Look at that beautiful door, with the top half open and the bottom half closed. My mother always called this “a Dutch door” so I looked it up. Wikipedia says this term is “American English” while the British call it a “stable door” and the Irish call it a “half door”. Wikipedia doesn’t say what the Dutch call it.
Whatever its name, I always wanted one, but now I suppose I never will. I’m living in Alberta, and all my doors have screens to keep out flying insects.
Nevertheless, I can’t see a photo of a Dutch door without thinking of my mother, who died three years ago after cancer surgery, a heart attack, and a fall, culminating in pneumonia.
Mom would have loved this door, with its knocker, and its four-paned window topped by an arch. I know what she would have said to my father. “Gordon, look! There’s the one I want. See? It’s beautiful. I want one just like it!”
My father would have looked, but he wouldn’t have seen the door unless he happened to be standing right in front of it. “What?” he’d ask, looking around. “What are you talking about?”
“Never mind,” Mom would say, “we’ve already passed it. It’s back there.” In her enthusiasm, she’d have neglected to say “that door” to identify what she meant. She was always like that.
“Gordon,” she’d say, after 40 or 50 years of marriage, “bring me the thingamajig off the top of the whatchamacallit.”
“What?” Dad would always ask. “What do you want?”
If one of us happened to be there, we could say, “She wants the clock from the top of the china cabinet” because we all knew what she meant.
Dad would shake his head. “Well, then, why didn’t she say so?”
Our parents adored one another for more than 60 years, and eventually we began to suspect this was some sort of game they enjoyed playing, but we never knew for sure, and now we can't ask.
In memory of
Pauline and Gordon Davies
With thanks to Willow
at Magpie Tales.