Mable's a Trip
It started out as innocently as any telephone conversation I ever had with Mable, my best friend and fellow-member of the Salt and Pepper senior-adults Sunday School Class. Truth be told, most of us were by now using salt substitute, but we looked the part.
“Frances, I did it!”
“Mable, what's happened? You alright? Turn your volume down on the telephone; my neighors can hear you! What's wrong?”
“I won it! Girl, you and me are going to the Poconos! All expense trip for two! Listen to this...see the Poconos in the peak of foliage color, visit quaint towns, antique shops, arts and crafts events. Imagine the beauty of waterfalls, lakes and apple orchards in the vibrant color of Autumn... You listening?”
Three weeks later, Mable and I embarked on our journey. Mable struggled with her four oversized suitcases barely getting them into the taxi and then pleaded with the skycap to get her checked while I checked my one suitcase.
“Did you see how slow he was? We might have missed our flight.” Mable plopped down next to me in first-class, her flowered-dress clinging to her, showing the top of her rolled-down hose.
“You did break in line in front of that whole group of people.”
“Well... good gracious, Frances. We'd never have make it if we got in line. Now, don't you feel better? Here we go on a trip of a lifetime! In a couple of hours they'll pick us up and whisk us off to Love Heaven.. Must be a Christian-owned resort. Five-nights, all-inclusive for you and a loved one at a beautiful adult resort tucked in among golden-leaved Maples on the shore of the Delaware River.
I should have asked right then and there, but Mable was busy ordering a shrimp-cocktail for each of us and getting headphones for The Bridges of Madison County.
Two hours later I heard Mable tell the flight attendant as we put down, “Adultery. A movie about an affair. Please, tell the Captain I don't approve. What's this world coming to?”
Waiting outside the airport was a van with Love Haven written in red on its side. Immediately, a tall uniformed driver opened the van door and ushered us in as he collected our luggage. Turning to us, he handed each of us a red rose. I was pondering Love Haven...Love Heaven when Mable caught my attention.
“How nice. They really know how to treat guests, don't they?” Mable grinned ear to ear.
The ride took the better part of an hour but every mile was worth it. True to all I had heard, this was the most beautiful countryside. All along the two-lane road there were waterfalls, lakes and wonderful little farms with dark-red barns and fields of orange pumpkins. Leaves of gold and red fell onto the road as we passed. The mountains were ablaze with color.
We road in silence taking in all the glorious autumn beauty.
When the van slowed and turned left onto a gravel road, we turned to look upon Love Haven.
It made a grand first-impression towering several stories above the trees.
“We're here! Frances, can you believe it? The Poconos!”
We were ushered in and treated like royalty. The mural behind the check-in desk was of a young couple standing in a waterfall with the words, Embrace Your Most Intimate Passions.
“What was wrong with that young man who gave us the key? What was he snickering at?” Mable was already making plans to have a talk with the manager. But, by now I was getting a sick feeling in my stomach, the same feeling generated when I sign for a certified letter.
We spent the next five nights sleeping in a king-sized round bed on satin sheets looking at ourselves in the overhead mirror, a difficult task in flannel nightgowns. We dined in the restaurant, Strip Night , eating the best strip steaks in the world once you remove the black-lace garter. Every night we splurged on Flames of Passion dessert.
I soaked for hours in the red heart-shaped tub. It was when I found peace of mind to pray. My prayers started with Lord, please don't let Mable die up there. I'd have to leave town; you know how people talk. She lingered nightly in her birthday suit and nightcap, covered in bubbles in the seven-foot tall Champagne-Glass whirlpool bath built for two.
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