Mynell's Back Door

A Story by Carolyn Crosby

Inspired by Betty Dettre's painting of the same name.

Mynell's Back Door The whole neighborhood always felt at home at Mynell's back door. Children flocked there when Eddie was a boy to share teacakes with him from her sweet-smelling caramel-colored hands. Rivulets of sweat ran down dusty faces and arms to leave dirty handprints on the white steps.

This was a place for sitting and dreaming. Flaky white paint would stick to the backs of firm young thighs as couples sat on the steps to nervously practice flirting. It became a fairy staircase for innocent trysting with chaste kisses under misty moonlight. There was such safety in knowing Mynell was just within the door. Old purple heirloom petunias released their fragrance into the night to meld into the nostalgia of that time.

As time went by, the trysts ceased. Other lovers were found, but the old steps were not used for courting anymore even though the petunias still bloomed. Soon army boots stealthily made their way up to surprise Mynell inside, the last time Eddie's feet would tread those steps. Tear splotches were covered with layers of paint, and Eddie's little dog faithfully lay on the mat awaiting his return. Friends sipped iced tea there as painful new memories were merged with happier old ones.

Even though Mynell is now gone, the comforting aroma of the daily yeast rolls she baked still wafts forth when the door is opened. The old cat will occasionally come by to call softly to see if she is there, trudge back to his new home. Everyone knows how he feels.

Piece By Piece

Quilt Some OLLI members displayed their art at the Pine Belt Quilters Fiber Art and Quilt Show this fall. If you've never been, or even if you have been, the next show during the fall of 2020 is certainly something to put on your calendar.

Maryann McClain's quilt, seen here, was exhibited, and she says about her creation, "This quilt's improvisational piecing was inspired by the modern quilting movement. The final design, which incorporates the two elements of blocks with straight line insertions and a circular quilting pattern, reminded me of the hoop and stick game played by Colonial children, hence the quilt's title, 'Rolling the Hoop.' "


By Dallas Gorbett

I knew I would live forever.
No angels stepped down
And whispered it in my ear.
There were no great signs.
I just knew each day would be
Followed by another.


The doctor opened my chest
And re-plumbed my heart.
He told me now I'd live
For many more years.
He didn't say anything about

He took away my immortality.

Do you have a life story, anecdote, poem or picture to share? Send it to with "OLLI Expressions" in the subject line. We'll try to get it in the next issue. Limit your submission to 400 words (poems to 21 lines or less).


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