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History Corner: Remembering Mrs. Appleyard

Louise Andrews Kent. aka "Mrs. Appleyard." Photo from FindAGrave.com.
Mrs. Appleyard was the pseudonym used by Louise Andrews Kent of Calais’s Kents Corner. Below are nuggets from her 1941 book, “Mrs. Appleyard’s Year.”

January  Mrs. Appleyard “counts her rosary of faults” for the New Year. She has a habit of buying unnecessary antiques and looking up words in the dictionary during meals.

February  “Puddles are of course a February problem. The snow that was white on Monday is brown sugar on Tuesday and muddy pools on Wednesday.”

March  “No matter how often she encounters this month, she doesn’t think she’ll live through it. Sometimes she doesn’t care whether she does.”

April  “No spring is really spring unless she has stood for a few moments under a 30-year-old forsythia and looked up through it into the soft blue of an April sky.” If the flowers are soon covered by a late snowstorm, all the better….

May  At last, the road stops looking like melted lava.

June  June is the time for “hot-pail” picnics, with cooked lunch in thermos jars eaten on a hill with enough lemonade for “several camels.”

July  In July she watches morning mist rise above Spruce Mountain, or bluebirds among the chokecherries.

August  “Another of the most musical sounds in the world, Mrs. Appleyard says, is the tinkling crash of a large window-pane as a baseball slams through it.”

September  “Corn is being cut, chopped, and stored in silos so that no worthy Jersey or Guernsey may be without her due portion of vitamins next winter.”

October  The family leaves Kents Corner in the fall leaving the house empty. “Word will go around in field-mice circles … The wind will try to get in, too.”

November  Mrs. Appleyard thinks of the Pilgrims who “were appreciative of a few squashes and pumpkins; grateful for the fact that their friends and families had not all died of plague and hunger.”

December  “Mr. and Mrs. Appleyard belong to different schools of thought on the subject of Christmas cards. Mr. Appleyard likes to save them for one vast orgy of opening on Christmas Day. His wife likes to open them as they come, choosing the handsomest and the funniest to put on the living-room mantlepiece.”