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Life as a Scot in California

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I think I’d like my Royal Albert Back (2)

Posted by berkeleyscot on October 8, 2008

After we arrived in Buckie, late in an afternoon of May 2002, we checked into the hotel and then went to Dad’s house. He had died in April.

We were exhausted and emotional. Dad wasn’t rushing to the door to greet us as he used to do.

All that met us was silence, his empty chair, his slippers and his well-worn bible. We sat in the silence, knowing that, the next day, we’d have to start emptying the house.
So we were mourning Dad and contemplating how to dispose of his life in an obscenely short amount of time.

Someone knocked at the front door. Before they knocked, they had expected to walk in and had turned the knob. I knew who it was.  Dad never locked the door.  We always locked the door and we absolutely did not want to see anyone that evening.

Yes, I knew who was knocking, hammering on the door and it would be only a few seconds before she’d be peering in the living room window. We unlocked the door and let her in.

She never asked us how we were, how the journey had been, or how it felt to be in the house with no Dad.

All she said was, “I’ve come for the Royal Albert.”

For 29 years, the Royal Albert had been on display in Mam’s China Cabinet.  I hate China Cabinets. The family museum of the BEST CHINA.  Dishes that were never used but looked at, with dread, in case the looking would break the BEST CHINA.

She came like a thief in the night, taking advantage of my exhaustion and emotions.

She didn’t need to threaten or point a gun.

I welcomed her demand, at the time.  Giving her the Royal Albert was one less thing to deal with and I helped her wrap the cups and saucers in newspaper.

It was only the next day that I remembered that I’d promised to give the Royal Albert to someone else.

It was fairly recently that I remembered that the Royal Albert is mine. It would look elegant and be useful in my newly painted dining room.

Finally, after 35 years, I have a home for the Royal Albert.

Please return it. No questions asked.

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