At the Baltimore airport, waiting to fly to Austin. So far the Kaplan tour of North America is going splendidly. Great to spend time with my only two cousins, Barbara and Francey – I stayed last night at Barb’s, and had dinner with her, her husband Dan, Francey and the girls’ father Stephen, who’s 93 and still working on his book. It’s science and philosophy, about the small topic of the universe, apparently, and he’s been working on it most of his life. Only a handful of people understand it, according to Stephen, but he is undeterred, now in a retirement residence with his many computers and reference books.
Yesterday was hot and beautiful – 100% chance of rain, it had said – and started off with brunch with my ex-husband, his wife and their 3-year old Greta. Greta is a character and it was good to meet her, good to make this strange friendship work. There’s no reason it shouldn’t. Then the metro to Barbara’s, where she made a welcome suggestion – since Dan was cooking dinner, why didn’t she and I go for a walk in Great Falls park? It was heaven, woods, water, and a woman who walks as fast as I do, the two of us talking about our mothers, fathers, ex-husbands, children and new grandsons – what we knew of each other growing up and what we didn’t. We are both sorry that we didn’t become friends sooner – one of the reasons, besides the distance, was that my dad was leading rallies against the Vietnam War and her parents, immigrants from Britain turned fervent Americans, supported anything the American government did.
Today we took the metro downtown to the National Gallery of Art to see a special exhibit of the work of Albrecht Durer, German genius of the 15th and 16th century. I grew up with his squirrel and rabbit, and was enchanted by the exquisite detail of his work, his fine sensibility. A great new favourite. There was another special exhibit of pre-Raphaelites – I love William Morris, but after Durer, the work was like a too-sweet dessert.
Can’t edit this – they’ll be boarding soon. Lynn and Denis will be waiting – in Texas! It’ll be hot. Onward.