Monday, March 31, 2008

The Return of Mehitabel

Well, since I last wrote, Lily has settled in quite well. I helped her start her own journal, which has made her happy. We are still awaiting the arrival of her sisters. We do not know when they will make their way to their new home.

In the meanwhile, Spring has finally arrived. If you call constant rain and chill "Spring." However, despite its dreary beginnings, Spring has a special magic that gets the
sap flowing in one's veins (if you are a wooden doll) and lifts the spirit.

I arose a bit late this morning. Our person is on spring break, so no need to get up and about early for work. Today all us companions are changing into our spring clothes. It is supposed to warm up by this afternoon, despite intervals of rain. This morning, the rain had not yet set in and hazy sunshine flooded my room.As I looked out the window, I could see rain clouds on the horizen. But, no sense worrying about storms brewing in the distance. We'll deal with them when they arrive and enjoy the sunshine until then.I wandered downstairs and offered to help Miss Hickory with breakfast. Miss Hickory really is a dear soul despite her sometimes brusque manner. However, she considers the kitchen her domain and gets a bit wadgety, as they used to say in my day, about interference in her tiny realm.

Still, I feel impolite not offering my assistance. The response was the same as always, "No thank you, Rowan. I have it all under control. Go on to your study and I'll call you when breakfast is ready." That is Miss Hickory's manner of shooing a person out of her way. It is advisable to listen.

I wandered down to my study and greeted my ever faithful companion, China Blue.
We settled in for some journaling. China Blue is an excellent listener and I often run my ideas past him.
I was so soon so deep in my thoughts that I was quite startled when Amelia burst into the room. My older sister Mehitabel and her school merged with Miss Merriweather's academy recently, and Amelia often visits the other girls during the day. Although Mehitabel's stay at my home was only supposed to be temporary, the house feels a bit empty, although much quieter, without Mehitabel's school here.
Miss Hickory and I are always glad to see Amelia when she returns home for dinner, to liven things up a bit. I was quite surprised to see her at this time of day, though. She brought some rather worrisome news. Mehitabel was missing...she was not in her office or around the academy. Amelia said the dear Mistress of Preble Academy had been unusually quiet the last few days. Ms. Merriweather and Master Elrond were worried about her, and wondered if I could help find my sister.
I set off to search for Mehitabel. Amelia set off to the kitchen, just in time for some fresh baked cookies. Miss Hickory is quite indulgent of Amelia.
I finally found Mehitabel. What I saw worried me indeed. Mehitabel sat looking rather...dejected. Hittys do not normally look dejected. When a Hitty looks dejected, there is definitely a problem. Mehitabel sat beside her lovely spring dress. As Mistress of the Academy, Mehitabel must dress accordingly. Besides, Mehitabel has been with our person longer than any of us....11 years this July...and is entitled to at least some finery and privileges. Mehitabel attended school in a state far from home with our person, accompanied her on her first plane ride, and through her first jobs after school. Mehitabel even knew my person's grandparents. She became so very dear to our person, and such a reminder of times that will never come again, that our person did not have the heart to continue travelling with Mehitabel. She was too afraid something might happen to her oldest companion.
So, Mehitabel retired from travel and became a Grand Lady and Mistress of Preble Academy. She has always seemed quite happy...until now. I wondered how she could be unhappy with Spring in the air.
I sat down beside my older sister and gently asked what was wrong.
"Ah Rowan, my dear sister. It is good to see you. You musn't worry...I am just a bit melancholy at the moment. It will pass."
"But, Mehitabel, I have never seen you melancholy. There must be something wrong. Here...let me help you into your Spring dress. That will cheer you up."
"No! I mean....I am not ready to wear my Spring dress, Rowan."
"But....why ever not, Mehitabel? Aren't you glad Spring is here?"
"I am glad Spring is here, but I do not wish to wear my Spring dress."
"Why not, dear sister? It is such a lovely dress...quite befitting the Mistress of the Academy and the eldest, and I daresay one of the wisest...companions."
Mehitabel gave a deep sigh. "Rowan, I fear I am a bit tired of being a Great Lady. I feel confined in my Headmistresses' quarters, and although I love the students and my staff, I grow weary of the burden of leadership. I want....I want to simply be Mehitabel again. I want to travel a bit with our Mistress. I want to wear the clothes of a simple wooden doll again....not the silks of a Great Lady."
"Well, why don't you tell our person how you feel. She would understand. The students and all your friends would also understand. Auntie Fern and Hitty Flora are quite capable of running the academy along with Ms. Merriweather. Why don't you retire from.....retirement?"
"Do you really think everyone would understand?"
"I am sure they will!!"
With that, I fetched our person. She loves Mehitabel so dearly, she would not ever wish to see her unhappy. So, she accepted Mehitabel's resignation, and gladly welcomed her back as a travel companion. Our person has finally accepted the fact that Mehitabel, like me, is meant to walk in the adventurous footsteps of the very first Hitty.
Mehitabel quickly put on a traditional "Hitty" dress and settled with Miss Hickory and me. She can save her finery for our person's wedding....but will certainly need to change back into more practical clothes to accompany us to the beach this summer.
The academy students and staff were sad to see Mehitabel resign as Headmistress, but happy for her to follow her heart. Besides, it is not like they will not see her everyday anyway.

So, here's to our happy household!
Hitty Rowan

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lily Arrives!

Today is very special. Lily arrived on our doorstep! It is much warmer today than is usual for this time of year, but Lily's summer dress she arrived in was still too cold for her. She tried on her new spring dress my person and I made her, and it fit her perfectly! Since it is so close to Easter, my person gave her an Easter bunny in anticipation. So here she is...our very own Easter Lily: