for-mi-da-ble

by Maggie Scout

formidable (adj): tending to inspire awe and wonder; great strength, powerful

Jan and Maggie sat by the window and admired a glass jug filled with beautiful pink roses fresh from the garden; full and in bloom and softly scented.  Sally’s favourite had become  theirs too.  They were enjoying their usual choice of tea with Alice’s award winning lemon cake.  In cahoots.  Like when they were little and mischief was in the making.

I’m a bit jealous of her you know.   

Who?

Sally. She’s sort of … unflappable and I’m, well, more the Calamity Jane type without the horse and Howard Keel.  Guess it’s all part of my charm!  Aunt Kate knew her before she moved here and seems really fond of her but won’t go into any details. And you know what she’s like, she’d never give any information away.

There might not be any ‘details’.   And I thought you made a great Calamity Jane in that school production, actually.

Look at these! Silk, pure silk! I’ll bet her mother spun ‘em!  ~ Calamity Jane

They giggled like two school girls, reminiscing; opening night in the school theatre, the badly fitting costumes and the wobbly scenery, the primadonnas, trying to keep a straight face singing Once I had a Secret Love, the boy who played Wild Bill Hickock and the gloriously camp and wonderfully funny director.  And wanting to do it all over again.

Their eyes followed Sally about the room admiring her grace and confidence.  In awe of a woman not that much older than themselves but in many ways older and wiser than anyone they’d ever known.  Charismatic.  Energising.  Always hopeful.  That’s what they saw.  This was their experience.

I really like Sally.  She’s lovely without being  full of herself. 

Honestly?  I think she’s formidable.  Maggie reflected on an earlier conversation she’d had with her boss that day; appraisal time.  Bet Sally’s got a five year plan!

She reminds me of you a bit Maggie but with a better taste in shoes and probably a social life.

Ouch.

Anyway … the only thing that Aunt Kate told me is that Golly Gosh wasn’t meant to be a long term thing and that’s the reason Sally has never moved into the flat up above the cafe.

I thought it was because she didn’t want to be available to everybody 24/7 and who could blame her? So, since your Auntie Kate’s the font of all knowledge, what’s next? Surely she can’t sell up?

We could always just ask her but I don’t want her to think we’ve been gossiping. Let’s ask Alice instead.

They laughed knowing that Alice would be the last person to tell anything.