Thursday, November 13, 2008


Barbara wrote that she would like to have a current photo in my blog. One of my favorite daughters and husband are coming for Thanksgiving and I will ask my son-in-law to take a picture. Hope it will be flattering. I have one photo that I have saved for my obituary. It is now about ten years old.

When we lived in North Burlingame, we had a rich social life. An old friend of S.s was married to a doctor. He was going to become associated with a new internist, who had bought a house a block from us. There were many parties welcoming them to California and we were invited. They became good friends. One time we were having dinner at our house. There were ten people around the table. Suddenly this new friend took my hand, held it up and said 'If my wife had hands like these, I would divorce her. Total silence... S, My wonderful husband was the first to speak. He said: Come here so I can see your hands. I want everyone to know that the brown around the nails is caused by the painting that we all celebrated with a glass of champagne. And the large scab on this knuckle was caused by dropping a brick, when she was laying the patio in the back yard. And the infection in her hand was caused by a splinter from moving our firewood into the garage. I treasure these hands. It made me cry a little. But I learned to wear gloves for protection and use hand lotion more liberally.

The wife who was the woman I had been compared to, was the most gorgeous woman I had ever met. She looked like a classical painting. Her hair was strawberry blond and her skin looked like a babies' skin. And she had the most alluring Southern accent. She was a perfect example of a Virginia lady. She and I were pregnant at the same time and her baby boy was two days older than our baby boy. She was allowed to eat nothing but watermelon until she had returned to her original weight. It had drastic consequences.

Another old friend of S.s lived within several blocks. She had three little boys and before I had a child I spent a lot of time at their house. I learned a lot of what to do and what not to do when we finally were parents. She died early from a sickness called lupus.

And friends that we met from attending the Episcopal church who had two daughters that I often borrowed lived nearby also. The older one became an Episcopal minister. Haven't met her since the family moved away.

We had three children living in that house. And I was four months pregnant with our fourth one when we moved to the East Bay. I will tell you how that came about next time.


Holly said...

I gasped when I read what he said about your hands! It felt like it hurt me a little too.

(and this man was a doctor, who insisted his wife eat only watermelon?) I am cringing, and so thankful for the life I have had.

You have a wonderful voice in your writing. I can't wait to hear more

Anonymous said...

Hands that work are the most beautiful of all--each one is a work of "heart"! Phooey on him.

Emiana said...

I had the same reaction as holly. How hurtful and rude.

I very much enjoy your stories, even the painful ones. I always learn something new or gain some insight. Thank you.

Sarah Mattingly Photography, LLC said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading your story. I look forward to seeing if there is an update each day. Your life so far has sounded like such a wonderful adventure but you have shared it all with us, including the painful parts. That takes such tremendous courage. All of your readers are the better for it.

How wonderful S.'s answer was to the silly man. I can only imagine what a sad tale his wife would write.

Thanks so very much!!!