Norwich, Vermont, Thanksgiving Day, 1960: While they built their dream home in Hannover, New Hampshire, Adrienne and her parents lived across the Connecticut River, in Vermont. Their temporary home backed onto government lands, where her father took them hiking, but not during deer season.
In the paper, the farmer offered some hound dogs, because the hunters kept shooting at them. Whether hunters mistook the brown-colored dogs for deer, or whether they chose to shoot the dogs to prevent their chasing the deer, was uncertain.
Adrienne wanted both of the two dogs, but she could only have one so she chose the one and named her “Taffy”. All the way home in the Renault, Taffy bayed out the window. Surely Taffy missed her sister.
But once settled, Taffy took to her new home, her new family, and the vast woodlands to roam, behind the house.
Years before, in an older and larger Colonial home, Adrienne’s grandparents used to visit during the summers. Her grandmother helped her grow strawberries, and then they’d trudge to the road, to sell them at their neighbor’s fruit stand.
But the grandfather had passed away, and the grandmother found a cottage on a lake in Florida, and wintered there, away from the cold. And so it was that the grandmother always missed the birthday of her daughter, Adrienne’s mother Hazel, for Hazel had been born on Thanksgiving day.
That year the family was preparing for the double holiday, but they couldn’t find Taffy. They called for her in the late morning, but she didn’t show up. They called for her in the early afternoon.
Finally, late on Thanksgiving day, with afternoon shadows stretching across the lawn, Taffy drug herself into the yard. Miles away, in the woods, she’d been shot, but she had crawled the miles, so she could die at home. Adrienne was devastated.
The next day, word arrived that the grandmother had been found in her cottage. She, too, had died on Thanksgiving day. Adrienne was devastated again, and Hazel took to her bed as well, crying for their loss.
“Of course she died on Thanksgiving,” wept Hazel. “She knows my bad memory. This way, on my birthday, she knows I’ll remember.”
The next day, a package arrived in the mail, which had been sent by the grandmother. Inside they found Hazel’s wrapped birthday present, which was a bottle of perfume.
Its name was “Heaven Scent.”