“She’ll go to hell in a handbag,” Stella said, about her careless neighbor who let her damn lab wander loose and do his damn business on her own lawn.
She was talking to Maggie, who used to live in that neighbor’s house, before Maggie was the first to abandon the block for a swanky new retirement home in Florida.
Stella was telling her how she’d scooped the poop and flung the dog shit back at her neighbor’s.
It had hit the kitchen window.
Maggie was laughing off in fair-weather balmy land of palm trees. A place Stella couldn’t imagine, as much as the cold now could eat through her skin.
“At my window?” Maggie screeched.
“Not your windows, anymore, Hon,” Stella said.
Stella, the last diehard, was the only one on the block no doubt who hadn’t updated her kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel refrigerators.
And she had no desire too. She liked her formica counters, however worn and stained. The stains held history that granite probably never could. The shadow of a ring where her deceased husband had stupidly set down a hot frying pan.
“Well….” Maggie said, and Stella knew she was looking to hang up. To go play shuffleboard or Bingo or sit under a palm tree or whatever the heck you do in Florida where old people go to die.
Stella wasn’t ready to hang up. She never was.
“What the heck does that mean anyway, to hell in a handbag?” Stella asked.
Maggie laughed. And they were back together again, sitting in one or the other’s old worn formica kitchens. Laughing. With no idea what the heck they were laughing at.