My Blog

My beat for the Herald Mail was the six counties of Frederick and Washington County, (Maryland), Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley County (West Virginia), Franklin County (Pennsylvania).  What a job!  Anonymous Restaurant Reviewer.  My heroine was Ruth Reichl of the New York Times.  I wrote a yellow cookbook called Storyfest Journeys Cookbook.  I wrote cookbooks of family recipes.  

How sweet it is at Dolce Restaurant!

What would we do if you came to visit us in Hagerstown?  Here is what we did yesterday.

My nephew, Brendan and my sister-in-law Cyndi had visited Hagerstown at the beginning of the summer and had tasted the white pizza with shrimp at Dolce. They loved the  combination of  perfect pizza crust, ricotta cheese, garlic and shrimp.   Back home in Brookeville, Brendan told his brothers, Jack and Kevin.  Now they all three Kelly Boys wanted to come to Hagerstown to have this fantastic pizza.  So, yesterday was the day.

First, we crossed the Mason-Dixon line as we visited Martin's Mill Covered Bridge in nearby Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The covered bridge spans the Conococheague and holds memories of days long ago.  This day, we floated down the stream in inner tubes, swam, swung out over the water on a rope.  Well, my nephews did.  Cyndi, The Professor and I just sat beside the Conococheague River with our feet in its sweet cool water.  Heaven.  

Then we visited  Martin's Farm Market off Route 11 in Hagerstown.   We  stocked up on candy and nuts.  Gummy bears, chocolate and red licorice.  Walnuts, cashews, and soy nuts.  Yum.  But not to spoil our appetites, they were put aside until we went to Dolce.

A warm welcome as always when we walked into Dolce. Franco immediately pegged my nephews as athletes.  "Football?" he guessed.  "Lacrosse," my nephews said.   

Franco wore a rosary around his neck, one of those glow-in-the-dark kind.  As children, we would crouch in the closet and watch that greenish rosary glow.  No television back then!   Simple pleasures. 

First Franco brought us fresh garlic rolls, so hot we burned our palates in our eagerness to eat them.  

The pizzas came next, one White Shrimp, the other one was Four Cheeses.  Thumbs up came from my nephews.  Jack spoke eloquently about the place of ricotta cheese on an excellent pizza.  

The pizzas were completely gone when Franco came again with a gift of fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar. "Like small funnel cakes," said Kevin.  They were devoured in a flash.  We all sat back, replete.

Then, the door opened.  In came a man dressed in military fatigues carrying a brown paper bag.  He went straight to the counter and handed the bag to Julia.  She peeked in and cried out,  "Tomatoes.  From your garden.  Thank you.  Thank you."  Mmm she blew him a kiss.  He left, smiling.

The door opened again and a mother and her son came in.  He was a stocky ten year old dressed in football gear and sporting a green cast on his right arm.    

My nephews considered all the dangers of playing football with a broken arm.  Dangers to the player himself and dangers to others who might get hit by that heavy arm. 

The kid had a gorgeous mohawk hair cut.  Perfect hair for it.  And he was grinning.  His mother ordered seven pizzas for his party down in Funkstown.  

Julia grinned too.  Seven pizzas!!!

The woman paid and Julia came from behind the counter.  She swept the ten year old kid up in her arms and gave him a big smackeroo on his shaved head.  She held him close to her bosom and hugged him tight.  Then letting him go, she gave him one of the tomatoes.  Franco was there again.  "Eat your vegetables," he said to the kid.   

That kid had a grin on his face from here to the Mason-Dixon line as he held that big red tomato in his hand.

That's life at Dolce's Restaurant.  Generosity goes around in circles, giving and receiving.  Blessing and being blessed.  Cooking and eating.  "Thank you for the tomatoes."  "Here is a tomato just for you."   How sweet life is at Dolce Restaurant!

The door opened again and we left for this day.  In the parking lot, we divvied up the gummi bears and licorice sticks.  Cyndi and my nephews drove back to Brookeville.  We were home.  Home in Hagerstown.  

Dolce Restaurant

792 Frederick Street

Hagerstown, MD 

301-745-6300; 301-745-6301

Open 7 days a week. 10:30 am to 10:00 pm.  

Cash only.  No credit cards.

Pizza, gourmet and Eastern European foods.

Your comments are welcome...

A blog seems like a good way to continue to share my love of food with you. I still take notes when we eat out.  I can't break the habit.  Nor can I break the habit of eating.  I still ask the chef for the recipes.  But most of all, I share meals with The Professor.  He cooks and I write down the recipes. You are invited to join us.

You can contact me here

The Adventures of Brendan

Chapter One:  Three Kings 

                                                                                                                                                                                                 “Here we are!” cried Brendan as he burst through the door of his aunt’s house.

“Brendan!  Jack! I’m so happy to see you.  Come in.  Merry Christmas.”  Aunt Jo turned to their mother and said, “I’m so glad you came to visit.”

“Where is Cinnamon Bear?” asked Brendan immediately.  Cinnamon Bear was a small brown stuffed bear with a broken music box inside him.  Most times, Cinnamon Bear sat in Aunt Jo’s rocker.  

“He’s not in the rocker!” cried Brendan.

“Can you find him?” asked his aunt.  

Brendan looked in the kitchen.  “Just soup cooking!”  said Brendan.

Brendan looked in the bathroom.  “Just soap!” said Brendan.  “Now where could that bear be, I wonder?”  

Jack, his little brother, pointed to the bedroom.  

“There he is,” cried Brendan.  Cinnamon Bear was sitting on his aunt’s bed.  “Cinnamon Bear, come on.  Let’s play.  You play, too,” Brendan commanded his brother and his mother and his aunt.

"What do you want to play?” asked his aunt.

“Kings!” cried Brendan in a very loud voice.

“How do we play?” asked Aunt Jo.

“Cinnamon Bear is The Baby Jesus.”  Brendan pointed directly at Cinnamon Bear.   Aunt Jo took Cinnamon Brear from the middle of her bed and handed him to Brendan.

Brendan held the small brown bear in his arms as if Cinnamon Bear were a real baby boy.  Brendan carried Cinnamon Bear to the living room where his mother and his brother, Jack, waited.  Brendan placed Cinnamon Bear in an Indian basket.  He put a small towel over Cinnamon Bear and gently settled the woven basket on his mother’s lap.

“You’re The Mother, Mary” said Brendan to his mother.

Then Brendan and his brother, Jack, put Uncle Bob’s golf balls in Aunt Jo’s Hawaiian Koa wood bowls.

Brendan said, “Jack and I are the kings.”

“Who am I?” asked his Aunt Jo.

“You are the Father, Joseph” said Brendan.

“Okay,” said his aunt.  “Now what?”

“We play Three Kings,” said Brendan.

Jack held up two fingers.

“Two Kings!  That’s right, Jack.  Where is the Third King?” asked his Aunt Jo.

But Brendan and Jack were gone, down the hall.  Then Brendan and Jack held their bowls of golf balls up over their heads.  They walked slowly down the hall towards the living room.  Silently, from out of the closet, came the yellow cat, Nutmeg.  She walked behind Jack.

When Brendan and Jack and Nutmeg came to Mother Mary and Cinnamon Bear, Brendan said, “Here, Baby Jesus, these gifts are for you.”  

Jack just held out the bowl for he was still young and did not talk.

Nutmeg bowed down in her catlike way.

Oh, then, to everyone’s surprise, the broken music box inside Cinnamon Bear played six notes. 

“It’s almost as if Cinnamon Bear wanted to talk,” said his aunt.

“Well, he did talk,” said Brendan.

“What did he say?” asked his aunt.

“Baby Jesus said, ‘Let’s play again,’” said Brendan.  “Come on Jack.  You too, Nutmeg.” 

And so they all played Kings again and again until it was time to eat their Christmas seafood chowder.                                                                                                                                 

White Muslin Dresses

White Muslin Dresses  

in Honor of Sue Middendorf 

by Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

White Muslin Dresses

Eight little girls in eight different sizes 

Ironed white muslin dresses, Their lovely disguises. 

Their mother said, "Oh, dear daughters mine, 

Fold your dresses 'till they are thin as a dime. 


Then place them, just so, in your very own trunk 

And don’t put in any of your junk. 

Be sure the blue tissue paper crinkles inside. 

Pretend that you will be beautiful brides. 


Then all of your brothers led by Big Bad Bill 

Will fill our station wagon. It will look like a hill. 

We're heading south on Highway One, 

In Florida, we'll have some fun.” 

 Well, all the children piled in the back. 

That station wagon nearly cracked. 

Mom said, "Children, are you Ready?” 

They shouted "Yes!" They felt so heady. 


Then Mother said, "Dad, How about you?” 

Dad counted the trunks and the pillows, too. 

He counted his children, one to eleven, 

Then cried out “John must still be in heaven.” 


Dad checked his oil, his gas and his tires 

He wanted nothing to happen dire. 

The children waited with total quiet. 

They would not want to cause a riot. 

They drove though Virginia to North Carolina 

The children were singing "nothing could be fina,” 

Each mile they went, the sun got hotter 

Till Marian Sue got in a bother. 

She thought her sisters surely would melt 

As they drove south through the Cotton Belt. 

Those on each side of her became a muddle 

Where they touched each other; there was a puddle. 

They drove through South Carolina, down into Georgia 

And finally the Middendorf’s drove into Florida 

But on they went, past this beach and that

Dad kept saying, “We’ll be there in nothing flat.” 

At last Dad drove to Miami Beach 

And all those kids, they let out a screech. 

Dad pointed east and said real quick, 

“You kids can now swim in the Ocean Atlantic.” 

Each morning at dawn, they woke with the sun. 

They ran to the beach; they ate only a bun. 

They swam very far in the warm, quiet water 

They looked very much like sleek, little otters. 

At they end of the day, then all of the went 

To the fanciest, plushiest, restaurant, "The Kent” 

Each of the girls put on one muslin dress 

And came to her dinner and didn't make a mess.  

They used their best manners; they always said, “Please.”

 The waitress asked, "Whose fine chillun are these?” 

Their mother said proudly, "They're his and they're mine. 

Bill, I do believe we should have a glass of wine.” 


The candle light sparkled; the children at ease. 

They ate their chicken; they even ate peas. 

They ate their rice pudding with pistachio ice cream. 

They said, "Good night, Mother!" Then went off to dream. 

They found tiny shells and played they were dishes. 

They saw turtles swimming and long snakes sunning. 

They came very close to a white egret running. 

When out of the sky flew one hundred flamingoes 

They danced on the sands on their long legs and pink toes. 

 Those gorgeous pink birds; they preened and they chattered. 

Then all of a sudden, the full hundred scattered. 

"Oh," cried Marian Sue and all of her sisters did so, too. 

 One day they went to Biscayne Bay 

And none of them ever forgot this day. 

They ran this way and that, like leap frogs and fishes. 

Built sand castle and filled them with wishes.

And so, sad to say, one day must be last

It came at the end and they wanted a party.

Each last muslin dress they took from its hanger. 

Each put on her dress with a feeling of langour. 

The meal was the best: fried potatoes and flounder. 

The coconut cake could not have been rounder.

 Eight little girls and three little boys 

Bid a teary farewell to their Florida joys.

 "Good bye, Hotel, Good-bye, Water Good bye, Florida, 

You could not have been hotter! 

 We love you, we miss you, we wish we could stay, 

But now it is time for us to be away.” 

They got in their wagon and headed back north 

And wondered to where they would next venture forth. 

 "Maine," said their father, "you will love that, too. 

And all of you children will not stick like glue. 

The air's not as humid or even as hot 

And I know you will love

Big blueberry pies and

 Sweet lobster in a pot.” 

 The whole East coast from Florida to Maine, 

The Children of Middendorf did ordain 

A wonderful playground, a fine place to play 

Come and join them and you, too, will have a great day. 

Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

©copyright 2017

All my eBooks are available Here

Brunswick Stew

Marian Sue Middendorf 

 On The Occasion  

Of Her Fiftieth Birthday 

  February 11, 1994      

written by   

Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

 Poet & Friend  

Brunswick Stew

Marian Sue and her sisters Two 

Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, and Eight 

Were told by their mother, 

"Now don't be late. 

Your father is catching a squirrel for you 

And I will make a Bruswick stew.” 

"Ooh," said Marian Sue 

And all of her sisters did so, too. 


Their mother said, "Now, Marian Sue 

And all of you young girls, you listen, too. 

Go to the chest at the foot of my bed 

And bring me the box

 That is old and not new. 


The black box, the bound box, the box of my Ma’s 

And in it you'll find the treasure of laws 

For making each dish from jackdaws to haws 

And even what to do with the paws. 

 I want to begin to make Brunswick stew. 

I really don't want it to taste like glue. 

I know I need onions and carrots, too, 

So, please, get me that black box, Miss Marian Sue.”

All eight golden girls with their lovely gold hair

Walked slowly and evenly up the down stairs. 

They went to the chest at the foot of the bed 

And then Miss Marian Sue, she said, 

 "Oh, how can we bear this. It just can't be true 

For it looks like there's only a hole here in lieu 

Of the black box, the bound box, the box of my ma's.” 

Then each of those girls, she wailed and she cried. 

 Till Marian Sue said “I know what I’ll do 

You girls stay here and look for a clue.” 

She called to her sidekick, her bad brother, Bill 

To ride on their horses to yonder high hill. 

They looked to the east and they looked to the west 

They looked to the places a thief would love best. 

They looked to the North and they looked to the South 

And then they looked back on their own little house. 

Alongside the garden where lilacs did grow 

They thought they saw something, then Bill shouted, “NO, 

Stop Thief," he cried to the critter below 

And not even Marian Sue yet did know 

 That the thief was a critter whose specialty 

Was storing the nuts and racing down trees. 

The thief was a lady with a big bushy tail 

And now Miz Squirrel give forth a wail, 

 "I am not a thief. How dare you malign. 

It's you and your kind who are thieves to my kind.

I do not want to be Brunswick stew 

And none of my children want to be too. 

So stop all this hunting and cooking, I demand 

Or I'll bury these recipes under your land.” 

Miz Squirrel held that black box against her small breast 

While Miss Marian Sue considered her request. 

Now Marian Sue thought Miz Squirrel had a point 

So she said, "Yes, I'll promise you shan't be a joint. 

Nor none of your children, either, too 

Will ever end up in Middendorf Brunswick Stew.”

Her mother said, "Your father did not catch a squirrel for you 

So I guess we will just have to make do.” 

But Marian Sue, she only said, “Whew,

Ma, let’s use chicken in that Brunswick stew.”

Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

©copyright 2017

All my eBooks are available Here

The Tea Party

No invitations were sent.  The anteater and the cat just came to the door of my jewelry shop at 4:00 in the afternoon.  I couldn’t see.  It was dark.  But I heard talking, talking. 

“No lights?  No lights?  It’s dark in here.  Light the candles,”  demanded the cat.

I set about lighting all the candles, the short squat candles and the tall spires of candles.  The flame of the match  burned my fingers.  I set the spent match aside carefully and then forgot where I put the match.  

The anteater talked.  Its long, hard nose hid its mouth.   The anteater stuck its nose under my arm, nudging, nudging.

“I’m so glad you asked us for tea,” the anteater said, breathlessly.  “I brought everything.  Butter, yes, lots of butter.  And some ants.  That’s for me.  I should be on a special diet.  And butter, did I say butter?  Some nice white beans for the cat.  Cat likes white food.  Just show me where the stove is and I’ll put the water on to boil.”

"In a jewelry shop?”  I answered, swallowing all the other things I wanted to say.  Especially, I did not say, “I never asked you to tea!”

The cat found its place next to a string of white pearls.  A mirror on the shelf reflected the cat's soft beauty and the luminous pearls.  

“More lights,” the cat said.  “I can see, but I need more lights.”

I continued to light candles.   I lit the wick of the votive candle in the Czechoslovakian crystal bowl and the crystal shed prisms of blood light.  I lit the beeswax candles standing in the Chinese silver candlesticks.  

“What did you say?” asked the cat.

“Nothing,” I murmured and blew out another match.

“Tea will be ready in a moment,” said the anteater.  The anteater set a table in the middle of my jewelry shop.  The anteater put my plates of diamonds and cups of amber on the table.  In the middle of the table, for decoration, the anteater placed a spray of amethysts.  The anteater hummed and mumbled as the anteater moved about my jewelry shop.

“More light,” sighed the cat, as she posed and then peered into the mirror.

I only had two matches left.  I brought the flame to the hurricane lamps and adjusted the wick so the lamp burned cleanly.  Finally, I lit the ancient oil lamps which were my treasure.

“Those oil lamps are no good,” said the cat.  “No light to speak of.”

“Tea is ready, dears,” cried the anteater.  

I stood in the center of my jewelry shop.  The cat sat beside the diamond plate of white beans.  The anteater sat on its haunches and surveyed the scene.

“Oh, this is lovely, dears.  So nice of you to ask us to tea.  Cat, the beans are for you.  Butter for you, my dear.  And ants for me.”

The big, black ants walked off the plate towards the butter.  The anteater put its long hard nose on the table and sucked the ants up its mouth.  The ants marched fast in the other direction, their six legs moving so fast.  

“These beans aren’t cooked,” hissed the cat, sotto voice.  “She thinks she can cook but these beans don’t taste like anything.”

The anteater moved its nose along the table top in search of black ants and the diamond plates fell on the floor and broke.  The light from all the candles was caught in the broken diamond pieces.

Another swipe of the nose, and the amethyst centerpeice and the amber cups fell and broke into pieces.  Purple and amber light filled my jewelry shop.

“It’s time to go,” I said.

“I think I’ll stay,” said the anteater.  “We can have dinner next.”

The cat was gone from the table, washing now, beside the display of coral and crystal necklaces.  

“You really need more light,” the cat said.  “I don’t know why she thinks she can cook.  She can’t.”

The anteater poked its nose under my arm.   “What about the advent wreath?” the anteater asked.

“The advent wreath,” I answered blankly.

“I’ll light the advent wreath,” said the anteater.

Before I could cry, “No,” the anteater lit the three purple candles on the advent wreath.  When the anteater lit the fourth candle which was  pink, the candle flame blazed up into one giant crown of light.  The light caught the tip of fire in the votive lamp, then danced lightly across the tops of the beeswax candles.  

Flames flew everywhere.  The pearls melted first, a little pond of molten oyster milk.  Then the amethyst and crystal fell into the milky pond, leaving creeks of violet and ice.

“We’re closed,” I said and pushed the anteater and the cat out the door.

“We could go out to eat,” said the anteater.

I took the anteater’s nose and shoved it into an ant hill.

“Mmmf,” the anteater said.

I could not tell if the anteater was happy or sad.

The cat sat at my feet and looked at me.  “She can’t cook, you know.  She thinks she can but she can’t.”

I stroked the cat's lovely black pelt.  Then I turned to my jewelry store.  The fire was out.  Lumps of candle wax clung to charred display cases.  The smell of burning was like tears.  I walked through the rubble.

I saw one jewel whose silver base and diamond crown had streaks of amethyst, lakes of blue.  I picked the jewel up and slipped it onto the silver chain about my neck.


“I think I would like a cup of tea, now,” I said.  And fingering my jewel, I sat down to drank my tea.

The Tea Party

Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

May 25, 1994

Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

©copyright 2017

All my eBooks are available Here

First Fruits to The Mother

First Fruits to The Mother.

by Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm 

May 26, 1994

“Oh, my rose bloomed. My first rose. Ooh,” I said to Mimi. Mimi is my other voice who lives with me inside my head since I live alone.

The Winter of 1993-94 had been so hard, so hard. Glaciers had covered the land while temperatures fell to 20 below zero. The wind blew, the snow fell and night prevailed.

But now the first rose bloomed. Yellow, it was, with streaks of ruby at its base. The petals seemed to open in my brain as well as on the rose’s stem.

I watched the procession come to visit my first rose. Bees. Moths. Butterflies. Ants.

“Like a birthday party for a queen,” I said to Mimi. Looking up, I saw my neighbor.

“First rose?” she asked smiling.

“Mm,” I said and turned away. I did not want to share my pleasure with her.

My neighbor did not have a rose. Or any other flower for that matter.

Children! What she had was children. And where she put them in her little house, I’ll never know. Children trampled into bricks what little soil she had. Children cried and screamed and laughed into the night and mangled whatever peace she had. Children ate all her bread and milk and oranges. And sometimes, I saw them biting her fleshy arms. “Was that teething? Or passion? Or hunger?” I wondered.

I lived alone, of course, clean and orderly. The only thing that did not fit was all those children next door. They knew not to come in my kitchen with their muddy feet. They knew not to touch my yard or fence. If their frisbee flew over to my place, they left it there. They never looked at me with their hungry eyes because I always looked away.

I was surprised when the doorbell rang. There, on the stoop, in a frayed striped t-shirt and cut off denims stood one of the children. He looked up at me and smiled but I looked over his head at the house across the street.

“Here,” he said. He handed me a piece of cake, yellow cake with blood red frosting on a plastic plate. 

I recoiled.

“It’s my Mom’s birtday,” he said. “Here.”

I took the plate. I hate the feel of plastic. It makes my skin melt. I hate yellow and red together. The colors are pus and blood to me. I gagged. “Thank you,” I said.

He just stood there.

“Do I tip him?” I wondered. 

 “No,” said Mimi,

“Then whatever does he want,” I asked Mimi.

“It’s his mother’s birthday.”


“People give gifts on birthdays.”

“I don’t want to give her a gift.”

“I see,” said Mimi and disappeared and was silent. I felt very lonely with Mimi gone but the child still stood on my stoop.

The glacier came back and spread itself between me and the child. The wind suddenly came up. The temperature dropped and he shivered. He was only wearing that frayed t-shirt.                       

My rose swayed and looked like to fall. “My rose will freeze,” I thought. “I must bring it inside where it is warm.” 

I reached inside for my clippers, at the same time placing the yellow and red birthday cake on the hallway table. I reached down to my rose which bloomed outside my doorway. I did not even have to move. Just swivel right, then left. I cut my rose, at an angle and brought it to my nose.

“Oh, my rose, you could have froze,” I said to my rose, like an idiot.

The boy still stood.

“Tell your mother Happy Birthday,” I said.

He looked at me, his face grave.

“What is wrong with this child” I wondered. “Is he sick? Well, he can’t come in. And I won’t feed him.”

“Go home, now,” I said but gently. I wanted to be inside, warm, away from all this cold and ice. I wanted to put my rose in my milk white bud rose vase. I wanted this child to go away.

I don’t know why, then, but I shoved the rose at him. The thorns on its stem pierced his finger and a blood bubble formed on his sallow skin. He ran then, through my garden and out the gate. Shut the gate and ran next door, crying all the way, “Momma, Momma, Momma,” like some forlorn foreign train whistle.

I closed the door and leaned against it, weak. Then I slid down and lay on the floor in the hallway. I felt the wind come through the crack of the door, first frigid. But then, just cold and finally the air was softer. I lay there then, just cold and finally the air was softer. I lay there for the longest time, till Mimi said in my head, “Get up now and eat the birthday cake.”

I sat up and there on the hallway mahogany table was the yellow cake with red frosting. I ate that cake with my right hand and licked the red frosting off my thumb and forefinger. Then I sat some more and sucked my thumb.

“This just won’t do,” I said and thrust my thumb from my mouth.

Mimi said, “Now get up and take the plate to the sink and wash it.”

So I did. That, at least, made sense. As the water flowed over the plate, I looked out my window. My neighbor was standing on her porch, clutching my rose to her huge chest. Children hung from her arms and skirts and ankles, like bees about a honeycomb.

“Thank you,” my neighbor called. “Thank you for the birthday rose.”

Mimi said, “That was a nice thing you did. Giving the first fruits to the Mother.”

“I did not,” I said.

“Yes, you did,” said Mimi.

“Well, I won’t do it again,” I stated.

“Yes, you will,” said Mimi.

Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

©copyright 2017

All my eBooks are available Here

Buffalo Girl

Buffalo Girl in Chevy Chase

by Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

I wish I could dream in Grandma’s house once more. 

I dreamed this once.

Grandma opens the screen door to her side porch of her home on Taylor Street.  Grandma is singing a tune.    

"Buffalo girl, 

won't you come out tonight, 

come out tonight,

come out tonight?"

Little Sheila and her brother Kyle live next door.  They love their animal.  But the animal runs away. So they run, too.  

"Grandma, we have to go,” yell Sheila and Kyle. 

"Oh, no, why go?” asks Grandma.

"To find our Buffalo."  

Grandma shouts in the rain, "But what does she smell like?"

"Buffalo,"  they yell back.

"No, what does she smell like?"

'"Buffalo," they yell.

"But what does she smell like?"

"She forgets to hear," says the girl to the boy as they cross Brookville Road in the quiet rain in search of their lost Buffalo. 

White snowdrops and purple crocuses just pop up at their feet.

I smelled some smoke and I dreamed again.

The boy and the girl visit their friend, Monseiur Bleu Gene, who lives under the bridge at Cummings Field.  He sits by a fire and smokes a pipe.

"Daddy says he is the finest face-to-face painter in all of Paris.  He could paint better and faster than any Daddy knew, but that was long ago in Paris,” says Sheila.

"We are looking for our Buffalo,” says Kyle to Monseiur Bleu Gene.

Monseiur Bleu Gene puffs his pipe and regarde´ son feu (which means 'he looks at his fire').  

"Il pluie.  Ou est votre parapluie, mon fils?" he says.

"He forgets he's not in Paris," says the girl, as the rain falls on the fire.

"We are looking for our Buffalo," Sheila and Kyle shout.  

Off they run, hand in hand.  

The yellow forsythia blooms on blowsy bushes by the banks of the little stream.

O, was this a nightmare I was dreaming?

The girl and the boy run across Cummings Field to Thornapple Street where they see the bully boys, Fox and Gwinn, dressed all in black leather.  Fox and Gwinn light fire crackers.  The bully boys throw the fire crackers into the driving rain.  With each explosion,  thunder and lightning tear the sky. Pink petals fall from the cherry blossom tree. 

 "They forget to be nice," said the girl to the boy as she put her arm around her little brother. They march away, heads held high, never afraid. 

Three tender leaves of poison ivy push up out of the earth. 

Sometimes, music played in my dreams.

Sheila and Kyle march past the tennis courts and down Turner Lane.  They visit the home of their friend, Anne Nicholson, who lives in a brick house painted pink.  Mrs. Nicholson, Anne's mother, is very beautiful and wears her black hair tied in a knot at the nape of her neck.  Mrs. Nicholson plays a tune on the upright piano.  The music sounds like the soft falling rain.  

 Buffalo girl, won't you come out tonight

 and sing by the light of the moon?"

"Buffalo," cries the girl and off the children run, down the hill on Turner Lane.  

Brilliant red tulips open their faces as they race by.  

I dreamed about returning home.

Sheila and Kyle cross Brookville Road again, looking carefully both ways.  The boy and girl come to their bungalow home on Sweet Georgia Street. 

The rain slows.  The boy and girl are wet to their skin.  They walk up the path to their very own home.

A butterscotch cat stretches. The cat is soft and silky and has pointed ears.  The cat waits for the boy and girl to walk up the stairs and sit on the swing. The cat places one paw, claws withdrawn, on the face of her own little girl.

"Buffalo Girl,” cries Sheila, "where were you?"

Buffalo Girl, the cat, comes to Kyle, who buries his face in her fur.  

"Buffalo Girl, we looked all over for you!" says the boy. 

The white dogwood and pink azaleas burst into bloom in the middle of their very own yard.

My dream comes true.

"Children, where were you?" calls Grandma as she comes out on the porch next door.  She wipes her floury hands on her green pants and her pants turn white.  She holds out her arms to her grandchildren and hugs the girl and the boy.  

"Come inside, now. Put on dry clothes. I made you some oatmeal cookies." 

Grandma does not like cats.  “You stay outside,” Grandma hisses at the cat, who is not wet at all.

The screen door bangs shut. The cat licks her paws.  

The sun shines, just so.  The crepe myrtle bursts into bloom 

All this I dreamed of Grandma’s house on Taylor Street. 

Then I woke up.  

And it was all gone.

First Written in April, 1993

In memory of our family home 

3602 Taylor Street, Chevy Chase, Maryland

10 March 2017

Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm

©copyright 2017

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Mary Jo Kelly Wilhelm 2017