07 December 2009

Millicent

My father lives in a little farmhouse, up in the middle of nowhere. He bought it from some people who'd gotten it from her aunt, and the aunt had been in the house for a long time.

The aunt was apparently something of a character. There are still people in the valley who remember when the house was painted entirely pink, and Hazel drove a pink Cadillac to match. At some point, she changed over much of the downstairs to yellow - there was yellow cotton shag carpeting everywhere when Pop moved in - but the chandelier in the dining room is still pink glass. Outside, there are hot pink tiny roses planted along the rock wall, interspersed with wild orange day lilies - around about the Fourth of July, when they're both blooming, you could be blinded by the vibrating pink and orange.

Hazel was the kind of modern woman who didn't use her husband's last name - and had a career to boot, as a painter of some skill. Once upon a time, the story goes, her husband was in the hospital, after a heart attack or some such. Hazel arrived for a visit, and gave her name to the nurse. The nurse escorted her into the room, and announced her: "Mr. Carter, your girlfriend's here." Mr. Carter sighed "Millicent" and Hazel turned on her heel and left.

When he finally got out of the hospital, and arrived home, he went upstairs to use the bathroom. Imagine his surprise when he discovered a naked woman in his bathtub. He asked Hazel about her; she snipped "That's Millicent".

Neighbors ask if she's still in the bathtub. If visitors haven't been to the house before, they're escorted up to see the lady in the tub and the hand painted hollyhocks on the bathroom walls. Children are particularly titillated. I've never actually taken a bath in the tub; the paint is a little flaky and we've not researched the proper conservation technique for bathtubs painted in a fit of pique. Luckily, there's a shower elsewhere in the house.

Ah, Millicent.

23 comments:

meno said...

That tub must NEVER be replaced, and what a great story to go with Millicent.

nonlineargirl said...

I love a house with history.

daysgoby said...

That is fabulous!

Rima said...

That is a fabulous story. I'd like to see more photos of your dad's house.

de said...

I love Milli's pedi. What shade is that?

mayberry said...

I was thinking the same thing -- love her mani/pedi!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Now that's a house with a story.

Cold Spaghetti said...

Love her. And that tub? BRILLIANT.

I Am Very Mary said...

You have SO been holding out on us.

ozma said...

That is so fabulous! Wow, I love that story.

There needs to be more Hazels in the world. But it sounds like Hazel was one of a kind.

Mental P Mama said...

Hazel could hang with me;)

alejna said...

Now that is a house with Character! What a great story. I love it!

FreshHell said...

That is so cool!

heidi said...

Great story. That tub & the pink lamp cannot possibly be the only quirky thing going on up there.

Mad said...

I want to live in your America. It is wonderful and quirky and storied. It's what I imagine that golden notion of America to be.

YourFireAnt said...

Hazel made Millicent a mermaid [or quasi-mermaid] in the same fit of pique. Subtle. Nice.

;-)

Furrow said...

Stop making things up. Nobody has this many quirky connections. I love what you did with your bathtub :)

julochka said...

that is a GREAT story!! i'm off to paint my bathtub. i think a mermaid. it being denmark and all....

slouchy said...

OMG!

That is fantastic!

Carol said...

That is possibly the creepiest bathtub I have ever seen.

...Although I like her name.

Kyla said...

That is pretty awesome.

painted maypole said...

love it! now I want to paint my bathtub!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

This may be one of my new favorite stories. Ever!