Today’s trip to Connecticut has been abandoned as the snow has been falling all day. It gave us an excuse to stay in bed late and mooch. It’s been great.
David and I decided to ask Barbara and Arthur to pose – we both had similar ideas about how to capture their essence and the spot in which we could achieve that. You will be able to see Arthur as captured by David when he posts his photo and here is Barbara as I see her. She’s reading from her current book and looks every bit the storyteller.
Last March we came here for the first time and I found myself drawn to this amazing, gentle woman. I’m not sure if this is terribly snobby of me but I find myself often most happy in the company of ‘bookworms’ and Barbara is just such a lady. She reads voraciously and has a thirst for knowledge that is wonderful in a lady whose age I wouldn’t dare reveal because it’s just not done! Anyone who starts a conversation with ‘I was reading x and it made me think y’ tends to find themselves firmly entrenched in my list of favourite people.
Like the lovely Lara’s Mum, Barbara has a wonderful story to tell. The story of her own life. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me saying it’s not a hugely remarkable tale in as much as there are many people whose lives share elements of Barbara’s story BUT it’s the way she tells it. She’s a remarkable raconteur and I could listen to her for hours. In fact, she’s told me a great deal of things about David’s family’s background that I’d never heard before.
It’s hard to explain – for me it’s a bit like the feeling I had at Jeanne’s when I was reading ‘Sunbeams’, a wonderful book compiled from The Sun. No, not the UK scummy tabloid, a wonderful Californian publication that I had my nose more-or-less permanently stuck inside while we were at Jeanne’s (you see, the written word thing again). Sunbeams is full of quotes about life. Many of them resonated very strongly with me, including one that I intend to knick when I get home especially for Cheryl. I’ve got a little idea up my sleeve! It’s when you read something that makes your heart sing – someone else out there feels like me. Someone has pinpointed exactly what I feel. Someone has seen something of my soul. Have you ever felt like that? That’s Barbara.
I have whiled away today listening to her talking about her world. Her two children and two grandchildren’s likes, loves, hopes and dreams are intertwined with her own and Arthur’s tale in a delicious mix of love and life that just oozes with vitality and warmth. I so hope her family appreciate all of the love spilling out of her.
How I wish that Barbara and Lara’s Mum were physically closer to us so I could soak up more of the stories they tell but I have a strong suspicion that, like my own family, were they closer, we’d see them less than we do here! It’s a sad fact of my own life that we don’t spend enough time with my own family or indeed David’s family. There may well be many raconteurs in DMs family that I still have not even met. One day, I will find myself with more time – I hope it’s not too late for me to reap the rich rewards of interaction with people like Barbara……..
Anyone who remembers my 'two halves don't make a whole' story this time last year will be pleased to know that my friend survived his break-up and is now a very happy chap, in a new relationship with someone who stimulates him in every sense. The year before, I found myself in Luton!