The Prince of Darkness
The Prince of Darkness has taken to phoning me on an almost daily basis to apprise me of the situation re: Amenhotep. The pharoah has informed our cousin, Chuddy that he has 6 months to live. The Prince of Darkness has been on the phone to tell the family to cut that time in half and maybe change the months to weeks. Meanwhile all attempts to shift the immortal one to hospice where he would be far more comfortable and still be able to continue his volunteer work there, have failed. He's not budging. Budging would be admitting that other people might be right about what's best for him and being right is better than being comfortable. No, it is preferable to drive the Prince of Darkness around the bend, that last bit of domination and control while defying the inevitable.
Hospice is a pretty scary word when you first run across it but Quaker run Chandler Hall in Newtown is a beautiful, serene place. It is all about what Edward Hicks saw in Bucks County when he painted his “Peaceable Kingdom”. Between my mother's MS and the lung cancer that finally saw her out, I imagined her bed at Chandler Hall would have all sorts of gates and side guards and things to prevent her falling out by accident. Nothing could have been further from the truth. My mother spent her last days in a super-king-sized waterbed with no side guards to inhibit her view. Quakers don't believe in safety barriers, they're too much like prison to the patient. I hope Amenhotep remembers to leave a legacy to this wonderful place.
(The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks)
I'm not to come home until the funeral. The Prince of Darkness threatened bodily harm should I miss Imp 1's graduation and he's told me there's nothing I can really do until after the funeral. I am relieved. I feel let off. I feel a little guilty.
I've been training at the gym every day (except weekends) and twice on Mondays for the past two weeks. I used to take 4 or 5 ballet classes a week when I was younger so I figured this bootcamp business would be a doddle. Just in case you didn't know already, there's a big difference between what a 17 year old body can take and what a 47 year old body can take. I didn't know that; now I do. My delts and quads decided that they would give the gym a miss today. They promised not to go gooshy in the meantime. I'm taking them to yoga class tonight just to make sure.
We went shopping with for funeral clothes with Imp 2 on Saturday. My family is Italian-American, ok; the Imps cannot wear jeans to the funeral. The Imps, through no fault of their own, have no relationship with Amenhotep (he's never even remembered a birthday) but he's their grandfather, if only in name and they feel it is their duty to go to the funeral and be pallbearers. Being that Imp 1 is 6' tall, and Imp 2 isn't far behind him heightwise , and being that the combined average height of my brother and assorted cousins is maybe 5'7”, this should make for an interesting scene. I didn't think that Imp 2 should go for the traditional 'Burg look of a black suit. He was a bit disappointed, but when I asked him if he really wanted to look like a 13 year-old Atlantic City pit boss, he got my drift. He settled on a light linen blazer and a pair of black dress pants. He came out of the dressing room wearing the new threads and his Villanova T-shirt underneath. I told him he looked like Agent Crockett. He looked at me as though I were from outerspace. “You know, Don Johnson, Miami Vice...” He threw me a little of the hairy eyeball, shook his head , went off to change back into his cargo shorts and boy did I feel old.
My uncles at a funeral: Cooshie, Scupi, Chuddy and Spike
They're baaaaaack. This time to repair and paint the cathedral ceilings in the living and dining room. Curse you Nico Zantinge! You designed beautiful Mediterranean villas and didn't take into account the very non-Mediterranean Dutch weather. We had a swimmingpool in the livingroom round about November last year. If you imagine the roof as a modified W with the middle part way lower than the highest points and add lots and lots of rain, you'll understand the problem. I'm hiding in the kitchen right now and letting them call me “Madame”. If I tell them to call me “Veronica” they'll think I'm nice, talk to me, expect lots of coffee and take far longer to get the job done. You get too friendly and they take advantage. One of the painters smokes a pipe. He was smoking in the garden during the lunch break—I enjoyed the scent.
(the diningroom left V)
Nico Zantinge was a local architect who worked in Twente between 1960 and his death in 1983. His work was characterized by the use of local materials and a total disregard to Frank Lloyd Wright's axiom of “form follows function”. Zantinge's work looks fabulous. It's not very practical though. I have one walk-in closet in my house, the kitchen was miniscule in proportion to the rest of the rooms and then there's the flying V roof. There is no view of the garden, because according to Zantinge, gardens were not important to architecture and “best left to women”. I don't think Mr. Z. and I would have seen eye-to-eye on a lot of things. Our house was built in 1973. It felt like home from the moment we walked in the front door with the realtor, and almost 10 years on, despite the design glitches, it still does.
(the livingroom, right V)
My head is empty. Now I am going to walk the dogs.
Photos of the house are my own. The rest found at Google.