Story

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

As John rounded the last bend back to his home after an afternoon walk around the block. He caught sight of his wife, Marge, half buried in a grape vine trestle. The vine was fully laden, and as usual, Marge was struggling to reach for the largest bunch right at the top.

Five-years after the grapes came through, and seeing Marge struggle for the top most bunches, John spent a weekend locked in his shed and built her a step ladder.

‘To reach the grapes higher up,’ he’d said, and showed her how easy it was to use.

Six-months later, he walked out one morning to share a coffee with his wife, and saw the step ladder had been pushed to one side, and on each step, sat a pot plant. He shook his head and smiled, and Marge looked up, her eyes clear and green, from a seat at a small ornate, garden table set, the children had given them last Christmas.

‘Coffee,’ he’d said and put a cup in front of her, not waiting for an answer.

John never said anything about the new pot plant holder, and for fifteen-years it’s brought a smile to his face. So, there was Marge, her wide brimmed cane hat had fallen off, and was lying in a small pool of fresh water on new soil.

‘Got you!’ Marge said with a certain satisfaction.

Her ankle length, white cotton pants had large brown patches of wet soil all over them, and he was sure, at some stage, she’d been sitting in the dirt.

Likely while she was digging in a new seasons blossom, he thought.

The give away clay on her backside, with the odd white petal and green leaf stuck to it making him try to stifle a chuckle, but he wasn’t entirely successful.

‘Need some help,’ he asked clearing his throat, as he closed the front gate, noting there wasn’t a section of garden left for anymore plants.

She’s going to want new trestles, he thought, and was looking forward to the job.

Marge had tied her red floral shirt at the waist, and for a moment she was that lovely young woman he’d met almost fifty-years earlier.

‘What are you smiling at?” Marge asked, and popped a grape in her mouth.

‘You!’ he said. ‘ You’re just as lovely as you were all those years ago… when we met at on that Winery tour.’

‘Oh, that,’ she said, and John knew from the look on her face, she too had drifted back in time. ‘You were sloshed from what I remember.’

‘Me?’ John said and let out a hearty laugh.

‘All right, we were slightly tipsy,’ Marge said and started to laugh.

‘How come when it’s just me, I was sloshed, but because now you’re involved, it’s, “slightly tipsy?”‘ he asked and Marge laughed so hard, she almost choked on a grape.

‘Want one?’ she eventually sputtered.

‘Keep that up, and I’ll take the whole bunch,’ he said and tried to take it from her, eventually leaning forward to kiss her on the forehead. ‘Coffee, my dear?’

‘Love one,’ Marge said, then sat on a small patch of grass the garden had left and ate her grapes.

‘Be back in a minute,’ he said.

As he walked away, John turned back, and smiled as his eyes took in his sweaty, muddy, beautiful wife and understood the saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’

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