Sunday, July 03, 2016

Bulky Baggage

 Blair Pessemier  By the Park Winsted   Acrylic/canvas  16 x 20"
 Laurie Fox Pessemier   Victorian on the Park, Winsted  Acrylic/canvas 16 x 20"  
 Sunset at Hemlock Lodge   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas 16 x 18"
Wildflowers in Winsted  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/panel  15 x 18"

Harika sat in the corner of the “Bulky Baggage” room at Milano Malpensa Airport on Sunday.   She performed a tragedy worthy of an Italian diva.  “Povero cane” a woman in the room wailed.  Harika ate it up.  I always say if I could describe Italy in a word, it would be ‘drama’:  the good, the bad, the ugly.  Harika, about to be condemned to prison over the Atlantic;  looking over her shoulder at me as she was urged into her air kennel, she shot a dagger.

On the other end, she managed to bounce out of her cage (so large we had to rent a special car) yipping and jumping, all forgiven, celebrating by drinking gallons of water.  We are back in the Northeastern USA for our summer at Hemlock Lodge.

One of the 29 grandchildren of our hosts is celebrating their graduation today on the beach, with a couple dozen friends.  It’s started to rain, but hasn’t dampened their spirits, one single bit.  They are singing along to popular music, with clear differences in taste between the boys and the girls.  They are swimming and playing volleyball, charged with that energy one has at 18.  A thump on the wooden dock and a splash into the lake.   Not a care in the world, and why should they have one?  Why should any of us?

After a mere 18 hours on the ground, and we took my Dad to his favorite Chinese buffet.  We are the only family members really keen on it.  And Chinese food is rare in Italy:  I want hot chilies and salt.  My Dad is moving quite slowly these days, and one of the Chinese waitresses helps him with his dish.  You can see in her eyes that Chinese reverence for the aged.  Another waitress flashes him a sincere, loving smile.  One world.

Arriving at Hemlock Lodge is really coming home.  I notice the hot water seems to be working better this year; no leaks yet, despite the rain.  A violent electric strike just feet from the house raises the hairs on my arm.   Books I didn’t finish last year are still here, covers not warped.   Trees are taller.  A squirrel runs across the yard.  New bird sound.   My bathing suit arrived by mail and actually fits.  Seven new reading books.

I look at people’s smiling faces and wonder whether to address them in Italian, French, or no, beautiful, glorious English.  The words that come the easiest.  I smile.    

“You’re the one I need, you’re the one I love”, the graduates croon.

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