In which we have dreams of what may be, live life as it is and pet a purry cat.
Our Millie used to say that dreamin' ain't all it's cracked up to be if it stops you from livin' and real life's not so bad after all if you have somethin' warm to hold onto.
Our Millie was layin' on a blanket out in the front yard by the old cedar tree. It was a hot late autumn day, one of the last before the changes on the mountain would set in. She had just washed her hair with baby shampoo and rinsed it with rain water and lemon juice to give it that blond streaked look those actresses had in the movie magazines that MJ sneaked into the house and hid under the loose boards in the closet, 'cause Big Mil would call them trash and throw them all out if she found them.
Our Millie's head was full of dreams and questions that day and she had brought a notebook out with her so she could write everything down before she forgot it.
Maybe she would write a song and go to Nashville, or a story and sell it to a magazine and make a lot of money and be famous, and everybody from all over the holler would know that she was really somebody and maybe she would be homecoming queen someday.
But she was getting mighty sleepy in the sun and hot breeze and the pencil kept slippin' from her fingers. Pretty soon she just stretched out and closed her eyes and went into a dream about her beautiful Elvis and blue suede shoes. Are they really blue when you get them? Or do you have to dye them and why would you want to do that? Where would you wear them and could girls get them, or just handsome guys who danced and swiveled on stage and sang about them?
In the middle of these questions that were makin' her awful tired, she began to hear a faint purring from what she thought was a car motor, and it kept gettin' closer and closer. Soon there was a skiddin' and spittin' of gravel as its tires neared her house along the narrow lane. Then everything stopped.
She opened one eye and then the other as she slowly focused on the most wonderful, beautiful Thunderbird convertible she had ever seen. As a matter of fact it was the only Thunderbird she had ever seen outside of magazine pictures. She fell in love. It was creamy white with apple red leather seats and the radio was playin' "Blue Suede Shoes!" Was it a sign and a signal? An omen?
Just then she noticed a boy with curly brown hair and Paul Newman blue eyes hoist himself up on the seat, grin at her and say, "Hey."
Our Millie didn't know what to say or do. She started to grin back when she heard a giggle comin' from the seat beside the boy and then she noticed the passenger. She was cute and blond with natural streaks, and wore her hair tied with pink ribbons. Her skin was perfect and so were her teeth when she opened her rose tinted mouth to smile. There was absolutely nothing wrong with her and Our Millie hated her then and there.
It turned out that they were from the city and had come out to the country to visit a farm sellin' apples and cider. After gettin' directions to the McGee place they went on their way laughin' and listenin' to her Elvis, and leavin' her in a cloud of dust and gravel. How dare they! What was worse, the dust or takin' Elvis?
Our Millie lay back on her blanket and looked around. She wondered what it would be like to ride in that car and laugh with a rose tinted mouth. What would she feel like if she was perfect? She smiled and touched her slightly crooked front tooth with her tongue. She looked around her yard with the cedar tree and her red checkered blanket. Further down the road she saw Jimmy J drivin' his old Ford truck and spittin' gravel as it went. She shook her blond streaked hair out to dry more and noticed the streaks weren't even. Then she put her notebook aside for awhile and picked up Tom Bill, her big yellow cat with the crooked tail, and held him tight. He seemed very happy to be cuddled on her lap and his constant purr made her happier than the purr of the Thunderbird, at least for that day.