Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Where Are They Now?

After writing a blog post at Christmas about Miss Birdie and Dorothy, I began to wonder what was going on with the rest of the gang. And so I began to sketch out a little outline of what Elizabeth et al are up to--nine years after Under the Skin, fifteen years after Signs in the Blood.

Elizabeth is 67. She is still making wreaths but has also returned to an abandoned hobby—painting. She is quite enjoying the absence of unexplained corpses in her life and is hoping that Rosemary and her husband will eventually move to the farm so she can see more of her grandchildren. Her dogs, Molly, Ursa, and James are gone but there is a new gang of rescues underfoot.

Phillip is 69. Happily retired from police work, he has discovered a talent for woodcarving and is a member of a crafts guild.  He and Elizabeth are still very much in love and often finish one another's sentences.

Laurel (39) still lives in Asheville. She has been in a relationship for the past six years with another artist. He is divorced and the father of two, Laurel continues to paint wild stuff but has begun doing exquisite watercolors too. She and Rosemary are collaborating on a series of children’s books that will probably be best sellers.

Rosemary is 43. She is still a professor at Chapel Hill and with her last book has a growing reputation as a novelist. Her husband (they married in 2013) is African American- also a novelist, with several bestsellers. They are very comfortable financially. They have 3 kids—Sam b. 2013, and the twins--Bethy and Hannah b. 2016. Rosemary is beginning to tire of the constraints of academia and is thinking about moving back to the farm. Her husband Joe says he'll be happy anywhere he has his family and a high speed internet connection.

Ben is 39. He and Amanda run the farm. They have one daughter who is 7. Elizabeth is enjoying her company.

Gloria is 64 and has remarried again.. She and Elizabeth are on good terms but rarely see each other.

Dorothy is 87 and still looking after others. Miss Birdie is 97 and slowing down a bit physically but not mentally. She was the focus of a recent documentary on Appalachian folk ways and finds various seekers of wisdom showing up on her front porch. She always makes them welcome with, 'Well, come right in and git you a chair."

Aunt Omie died at 94, falling off the roof of her chicken house.

Calven is 26. He and Mariposa Cruz plan to marry soon.

Julio and his family have a small place of their own nearby. Homero returned to Mexico.
Who have I left out?

I don't have plans for another Elizabeth novel but as I started making this little list, I realized that all these folks are still alive in my head. 


Anvilcloud said...

Cool. I read the two or three that were available to me.

Barbara Rogers said...

And these wonderfully crafted characters remain alive in my mind, only back at the ages you wrote about. Somehow closing the back cover of a book seems to seal them into a place where time doesn't pass by. But were you to pick up your pen (or computer) and get them updated (sequels!) I'd be eager to see what's happening!

JJM said...

To others, these may all have been fiction -- but to me, as to you, they are as real as either one of us. Thank you for letting me, letting us, know how they are, not just Miss Birdie (as you occasionally do) but all the others. And I realize it's high time for me to ferret out the first book of the series again so I can start all over ...

I still find myself haunted by that repeated phrase, "I see you ..."

Diotima Mantineia said...

This is wonderful to know, but personally I think it’s time for another dead body. Oh, wait...I mean book.

NCmountainwoman said...

I think I need to re-read these books. Thanks for the reminder.

GPearson said...

I think about them often. Especially Miss Birdie and Elizabeth. This was a nice little surprise revisit this morning. Now I shall start rereading all. Thank you!

Thérèse said...

Time for me to read the newest one...