Papa says nothing, but his head is high and the air around us seems to sing. I feel like the wagon might sprout wings and lift us skyward like the fanciful contraption made by the Wright Brothers that Miss Carlisle told us about. Then again, looking at Papa, I realize you don’t need wings to fly.
This kitchen is smaller than ours, but it’s clean and tidy and as warm as a piece of bread fresh from the oven. I like how the chairs are all different designs. Ours at home all match, which seems dull next to the variety here. Like everyone has a chair of his own. Special. I can’t stop a smile when I see a horseshoe hanging over the door, just like the one I got from Henry.
Instead of the usual Naphtha soap, Mama hands me a bar of her special lavender scented soap. I rub it over my cotton chemise until I get some suds. Mama helps with the back. She scrubs my hair until my scalp tingles and I holler in protest. Then, I slip off the chemise and soak in the suds. The warm, soapy water slides over my skin like fancy silk. The smell of lavender makes me wish for summer. I’d stay in the tub until it got cold, but William has to have his turn. I wrap myself in a towel and after putting on clean nightclothes, I sit while Mama tortures my hair with a comb, trying to work out the tangles. When she gets tired of my squirming and hollering, she rubs a little mineral oil on the comb to help it slide through. I go to bed feeling pampered and content, like a spoiled cat.