Flowers in the Attic

I recall being obsessed with the V.C. Andrews “Flowers in the Attic” book series as a student in junior high and high school.

I thought about that book series as I stared at a 6 cent FDR stamp postmarked 1968.  I’ve been cleaning my own attic on and off for the past month.  As I was going through a box of childhood keepsakes, I came across a postcard sent to me by my Aunt Virginia.

Aunt Virginia loves flowers, her back yard is full of them.  When I visit her, I usually end up with a few cuttings or bulbs.  From her flower beds to mine, she shares her blooms, and they keep giving color to my yard year after year.

The back of the postcard was yellowed, and her message had been written in pencil.  The faded handwriting was a stark contrast to the Oklahoma travel photos on the front.  A 1960s black and white reel-to-reel news voice popped into my head as I read the description of the photos:

The front of this card shows only a few of the natural and man-made attractions which make Oklahoma a vacation adventureland. (Compliments of Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.  Not to be sold.)

As I read through her message, I realized she had written a poem and included me, her daughter (my cousin Julie) and my brother in the lines:

Dear Kelly,

I raised my head and looked at the World

And there was Kelly, a nice little girl

We played and ate ice cream and had lots of fun

Although cowgirl Julie was wearing a gun,

You got out the dolls and the dishes for a tea,

While Julie and little Quentin were running free,

Be a sweet little girl and always act nice

And the next time I see you I’ll kiss you twice.

Aunt Virginia

I re-read the poem a couple of times and thought, “I have my own flowers in the attic.  They’re from Aunt Virginia, given to me when I was five.  And now that I’ve found them, they’ll keep blooming – just like the perennials from her in my flower beds – adding color to my soul, year after year.”

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