Monday, August 3, 2009

Mrs. Maple Hawthorn and her Candle Light Suppers.

This is one of the few recent photographs of Mrs. Maple Hawthorn of Millstone Manor. Millstone Manor sits on a fifty acre estate several miles outside of Cloverdale on Highway 1. Mrs. Maple rarely leaves the Manor since her husband died thirteen years ago. She prefers the company of her four dogs, two cats and several servants who tend the house and its gardens.

Mrs. Maple takes long walks in the gardens at half pass three in the afternoon. Her umbrella is kept in hand for rain, sun and the occasional photographer. The afternoon walks end in the Manor’s library for the reading of the day's mail. Every letter is read. Most are answered either by herself or her secretary. A checkbook is kept to one side of the desk to answer urgent appeals from her preferred charities. Mrs. Maple is one of Cloverdale’s most giving philanthropists.

Mrs. Maple has dinner at 6:00 P.M. promptly. She enters the dinning room dressed properly for a lady of position. She normally dines with her pets. On special occasions she will invite people of interest from the village to attend special candle light suppers. The servants enjoy the candle light suppers. They break the monotony of their daily routine.
"It's always nice to see new faces in the Manor, especially children's. They really brighten up the place." said the Manor's butler.

Invitations to a Millstone Manor Candle Light Supper arrive by government post on Millstone stationary stamped with the family's crest. The recipient finds a handwritten invitation for two. The invitation includes the date and time of the super. A second paragraph gives the reason Mrs. Maple finds you a person of interest. The paragraph ends with a list of the topics to be discussed during supper. A second column lists additional discussion topics should you be invited to take coffee in the Manor’s library following the meal.

Mrs. Tonya Twirl and her husband Ben were the last village residents to receive a Candlelight Supper summons three months ago when their parrot won the Annual Cloverdale Village Pet Show. Their topic list included.
  1. The Weather
  2. Parrots in general.
  3. The keeping of parrots.
  4. Their health (Mrs. Maple’s health must never be discussed).
  5. Their children
The invitation set the Twirl’s arrival time thirty minutes early so the servants could tutor them on proper table etiquette. The various forks, spoons, knifes and goblets were explained. Supper guests may ask questions if necessary. At 5:50 P.M. the servants quizzed the Twirls to be sure the information was retained.

At exactly 8:00 P.M. all dinner guests are escorted outside through the Manor’s large oak doors A carriage, drawn by the estates finest horses, awaits to take them to the iron front gates where their cars wait.

Needless to say, an invitation to a Millstone Manor Candlelight Supper is highly sought after and rarely bestowed. There is no rhyme or reason to who receives invitations. For example, in April Mrs. Maple entertained the winner of Confederacy Elementary School’s spelling bee and her mother. One week later the Lord Mayor and his wife received an invitation for approving a small grant to the community theater.

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