Saturday, August 1, 2015

They're coming, they're coming!!!


How do you like the eleven dozen eggs and the columns of meat in our garage freezer? I've always aspired to order, as you may be aware from some of the projects on this blog.  My sister and her family arrive tonight, and boy have the mice been scurrying around. We've prepped some food: Fanny Farmer mac n cheese, Alice Waters lentil salad, Mark Bittman potato salad, carrot/squash/mushroom stir fry, Nigella Lawson blueberry muffins, and bacon/egg/cheese muffins. We hung one of Claudio's paintings in the Woman Cave, and cleaned a few upstairs windows. Claudio and Lucia will pick up Irina, Antoine and their children Maxime, Nicolas, and Colette tonight at midnight at the airport. They're flying all the way from San Francisco to stay for the month! 





Sunday, June 28, 2015

Postcard to Papi - from Eva


Hola Papi, soy la Eva. we have a piano here so I can practice piano. at the lake I found a feather, a big one, a shell, and a smooth rock. We swam in the lake too. when we were at the cat shelter, we saw a cat named qwint, he was soooo cute and really playfull.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Purging Paper - A Boy Named Peter


I've whittled down two Ikea cardboard file boxes full of old letters down to a stack that easily slides into an 8 by 11 manila envelope. Am I defeating the purpose if I stop here? Then again, what 48 year old woman, faced with smile lines east and west of her lips and thinning hair framing her temples, just for starters, wouldn't want to revisit letters from old college friends like Vikram, addressed to "Megababe"?  

Peter, a German/Argentine transplant whose father worked for General Motors in Mexico when we first met freshman year of college, graduated before me and headed to Toledo, Ohio for his first job as a court monitor. I knew he would end up in law school, he just had argumentation built in to his system.  He was cocky, good looking, smart, and knew his Latin American history.  So I put up with his arrogance and learned a lot from our conversations.  His sidekick, also Peter, was his antithesis: small town Rhode Island, second generation Italian, pot bellied, blue eyes that sparkled with mischievousness, but mostly kindness. 

Life in Toledo was tough for our friend Peter V (I won't divulge more, but I will say that he intimated that the Zur part of his surname was indicative of blue blood), as he expands upon here in his letter of September 30, 1991:

"When you wrote in your letter that you were "worried just a tad" about my living here, given my "taste for the cosmopolitan life", you expressed a gross understatement. Olivia, I never knew that ordinary, provincial Americans could be this dull and ignorant. I don't want to offend you, of course, but I never thought it would be so intellectually dead. Don't get me wrong, people are nice here, but in three months I have had no conversation that went beyond cars, football, bars, money or jails (the last because of my present calling). Can there really be such a wasteland?"

A simple Google search reveals that our friend Peter is a lawyer in New York now.  I guess he couldn't hack Toledo.

In addition to his keen intellect, I miss his sense of humor- "I was astounded to learn that you're picking up men in bars, Olivia! What would your mother say?  The sheer shamelessness of it makes me blush!" I even miss our somewhat unbalanced friendship "You, who listened to my endless laments in freshman year".

And now I fling his letters in to the nautical blue, plastic recycling bin, manila envelope poised for its next mission.