The Disreputables are all recovered, as is the Parental Dog. The Parental Cat, Mr Nibbs, needs a lot of care and will continue to until his death. My mother made it safely to Ontario where she is now with her mother and her mother's husband and managed to make Tante Laura's funeral. Her mother, my Oma, is very ill, but the extent of the illness is unclear at the moment. I worry about my mother as her relationship with her's has always been very fraught, and it feels as if any minute my father or I will be flying out to join her. Meanwhile, she misses spring in her most spectacular of gardens and in her garden house where it seems I am endlessly watering and bringing in a string of just bursting to bloom amaryllis and other spring bulbs (and I am trying to photo document them for her - two examples here). My father keenly misses my mother but he doesn't want to make her more anxious by expressing it so I find myself passing along the messages.
Can I say, how wonderful it was to get all your messages even though I had been gone? Even though I have been a bad visitor myself lately? It was a balm, to see them. And yes, I have taken up the guitar, the classical guitar. I'm actually learning on a Russian 7 string guitar that was my Oma's but at the moment I've only got it strung for 6 because I can't find a instructor who knows about 7 strings. I've always wanted to learn and I figured, prior to all the family excitement, that this would be a good time. The instructor asked why I wanted to learn and I told him "so I can play around the campfire" which is really what it's all about for me, since I usually spend about half the year around a campfire. And my dad is learning, at age 65, to play the piano, so maybe we'll learn to play something together one of these days. Oh - and we had some good family news - a new baby on my father's side of the family!