young lady going out to dinner! I had only been in a restaurant when my Aunt was married as we always ate dinner at home or at my Grandfather’s and other relations and friends’ houses.
My Aunt and Uncle lived in East Haven and we were going to West Haven by the shore, so it was a long ride. I enjoyed all the different places we passed. In New Haven we sent by Yale College. My Uncle even took a little detour to show me and my Aunt the campus, as he called it. They had fountains and walkways and very tall buildings with arches and ivy growing on the walls. It was very interesting and I enjoyed seeing and riding around.
We continued down to West Haven and there it was: the ocean, so big – “…as far as the eye could see,” my Aunt said. The sun was shining on the water, which made it glimmer.
My Uncle turned off into a long driveway approaching the house. It was a three-story house; it had a front porch with very ornate woodwork which matched the rest of the house with the same woodwork. The house was painted cream-color.
My uncle parked the car under the portico with vines and pretty flowers growing up the sides. When we were going up the steps, the front door opened and we were greeted by this lovely woman – very friendly. After introductions, she ushered us into a large and bright room. There was a large, oval table with a white tablecloth. The table was all set with china and silver and napkins and water glasses. It was just beautiful! The chairs were upholstered with a pretty design. There was a ‘side board’ (my aunt called it) and several smaller tables (to assist in serving the meal, my Aunt said). We had been the first to arrive, so we went back to the front room to wait for the others. I could smell the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen and was getting hungry.
As the others arrived with their wives, my Uncle greeted them and introduced them to Aunt Sadie and me. This made me feel almost grown up, again. Finally, we went into the dining room. My Uncle sat at the head of the table, as he was the host, my Aunt said. My Aunt sat next to him, and then me.
We were served the first course – a salad; they also filled the water glasses. The main course my Aunt said she would help me with and I really did need help for they brought in a really huge platter of spaghetti and sauce! I just couldn’t believe it was so big – later, they even refilled it! The meatballs came next and then if we wanted more sauce, they served that. It smelled delicious, but we were not finished: they cam around again – with cheese. This was in a little container and they turned the handle and it came out all crumbly. My Aunt said it was shredded. I tried a little, but I didn’t like it. The smell of the cheese was very strong. My Aunt said it was an imported provolone cheese.
As the meal continued, I watched as my Uncle was talking with his friend. My Aunt whispered, “… he was trying to have them agree with his idea for a plan he had for the business.”
Soon the dishes were all cleared and they served demitasses with little sweet cakes for the adults. I had milk and a dish of spumoni (it’s Italian ice cream). Some of the others had some, too. I knew about demitasses as they had them at my Aunt’s wedding.
When we finished, Aunt Sadie and I, and most of the ladies, went outside. There were gardens with flowers and vegetables, too. I was so perfect – just like pictures I’d seen in a magazine. My Aunt said they had professional gardeners who took care of it for them. The scents were so fragrant and it was so pleasant, we sat under the arbor. I told my Aunt that as nice as this garden was, I like her vegetable garden best. She laughed and said, “Well, thank you Child.” She even hugged me.
Soon My Uncle was ready and we got in the car again. “Are we going home, now?” I asked. My Uncle said he had to stop at the office in the warehouse to catch up with some work, but as it was still early, Aunt Sadie and I could go down to a little cove with a small beach and see the ocean, up close. I said I’d like that, so after we got to his office, we crossed the highway and were on beach. My Aunt said I could take off my shoes and socks, and wade in the ocean. The tide was just coming in, so I had fun trying to keep up and catch it on the beach. There was a little roar in the distance when the waves hit the pier, but it was calm here. My Uncle came over and after a little while, we had to leave for home. My Aunt dried my feet and helped me put on my shoes and socks.
I had been a wonderful day with so many new and exciting things to tell my parents when I went home.
I was so tired that I just went up to bed to think about all that had happened.