Hello reader friends! Today you are in for a treat! Simone is here to talk about her day with us. Anyone who knows Robin Mason has read Seasons Series, or at least I hope you have! This had been a wonderful series to read, and I’m so glad Simone is here today catching up!!
A DAY IN THE LIFE – SIMONE DUBOIS BISHOP
by Robin E. Mason
“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.” —Madeline L’Engle
Bonjour. My name is Simone Bishop. I’ve been invited to tell you all about my day, and I must say I’m a tad baffled. There’s nothing special about me. I’m an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life. Rather like any other woman of my station in 1914.
I suppose, though, that recent events have shed light on my, er, shall we say, conflicted life. And as such, have also piqued interest in what my days are like.
To begin, Yeto and I have settled in Russellville, not far from Pearl and Rolf. Our Rowan has just had his first birthday, and I must say the bulk of my day is chasing after him. If anyone had thought I’d have a nanny or governess, they were wrong; as it turned out, no one thought such. I’ve been apart from my family for so long, nothing will come between me and them again, especially my children.
Cece is five now, and she reads her stories the same as her namesake. She’s quite introspective, that one—just as my dear friend Mercedes.
As for my days. Ro awakens the house with the roosters. Not that we have roosters, as we are in the town. He is a monkey, climbing on anything—not so unlike me, I suppose, when I was a child. We’ve had to barricade the stairs at the top, as his crib does not contain him. Most mornings I awaken to him sitting on the floor next to our bed. On his papá’s side, of course. Yeto is a remarkable man, and takes our son to change him and dress him, then takes him downstairs with him while he cooks our breakfast. Leaving me to get dressed, and get Cece dressed. She, too, awakens early, but so different to her brother, she waits in her room with her books or her dollies until I come to get her dressed. She is at least like me regarding her hair; she does not like any fuss with her hair, and I have, in fact, had it recently cut.
We enjoy a grand breakfast—my Yeto is a superb chef—before he leaves for his new restaurant, Bishop House Restaurant. On sunny days, I take the children for a stroll to the park. Even at just a year, Ro resists riding in the pram. He has climbed out on more than one occasion, most recently in the middle of the street with an auto fast approaching. I have deferred to fastening a harness about his waist and chest that is attached to a short cord. I feel as though I’m walking one of the dogs, but if it keeps my child safe, c’est la vie. On rainy days we go to the library instead. Wherever we go, Cece pushes her own tiny little pram with her favorite dolly, Dorothy, so named for the little girl in her favorite book, The Emerald City of Oz. Cece tucks her Dorothy under a pink satin blanket. Ro, of course, carries his wooden train engine everywhere we go, proclaiming to everyone who passes by, “Choo! Choo! Choo!” And quite loudly, too.
After lunch, I put the children down for their naps, and I must confess I was rather at a loss as to how to occupy my time. I’ve never been the reader like Mercedes or Pearl, and though I learned how to sew, I have neither the talent nor the skill our Scarlett has. Needlepoint and embroidery has never held interest for me. I much prefer being out, bustling about. Not so much climbing to the top of our Versailles, or the barn roof anymore, but visiting and tending laboring mothers. With the tumult of the past two years, though, I’ve hardly tended any births, and none since Rowan was born.
I have maintained correspondence with my friends in Saisons. I correspond quite frequently with Tante Vivienne and Papá and Mercedes and Scarlett. Papá, I’m happy to say, is doing famously. He is quite recovered from his madness, and is living in an apartment in the manor house. Violet is blissfully married and off on her wedding trip, and Suzi has not forsaken her passion for women’s suffrage, but has discovered a different passion—her strapping twin sons, Will and Georgie.
These past years have piqued a new interest for me, as well—mystery and intrigue. I have surprised myself by delving into some of Mercedes’ detective stories. But the biggest surprise to me of all, is that I have tried my hand at penning my own stories. I’m sure I’m no great judge of literature, but I must say I do rather like the stories I’ve put to paper. I have decided to send one to Mercedes under a nom de plume, Cyrus Woods.
Afternoons are spent in a variety of ways. We walk to Bishop’s at least once each week, and drive out to Pearl and Rolf’s farm. Bonnie is such a tiny girl compared to my Rowan, even though she’s a few weeks older. Cece has quite taken Bonnie under her wing, and leads her about like her own living dolly.
I’ve hired a piano instructor to give the children lessons. Of course, only Cece is learning just now. I remember afternoon tea quite fondly from my younger childhood years, and am teaching the tradition to Cece, though far less formal. I’ve made grand new friends here in Russellville, and we visit one another several times during the week. They all have small children and it makes for quite the boisterous and entertaining afternoons. We play croquet and tennis, or go riding on bicycles.
Yeto may own Bishop’s but he is no slave to it; he is there of a morning, overseeing luncheon preparations, and then through the afternoon doing what he loves best—cooking. And he does create the most divine dishes. Only two or three nights does he remain at work. The rest of the time, he is home to have supper with me and the children. I learned to cook when—well, never mind that. Suffice to say, I can prepare a fair meal. Still, we hired a cook and housekeeper to allow me more devoted time with the children. Hattie met Yeto’s standards, and we’ve not been disappointed with a meal yet.
I have also come to enjoy the piano, and have polished what feeble skills I ever did have. After dinner, we sit in the front room and Yeto tells me anecdotes of his day, and I regale him with the children’s antics. He sings to the children at bedtime, and once they are asleep, Yeto and I sit in the swing on the front porch, or we go for a stroll through the park. Hattie lives with us and she is happy to sit with Cece and Ro while we’re out.
Not so much an exciting life, but quite grand all in all. Quite grand for me, leastways, as I never imagined such a happy and normal life. I suppose my life now is far more an adventure than anything I ever dreamed as a child. Certainly, it’s more exhilarating even, than climbing to the top of Versailles.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”
Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa, in 2013. Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned her BFA in Interior Design. Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years. Her characters face many of these same demons.
Ms. Mason writes stories of identity conflict. Her characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, her stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. “I know, I write from experience.”
Ms. Mason has seven novels, Tessa, Clara Bess, and Cissy, in the unsavory heritage series, and The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, and The Whispering Winds of Spring in her Seasons series. All of Ms. Mason’s books are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. She also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. She is working on a Christmas novella, The Key on the Christmas Tree, and will be working on One for the Price of Two, the first story in her new series, FourSquare, to release next year.
ABOUT THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING
Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?
The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.
It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.
Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.
When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.