Well, I had hoped to take you with me on a vicarious tour of Paris, but all I got today from Jordan were a couple of selfies and this one terrific picture of her by the Eiffel Tower. She talked of a sunset cruise on the Seine, and I expected lovely pictures—maybe tomorrow. She did have lunch today in the restaurant on the third level of the Eiffel—hake (a South American light, whitefish), chocolate mousse and “flowing champagne.” How will we ever keep her down on the farm after such a lunch.
After lunch, she was headed
for the sunset cruise, but we’ve had no report. I suspect after a long flight yesterday,
champagne at lunch, and a sunset cruise, she was ready for bed. Perhaps more
Other than that it was an
unremarkable day. Christian and Jacob went to Coppell to have early dinner with
Christian’s dad—at Babe’s. I thought Christian would come home and fall asleep,
having eaten too much fried chicken, but he was indignant, said he didn’t even
finish his chicken, and wss working on a project on the front porch—getting ready,
I guess, for his usual gorgeous display of summer blooms.
Neighbor Polly Hooper, who
takes magnificent pictures of all Berkeley functions, came over tonight because
I was having trouble downloading her photos for the neighborhood newsletter.
What she showed me was so basic and simple, I was ashamed that I did not figure
it out on my own. But it gave us a good chance to visit over glasses of wine
and catch up.
Polly’s visit sent me in
search of a file on my computer that I can’t find and can’t figure how it
disappeared. She is researching painted churches of Texas, and I told her I
once wrote a short story titled “Prisoners” about the WWII Italian POWs who painted
the chapel of the church at Umbarger, Texas. Blithely assuming I could find it,
I promised to send her a copy of the short story. But my entire file of short
stories has disappeared. It’s probably not the end of the world, because they
are on file in the Southwest Writers Collection at Texas State University-San
Marcos, but I am unsure how easily they are retrievable. And It makes me beyond
uneasy to realize that an entire file just disappeared. The collection is Sue
Ellen Learns to Dance and Other Stories, available on Amazon.
Polly did a really good thing
while she was here—and taught me a lesson. Sophie has a bad habit—barking at me
demandingly when there is happy hour company. I think it’s a combination of
things—she’s hungry, she associates late afternoon company with food, and she wants
attention. Jordan loses patience and threatens to go in the house, and I end up
talking sternly to Soph about bad behavior. Neither is effective.
Sophie was particularly bad
tonight, annoying, and it was hard to talk. Polly called her over, took gentle
hold of her collar, told her to sit, and said, “This mean old lady is not going
to put up with that.” She talked gently to her but held firm on the collar, and
when Sophie tried to get up, Polly said, “This mean old lady says sit down.”
Once I truly saw Sophie roll her eyes at Polly, and I almost laughed aloud. But
pretty soon, Soph was lying on her back, asking for tummy rubs. And she was quiet
after that—wandering in and out, lying quietly. We could talk and hear ourselves.
Sophie had one other adventure
this weekend—she discovered a baby possum in the flowerbed under the window by
my desk. Curious, but with no bad intentions, she jumped up and down, her bark
shrill and frantic with excitement. As is my lazy habit, I sat at my desk and
thought, I’ve got to do something about that. My only option is not always
effective—it’s to wheel to the door, tell her to stop barking, and offer her
cheese. But Christian beat me to it, and the next thing I knew he was at the open
French doors with a huge shovel. He explained she had found a dead baby possum,
and I asked if maybe it was playing possum. Turns out I was right. He put
Sophie in the house, got the shovel, and went back only to find the possum
I couldn’t resist. “What were
you going to do with the shovel?” His answer, “Throw it over the fence.” I replied,
“Gently, I hope. Possums are our friends.” He was astounded. “They are? I
thought they were rodents.” I didn’t go into a lecture about marsupials, but I
did tell him one possum can eat a thousand fleas and tick a day. I think he was
impressed. I always like to enlighten that city boy.
So that’s my day. I’m reading
a good mystery and going to spend the rest of the evening with it. Sweet
dreams. Maybe tomorrow, more of a French tour.