Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I came to Virginia 14 years ago, this evening

This is not a portrait of Laurent, but of how ill-suited one was for the terrain. A rackful of thornproofs later, there's been no discernible improvement in one's adaptation. This is also the birthday, by coincidence, of my mother, of whom scant mention has heretofore been made, on the grounds of seemliness. I had driven across the country with Geordie and Robbie, of whom no mention has yet been made; Whit was not yet on the horizon. Geordie, Robbie and I made a point of attending the annual Heart of Michigan English Cocker Spaniel Championship en route, in some of the prettiest country we had ever seen, on the date of the funeral for the Princess of Wales. Our experience is so layered with coincidence that, even knowing better than to bring it up, one can't deny the convenience of its external reference points.

Ours has been an active day for Whit at his vet, a good fellow whose earlier life included a stint as a jockey at a Palladian villa in the Veneto, the world being as small as it is. By coincidence again, we're about to prepare a dinner resembling the first one, that night, Scotch included (Whit will have cottage cheese on a fibre biscuit). It may be, we'll read some poetry, and a little Saki for a chuckle before sleep. I am very happy, Whit is well. I could not conceive of being here without him. 

Best wishes to
our friends with 
big black eyes,
and tails flicking
brightly out of brush.


  1. "A rackful of thornproofs later, there's been no discernible improvement in one's adaptation" - it took me thirteen years of the eighteen years we've been here to come to terms with the city we live in.

    Congratulations on the anniversary! Benedictions, perhaps?

  2. Sweet to hear from you, thanks for the encouragement of your example. Benedictions, possibly, but now that you mention it, how about a B&B with the Saki?

  3. A beautiful entry.

    And what was dinner?

    Peace be with you.

  4. What a wonderfully nostalgic post! Should anniversaries be nostalgic? I think so!

  5. Dear DJS, I certainly agree with you but cannot claim to embody that principle, myself. Thank you very much for your invigorating reminder and, by all means, for stopping by ~

  6. Bruce, I am so glad you dropped by, because I've been reading some Jack Gilbert poems and revisiting The Waste Land, and so one thinks of spending a weekend up in Massachusetts, picking your brain on these guys. I asked a Virginian of my approximate age, in a coffee shop in Charlottesville today, if he had read the Eliot, and he said, no. I told him I felt very astounded to be reading it with any seriousness, several dozen decades after literacy had invaded my imagination. We agreed, no time like the present ..

    Grilled veal chop and Brunello. Simple, but I've never known it to fail. :)

  7. Dink! Now, this IS a party. Well, I'll trade you a jigger of nostalgia for a whiff of eucalyptus, but who's counting. Nice of you to drop in, and the company is fabulous.

  8. tres bien




    "the end of all our travels will be to arrive at the beginning and know the place for the first time."



  9. Hello, Beth, and thank you vm; had I been saying I'd been catching up? Possibly not getting very far very fast -

  10. I bid you welcome to the South-who knew 14 years ago we would all meet like this. Does it grow On You-or Do you find You are Worse for Wear? pgt

  11. Marvelous and thank you, PGT. I do try to learn as many positive things as I can of the region while I'm here, and there are such things, v obviously!