She got here. The flight was right on time, and she even got to sleep for a little while. One good night’s sleep and she was feeling good, except for some pain in her shoulder from a nasty fall in Düsseldorf.
Having had a bit of experience removing sutures when I worked for a medical practice, I didn’t doubt for a moment that I could get the tiny thread her physician’s assistant left in.
“Tiny thread”? How about “microscopic”?
Besides being small, it was very tight and deep in the skin of her left shoulder. (I know, I got the shoulder wrong in last week’s column. It’s her left.) After I finally gave up, we were able to get in to our doctor’s office. His assistants gave up too, but only after a struggle, I assure you.
Then even they surrendered, and Dr. Marler took a stab at it. He got it out, but not easily. Doctors seldom do as well as their office staff in these situations.
The medical care in Germany is excellent, although sometimes to excess. Mary was ordered to stay off work for six weeks. Boring. It didn’t take long for her to start looking for something else to do in that much time.
Would we come over to Germany? Besides keeping Mary company we could do what we do best, essentially nothing. Go to a garden, tour a castle, see an opera. Cook. Take a nap.
Mary, aren’t you forgetting something? It’s autumn, and night falls early in Europe. Besides limiting sightseeing, frequent rain showers get downright oppressive. Not to mention chilly, bone chilly.
There are only so many games of Scrabble to be played on a cold winter’s night. Not to mention how tricky it’s going to be with a tremor in the hand and failing eyesight.
It didn’t take long to decide that we sure would like to be together, and airfare is the same to fly Mary to Atlanta than to send me to Düsseldorf. And a lot less stress.
She’s been here just over a week and I must say, I’ve never seen her so relaxed. She’s gone techy on me, has a small laptop, a WunderPhone (my term – it sounds so much better than “cellphone”} and all the accoutrements required to recharge, expunge, and energize same. Half the dinner table is piled with her electronics and she sits, dreamlike, mulling over letters and new developments in the music world.
Her Significant Other, Rainer, is a spokesman for the opera orchestra in Gelsenkirchen, and acts as a bridge between unions and management, and vice versa. He’s got a gift for all concerned, teaching the bureaucrats that music is not a frill, and trying to foment “pre-strikes,” warning strikes, that usually do not bode well for either side.
The city, after all, is the opera company’s owner, but can’t seem to appreciate that when their public workers and safety crews get raises, so should the town musicians. It’s been about three years since the union last prevailed, and no one is taking this dust-up for granted.
Anyhow, you can see why he can’t walk away from important work, not to mention the evenings of music that instrumentalists need to earn their living. He would have loved to be here, especially at the shore with us next week.
Similarly, Jean’s husband Brian is getting comfortable with a new job that is so confidential he doesn’t care to refer to it by name. Hmmm. He won’t be with us either.
So. Mary loves the sea and has talked us into about a week in Edisto Island, S.C., walking on the beach, sitting in the dunes, watching birds and the weather.
I confess to having misrepresented the years since Mary and Jean and the boys have been together. Mary has met both of them, even if I don’t remember. We’re looking forward to spending time with them.
And reading. Both of the laddies can read and play a board game or two, and are nearly as proficient in electronics as Aunt Mary is. Just in case the TV doesn’t prove satisfactory, we have a DVD or two, and books, books, books.
If all goes as planned, we’ll bask in the sunshine of familial reunion for nearly a week, a phenomenon many families take for granted. When your kids have international addresses, you take what you can get.
Will let you know how it turns out….