Anne Notations

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Connecticut reunion

Becky, me, and Dagmar in the gazebo

August seems to be a month when I reconnect with old friends. Today, as we have every summer for the past seven years or so, we got together with my sophomore roommate Becky and her husband, William, and their daughter, Kamaria, at the rural eastern Connecticut home of Becky's parents, Cliff and Dagmar.

Dagmar is one of those lovely, earthy older women who seem ageless and are fun to be with. A breast-cancer survivor herself, she is coping with Cliff's Alzheimer's disease day by day.

Cliff, a retired professor at UConn, is amazingly sharp about some things, yet his short-term memory is almost nonexistent. The family joke is: "Sit down and let Cliff ask you where you live." And indeed, he asks just that, over and over, earnestly and with great interest in your answer.

Kamaria, a beautiful girl, is heading off to the U. of Michigan next week. This seems impossible, but time is slippery and coy, I find these days. I wonder how Becky will deal with an empty nest... because I wonder how I will cope when that time comes five years from now.

Melinda and Michael in the gazebo

Becky's husband William

We had a late lunch of sandwiches on the picnic table under a tree, then drinks and dessert in the gazebo. A breeze cooled us all afternoon. It had to be one of the most glorious days of the year. When the air is clear and fine like this, I can only describe it as "delicious," which makes my family laugh. In the country today, the air smelled sweet with cut grass baking in the sun.

Kevin -- child of the corn

Garden spider, photographed by Kevin

Kevin went with Becky's brother to see the huge, beautiful garden spiders in a clump of plants a short distance from the house. By late afternoon we had to leave. Hugs all around, and wistfulness about the infrequency of these visits.


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