“Special Ed” (Part II)
This Week’s Issue: No doubt about it. Isabel is becoming ‘amourous.’ Is this just a fling, or has Isabel decided that she has been mourning long enough and is ready to move along with her life? Homer is watching it all, in wonderment.
Two mornings later, in the Inn’s kitchen, Louella’s face showed little emotion as she stood at the huge stainless steel work table cutting out Sunday morning’s biscuits. Sitting on a wooden stool nearby, Isabel went on and on in great detail about Ed Hightower and his recent visit to the Inn. I languished quietly on the floor, catching an occasional scrap of dough middair as Louella worked cutting biscuits.
Sensing some sort of a disconnect, Isabel stopped talking and gazed at Louella as she worked; “Is there anything wrong, Louella? Do you think I’m being silly? If you have something on your mind, just come out with it.” Louella paused and put her biscuit cutter aside. “I hope that you’ve given this some thought, Isabel; you’re not a young woman, you’re set in your ways, and so is Mr. Hightower – I mean, Ed. I’ve had two husbands in my life, and believe me, my second marriage wasn’t the ‘bed of roses’ that my first one was. Henry wasn’t a bad guy, and he was always very good to me, but at age fifty-two I wasn’t even remotely the same person I had been at nineteen. I thought at the time that I knew what I wanted, but it turns out I was dead wrong. Circumstances change, we change, and we sometimes end up doing strange things when we are lonely. Just don’t go rushing into something that you might come to regret for the rest of your life, Isabel.” Isabel listened quietly, nodded appropriately, and thanked Louella for her advice and concern; but I could tell that Isabel would ultimately choose and follow her own path when the time came; not out of stubbornness – that’s just Isabel.
Having hung around a busy Inn for the last few years, I must confess to the fact that my superior sense of smell gives me a tremendous leg-up as to “what’s going on” with my human brethren. I can’t tell you much about human love; but, about human lust, I’m an expert. People generally spend their leisure time at the Inn to enjoy themselves and relax; and relax they do! Love, lust and passion are known to ‘break out’ here among our younger guests like summer lightning. Many of our older guests rarely fail to surprise me. In my travels up and down the halls and stairways of Faded Glory Farm, I see and hear things that Isabel and her staff can only imagine. Without being too graphic, I can assure you that ‘the nose knows,’ and sometimes I know what’s ‘going on’ with folks even before they do. Pheromones, folks! Isabel is no exception.
Although Isabel is very discreet and ALWAYS the genteel Southern Lady, I can tell that she really has strong feelings for Mr. Ed Hightower. At her advanced age, I would have thought that prim and proper Ms. Isabel would be sewing, birdwatching, or out enjoying her new Lincoln Town Car. But, instead, at age 67, Isabel appears to me to be ‘a woman on the hunt.’ Having lived with Isabel for the last eleven years, I can tell you that when she puts her mind to something, she’s as serious as a heart attack.
It’s been more than a month since Isabel drove to Hiawassee and met with Ed Hightower. Ed apparently extended his bank’s most generous interest rates to Isabel for her investments. In addition, he took Isabel out to lunch afterwards; and later, I heard Isabel telling Louella that Ed has “great taste in wine.” “And good taste in women, as well!” was Louella’s retort.
Up here in vacation paradise when the younger folks get a ‘hankering,’ they are fairly quick to act on it. More than once I have nearly been trampled by eager couples heading for their rented boudoirs, married or not. With Isabel and Ed, it hasn’t been like that. Isabel has never looked kindly upon public displays of affection; in fact, “get a room!” has been one of her more frequently used remarks when passionate confrontations have broken out among our guests at the Inn.
Over the past few weeks, Isabel and Ed have grown very close, and they spend most of their spare time together. If I could speak, there are several times I might have been tempted to say, “Get a room!” These days it isn’t unusual for Ed to join Isabel and me when we go on our traditional one-mile jog on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Ed and Isabel now hang out together almost every weekend. Even though there hasn’t been any wedding talk, even a four-legged fool like me can tell that things are getting ‘serious.’ Neither of them appears to be speculating (within earshot, anyway) as to their next move, so maybe their new relationship can best be described as ‘a work in process.’ Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Oh, Oh; here they come now . . .Get a room, you two!