NEVER A DOUBT
(an entry for the On
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peggy with her mother and 2 sisters
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
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.