We will hit the road this morning. It looks like a grey day; I have no idea what the weather forecast is for either here or up in the Catskills. I am very happy, but I am surprised that I am not churned up with excitement. This is what I am meant to do.
People who hear that I am going on this women’s retreat are full of “Go, girl, go!” Think of me surrounded by interesting women in a place blessed by nature.
The last time that I was at Tonche was a visit with Pete to Willard and Gay’s, which we will drive past today. I expect to have a lot of memories stirred as we nip past its front meadow. It was a happy time.
This morning, Elsa asked me if she should pack my old shoes, since we are going to be doing some dyeing. Keeping a straight face, I told her that I do not want to die at Tonche, I want to die at home*. We both had a good laugh. (*and she did! elm)
That joking triggered a memory of a dear friend who had been in his last days in a hospital, about as foreign a place for his woodsman soul as could be, but - by a remarkable turn of events – died in the embrace of his beloved mountains.
Which, in turn, triggered a memory from when Pete had collapsed boarding the homebound plane, returning from our visit with Betty and Paul and Dot, and a University of Pennsylvania physician saved his life (an airport is not a good place to die). During Pete’s stay at Peninsula Hospital (blessings on those wonderful doctors and staff), I became friends with a woman whose husband had suffered a heart attack while gardening and had been resuscitated by the ambulance squad; when he came to in the hospital, he was so unhappy because he would have loved to have died in his beloved garden, and instead he would die in a hospital.
One person I know who literally died well was Gay Pendleton, who died while out to dinner with one of her daughters in lushy plushy Palm Beach, after making a toast. As Kirk said, “Mama went out with style.” Good on ya, Gay!
Those thoughts triggered memories of so many dear people in my life who are no longer with us, at least physically. Marjorie Rose, Cornelia Stroh, Viola Ridgeway – we would get together every Friday for cocktails before heading to Friday Supper; Marjorie would always give the toast – “Here’s to the Church! All else is bosh!” Connie (Consuela) Rosenquist, with whom I went to Bermuda several times after Pete died. Joyce Cooper. Phil and Doris Pendleton. George and Winfrey Synnestvedt. Will Cooper. Ros Coffin. Kit Peck. Marie Murphy. Laurel Brettel. Ruth Heldon. Willard and Gay. Benita Odhner. Aunt Margie and “Aunt” Molly. Al. Dot and Bert. Betty and Paul. Amy. Ian, our B-Boy. Pete.
It is strange to feel sad and happy at the same time. Just thinking about these dear ones makes them alive in my heart. A strange cascade of memories, all because of dyeing at Tonche. No telling where the mind will lead this weekend.
Today, “Little Silver” (Elsa’s car – John’s is “Silver Bullet”) will lead us to the mountains. We are supposed to bring favorite quotes with us – mine is, “This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
That describes how I feel this morning, heading out on our adventure – rejoicing and glad.
Take care, my dear ones - CyberGram