Friday, October 14, 2011

I will soon turn my attention back to the topic that's always on my mind. There are just so many fascinating people and situations in 18th Century France that the choices are overwhelming. Where to begin? Tomorrow, I'm going to an exhibit and lecture at the museum entitled "Life and Luxury: The Art of Living in Eighteenth-Century Paris," and to a French movie with English sub-titles, five-star, "Love Crime." All that input into my little brain will confuse me even more. Where to begin? Well, I'll end tonight with my new friend, whom I've named Axel. He's in my office which is beginning to look like a theme park. I say good morning to him when I get to work, and today, when I left, I said, "Goodbye, darling." And, the downward spiral continues.
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When I was in 4th grade, my friend, Lynn, moved from Virginia Beach, where we went to elementary school together, to Smithfield, Virginia. I began visiting her and made friends there and continued to visit Smithfield until I got married and moved away. One of the friends I made there was Chuck Gale. I'm going to skip a lot of the story, but Lynn and Chuck got married a few years ago. (I'm proud of the fact that I was a little bit instrumental in that union. Can't take much credit, though, because it was destiny.) Very, very sadly Chuck passed away in September. I was grateful, on my recent trip to Virginia to be able to spend the night at Lynn's. It meant a lot to me. And, it makes me happy to know that Chuck was able to be with Lynn and see this beautiful view from their living room every day. He loved the water and surely recognized and appreciated the splendor of this view. At night, the lights on the bridge spanning the river in the distance form a sparkling arch that left me in awe.
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Charles Whitfield Gale

I don't know what to say here. I've loved Chuck Gale since I was in 4th grade. The story is too long and my stories always get way longer than necessary, so I won't even get started. Suffice to say, he was a very special person to many people. An inspiration. A kind heart. Lots of things. I won't get started. Just take my word for it.
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When we were about 17, Chuck was in a car accident that left him paralyzed.  His wheelchair never kept him from being right in the middle of the action. Someone seems to have gotten the best of him in this watermelon fight, though.
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Many years went by when Chuck and I were out of touch. It makes me happy to see pictures of him (second from right) living his life with lifelong friends that love him.
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I love surprise encounters and this was the second most amazing I've experienced. En route from Boston to Williamsburg, my train stopped at Penn Station, and Chuck and Lynn got on. I wrote all about on an earlier post, so I won't bore you. As you can see, we were all smiles.
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Another friend

I visited the grave of Ned Gatling, a good friend (of mine and Chuck's and Lynn's) who was killed in a car accident when we were in high school. I hope he knows, somehow, that people remember. He's buried, next to his mother, in the churchyard of the historic St. Luke's Church just outside of Smithfield. It was built in 1632 and has framed letters that a young man wrote home to his family while he and his fellow soldiers camped outside of the church during the American Revolution.
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Ben Franklin

I keep running into Micah's Favorite Founding Father. Most recently, in downtown Smithfield as I wandered around in antique shops. He was quite the man-about-town in Paris right before the Revolution. He was over there helping to finagle funds out of poor Louis. Seems to me to have been one of Louis' biggest mistakes. France's finances suffered a hit and the French people didn't need the exposure to the idea of challenging a monarchy... Oh, I got a framed picture of Louis XV's daughter, Louise, just like the one I posted a couple of months ago. Turned the corner and there she was, an old friend.
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another picture from Jake's wedding

My dashing brother, Jimmy, just texted this to me. I rushed to the computer to broadcast it to the universe. 'Cause I love it. I wish I could see him more often.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

To Buy or Not to Buy. That is the question.

At local antique mall. Set of 8 dinner plates and 5 demitasse cups and saucers. Marked Sevres, Chateau les Tuileries, 1844. $320. Love them. Don't need them. Might be satisfied to own the photo. Cherubs are handpainted. Reminds me of ceilings in Versailles. Has crown and Louis-Philippe monogram. Almost feels like family china. That part is 'cause I'm half crazy. On hold at antique mall. Help, I need somebody! Tell me what to do.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sorry, Boys.


Tricia, my dearest, closest friend since high school, got married this week. This is going to come as bad news for my brothers. Several of them have harbored not-so-secret affections for Trish the Dish for 30 years. But, for Tricia, it's very good news. Her new husband, Raleigh, is wonderful and loves her as much as she deserves and, best of all, in my mind, is a psychologist. What I wouldn't do to have free analysis. Pillow talk with some resolution. Not just endless rambling. On the other hand, someone who might figure me out is a tiny bit threatening. Anyway... mute point. I'm very sad not to have been able to be with her on her wedding day. I'd just taken several days off work to attend Jake's wedding and just couldn't take off any more time. I love you, Tricia, and am so happy for you!
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The Girl Who Loves to See My Smile


I've often thought that Tricia loves me more than anyone outside of my family. This is no reflection of my worth as a human being or any good qualities I may have.  It's more about who she is - someone pretty much incapable of seeing the bad in anyone.  This picture was taken when Tricia and I stayed at Michael's and Katherine's home about five years ago. Mike and Kath not only treated us like princesses, they are the funniest people I know and we laughed until our faces hurt. L to R: Tricia, Michael, Katherine, and Chris
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bonn and Tricia

Mother and son. Precious.
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Tricia and Raleigh

I'm so happy for sweet, sweet Tricia.
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jake and Katie Denton


Congratulations and so much love to them both.
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My mother would've loved Jake's and Katie's wedding. Jake is her first grandchild and Jake's mother, Winship, is the daughter of one of my mother's dearest friends, Mary Cary Carver. This picture of my mother dancing with her fourth son, Bill, was taken at a family wedding - Jessica's, I believe. It's one of my favorite pictures of her. It's not necessary to see her face to know her expression.
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David

David couldn't go to the wedding, but it bothers me to post all these family pictures without any of him, so into the archives we go. This picture was taken in Michael's front yard playing football with some cousins (Toilet Bowl) the weekend of Mom's 80th birthday party.
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Somehow it creeps into every conversation

No matter the topic, my head is really filled with you-know-who and you-know-what. Guess who got married in this Church.
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The Best Man


What a Best Man he is! And, I'm not just talking about his role in his brother, Jake's, wedding although he was splendid at it. His devotion to his wife and children, his sense of humor, his good heart - that's what I'm talking about.
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Dad and Bill

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