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(an entry for the On Display collaboration)

3 March 2002

Tall. She was taller than I expected.

She seemed to explode out of the airplane and into the airport waiting room, arms outstretched to give me a big hug. It had been a long trip and she was glad to finally be on solid ground.

It took a few minutes for me to adjust the physical presence to the person I'd come to know from emails and telephone calls for two years.  But from the first, we chattered away as if we'd known each other forever--because it felt that way.

From the beginning we clicked. We knew we had lots of interests in common, but we didn't realize our personalities would mesh so perfectly. When our mutual friend Olivia returned from a trip to Australia, she said "you have to write to Peggy. The two of you are so alike. I know you'd get along." She was so right.

Who could have predicted? We came from different places, different points of view. But as we started to know each other, it was as if everything was all brand new, as if we were reinventing ourselves in this new friendship we were exploring.

DISPLAY1.jpg (4558 bytes)The assignment is to "describe someone you love." How do I describe her? Physically, taller than I. Blonde hair, cut short and swept to the side. Tinted lenses hiding her eyes--small, like mine. She's of Scottish descent, but the nose somehow looked "German" to me (what does a German nose look like?) Ears close to the head, no defined ear lobes, just like me. She wears small gold hoops and a wide gold chain around her neck.

She has a smile that can light up a room when she decides to flash it. Or she can hide behind a veiled expression, with eyes that speak volumes. She thinks of herself as reserved--and she can be, but when she lets herself open up, it's very special.

She has an Australian accent and uses those funny words like "chook" (chicken) and writes with all those extra "u's" in words. Each morning when she was here, she'd come downstairs and peek her head around the corner of the kitchen with a cheery "g'day." I miss that.

ironingsm.jpg (10514 bytes)I forgive the fact that she actually likes to hang things on a clothesline and to...gulp... iron!

She's bright and witty and wonderfully gifted artistically. She loves computer graphics and has a sense of design that I can only aspire to--and do not have the right genes to pull off.

She loves computers, though is very good at crashing them. She loves to buy new gadgets to try out on the computer, mostly having to do with graphics (how many graphics program does a person need anyway?)

She loves music, all sorts. While my tastes in music tend to be pretty boring, and I get stuck in a musical rut, she is all over the place, listening to all sorts of music. She's introduced me to John Denver, ABBA, Shanaya Twain, Celine Dion, and others. When Napster was going strong, she spent hours downloading music and making CDs for herself and to share with others.

DISPLAY3.jpg (18242 bytes)She's a wonderful photographer. When she was here, we took our digital cameras (she had given me mine as a birthday gift) and took hundreds of photos. Perhaps thousands of photos. Every place we went was an opportunity to test out new camera tricks. Though I teased her that I was really a better photographer, I didn't mean it; she is.

She's passionate about sports. Apparently all Australians are. She particularly loves cricket, a game I am convinced I will never understand-- especially since it is never shown on cable-TV here. When we are scheduled to have an IM chat, I know without a doubt that if there is a cricket match on television, there will be no chat. You can't drag her away from the television.   Which, I suppose is fine since she professes to be a "hermit," liking her privacy and not enjoying being around groups of people.

She freely admits that she doesn't like babies.  Can't understand what all the fuss is about.  But she's wonderful when children begin to get older.  She has become sort of a second mother to a little girl living next door to her, and I love listening to tales of what new project the two of them have done.

DISPLAY4.jpg (18376 bytes)She loves animals.  She's particularly passionate about zebras, and collects zebra "stuff."  But she also has a soft spot in her heart for apes (especially orangutans) and giraffes.  She loved watching squirrels when she was here--they don't run around Australia like they do here (just like we don't have kangaroos hopping around our cemeteries like they do in Western Australia!)

She's devoted to her dogs, "her girls." German Short-haired Pointers ("GSPs," she says).  If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I always said I wanted to come back as my mother's dog, but I think I'd rather come back as Peggy's dog. The dogs, and her family, are the most important things in the world to her.

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Peggy with her mother and 2 sisters

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with Keno (left) and Chippa

In my lifetime there have been a handful of people whom I got to know either through letters (remember letters? The kind you used to put stamps on and which took several days to deliver?) or through e-mail, who have gone on to become close face-to-face friends. Peggy tops the list. (she insists that she have top billing over Steve) We shared a beautiful six weeks together and saying goodbye at the end of it was incredibly painful.

I still miss her today as much as I missed her then.

I have been fortunate to have wonderful people in my life whom I love very much. I am so glad that Peggy is on that list.

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Quote of the Day

Cricket is baseball on valiuim

-Robin Williams

One Year Ago

Peel Me a Grape

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