Today in My History
While You Work
Books Read in 2019
AND SO IT ENDS....
December 31, 2019
This is the last entry for 2019 and ahead is the ominous 2020 and all that year is going to hold.
We had a surprisingly lovely day, ending with a marvelous surprise.
With nothing planned, and Ned & Marta headed off to her family's Christmas celebration, Walt, Jeri and I decided we would do our traditional Family Movie Night--only in the afternoon. We decided to see Knives Out, which none of us knew much about other than that it had received good reviews. And it was a very good movie. Took me awhile to get into and I confess to dozing off in the beginning (as did Walt), which means we missed some of the meaning behind the ending, but Jeri was there to point out what we had slept through. Once it go into the meat of the story, it was riveting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We got home and within a few minutes, the doorbell rang. Walt answered the door and was talking to some guy I didn't recognize. Then he started leading him into the family and I looked at Walt quizzically and he said the guy was Marcio. Marcio!!! Marcio Vassimon and his wife Patricia, here visiting from Brasil. He had written to me in early September telling me they might be in this area around Christmas time and hoped they could see me. At that time we were in the midst of the "10 year project" and the house was a total disaster.
Marcio was one of our earlier foreign students (1982). Among the 70 who lived with us during the 10 years we were doing that. he became one of the "special ones" and I was thrilled to hear that they might be here. But we've had people tell us that in the past and never show up, so I didn't plan on it too carefully, other than to tell him that while we would love to see them, we couldn't invite them to spend the night because our guest room was now gone.
But here they were and how wonderful to see Marcio after nearly 40 years! We had the awkward first conversation interactions (made more awkward by Patricia's fear of dogs!). Patricia (Marcio's 3rd wife) is lovely, but speaks very little English and my Portuguese isn't all that good any more. Suddenly Ned and Marta came home. Marta was exhausted and went upstairs to their rooms, but Ned, who met Marcio in Brasil when he was living there, greeted Marcio -- in Portuguese -- like a long lost brother.
I'm not sure who was the more surprised, me or Ned, at how much Portuguese he remembered. He talked with both Marcio and Patricia in both English and Portuguese and Marcio said his accent was perfect, still, after all these years. His conversation was not stilted, but more like he was remembering that he lived in Brasil for a year.
Ned is the consummate bombastic host and made sure everyone had beer, which softened Patricia's discomfort with her English struggles (she's better than I was...I didn't even try to use any Portuguese)
When we trimmed the tree, we put on the Christmas ornaments I made of pictures of the "special ones" who had lived here and Marcio was pleased to find his ornament.
I made sure to let them know they were invited to dinner, and Ned pooh-poohed the idea of them staying in a motel, and told them they were perfectly welcome to stay here which, after much persuasion, they agreed to do.
We were going to just pick for dinner, since there were so many leftovers. As it turned out, I had just enough leftovers from Christmas to make a great casserole and Marta had bought a blackberry pie so we had dessert too. It was the very best thing because what with the beer and dinner and time to chat after dinner, we got past the "how are you--I am fine" stilted conversation and into more serious, emotional topics and that was wonderful. It was just so amazing to see him again. And the cockles of my heart are very warm tonight, hearing his memories of his month here and what a difference his stay here made in his life.
As I write this it is almost midnight of 12/30 and when you are reading this it will be the last day of the year. What a rollercoaster of emotions this past week has been and seeing Marcio and Patricia was definitely the cherry on top of the whipped cream of the Christmas celebration.
2020 is going to have to go a long way to beat December 2019.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7219