Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Well, What Do You Know....?


I Hope you will not mind me reminding you, Dear Readers, how short a time has passed since Gabrielle, Renee's former Nanny, was fired. It might seem like more time has passed, but I assure you it has been barely two weeks! Raymond had found Gabrielle a new position as Au Pair to his sister Fleur's daughter, Juliet, and she had gone to live with them in "The States". And you might recall that the other day when Daphne had insisted on mailing a letter from Renee to Gabrielle, she had commented that she thought she was acquainted with Fleur! Raymond had been very surprised to learn that, and it had bothered him ever since. He knew next to nothing about Daphne, and now that she was the "Nanny" he felt obligated to learn more about her. Perhaps, he thought, it was time to give his sister Fleur a call. He could check up on Gabrielle, make sure she was settling in well to her new job, and perhaps learn something about Daphne as well.

Perhaps Fleur would not have much to say... 
but he felt he should give it a try.

Fleur had just arrived at her favorite place to have lunch with friends.
It was an intimate little garden patio behind one of the local Hotels
 and they served delicious sandwiches and fresh salads.
Fleur was always happy to hear from her brother.... 
she answered right away...
"Hey, you!" she said cheerfully.
 "How is the Nanny search going...?'

Raymond was in the habit of asking Fleur's advice 
about most things having to do with raising children 
as she was experienced and he trusted her good sense. 
He had often called her with questions about Renee's care 
and kept Fleur informed about Renee's development.
"Madame has hired the new Nanny...." he replied, 
with less enthusiasm than Fleur would have expected to hear.

"What is the matter...?" asked Fleur, 
hearing the diffidence in his voice. 
"Did she not make a good choice?"

"I am not so sure...." he replied.
"The woman is Renee's Natural Mother...." he added.
"Madame hired her to keep an eye on her... 
she was afraid she had come to try to take Renee away."

"Heavens" exclaimed Fleur! 
"Why would she think that...." she asked?
 "Well, the Woman showed up about the same time as there was 
a man asking questions about adoptions...." replied Raymond. 
"And Monsieur seems to think Renee needs her 'Mother'.... " he added.
"So now she is the 'Nanny'..." he said wearily.

"And you are having to make sure she is not taking Renee...."
 said Fleur, knowing her brother well.
Raymond sighed. "I do not trust her at all" he said.
"And the strangest thing is, she says she is acquainted with you" he added.
"Really.... ? What is her name..." asked Fleur?
"Her name is 'Daphne'".....he replied. "'Daphne O'Malley'".

 "No!" cried Fleur.... 
"Our Daphne is Renee's Mother...?"
"How could that be...?"

"So you do know her..." asked Raymond?

"But, of course...." exclaimed Fleur! 
"She is Pollyanna's best friend... 
was her maid of honor for the wedding....." she added. 
"She's been seeing Will...." she declared. 
"But it seems she broke up with him and went back to France....." 
"Oh, My God.... she went back to FRANCE" cried Fleur!
"I never would have connected it.... 
but she does have red curly hair like Renee....!"
"Are you sure she has broken up with the man" asked Raymond?
"Yes. Will is heartbroken...." she added.
"Listen, You," she said,
  "My friend is here now... we can catch up later... Ciao!"

Fleur turned to Pollyanna. 
She had been so caught up in her conversation 
she'd given no thought to who might hear what she said...
"You heard all that ... didn't you" she said apologetically.

"I am shocked!" she added. 
"Um... I take it that your brother thinks Daphne is the Mother 
to the little girl he takes care of..." said Pollyanna uncertainly.

"Apparently she is the new "Nanny" to Renee" explained Fleur.
"She told Raymond that she knew me...!"
"There is no way it is not our Daphne" she declared!

"Gosh" said Pollyanna...
"I can't really imagine Daphne is a Mother.... 
But it does explain why she has been so... 
different... since she came home from France."

"But why did she never tell any of us..." wondered Pollyanna?
"Well..." said Fleur.... 
"I happen to know the other side of the story...
 it is really very tragic." 
She hesitated... but then continued. 
"The father died before they could marry.
And the family only wanted the child...."

"Madame can be very determined when she wants something" she added. 
"Apparently she convinced the mother to give up the child...
 and Raymond has been looking out for her ever since...!"
"I cannot believe that Daphne was... is.... the Mother!"

 Raymond sat for quite a while after his sister said good-bye.
He didn't want to believe that the Woman he had disliked for so long
 was actually a friend of his sister!
And he didn't like to acknowledge that 
he was glad to hear she had broken up with her boyfriend.
It seemed as though he had learned more than
 he wanted to about Renee's Mother!

And I hope you will understand Dear Readers,
that once again I must leave you here....
only a little wiser...
Having heard all the gossip!
Well, what do you know?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Playing In The Rain.....


It has been Raining a lot in my real world, Dear Readers, making the days so dark and gloomy that I hope you will not be surprised to find the Park is full of puddles! Daphne and Renee had spent an entire day indoors because it was raining much too hard to go out, so when the rain became gentler on the following day, Daphne was as eager as Renee to go to the Park, even if it was still raining. Daphne did not have a rain coat, but she found an ancient parasol in the corner of the wardrobe, and decided that it would have to do!

Renee had a raincoat and rain hat, 
but they looked as though they were not often used.

She was as excited as ever to get the the Park and see her friends the birds!

The birds were squabbling over a few soggy 
crusts of bread and did not notice Renee.

The fountain was nearly overflowing....

The birds did not mind at all!

Daphne could not help but wonder at Renee's fascination with birds....

Renee had eyes only for the birds...!

They were endlessly fascinating!

Daphne was not sure if this sort of obsession was normal or not....
Perhaps it was just because Renee was a lonely child...

A thought that made Daphne remember her own lonely childhood...
A thought that made her melancholy... 
perhaps it was time to head home....

Renee noticed the puddles as they were leaving....

Daphne realized she hadn't thought to look for boots...!

Renee ran to the next puddle and splashed in it too!

Daphne thought it wouldn't matter if her shoes got all wet, 
they could change when they got home!

As they neared the House, Renee ran ahead 
and when Daphne arrived, 
Renee was in the Parlor telling her Grandpere 
all about her visit to the Park.
This was the first time Daphne had witnessed this ritual.
She had begun to wonder why there was
 so little contact between Renee and her Grandparents!
"Grandpere, All the birds were wet" exclaimed Renee excitedly!
"And there were puddles everywhere" she declared.

"And I jumped in them!"
"They got me all wet... but I don't mind" she added.

Daphne was fascinated to see them together.
Clearly Monsieur Guillaume loved his granddaughter!
"Poodles..." he said quietly.
"Not 'poodles' Grandpere," said Renee...
"I said 'puddles'" she repeated in a whisper.
"Ah,.... puddles!" replied Grandpere.

Then he looked at Daphne.
He had so much he wished he could say to her.... 
If only his words would come out as he intended!
"I'm glad... you are.... here" he said slowly. 
"My words... somewhere... lose me..." he added, 
then shook his head.
"I had strike.... no,... stroke...."
"I think.... much.... words match wrong...."
then he shrugged and fell silent.
 Daphne just looked at him and suddenly she understood....
This once proud and capable man had lost so much!
Clearly he had not completely recovered from his stroke...
no wonder he spoke so little!
But just as clearly, he loved Renee and she loved him!
"Don't worry..." said Daphne. "I understand." 
"We will come see you ... more often... 
if you don't mind..." she added? 
He just nodded and Daphne called Renee 
to come take her wet things off. 

The Nursery felt warm and cheerful after the gloomy outing.
"Why don't you draw pictures for Hibou..." suggested Daphne.
"And draw one for Grandpere too..." she added.

Her mind was racing with the new information... 
she had so much to think over...
This put everything in a different light!
If Monsieur deMontaigne could barely speak or walk.... 
then who was in charge of all the estates?
Could it be that Madame had needed to take on that work, she wondered. 
And if that was so, then who was paying attention to Renee's needs?
Somehow, every answer only brought more questions!
Well, Dear Readers, it was just 
a Gloomy visit to the Park,
 I hope you did not mind
Hopping in puddles....
 Playing in the Rain!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Nothing To Say.....

Nothing To Do....

I am Sure you will not believe me, Dear Readers, when I tell you that it was only Yesterday that Renee and Daphne were visiting the Park after they had mailed the letter to Gabrielle, Renee's former Nanny. But such is the nature of Time that it sometimes passes faster than we can think, and sometimes seems to take forever! I will not argue with you if you think it has been a while since they were last at the Park because I know you will understand that they go every day whether we see them or not. But this morning the sun was still shining and Renee was eager to visit with her feathered friends, and Daphne was beginning to realize that there was little else to do! Was this really the sum total of her Daughter's world, she wondered to herself as they crossed the small Park toward the fountain? There was so much she didn't understand about Renee's life. Why was Monsieur deMontaigne so frail and quiet? Why did Madame deMontaigne seem to ignore Renee... her own Granddaughter? Why was the young Lawyer, not even a family member, so important to Renee? Why did Renee have no other children to play with...? Nothing seemed to be what she had expected to find! And she wasn't sure how to get answers.

But she did know that she loved her daughter more 
with every minute she spent with her!
She loved to watch her joy and fascination with the birds.

It was such a lovely day... 
what could be better than sitting in the Park watching Renee?

You might not be surprised to find that Raymond
 was still not ready to trust Renee to Daphne's care.
He did not want to admit that he might be feeling
just a little jealous of their growing attachment.
He told himself that it was mostly the possibility
 that Daphne might try to take Renee away 
that made him follow them every time they went out.
After all, he knew nothing about her! 
Where had she been living... and with whom?
Why had she suddenly decided to see Renee?
And there were those rumors about a man
 asking about adopting a child 
that matched Renee's description!
There were way too many unanswered questions 
for his peace of mind!

Perhaps now was a good time to get some answers,
 he thought as he approached Daphne.

Daphne was annoyed to find the Lawyer following them again.
She really wanted to watch Renee!
But perhaps he could answer a few of her questions....
He certainly seemed to have a close relationship with the family.

"Bonjour, Monsieur," she said.
"I assure you, I don't need a 'break' this morning" she added 
as he approached with a determined stride.
"I was not planning to offer one" he replied curtly.

Renee was so absorbed by the birds,
 she had not noticed Raymond at all.
There was one little bird that seemed to be watching her
 as much as she was watching it!
She stood very still...

"But I do have a few questions for you" Raymond said.
"You still need to fill out all the employment forms 
with your reference information.
We will need to know your permanent address... 
banking information... who to contact in case of emergency" he added.

"Of course" replied Daphne. 
"But I have a few questions too" she added.
"Can you explain why Monsieur deMontaigne is so frail...?"
Raymond stared at her for a long moment. 
He was surprised to realize how beautiful Daphne looked in the sunlight!
"I do not gossip about my employers he said at last."

Renee can't believe the bird is just sitting there... 
as if she is waiting for Renee to talk to her!

"Bonjour..." she whispers as quietly as she can!

"Do you want to play...." she asks?

Daphne is not surprised that the Lawyer is not going to help her.
She turns to watch Renee.

She seems completely absorbed by one little bird!

And a moment later the bird has disappeared... 
but now the water has caught Renee's attention!

As she watches, it begins to sparkle with swirling stars....

She holds her breath, waiting to see if it will stay....
Daphne sees that Renee's attention is on something in the water....
She feels a moment of fear as she remembers her dream....

Renee reaches into the water to try and touch the stars.....
But they disappear!

Suddenly the sun is gone.
Daphne calls to Renee to stay out of the water...

The day feels somehow changed.... 
Perhaps it is time to return home.

Whatever magic had been in the air a few moments ago, it was gone now.
She felt as though she had even more questions than before.
But she was determined to get her answers, no matter how long it took!

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you will forgive me
 for leaving you here...
With Nothing to say...
And Too much to do!