How has it been five years already since I first talked to the Bingle Jells lady? I call her that because she came to the kids’ Christmas music performance a little bit lit, and my grandmother, Tooty, had this awesome wooden plaque that she hung up every year over the television during the holidays. It was a wobbly Santa with a drink in his hand and it said Bingle Jells!
I really wish I had that thing. I’d put on the front door instead of a wreath, maybe.
Anyway, the last time I talked to the Bingle Jells lady was last winter or maybe the one before. I had dropped the girls at school and was stopped at the stopsign in front of her house and she walked into the road and slapped on my window. Scared the hell out of me. She wanted a ride to the coffee shop so she could go hang out with her friends. We used to see her walking there every morning, all bundled up. She’d been in the hospital recently and couldn’t make the walk but really wanted to go visit. She said she’d get a ride home, no problem, so I told her to hop in and we drove off.
Dear sweet honey did she smell bad. I had to crack my window.
Anyway, there were signs up yesterday announcing an estate sale in my neighborhood. I didn’t really pay attention until I pulled up at that stopsign this morning and saw all her stuff all over her lawn and driveway. Chairs and tables and furniture and dishes. A rocking chair. And a couple of men there, waiting for people to come and buy everything up.