Saturday, September 29, 2012

remembering

Yoga in the morning. (To my commenter -- I wouldn't do it nearly as well if I were to do it alone. Being with a good teacher is really motivating. I hope that this will remain true for the year.)

The ride on Rosie is brilliant. A stunning warm breeze, a prairie to the west, to the north…


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Then, after yoga, I glance at my computer. Email, then the NY Times. Ohhhhh...

A pause for reflection.

I came to live in the States as an adult (if you can call 18 adult) because of the goodness of a person who died today. I was an au pair to his little girl. I learned through him and his wife how to transition from Warsaw to New York again. I came with barely a flight bag full of clothes and possessions and joined a household that had a staff of helpers and an extended family of cousins, aunts, nephews -- all intensely close, bonded in ways that history sometimes bonds people because of unusual circumstances. That I was treated kindly is such an understatement that I can't even quite say it. The father of my charge will always in my mind be the person who liked nothing better than to drive away from the city, to the country home, fire up the grill and throw some meats for an evening supper with just his little girl, his wife and the aupair from Poland. After dinner, he and I would clean up in the kitchen and if I learned how to wipe down every last inch of counterspace it was because he taught me well. He was too kind for words and his little girl was just like him, making my au pair duties about the easiest that could be.

So, my thoughts are very much with the kids he leaves behind. Kids… How oddly stated! Kids. We were that once.




In the afternoon, Ed and I had an appointment with our village version of the Antiques Roadshow. Ed inherited a bit of folk art from his parents. Wooden garden statues that he finds quirky fun and I find kind of scary. Ed once suggested we put them in the mudroom, but the marble eyes just don't inspire trust and friendliness, so they lie buried in the basement collecting dust.

At the Roadshow, the wooden statues were a hit. Of course they were! Compare them to the standard piece of jewelry your aunt gave you for your graduation or the crystal bowl you found in your grandma's attic. There's color in the busty pose and the spiked heels of the girl and the crooked teeth and broken toes of the guy doll. I told the audience I wasn't a fan of either, Ed said he was and the appraiser sided with him and though we weren't holding a fortune in our arms, we certainly were told that we should be good and proud of the old yard dolls. Okay. We're proud. Back to the basement they go after their moment of glory.


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Still later, my girl, the one who is married now (!), took her old mom and, too, the traveling companion of mom to one of our favorite places  -- Indian Lake.


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If you know this county park...


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... you'll understand how beautiful it is right now.

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Utterly beautiful.


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Wistfully, sometimes very wistfully so.


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Sigh...


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9 comments:

Diane said...

Beautiful fall walk....love all the colors. And a lovely reflection and memory in which I think you captured more of the person he was than the NYT article.

Bex said...

With Firefox I can't comment in here. If this is a double, sorry. I had to switch to IE to use your comments.

My condolences on the loss of your friend.

Wisconsin is truly beautiful in all weather but fall is fabulous. We are getting more colorful here in southeastern New England but the rain is bringing down the leaves too fast but making a lovely crazy-quilt pattern all over the lawn. Time to put up my corduroy curtains too!

Rich Vail said...

That's probably the nicest eulogy anyone could possibly have...well said, madame.

Irene said...

Nina, you wrote a gracious tribute. It is very touching.

Progressively Defensive said...

I despise the New York Times. But your words impress what a wonderful man he was and I definitely will credit him with kind-hearted delusion would I disagree with him because you seem wonderful and found him wonderful.

Unknown said...

This is a beautiful remembrance. And a beautiful blog. I'm so glad I clicked over from Instapundit.

Deb said...

Beautiful photos and a lovely tribute.

George H. said...

The life you molded, and the life that molded you and that you remember, is personal. If you reflect a kindness, as you surely do in my measure and in your recollection here, you pass it along to cheer others. Me, for example. Nice remembrance.

nina said...

Beautiful thoughts. Thank you.