That was the rumor running around town when it came to her. Crazy as cat shit, said no one to her face, but the label stuck to her whenever she showed up to the farmers market to buy eggs and string beans. She lived in a brick house on the corner of Greene and Woodland streets near the edge of Vidalia Township. No one visited that house, save for postal services who would drop off boxes once a month to her porch steps. Her cats (hence the crazy as cat shit label) strolled around her fenceless yard, a dreary patch of dirt with a strange twist of trees covered in blue and green bottles. They never centered past her property and seemed to pose like sentries around her house in silence. No one knew her true age, or how she managed to buy groceries, much less the packages that came from Amazon, or even less the taxes on her property that surely increased as would be expected of a town now popular with gentrified families seeking small town goodness near a bigger city. She had no children or husband to speak of, no family or friends who would defend her reputation, so the label stuck.
And of course another name usually came in a harsh whisper:
So said the neighborhood a bit louder and with more urgency when the newly arrived widower moved down the street on Greene and began to introduce himself to the locals. A quiet but friendly man of advanced years, he was newly retired from the Army after decades of working as a physician in the Army Hospital in Germany. He had no children, and after burying his wife he settled for a small, neat house with a comfortable pension and sizable library to keep himself busy. His rose garden was a pleasant distraction from the swirling gossip that landed near his door with the first neighbor welcome.
The warm welcoming came with a warning to avoid the crazy witch that lived on the corner. He thought otherwise.
As he sauntered up her driveway holding a dozen freshly cut roses, she took note of the familar gait of his walk as he moved towards the front porch. She stepped outside her door and gazed on the man meeting her eyes with recognition and warmth. She removed her shawl and draped it across the left arm while her right arm extended to the roses he clutched. He nodded as he clasped her bird like hand.
”Welcome home, my Love.”