Young Anna Belle looked laxidaisically distracted; day dreams brought about by the sheer heat of the midday summer sun. Her usual happy mood distracted; reflective of the pending hesitation felt by many during those days of summer 1963. The heart of the cold war era, always on the back of the mind of the local citizenry, would today be the day "the big one went off". The fears and collected dreams of citizens tuned into the atomic bomb channel which constantly told the public "this is just a test of the emergency broadcasting station" or "don't turn that dial". Fear bred fear and the young Anna Belle was not immune. Her inability to be cajoled into a peaceful mini nap indicator of the alarm that was soon to sound, awakening in the conscious mind the fear to beat all fears; complete armageddon.
A heavy topic for a five year old who trying to get a grasp on the basic construct of her world could not inhabit a peaceful one. Where the threat was real; tenable; we were under direct threat we were inches away from nuclear incineration. People would envision the horrors in their dreams to prepare them for the reality if this should coccur; the repeating dream of the mushroom cloud in the background of a typical suburb, a bit of a dictomy, considering the two extremes; peaceful mayhem. The conscious could lie for the unconsicous fears, but eventually, the exhaustion and fear wore out the masses and the common place became something to fear and dread. Paranoia whether real or imagined can work this way, coyly toying with the logical mind, fear wanting to master the complacency and state of mind.
For Anna Belle and her family, the cold war could not help but make inroads into their post war perfected world, a world where fear not only bred fear but slowly was unravelling the way of life which was solid and true. All tenets of the faith being questioned by the possible pending nuclear disaster to come, in thought or deed the brain does not realize this difference. The brain responds to fear, real or imagined; and certainly this pending disaster was made real by the constant reminders on the news, on the new media of television, in Time and Life magazine, on the radio.
For Anna Belle and her family, the threat was real just not discussed to any extent. The news media did enough to promote the very real fear mongering which hopefully would save our lives. We as citizens knew not much would be alive if we took a direct hit. We were a large Canadian city. Were there bombs pointed on us? If so, how many? How would we find out? How close were we to disaster, really? Just underneath the surface, the surface to air missiles, the breaking the sound barrier jets were on stand-by on the ready at moment's notice. Anna Belle would be playing in her backyard and heard overhead the sonic booms while flying at the 30,000 foot level. She could see them flying quickly across the sky and then boom they were gone into the blue beyond.
In this cold war era of fear brought about by the very real potential of complete annihilation or atomic disaster, the entire country was awash in fear. Complete distrust of anything, any neighbour, any action unnatural. Those who acting out of sorts in any way was dismissed readily without trial or jury. They became the enemy on the land and were to be mistrusted and watched.
The immediate need to find a face for the fear became typical of the nature of the human beast and the nature of the scapegoat. Anything which did not seem even remotely democratic in nature was questioned and scrutinized.
These heated dog days of summer should have been buccolic and languidly peaceful, yet there was a sound, unheard which wore on the collective soul. An young child such as Anna Belle could she would, never, understand the adult world. Of why people could think destruction, why they would want to do this. It wasnt in her Anna Belle mindset. The only thing which really struck fear in Anna Belle at five was the Saturday morning air raid sirens and the constant "this is a test" blaring not so innocently from the t.v. commercials.
There would never be a time at this time at the pinnacle of the cold war to let go of attentiveness of the moment, never to let down one's guard or defences for a moment. The cold war was an never-ending threat, what would it take to restore peace in a breeched and unbalanced nuclear world? Like an unwelcomed guest in the livingroom who would never go home. This looming and unwelcome presence a wholly unnatural thing, especially in the dream-like suburbs. What was a heavenly dream for the babyboomers became for a time a nightmare to be lived much like World War II and the constant air raids.
When the midday sun could now become the mushroom cloud spelling the end to all the endless days of summer, and the end of the world as all understood the world to be. As the endless and once happy sounds of summer, once so peaceful and serene now a constant reminder each balmy Saturday afternoon exactly at noon could spell disaster. No one knew the time or the place as it says in the Bible; "I come like a thief in the night".
Anna Belle was not thinking about the bomb but it effected her unbeknownst. If Anna Belle appeared despondent to her everyday surroundings it was not due to the air raid siren. She was feeling the angst of social taboo. In this background, the moment world inhabited by all five year olds seemed less of a threat than the adults felt, or did it? Soon the weighty midsummer heat would entice the sleep response, and all things were made dozey. Usually these dog days of summer would cause all to drift peacefully into sleep. In this moment in time, Anna Belle would become a little more worldly earlier than her five years could manage.
The year 1963. One more time Anna Belle awakened to her surroundings, nudged awake from the constant distant drones of far away lawn mowers and the paddering of Donna Weller's snake-like sprinkler left on past lunchtime. From where Anna Belle sat on the floor of her Toronto suburb she could clearly see the snakehead whipping around ad hoc. Even that uneven movement could not tempt her from her sleeplike staring out the bellowing white lace curtains breathing animatingly with each slight warmed summer breezy gust.
No shadows were visible at this high noontime. The sun, the superball protoplasm beating heat on the warmed planet from its mantled placement deep in the baby blue sky. Anna Belle's big blueberries eyes were half-lidded, heavy with sleep and near to dream-state. The natural summer siesta before lunchtime in the extreme summer heat when all activity was almost non-existent. There were now only ripples of movement of waivering pavement heat from the highway beside Anna Belle's house. The steady stream of zooming cars were hypnotically continuing the everyday lullabye sounds on this typical lazy Saturday in July.
Anna was thinking about how hungry she was becoming and remembering her usual attempts at begging cookies from the mennonite lady across the street. Donna's mom had probably made her cookies earlier than usual, this being Saturday. Anna Belle would have to wait til Monday to show up extra early for a couple of peanut butter or her favourite oatmeal raisin cookies.
Earlier today, Anna Belle had been playing quietly with her dolls and listening to the Ray Coniff singers, South Pacific musical, or the Lemmon Sisters on her family's phonograph in the livingroom. The endless waiting for her Mom to call her for lunch made her nod off while playing with her dolls. Anna Belle had already washed hands.
Anna Bell could now distinctly smell the mushroom soup on the stove and the broiled open cheese sandwiches. Then there was the fresh smell of butterscotch pudding. "Anna, time for lunch!" Anna Belle's mother called her into the kitchen. Anna yelled "Yippee!" and ran to the kitchen. Anna Belle's sister had gone to a friend's house for the weekend, and her older sister was away at camp for the week. Her Dad had gone over to the Wellers to talk with Mr. Weller about hardware stuff like lumber. Mr. Weller worked at the hardware store close to downtown. "Daddy will have to grab a bite when gets in later this afternoon were going to Morgan's at the Cloverleaf Mall to get you a new pair of runners". Mrs Pott's had noticed Anna Belle's shoes were wearing and decided a trip to the mall was in order; a nice diversion for the two of them.
This being Saturday and almost noon awakened Anna Belle atomatically. The early warning system for nuclear attack; the air raid sirens could be loudly heard each Saturday from their position in the middle part of the suburban Toronto. Soon they would be tested as they were every Saturday since Anna could remember. This Saturday not much was happening, there were no bikes or parades on this midsummer day. The Highlanders often marching on parade down the Westway each Saturday a.m. morning was always wonderful to watch for Anna and the neighbours in Etobicoke, but this Saturday was just to hot to do too much but head to the beach or the nearest pool, usually a kiddie pool in the backyard or play slippery snake. Anna Belle hated to be sprayed especially by neighbourhood boys who loved using their water pistols on the unsuspecting Anna Belle. Often Anna Belle would run home in tears, she hadn't learned the art of how to deal with brothers or boys in general. Anna Belle thought most boys were yucky accept Georgie her kindergarten teacher's son.
"Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" the loud drone of the Saturday early warning system was in full throttle. Anna Belle grabbed her ears. "Mommy, I hate that sound, why do they do that?" Anna Belle was frowning as she pulled in her chair at the 50's steel and arborite table. "Anna Belle it is in case of a nuclear attack". President Kennedy has been having an awful lot of trouble with people who rather us not have our freedoms" Anna Belle's mom said assuringly. "Don't worry, dear, it'll be over soon". After five seemingly endless minutes, the screaming air raid siren was silenced; at least for another week.
Anna Belle "I'm glad it's over mommy, it makes my ears hurt". Mrs Potts tried to change the subject, "Anna, would you like to go to Morgan's to get a new pair of running shoes?". Anna got excited at that idea. "Oh yes, mommy, that would be fun!" "Ok Anna Belle, we'll go as soon as you help me dry the dishes". Anna Belle rushed to get out of her chair and ran to the sink. "I'm ready!"
Everyone knew by the early sixties that there would not be much of a sliver of hope if Toronto became ground zero for a nuclear bomb. All those instructional films did not bely the fact that one could not hide beneath a desk and survive a direct hit. It was almost comical.
Without much fanfare, Anna Belle's school did have "the drill" and the teachers would teach everyone to get out of the school, like a fire drill. There was no hiding under desks, only once in kindergarten did Anna Belle remember her Japanese teacher showing how to cover the head with the arms over the head.
Earlier in the day Anna Belle's mother had been making macaroon coconut cookies, perfectly toasted with a small marachino cherry in the middle. They tasted so heavenly to Anna Belle and she loved it when baking day had made the weeks supply of baked goods. Anna Belle still recalled the warm butterscotch pudding just warm enough where there would be a skin on top of the pudding which Anna loved to eat. When things got upsetting Anna Belle would often think of food to placate her mood. It did for a time comfort the young girl. As far as food, Anna liked things that others did not like fat on steak she'd prefer to eat than the meat. Her favourite 50's meat and potatoes meals were always on time and appreciated. Anna Belle's favourite being mashed potatoes with real butter mixed with corn. Anna Belle did not recall margarine before the early 60's; to Anna Belle and family margarine was not invented The milk came in bottles delivered by the milkman in the early 60's. The Beatles were singing Twist N' Shout. Anna Belle could twist in her tunic as well as her sister's and her favourite Beatle was Ringo.
Anna could not wait to load into the silver bullet, her mom's car and head out to the mall. It was always special and she usually got a treat if she behaved herself. She was always a good kid, and never talked back or made a huge fuss. Anna was always curious, and if there was one thing slightly annoying about the young girl is that she always preficed her sentences with "why?". Her dad always had the answer "because, that's why". Anna would persist but would give up after the tenth "why".
Anna Belle loved her parentdearly, her sisters, her city, Toronto where there were always fun things to see and do, it was an exciting time in the booming city always under change, but for this brief time in the early 60's before the huge construction boom less than hurried, even by Toronto development standards. Anna Belle would walk her dog pollie the collie always accompanied by her older sisters. She loved being the baby of the family, but never felt spoiled.
Being there with her two sisters on an usual Saturday would mean a definite daily trip to the corner store after supper. There would be ratfink rings to purchase or superballs to replace the one that flung into the troposphere on more than one occasion. Anna Belle loved buying blackballs for a penny where she would help herself to the candy. She loved her new found independence, stopping off at the store before heading home to watch Superman reruns or Disney's Mouseketeer Club. How Anna Belle wanted to have mouse ears.
On this day the hottest of days, the parents would discuss going to Wasaga Beach cottage. When there would be a long lull between summer holidays each sister would get a quarter for a treat. Anna Belle would often get her favourite Jet orange with chocolate topping ice cream or her favourite chocolate, orange or red white and blue popsicles or fudge sickle at the corner store. Life was simpler and slower, little things much more appreciated way back when in the early 60's.
Anna Belle loved calling her friends on the phone. Her phone number was Cherry 917. Anna Belle was always happy to make house calls, calling her friends and going over to their home on her blue CCM bike and playing all day. Sometimes she was allowed to sleep over at her best friend's, Kathy D. Today all her friends that lived around her house, but today, she was doing her usual Saturday morning shopping chores with her mom and dad.
Dad decided to go out to the Beaver Lumber, hardware store with Mr Weller this Saturday. Anna Belle sang the commerical "Beaver Lumber, Lumber Beaver, Beaver Lumber" over and over again until Dad said "Ok Anna Belle, that's enough" Anna could get faceous at times as all kids often know how to push buttons. Anna Belle being no stranger to the art of bug. Anna Belle's dad was finishing the bar in the basement of the rec room. Anna Belle liked having the unusual luxury of having her mom exclusively for herself today; it was a rare occasion. Usually she would be going to Beaver Lumber pressing the various door bells, annoying the salespeople. Anna Belle did not get to see her mom very often as her mom was a nurse at the hospital. Anna Belle did not feel any need to go to Beaver Lumber and was happy to go shopping at the mall.
Anna Belle waited for her mom in the car while picking up a couple of items at the grocery store. Then Mom and Anna Belle went into Morgan's and over to the shoe department. "May I help you, Mam?" The clerk had clearly paid her undivided attention to our being there and we were served immediately. "What shoes do you like Anna Belle?" asked the mom. "Oh, I love, love love these," Anna ran and got the shoe with the plaid. After trying on the shoe sizer Anna Belle was happy to twirl around with the new running shoes. "Look how fast they can make me run mommy!". Anna ran up and down the aisle. "Easy Anna you'll run out of shoe rubber!". Anna's mom smiled a large smile. "Mom can I get a pair of Buster Brown's for birthday? "We'll see Anna Belle, you didn't scuff your old shoes, did you, we just got those in the spring." Anna Belle said "I kinda used them for brakes learning how to stop my new bike, Mom". Mom rolled her eyes, "Uh huh...hmmmm, oh dear...".
At the old store called Morgans, once Eaton's and now The Bay, Anna Belle stopped near the middle of the store, the candy isle. Anna spotted her usual favourite smarties, where she loved and always bought smarties. McIntosh toffee her grandfather would buy her at the local neighbourhood store, and she could save chocolate bars for years. Sometimes she would stockpile chocolate bars for so long they would have be thrown out. "Can I get smarties today Mom". "Oh sure Anna, but we got to get going soon, Daddy's going to wonder where we've gotten to". "Ok, Mommy as Anna Belle skipped happily holding her mother's soft hand.
In the car Anna Belle asked fervently, "Mom are you going to work this week coming?" Anna asked. "I think so, if the hospital calls me in dear" "Do you want to go to work Mom?" Anna asked her mom. "Well, we could use the money, but I'd rather be at home, until you are full time at school for another year. Mommy being a nurse is always in demand and it is a very special and important job". Mrs. Potts continued. Anna Belle interupted, "Mom, can I be a nurse one day? and "Can I see you at work sometime Mom?" Anna's excitedly enquired. "Sure Anna, I'll get Daddy to bring you over on my afternoon shift, I'll get off at 3 pm". "That will be really fun, Mommy! Can I watch a baby being born?" Anna sounded excited. "We'll see!" Anna's mom smiled at Anna.
Close to home Mrs Potts thought out loud "I wonder what daddy's doing, did Mr. Weller make lunch for him?" "I think daddy grabbed a bite at the Weller's, if not, we have some balogna in the fridge. That reminds me to cancel the milkman next week if I am working, I better leave him a note in the milk box." Anna loved playing with her dolls in the milkbox just by the back kitchen door. It would not be long before the milkman and the milkbox was boarded up for good, a thing of the past. Anna Belle would open the secret hidden door to the outside world, a giant world to her small dolls.
"Mommy can I get a Barbie doll for my birthday?" "Anna you already have a Ken doll. Can't you borrow Bethany's Midge doll or Michele's Bubblehead Barbie?" Anna's mom knew what was coming next. "Aw mom, I wanted a Barbie, so I can dress her up in her dresses. The dresses dont fit Ken." Mrs Pott's laughed and said "You're right, we'll have to see about this. Maybe you could get a skipper doll" retorted Mrs. Potts. "What's a skipper doll? Oh yah, skipper is Barbie's younger sister. But Mom...I really want a Barbie or Midge doll, I want to dress them in the same dresses as Bethany and Michele!". "Oh I see what you mean, dear." Anna's mom rolled her eyes. "We'll see dear, if you're good..." "Oh I'll be good mommy, I promise!" Anna Belle was so happy to have the same dolls as her sisters, it put her at par and she could feel important playing with grown up things.
The early part of the afternoon was still ahead of Anna Belle and her family and she decided to call on a couple of her friends. Sherry had gone to her cottage up north for the week, she had a Mrs Beasley doll and also had a hidden playroom under the stairs that had loads of toys. Also Cathy D. had been busy cleaning house for her large family and was too busy this afternoon. Anna Belle always recalled fingerprints on everything at Cathy's, with so many kids the place was always in disarray. Allfive of Cathy D's brothers seemed like football players, loud boys that pushed right past the girls, usually ignoring them. However they always called on Cathy to get the housework done. The mother and Cathy always appeared overwhelmed. "Maybe you can come over to my house tomorrow Cathy" Anna Belle said politely as she left her house and carefully crossed at the corner the busy highway. Then there was Donna down the street who had the mean boxer dog. Anna Belle did not like calling on Donna because of her mean dog. Donna was deaf and could read lips, it was fun to understand her and she liked her; she was terrified of the barking dog.
Anna Belle then decided to walk the long block to Kathy D's house after she called her on the phone. Kathy was busy today, having gone with her mother to downtown little Italy with her relatives. She would go to the Italians often on Saturdays and help the grandmother make pasta. They never had much furniture in their house, having bought a house and then waiting to buy furniture. It was the same thing with Angela's parents. It seemed a long time before they got any furniture. Most that was there was from the old country and looked ancient. Always the widow ladies wore black lace, Angela's mom wore nothing but black lace from head to shoe. Strict Roman Catholics Anna Belle wondered if one day she would wear all black lace too.
Maybe Kathy would be back later and maybe would come over for a sleep over. The only other person Anna Belle she could find to play with on this hot summer day was Jennifer next door.
Anna Belle did not like playing with Jennifer because Jennifer often treated her cruelly, not letting her play with her toys and told her always to "go home" after an hour and after the invisible mother in the closed kitchen would yell from the room something in another unknown foreign language. It wasnt Italian, that's for sure. The Italians were always were friendly and giving the shirt from their back. Anna Belle always felt right at home with Kathy but not Jennifer Hessand. Jennifer would often push Anna Belle literally outside from downstairs and slam the door.
Anna Belle tried to dispell her cruel treatment even at her young age, making excuses for her poor behaviour and temperment. "I guess it is her nap time". Anna had never met such a spoiled child. She had tons of toys to play with, a pink phone, a princess bedroom. Anna even had a full-size popeye boxing toy in the front livingroom the only toy in the living room which seemed odd to Anna Belle. Usually only boys had Popeye sock-ems.
The only other toys were in the play room in the basement. The house was always in darkness, quiet. Jennifer was an only child and terribly spoiled. Anna Belle recalls the time when Jennifer was called over to the garbage truck on garbage day, the garbageman saying he found a wonderful toy for his princess. Jennifer went running happily to the garbageman who handed Jennifer a bright pink lifesize poodle, wrapped in plastic wrapped. It appeared to be brand new. "Now give me a little kiss Jenny" Jenny said "I don't kiss garbagemen". She ran with the toy and slammed the door in front of Anna Belle again. From behind the door Anna Belle could hear Jennifer say "Go away Anna Belle, I don't want to play today". Anna Belle always felt that Jennifer felt herself to be much better than her. She wished she could change her, but she could not, she was died in the wool spoiled brat. No changing that breed of animal.
Although Jennifer had the most wonderful of toys Anna Belle did not like calling on her and only did so if her mom's insistance. "Anna Belle, why don't you call on Jennifer. You haven't played with your next door neighbour in a long time". "Ok Mommy, I'll go over to Jennifer's". Anna Belle sheepingly said, scuffing her new plaid ked runners.
Anna could never get up enough nerve to tell her mommy about how she was being so unfairly untreated by Jennifer and how psychologically cruel and callous nature towards her.
"Go Home, now" screamed Jennifer after the odd noise from the kitchen. "Ok I'm going, don't push me!". Anna Belle went up the stairs to the top of the stairs. She felt two hands on her back literally pushing her out the door. "And don't come back for very long time, maybe forever if that's too long awhile for you, too bad. I am going to be playing with Richie and he doesn't like you he only likes me".
Anna felt so hurt by Jennifer's cruel statements that she ran home with tears in her eyes. Anna Belle told her Mom who was reading at the kitchen table what had happened. "Oh I didnt know that Jennifer was being so cruel to you Anna. I am going to have a word with that family". Anna's mother dragged Anna Belle back over to Jennifer's "Mommy, I dont want to go" implored Anna Belle.
When Mrs Potts was on the war path Mrs Potts was on THE war path; no quarter given;"Anna Belle, I want to nip this in the bud immediately. It isn't fair how those two brats, Richie included are treating you. Mrs. Hessamd should know better for crying out loud. I know she knows about this, doesnt she? Anna Belle looked up at her mom with the most innocent of honesty; "I think so mommy, she's the one who says funny things, then I have to leave right away" Mrs. Potts retorted; "Oh, I see...".
As Mrs. Pott's knocked briskly on the storm door, Mrs. Hessand appeared in a dark shadow from behind the door. The door remained locked. "Can I help you" said Mrs. Hessand. "Could you please open this door, I'd like to talk with you." asked Mrs. Pott's. "I am afraid I cannot, I am not dressed." said Mrs. Hessand. "Well, I will give you a call in an half an hour. We have to talk about something important." Mrs. Potts sounded serious "I dont like the way your daughter is treating my daughter. "I have nothing to say" Mrs. Hessand said matter-of-factly and defensively.
"Well if that's the way it's going to be, fine. Anna Belle is not allowed to come over to your house. Since you do not allow Jennifer to come to our house, or she doesnt want to, I suppose you have already made this decision." Mrs Potts left in a huff and lead Anna Belle by the hand. "I'm sorry Anna Belle. I didnt realize what horrid people the people next door; some neighbours! What is wrong with these people! Something isnt right here. I am going to tell Daddy when he gets home. Mrs. Hessand is not going to get away with this."
Joe Pott's was Mrs. Pott's husband, he could talk the silk from a sows ear. Surely someone should find out was was happening at the socially inept and conspicuous Hessand household, Joe was certainly the man to get the job done.
When Joe Potts got back from the lumber store he said in his usually friendly phrase; "Is anybody home?". Anna got off her chair in the living room and ran towards the door full blast. She ran into the awaiting arms of her dad and gave him a big hug. "Hi Daddy!" Anna Belle blaired. "You'd think I have been gone forever or at least to war and back" said Joe. Anna's mother also acknowledged her husband's return.
"Oh, Joe, I'm so glad you are home. How did the hardware store shopping go, did you get all you want for the bar, and Joe, can we talk please?" Mrs. Potts said imploringly. "Oh I got nearly everything I need, I am just waiting for a sink, that will be in by next week." "Oh Joe, I'd like to talk to you about something, Mrs. Hessand..." Joe and Doreen Potts headed to the bedroom where all conversations of a personal nature were discussed and as far from the prying ears of the questioning children who needed to be protected from themselves. One thing that Mr. and Mrs Potts shared was the act of secrecy. Anna Belle knew early her place, and certainly did not question her parents methods. No always meant no.
Mrs. Potts began to tell Joe her husband how oddly she was being treated by the next door neighbour. "Joe, You know I am really concerned, Mrs. Hessand is being a horrible person, there is something wrong with her. I've heard many complaints from the other neightbours, I should have paid attention. It wasnt until today that I understood why Anna Belle was reluctant going over to their house. I so miss the pevious neighbours, the Kadings, even if Anna Belle packed her bags and tried to move with them. They were so loving to Anna Belle, the older Kading girls fawned over Anna Belle. Anna cried for days. Those Hessand are so frivolous and fake; they are an awfully odd lot too. I bet that she doesn't have a husband, or there's no husband, just a sometime lover who sends her cash from who knows where. She is so secretive, her lights off all day, never see her leave the house. It is like they are vampires. If there is a husband why does he not help raise Anna Belle like a real father. Her spoiled brat behaviour is coming from the fact she doesn't have a father figure. That girl is going to grow up to be just like her mother, and that is not saying much. Jennifer is spoiled horribly. She looks like a grown up, wearing makeup at age six. I am sure the mother is dying her hair deep chestnut brown. She is the most unnatural child I have ever met; almost unholy. I just don't understand why they keep to themselves so much".
Mr. Potts felt upset at what was being said "Don't worry Doreen, I am going to get to the bottom of this. Give me a few minutes to make some phone calls." Joe went into his study and closed the door. All members of the Pott's family knew what this meant; business as usual and business always meant just business. Mr. Potts would be unavailable for awhile. Everything in the Pott's family would be put on hold until the business was completed. You could hear a pin drop.
"Mommy, is daddy almost finished on the phone yet? I wanna go to the zoo to see the baby elephant today". Anna Belle asked the Mom. "No dear, soon. I think it would be a better idea if you stayed home today. Let's all go next weekend when the weather isnt so hot and your sisters can go with you." Mrs Potts sounded sincere. "Ok, Mommy."
For her young age, Anna Belle was far beyond her years, she had what the Irish liked to call "an old soul". Anna Belle found a colouring book that needed some colouring and pursued that interest for awhile. Finally the home office door opened and Mr. Pott's came out of the office. "Well that's settled, what's for dinner?". Mrs Potts called from the kitchen "I think you could start the BBQ Joe, and could you please fix me a drink, lovie?" Doreen could lay on the charm. "Right away, my dear, right away."
As the afternoon sun turned into the cool of evening, Anna Belle quickly forgot about her problems with Jennifer Hessand. Her perfectly pretentious spoiled brat was never on her mind much anyway. Anna Belle had the ability to forget about the other things she witnessed in the Hissand household for years.
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