Since this is a revisit of Bogwillow, I may mention a little background for some of the stories from time to time. And since this is the first one, I’ll just tell you that the idea for this happened in the middle of the Shasta Lake bridge. Technically it’s called the Pit River Bridge, but no one I know calls it that.
When my kids were little and we were driving over that bridge which is [I looked it up] 3,588 ft long, we used to play a game to see if we could hold our breath until we got to the other side. Well, in 2003 when I found myself riding in the car over it, I decided to see if I could still hold my breath the entire way. And in the middle of this exercise, just like that, Tilly showed up. Bam. Little did she know what mayhem would ensue. Neither did I come to think of it. 🙂
And oh yes, I can still hold my breath till I get to the other side.
Just stating the facts mister, just the facts.
Tilly Culpepper died last week. Her death came as a great surprise to all her friends. When last seen, she had been in the pink of health.
“She was baking a gooseberry pie when last we spoke.” remarked her good friend Frieda Sweetbriar. “She asked me if I thought she should use cinnamon or nutmeg in it. Of course I told her to use nutmeg, the silly girl. Everyone knows cinnamon is best in apple pies, not gooseberry pies.”
As best as Dr. Woodbine could tell, Tilly had died in a very unusual way.
“It’s extremely rare.” he was quoted as saying. “Hardly mentioned in the medical literature. But from all the signs I would say that what happened is simply this, Tilly forgot to breathe. You know how sometimes you just get so engrossed in what you are doing and before you know it, there you are, holding your breath? Well, when Tilly exhaled, she just plain forgot to take another one. It’s a lesson to us all really. One must not get so involved in one’s projects that one forgets what’s really important in life. Air. And plenty of it. Fresh if you can get it.”
Always known as a gentle soul, fond of cotton dresses with tiny little flowers on them and her trademark striped socks, Tilly was a local favorite. She was thin as a rail and rather tall which on the days when she wore her red hair in pigtails made her look like a Raggedy Ann doll that had been fought over and stretched out by two very tenacious little girls.
Tilly will be sorely missed this year at the Bogwillow Harvest Festival. She always ran a popular booth where she sold dried flower arrangements complete with mounted butterflies, dragonflies, praying mantises, and other insecticidal paraphernalia.
A moment of silence is planned by the Horticultural Society, of which Tilly was a lifelong member. The Flight of the Bumblebee will be played by little Edwina Speedwell on her violin. It is sure to be a touching moment.
Goodbye dear Tilly, we will miss you. And to all the good citizens of Bogwillow, in memory of our own Tilly Culpepper, for heaven’s sake don’t forget to breathe!