OLD FLOORBOARDS AND A DIPPY PHONE CONVERSTATION

Mandy, of The Complete Cookbook, asked about the furniture in the background of my photograph in yesterday’s post.

Our house was built in 1942 and inhabited by the same family until we bought it four years ago. The kitchen was too vile to describe and I had it completely gutted. A local carpenter built all my (freestanding) furniture to my specifications, using reclaimed oregon pine floorboards from demolished local houses.

It’s not a state-of-the-art kitchen, but it is true to the historical period of the house and it is the room where I am happiest.

Thinking about the original owners, I am reminded of a previously blogged about encounter …

When you live in the same house for 62 years, it is inevitable that mail will continue to arrive long after you move away, despite the best efforts to let everyone have your new address.

So it was with Mrs. S when Mr. S died and she sold this house and moved away to live with her daughter. When mail arrived here for Mrs. S, most of it was clearly junk mail and I simply threw it away, but one day there was what appeared to be a personal letter and I felt that I should try to get it to her. None of the neighbours had a contact number for her, or knew where the daughter lives; they’d never been on visiting terms with the S family.

S is an unusual surname; I found only three listings in the directory. The third one I dialed proved successful and a maid answered and asked me to hold while she fetched ‘Granny’. After a long wait, I almost dropped the receiver when an abrasive voice shouted loudly in my ear.

HELLO?

Oh, hello Mrs. S. My name is Cindy Taylor and we bought your old house.

WHAT?

I’m calling from your old house in Parkview. Are you Ida S? I’ve tried all the phone book listings for S.

THEY’RE ALL DEAD!

Who?

THE Ss, THE LOT OF THEM! WHY? WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH THEM?

Oh dear, I have some mail …

I TOLD YOU, THEY’RE DEAD, THE MALES DIED FIRST!

No Mrs. S, I said MAIL.

OH WELL, WHAT IS IT? OPEN IT!

Are you sure?

YES, MAN, OPEN IT!

I open it and it is a letter of solicitation for funds for a Jewish Orphanage, I tell her.

OH, CHUCK IT AWAY.

I will Mrs. S, thank you so much for your time.

IT’S A PLEASURE LOVEY, GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FUNDRAISING.

Horrible, rude old thing

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58 thoughts on “OLD FLOORBOARDS AND A DIPPY PHONE CONVERSTATION

  1. What a riot, Cin! It sort of reminds me of a call that came to my Mom just days after my Dad died. She handed the phone to me when she heard what they wanted, because she didn’t really feel like talking to whoever it was. When i got on the line and they asked for my Dad, I said he’s not here at the moment, but I would give him the message, and their telephone number. I closed with saying, that if he returns the call, make sure he doesn’t try and reverse the phone charges, because the bill would cost an arm and a leg, but if they get a letter from him, save the stamps – they should be worth a fortune!

  2. eeek. She’s probably pretty deaf, and her marbles may be rolling around looking for places to rest.

    Your kitchen is a lovely room

    I see EAT is now on the wall, I must pop in for some merlot and to bring you the money I owe you (and the work I spoke about)

  3. Bawhahaha! thank you for the Friday morning laugh – even made Hubby smile (Grumpy) – Next time I visit JHB I want a cup of coffee in your kitchen.
    Happy Friday
    X

  4. Cindy, thank you for the mention – it clearly helps being inquisitive. 😉
    Thank you too for sharing more of your beautiful kitchen. It’s easy to see why you are the happiest there.
    As for Mrs S – oh dear!
    🙂 Mandy

  5. I love your kitchen.

    Not surprising that its the happiest room in your house with all the tantalizing aromas and tastes wafting through it.

    When I get old, I shall probably be just like Mrs. S ~ hard of hearing, short tempered, and a bit muddle minded. 😎

  6. Eek! I’m already a Mrs S in the making – I’m getting grumpy in my old age!
    Love your kitchen.
    I have a huge bookcase made from oregon pine doors – beautiful.

  7. Owwhhh, I want cupboards like that where you can see all your favourite dishes.
    Too funny…. Mrs S sounds a scream….. good on you for tracking her down though…, shame she was a dud – horrible rude thing 🙂

  8. Hilarious. I too get mail for a lot of the tenants in my house that have since moved on. Unlike solicitations, this mail is usually important stuff like exam results, DMV notices, tax returns and bank statements. Why my former neighbours fail to inform important departments such as these of their new address is beyond my reckoning.

  9. Great story (miserable tart though) ;-)and a stunning kitchen, I’m dreaming of free standing units – maybe when I grow up 🙂 Hope you’re having a fab day, still boiling in KZN 😦

  10. Wow your kitchen is really lovely…I love that it is filled with history and memory 🙂
    When my sister and I moved to an apartment where we study in bangkok 10 years ago… on the first day, we got a phone call asking for the previous owner… apparently the girl wanted to break up with the man who used to live there… it’s miserably funny 🙂

  11. Your kitchen is a masterpiece! I love the shelves for your pots and pans!

    The phone conversation is too funny! Your fundraising! She was indeed a rude old thing, and not too confused to throw in an insult dressed as a blessing, it seems. You were kind to make the call. Blessings to you, Cindy…

  12. When I look upon the beauty that is thine kitchen I am rendered speechless….and a little green tinge appears around the gills.. Excellent post. Love that story of old Mrs S… 🙂 Love you xx

  13. What a gorgeous kitchen you have, Cindy. Love it. And that’s a hilarious story about Ida S, she sounds like a treat.
    Love the new look blog – sorry for not being around much lately.
    Sunshine xx

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