Short stories about my scarfs, written by writers who love what I do.
This short story is written by Geraldine Mellon.
Who is Geraldine?
Geraldine Mellon, eighty-five, female, American.
Loves in my life: Family, reading and writing, acting, gardening, cameras, swimming and snorkeling, back-packing, horse-riding, horses, dogs, cats, and dolphins. Soft adventure travel. Married my childhood sweetheart, faithfully tended our three kiddies, alone several years while the husband, a military man, served on foreign soil.
When the nest was empty, I went to college. Loved it! Easily might’ve become a “career” student.
Instead I became a teacher.
Most of my teaching happened in a mountain wilderness residential school for troubled kids. High on a North Carolina mountain, my classroom, a one-room log cabin kept warm by wood stove, had no running water. Every day, an adventure!
After teaching, I began traveling and writing in earnest. Did volunteer research in Belize studying Bottle Nose Dolphins, even swimming the Caribbean with those intelligent, playful creatures. In Tanzania, I ate breakfast with elephants. Rode horseback up Icelandic volcano, Hekla.
A couple of my published articles were included in anthologies. Wrote and edited a two newsletters. Before COVID, I performed with a senior acting group. These days, I study on-line courses, still learning and exploring.
Here my novel.
Okay, so I’ve had scarves in my life.
Smallish ones worn around the neck cowboy style, all the rage when I was a girl in the ‘50s.
Yes, I’m really old.
Large squares, babushka-like were popular, too. In fact, the first gift my highschool boyfriend gave me was a lovely green and white silk square. I loved it, treasured it for years until it met a sad fate.
Fast forward, and this boyfriend and I were bride and groom.
Soon enough, we became a happy little family of five. Now, husband/father was by profession, a military man.
A Marine, in fact. I know, I know. What’s this have to do with scarves, Stefania Morgante’s in particular? Patience, I’m getting there.
Military families often experience long separations, and ours was no exception. After a year in Okinawa away from family, the marine was ordered to Virginia for officer’s training. Wonderful news… except this meant another year apart. The children and I stuck in Colorado, while he was hundreds of miles away in Virginia.
Scarf? It’s coming, I promise.
A certain friend of my father’s was flying his single-engine four-passenger plane to Washingon DC, near where my husband was stationed. The kind man rashly offered to fly me and three small children to Virginia. I accepted immediately, being rash myself. Quickly made preparations including tranquilizers for three little kids. The pediatrician assured me they would probably sleep the whole two-day trip. Perfect.
The pilot kept his plane at home in the country, and used a country road as landing strip. Two days before our departure, a foot of snow fell, perfect for ice-skating, sledding, not so good for small plane take-off. Not to worry, the pilot scraped his road and all systems were go. Except that taxiing for take-off, the plane slipped off the icy road. Again, no worries, my brother’s car, and a strong chain righted the light plane. We were off!
Now, the children, understably, were a bit excited, but excitement escalated into full- blown pandemonium! So-called tranquilizers made them wild. All three went beserk! It was a hellish four hours till the stuff wore off. What kept the pilot from turning around and heading back is beyond me. Needless to say, I flushed the “tranquilizers” at the first opportunity.
Uh, the scarf? Coming soon.
First travel day coming to an end, and we circled the small airport to land. Eeeek! What’s wrong with the baby? He’s sitting still! He’s turning green! Frantically I reach into my huge travel bag and jerked out the beloved green and white scarf. Just in time, too, as the baby let fly. Fortunately, the lovely silk scarf absorbed and contained all the “damage“. We landed safely, but, sadly, the poor scarf, gift from my beloved, memory of sweet first love, landed in the trash.
In the years since the adventurous flight, I have owned scarves, but none very glamerous, mostly utilitarian. For instance, fourteen-inch square cotton bandanas, usually red, worn around my neck for horse-back treks, and back-packing trips. Good for trail dust when pulled up like a mask. (However, not recommended against COVID)
A damp one around the neck cooled and soothed when sunstroke threatened. After about a zillion washings, these cotton bandanas are soft as feathers, the older the better. Old friends, these bandanas resting in my drawer always make me smile. They hold travel memories from New Zeland to Africa.
This has nothing to do with Stefania’s scarf! I know, bear with me. . . just a bit longer.
Honesly, I have few scarf memories other those, though there were probably others. In my “mature” years, I grew quite fond of wooly, winter scarves. Actually knit a few myself, not exactly beautiful, but nice and warm.
Have you guessed by now that I am not your basic glamerous woman? Well, hey, I looked pretty good back in the day. As the years went by, my life became increasingly outdoorsy and utilitarian.
But now, at this very minute, in my old age, I own a beautiful, elegant, designer scarf! A piece of wearable art by Stefania Morgante!
This scarf came to me through twists and turns of social media. A certain sleepless night, aimlessly I scrolled till. . . Wait a minute! Look at that!
I smiled at the delightful, whimsical drawing—a carefree woman sporting a lovely, flowing scarf.
Yellow and brown, I’m thinking. I clicked ❤ , went to Stefania Morgante’s website, was immediately smitten with her drawings and scarves. Oh, wow! I’d love one of those scarves! Truth be told, a little out of my price range, but added my name to the mailing list anyway.
Stefania and I became Facebook friends exchanging little jokes, little gripes, arguing the merits of Alfred Hitchcock, etc. These exchanges, plus glimpses into her life as an artist, and into Italian life in general, added a new dimension to my life.
I look forward to her posts, her on- line art, her newsletter. Whether she’s down and a bit cranky, or up in the stars, or just making the best of it, she never lacks humor and wit. Poking fun at the world gently or, scathingly, or merrily, Stefania creates smiles and food for thought.
But I digress.
The day came, near my birthday, when I could deny myself no longer. I clicked the “Virginia Woolf and Orlando” scarf. Loved the dark and light color mix. Soon, my old country mailbox held a package postmarked “Italy.” Yay!
Love at first sight! Orlando, far more than soft texture, lovely colors, and art. She has personality! When she gently caresses my neck, I feel elegant; wrapped round my head, exotic. Often she sits in a rocking chair, my imaginary friend.
Our conversations are interesting. “Do you prefer being male or female, Orlando? Did you like the movie of your life?” We both prefer being female, and we both liked the movie.
Geraldine Mellon can also be found HERE.
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