Saturday, July 31, 2010
Every other year my favourite Western is Sam Peckinpah’s 1962, Ride the High Country
with Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott. But there is another Western, not quite one, yet very much a Western, William Wyler’s 1958, The Big Country
with an outstanding cast that is really my all-time favourite. It includes Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Jean Simmons, Charles Bickford, Burl Ives, Carroll Baker and Chuck Connors.
Perhaps I like it as, how can any movie with Peck, Simmons and Heston be anything but good? The endearing character is played by Jean Simmons who is a feisty (almost an old maid) woman who controls a creek which two families are fighting for the rights to water their cattle. Peck plunks in from New England as a tenderfoot (not quite we find out) who is there to woo and marry Caroll Baker. Simmons is delightful and virginally sexy. She marries Peck in the end to become (my pure conjecture) one of those matriarchs in Westerns who when they become widows they run the whole shebang with aplomb and courage.
It was last year in June when I went to South Texas to visit St. Edward’s High School alumnus, Michael East that I found myself sitting on the other side of the dinner table from a woman who was and is the very Western matriarch I write about above. She looked at me with serious, almost scary eyes, and I could feel all that I was being sucked out for her perusal.
Then she smiled and introduced herself as Michael’s mother. She was and is Evelyn Kunstler East and when her husband Tom Timmons East died in 1984 she did indeed become the widowed matriarch of a large ranch.
This time around (last week) she has mellowed a bit. She is in her mid 80s and she goes for walks every day. She lives in a big house not far from Michael East’s main ranch house. Everybody still calls her “La Patrona” even though the reins are now firmly in the hands of Michael and his sister Alice. I am not quite sure what role their sister Lica (pronounced lisa) has in the running of the ranch since I have only met her once.
La Patrona posed for me on the front entrance to her son’s house. In the right in the distance is the little (ever so slight mound) where her husband is buried. When I asked Michael to kiss her, he did and she laughed. When I look at the pictures now it seems that I have participated in or at the very least recorded a bit of Texas history.
Rebecca Meets Harley
Friday, July 30, 2010
Three years ago on our trip to Mérida, Yucatán, Rebecca, Rosemary and I stopped over at Austin, Texas where we visited Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. at St. Edward’s University. We had been picked up at the San Antonio Airport by my former classmate and friend Howard Houston. We stayed for a few days not far from where Houston lives which is near the Austin Hill Country by Buchanan Dam Lake. It was at the lake that Houston taught Rebecca how to fish. While Rebecca is not a boy nor is she my son but my granddaughter I thought this a fine right of passage to learn how to fish in Texas.
I was determined that this time around in last week’s trip to Austin and the Santa Fe Ranch near Linn, Texas that Rebecca would learn to shoot. This was not to be.
My candidate for the job was John Arnold, ex classmate, my former bodyguard when I was a geek at St. Edward’s High School, an former member of the Marine Corps , a veteran of Vietnam, former spy (he denies this) and investigator for the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It had been last year that Arnold and I had driven in his twin-cab pickup (the new horse of the Texas prairie and suburban tank) from Austin to Mike East’s Santa Fe Ranch in South Texas near Linn. In that trip we bonded as men (or at least that is what I felt). The temperatures were hovering near 100 Fahrenheit and in our 5 hour trip we stopped frequently for cokes and Doctor Peppers. Between us under the arm rest there was a 1911 Kimber II .45 semi automatic pistol with Crimson Trace laser sites. Arnold had named the pistol Harley at the instigation of his wife Carolyn who told him, “John you have always wanted a Harley Davidson. That is not to be so I suggest you call your new pistol Harley.” And so it was that here we were driving down to a ranch with this gun between us. Arnold had explained that the 1911 classification of his gun did not mean it was a vintage gun. The Kimber had features and qualities that Arnold admired. One of them was a smooth lever on the back of the grip (grip safety) which prevented the gun from firing even if the hammer were cocked and the safety lever off. One had to press with the inner hand on that grip safety and only then would the gun fire.
A few weeks before Rebecca and I traveled to Austin I had spoken with Arnold requesting the gun instruction. He told me that he was probably going to teach Rebecca to shoot with a .22 revolver.
Every time I discussed the possibility of the gun shooting lesson Rebecca was ambivalent. At some times she seemed eager and at others not so. When on Sunday, July 25 we were picked up by John Arnold and his wife Carolyn Rebecca had pretty well made up her mind not to shoot. When she saw John Arnold (he can be intimidating, particularly when he makes that extremely serious face of his (which can turn to a disarming smile whenever he wants to) she became afraid. Throughout our drive to Red’s Indoor Range Arnold kept telling Rebecca that he was not going to force her to do anything. At the Range with the help of a most efficient clerk Arnold asked for semi-automatics and revolvers. The clerk would hand the guns to Arnold who would then point out their features to Rebecca. During this Arnold did point at a .357 magnum behind glass and told Rebecca, “This is like Dirty Harry’s gun.”
The class was, for me, exciting, illuminating and in particular I liked the way Arnold hit home with, “There are never any accidents with guns. They are always the result of human negligence.” By then Rebecca was beginning to understand Arnold’s serious charade (the lesson was indeed serious) as he would every once in a while smile at her.
I took my photographs (I had been afraid to ask but then Carolyn suggested I do so) but there is one that I missed. At some point Arnold lifted his shirt tail and Rebecca noticed that all the time, even when Arnold had picked us up at St. Joseph’s Hall, he had been carrying a gun. Arnold showed Rebecca his permit to carry a concealed gun.
Since Rebecca was adamant about not shooting I watched Arnold fire his gun several times and in spite of the noise suppressors on my ears I could feel the air pressure on my ears when Arnold fired Harley. Arnold’s shot were close to the bull’s-eye and a couple was half on. I was given the chance to shoot but I declined the .45 and opted for Carolyn’s 9mm Smith & Wesson, which she called Sweet Pea. I shot five rounds (on the left hand side in the picture here, some close to the center. Arnold was impressed by my spread. I was surprised I could shoot since I had not done so since around 1973.
One way or another Rebecca will have to reconcile her views on guns with that of Texans and in particular with John Arnold’s who is a man she learned to like and no longer feared by the end of the day. I told her that both Arnold and Carolyn never shot animals unless they had the intention of eating them. Rebecca could not understand the Texan penchant for stuffing steer heads and mounting on walls.
Several people tried to explain but I am not sure that Rebecca understood.
I have been fascinated by guns all my life but I have always been aware of my quick temper and I feel that a nearby gun could possibly be a dangerous thing for me. Arnold told Rebecca, “When we go tonight for barbecue at the County Line with Brother Edwin notice if I order a beer or a coke. If I order a coke it means I’m carrying, if I order a beer it means I’m not.”
Rebecca, I am sure must have been relieved, when Arnold ordered his beer.
The Quiet Man
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The cowboy, Michael East, is 66 years old. Like Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. up in Austin, Michael East is a creature of routine. Every morning (except for one where Michael woke me up at five) he is up by 7:30. From my bedroom I could hear the dragging of his boots and the jingle of his spurs. By 8 we were all having breakfast. Rebecca was reluctant to get up and most angry when I would insist she have breakfast with us.
Oneida or Michael’s partner Letty would prepare scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, juice, coffee and beans. There was always some sort of fresh hot salsa on the table. One morning he opened the bottle of maple syrup and tasted it with curiosity. He then poured some more and lapped it up with his toast.
Michael East’s most useful accessory to run the Santa Fe Ranch is his iPhone. Instructions are given in Spanish to his capataz and other cowboys. They call frequently and he invariably answers, Mexican style, “Bueno.” He usually finishes with a "Está bien."
I noticed that Michael wears the same type of shirt every day. It is red-clay colored, it is made of heavy canvas cotton and for protection from the sun it is long-sleeved. The canvas like material protects Michael from the thorns of the new growth of mesquite trees.
Michael does not carry a gun but in his Toyota Twin-Cab he has a bolt-action rifle and a small .410 shotgun for rattle snakes.
His doctor has told him that he has to be more careful about his health. This means that there is less meat and more fish at dinner and he no longer chews tobacco. He is allowed to smoke one cigar (Kinky Friedman Cigars) a week but I suspect he breaks this recommendation. When Rebecca was in the truck with us, Michael had the cigar in his mouth and did not light it. On the days that I was the only passenger he would smoke it. Kinky Friedman’s are nicely aromatic. I almost broke down and asked him for one.
Michael has two obsessions. The first one is understandable as I too am enamoured with my iPhone. But in his case he is constantly checking for messages as dropped calls happen often in the brush of South Texas. His second obsession is very much like mine. He is always looking for an opportunity to visit his son Johnny (who is doing just fine helping Michael take care of the family business) and wife Summer. They live about a mile away. Any excuse to see his two young grandsons, Quinten and Joaquín is welcome. Rosemary and I are always cooking up reasons to visit Hilary so we can see Rebecca and Lauren.
Michael is a man of few words. We would sit in the many available corners (all with comfortable wing chairs, piles of magazines and lovely books about Texas and cowboys) and sometime the silence would prolong and almost make me uncomfortable. But then the silence would be broken by a question, “Are any parts of Canada similar to Texas?” Or he might ask about a mutual classmate from St. Ed’s, “Was Salinas a boxer?” In my memory I now remember that Michael was in the St. Ed’s boxing team.
In the four days that I was at the Santa Fe Ranch I never heard the patrón utter one word of criticism on anybody or anything. I never saw him get angry and he tolerated Rebecca’s tantrums with a smile behind his dark glasses.
This quiet man lives an idyllic kind of life because his partner Letty sees to all his needs. Quinten chatters in Spanish with her. In fact Spanish is the lingua franca of Santa Fe. Sometimes when her Spanish fails her Letty resorts to her own brand of delightful Spanglish.
After a day of driving around or riding Michael returns to the main house and indulges in a shot of ice cold El Patrón Silver Tequila with a Bud Lite beer chaser. By 9:30 he is ready to call it a day.
Michael talks at length with his cowboys and is into the smallest details, even perhaps the state of health of yet to be weaned calf part of a heard of thousands. In person he deals with them as a friend but I notice that the cowboys still treat him with a standoffish respect.
Part of the reason is that in Texas in 2010 there are few real cowboys left. Few can do the tasks on a horse. There is respect in knowing that the Patrón is as good as they are if not better.
I watched Michael train a three-year old mare, Ribbon (seen here with Juan Ramos and in the first picture Michael poses with one of his best cutting horses, Gramercy Flow) and it was a sight to see how he could make her go back and turn on a dime. He was training her to cut. Michael is a non-pro (they don’t call them amateurs) cutting horse trainer and rider. In cutting a rider has two separate a yearling from its herd in an allotted time without controlling the horse with his hands. I watched Michael gently push Ribbon so that she would understand what her task to be was. One at a time, Juan Ramos would allow a yearling to enter the corral as Michael would prevent it from joining a herd.
As I write this Santa Fe Ranch now seems to be a mirage of memory. The only reminder of the fact is Rosemary’s constant questioning, “What did you eat? Did the towns have little streets? Who built the main ranch house?” I found that this second time around (I visited Michael last year in June) I could ask a few more questions but I still felt that I was intruding on the life of a private man. Perhaps next year, if I return for a visit I will ask a few more.
As I write this I find that Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C and Michael East share many qualities that make them comfortable in being who they are. As Brother Edwin told me, “I never taught Michael but he certainly had a way about him that was special.”
All In Good Time
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Regardless of what I might believe now I think that having faith in something is important as opposed to not believing in anything. Even doubt is some sort of belief which I think is preferable to nonbelief.
It happened that one of the Twelve, Thomas (the name means “Twin”), was absent when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him: “We have seen the Lord!” His answer was, “I will never believe it without probing the nailprints in his hands, without putting my finger in the nailmarks and my hand into his side.”
A week later, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them. “Peace be with you, “he said; then, to Thomas: “Take your finger and examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!” Thomas said in response, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him: “You became a believer because you saw me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed.”
Because of the generation I came from I was baptized, confirmed and I had my first communion. My grandmother and mother taught me about being a Roman Catholic. My father always smiled and never said anything about God as far as I can remember. In those days I went to mass every Sunday and did not eat meat on Fridays. I was sent to confession often which is something I never looked forward to. Once I was at St. Edward’s with the help of Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. I was given a solid education on the teachings of the Catholic Church. Brother Edwin instructed me on the “proofs” for the existence of God that were based on the teachings of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. I found out about the early Fathers of the Church and all the schisms. But more than anything I was taught that the church was primarily an institution of men (and women) and subject to error and abuse. When Brother Edwin either went on a vacation or thought we needed a stricter dose of scripture we had a Dominican priest for a few months.
It was sometime around the 11th grade that my classmate John Straney began to loudly proclaim that he did not believe in God. Imagine this in a Catholic boarding school. I took it upon myself to argue pro the existence of God but Straney was much too skillful and I got nowhere. The brothers simply ignored him and he graduated with good grades and a smile on his face. On Sunday nights at Mass we sang. I was too ignorant to realize that we had been taught to sing Gregorian chant.
I was married to Rosemary we had a civil wedding in Coyoacán, Mexico. I jokingly told my mother at the time that if she were to remarry, the four of us could have a church wedding.
Somehow because my mother was still alive my eldest daughter Ale had her first communion. But when Hilary was old enough my mother was gone and an active participation in the Catholic church became a memory.
In a trip to Argentina five years ago I took Rebecca to Mass at the church I had gone as a little boy. My godmother and first cousin, Inecita accompanied us. After Mass we helped ourselves to a fine Argentine breakfast of medias lunas
and café con leche
. I noted Rebecca’s curiosity throughout the Mass. A few years later we went to Guanajuato and in the church of la Valenciana Rebecca was struck by a large painting of Mary Magdanlene about to be stoned. Rebecca noted that this Mary Madgalene was a blonde! It was at la Valenciana that Rebecca enquired about the Stations of the Cross and I explained each one to her.
One of the reasons I took Rebecca to Austin is that I wanted her to experience the daily life of the Brothers of Holy Cross. I took her to morning prayer and to one very elaborate Sunday Mass that included a blues pianist with a marvelous baritone voice, a small choir of soloists and an electric base. I told Rebecca that I had graduated from high school in that church which is a chapel adjacent to St. Joseph Hall where we were staying. Her comment on the Mass was, “It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.”
It is my hope that Rebecca will have noted the easy going demeanor of Brother Edwin and the other brothers. They live in contentment and in their faith. They have only what they need. Perhaps in a short while the goings on of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Snooki, and the underwhelmingly talented Jennifer Aniston will fade and Rebecca will feel a challenge for challenge. As for me I went to all the prayer sessions and somehow I left Austin with a feeling of peace that I had not felt in years. I think part of the reason was simply looking at Brother Edwin's smile and listening to his quiet but marked New Orlean accent, "Oh, gosh!"
Curiously, yet to be expected, the gentle Brother Edwin’s comment on all this (my worries about Rebecca) was, “All in good time. Let her be.”
Davy Crockett, The Girl & The Woman
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
In our trip to Austin and to the Santa Fe Ranch near San Manuel-Linn, Texas I was constantly amazed how Rebecca would be a little girl one moment and then a woman the next. She had a few temper tantrums while there and most of my friends thought that they were most interesting. Their smiles would provoke further tantrums. With the tantrums out of the way Rebecca would then be her charming best, be that the charming little girl or the sophisticated woman. In these pictures here you might observe those very qualities, the little girl and the woman.
The gentleman with Rebecca on the left is a Texas State Trooper, Officer White, who kindly volunteered to pose with Rebecca by the painting of Davy Crockett (painted by Texas artist William Huddle in the 19th century) in the lovely Texas State Capitol. It seems that the Federal folks back in Washington found out Texas was building a capitol that was going to resemble the one in DC they emphatically instructed that the stage capitol should not be taller. Texans were not about to be intimidated so they built the cupola just a tad lower put placed a statue on top that made it higher (288 versus 320 feet) than the one in Washington, D.C.
The other two (of the three) photos I took with my iPhone in Mike East’s Santa Fe Ranch on the evening (Thursday, July 29) before we left. Rebecca had gone swimming and since she had not washed her hiar, it had become beautifully curly. Rebecca staes that as soon as she is of age she is going to (alas!) have her hair straightened.
The last picture (my favourite of the lot) I took the next day, before we left at the nearby ever so slight hill (there are no hills in the Santa Fe Ranch). There is a solitary grave there (to the left of Rebecca in the photograph). It is of Mike East’s father Tom Timmons East who was married to Mike’s mother, Mrs. Evelyn Kuenstler. The ranch is now owned by Mike, Alice G.K.K. East and Lica [pronounced LISA] Elena East. They are fourth generation descendants of pioneer Texas cattleman and steamboater Captain Richard King (1824-1885) and Henrietta M. Chamberlain King(1833-1925).
Rebecca threw some tantrums when I told her that I did not want her to wear her blue floppy hat (my wife Rosemary’s) but the straw hat (also Rosemary’s). She relented and wore it but complained and told me to hurry with my picture as chiggers were biting her ankles. Only the night before, when I had taken the other two pictures we had sat down on a swinging bench under a Garry oak. In the flat brush of South West, Texas only mesquites and Garry oaks manage to survive the extreme heat and drought. But unlike the Garry oaks we may be familiar with in Victoria, B.C. the ones in the Santa Fe Ranch are short and squat. They provide that much needed shade. As Rebecca and I sat under the tree, gently swinging and listening to the birds, the insects about 15 javalinas (wild boar) came to eat the corn that the Easts spread outside their front garden fence. The corn attracts the javalinas, wild turkey, deer and even the cattle that graze outside. Why the corn? Mike answered, “We like to see the animals when we can.”
Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. - Who Shaves The Barber?
Monday, July 26, 2010
Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C.
Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. grew up in New Orleans and is a graduate of Holy Cross School. He has a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin and a master’s degree in music education from Vander Cook College in Chicago. He served in the faculty of Thomas Aquinas School in Brooklyn, St. Edward’s High School and University in Austin, as well as Holy Cross School in New Orleans. He was the first graduate of Holy Cross in New Orleans to serve as its Headmaster. He was the director of the South West Province Vocation Committee and the Regional Director for the Families of Prayer Program. He lives as St. Joseph’s Hall at St. Edward’s University and serves as Program Director for Auxiliary services at the University.
And he also taught me religion and forcefully encouraged me to learn to play the alto saxophone and join the St. Edward’s High School band in the late 50s. Brother Edwin was one of two brothers (the other was Brother Anton Mattingly) who owned a single lens reflex camera and propelled me into my interest in photography.
On a day I will never forget he arrived to our religion class with a pitcher of water and two glasses, a small one and a big one. He proceeded to fill both until they were full to the brim. He then asked us, “Which of the glasses is fuller?” Since we were silly teenagers we immediately told him that the largest glass was the one which was the fullest. Brother Edwin then began to pour water into both glasses and the water overflowed. He told us that both glasses regardless of capacity could not take any more water. He explained that the water glasses explained our human capacity for happiness. “Some of us,” he said had the capacity for more happiness but when completely happy we would not be any happier than those with a smaller storage.” “In fact,” he went on to say, “those with a greater capacity are often those who are most unhappy. We should not look down on the simple folk who are happy with little.”
Rebecca and I upon Arriving at Austin’s Bergstrom Airport were on the lookout for a silver Toyota Matrix. I had iPhoned Brother Edwin as soon as we had secured our luggage. As soon as he did arrive I was instantly struck by his easy smile and comfortable contentment. Not once in our three-day stay did Brother Edwin make a negative statement or did he complain about anything or did he criticize anybody else. He performed his duties as deacon (this duty seems to be shared by other brothers) during Matins and Vespers (Brother Edwin simply called these twice a day prayer meetings, just that, prayer meetings) with humility and grace.
Any time I approached him with the idea that I was going to give him something he was plain and direct in telling me he had everything he needed and each day those needs were lessened.
|Brother Edwin does Brother Donald Dufour|
A year before (in June 2009) I had followed Brother Edwin in his day’s tasks. I had come to the conclusion that this man was no different than Phileas Fogg. There are clocks all over St. Joseph’s Hall. Because the old bell at St Ed’s Main Hall tower was deemed to be in a precarious situation an electronic bell sound was installed at St. Joseph’s which marks the hour and the half hour all day. Any one of the clocks at St. Joseph’s or one's own watch will immediately indicate precisely where Brother Edwin is.
Whenever he enters the hall and passes by the brother’s den/living room squirrels rustle up to the window. They know that Brother Edwin will feed them. Perhaps only the squirrels manage to interfere with Brother Edwin's precise schedule.
In spite of his heavy work schedule Brother Edwin finds time to make his sculptures from found wood. In the picture here he poses in St. Joseph’s Hall chapel with his latest, a crucifix that will hang at a nearby institution.
Not far from the door that Brother Edwin uses to enter the hall’s garden to feed the squirrels there is a room with a barber’s chair. I had seen it last year and I had enquired why it was there. He had told me that he was the official barber. This time around (it was Saturday) he was going to cut the hair of a few brothers. I immediately asked him if I could take some pictures. One of Brother Edwin’s customers was the wonderfully funny and most pleasant Brother Donald Dufour with whom I compared notes (over breakfast) on the Jesuit Priest Pierre Teilhard the Chardin’s attempt to reconcile evolution with Catholic Church Doctrine.
I was taking pictures using my Nikon FM-2 and b+w film (the picture you see here is an iPhone one. I am a bit jet-lagged and probably lazy to go down to my darkroom to process all the exposed film I shot) when Brother Edwin asked me if I wanted a “trim”. I said, “Yes,” on a lark. It is not often that one’s religion teacher and mentor can also be one’s barber, fifty years later! Rebecca took pictures with her digital camera. The trim was more than a trim and I was uncertain if the cut was a good one. But, I am happy to report that Rebecca’s father upon picking us up at the airport asked me if I had lost weight. I told him it was my haircut.
After my session Rebecca asked me who cut Brother Edwin’s hair. She had noticed that not only did Brother Edwin have a nice cut but that he also combed it back with some sort of brilliantine or spray. I asked Brother Edwin, “Who shaves the barber?” and he answered, “A brother over at Brother Vincent Pieau Residence.”
Rebecca was always delighted in Brother Edwin’s presence. She is particularly fond of Brother Edwin’s never lost New Orleans accent. I find it amazing and I am most grateful that there is yet someone else who will have profited from contact with Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. That that person is my granddaughter it is that much more special.
One Ankle At A Time
Sunday, July 25, 2010
On Friday July 23 my granddaughter Rebecca and I flew to Austin, Texas for a week’s parallel-education and vacation. Unlike other years where I have been obsessed in blogging on schedule during trips by resorting to internet-cafes and storing pictures for the day’s blogs in places like Photobucket, this time around I resolved not to bother. If anything I tried to steer Rebecca away from computers and her inevitable log in to Facebook. I sort of cheated by writing three blogs ahead of time. One was for Thursday
, the night before our early rise, one for Friday
and one for Saturday
It would be dishonest for me to now write everyday’s blog as if it were a “this is what we did today.” My blogs will be on events that Rebecca and I found interesting and I will post them as I develop the b+w film I exposed as well as the Ektachromes which will not be available until Tuesday afternoon.
We arrived safely on Friday, July 30 a few minutes before Friday became Saturday. Bruce Stewart (Rebecca’s father) who picked us up told us the disturbing news that Rosemary had been bitten on the right ankle by our neighbour’s pit bull which had jumped the fence on the other side of our lane. Rosemary was deadheading perennials on the lane and she was sitting on the gravel. The dog sniffed Rosemary’s hand. Rosemary then (we are not sure if this was her mistake or if it saved her from being bitten in the face) stood up and then the dog attacked. It could all have been worse even though Rosemary was taken to emergency by her daughter Hilary and Hilary’s father-in-law. She received 12 stitches and is much in pain. It was only a year ago that on July 30 Rosemary was hit by an SUV when she was quietly minding her own business on a sidewalk on Oak and 41st Avenue. In that even she suffered a severely broken left ankle and a concussion.
The dog attack has sobered up the enthusiasm I had felt about our trip and it was Hilary who told us (she called the police to make sure this event is properly recorded) that it could have been either of her daughters who on Saturday play in the back lane amongst our roses and perennials. Rosemary is ready to forgive but I will have to give this some thought.
Rebecca and I are happy to be back and I am happy that this is a long weekend in which I can reflect on the consequences of out trip and at the same time give comfort to Rosemary who needs it. I missed her a lot and it feels good to be home.