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By: Elizabeth Varadan
Blog: Elizabeth Varadan's Fourth Wish
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Dear Blog Friends,
My husband and I are leaving Thursday, February 3rd, for a two-week trip to India. We'll return on Saturday, February 18th. We'll have limited access to the Internet while we are there, so I won't be blogging again until we return. But I will be taking lots of notes to share when we get back. I love India, and when I'm there, I can never get enough of it. I hope you will check back after the 18th.
Meanwhile, below are some posts you might like to read from an earlier trip we took two years ago. We went for two reasons: a long overdue visit with my husband's family, and his Golden Jubilee Class Reunion with his classmates from engineering college. Oh, what a great time we had! (We've taken earlier trips, too; but, alas, I wasn't blogging then, so all those notes are in notebooks in the filing cabinet.)
If you do click on these posts from two years ago, please comment, because I'll love to read your feedback when I return. Here they are:
Ah, India -- Where to Begin?Blessed by an ElephantThe Reunion—First DayEducation and the Gift that Keeps on GivingMore About the TripPongal and an EclipseTraffic in ChennaiThe Food of South India
11 Comments on We Are Off to India!, last added: 2/5/2012
I'm thankful to be home today and squeeze in a little writing time. Of course extra time means extra thinking...
How do horror books sell? Depends on how many zombies a book has... Kidding, but seriously, I'm playing with genre on my WIP. Or I should say, playing in another genre. We'll see how it pans out. I've put Reunion on hold for a book which had to be written, a thriller (what?!?) called Badlands. The first line:
Ryan enjoyed a breakfast of yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit before he returned to his room and found his son missing.
Yeah, one of those kidnapping stories. There's going to be copious sex and violence, too. Maybe even an explosion. That is, if Ryan can't stop the explosion from happening. Hmmmm...
Hey... It works for Hollywood, right?
Hope everyone is having a fantastic week.
And no, I'm not referring to Robert Heinlein's 1961 science fiction novel.
Not NaNo-ing always makes me feel a bit "out of the loop". Many bloggers are deep in the NaNo muck, and I'm here, piddling away at a pace of 500-800 words a day on my new book. Not a NaNo pace at all. Not at all.
Slow and steady wins the race? All right... but I didn't know I was in a race.
Speaking of strangers, here's a snippet of strangeness from what I'm tentatively calling Reunion:
“Hold on,” James said. “Where the hell did Carl go?”
The three men faced each other and turned slowly, eyes scanning the rows of stone and dark fences of trees. James let his gaze drift past the grey ribbon of highway, K-15, which ran along the western edge of Greenwillow. No Carl. Plenty of darkness. A gust of hot summer breeze meandered through the cemetery. Late July brought temperatures near the century mark earlier that day, but James shivered.
Don't worry. Carl's fine.
Nonfiction writer James H. Keeffe, III authored a guest piece for Inside Google Books titled “A 67-year reunion of wartime survivors, inspired by Google Books.” Keefe’s book, Two Gold Coins and a Prayer: The Epic Journey of a World War II Bomber Pilot and POW, recounts his father’s (James H. Keeffe, II) military service experiences.
At one point, Keefe’s father was compelled to hide with a Jewish family in the attic of a kindly Dutch doctor; the family consisted of a mom, dad and nine year-old little girl. After Keefe’s distributor listed the title on Google Books, Helen Cohen-Berman found it from searching on Google and then got in touch with Keefe; she revealed herself to be that daughter who shared the attic space with Keeffe’s father six decades ago.
Here’s more from the piece: “Six months after Helen’s email to me, after much planning, Helen flew to Seattle and was reunited with my father on September 13, 2011. Sixty-seven years had passed since last they saw each other. It was a very moving experience—all possible because of Google Books. I was greatly honored to have been able to bring my father and Helen together again. Helen said the reunion was a ‘closing of a circle’ and a healing time for her as she was finally able to talk about some of the events she had endured. For my father, the reunion was a joyful occasion.”
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The most stately house on the lake belonged to Esther. Nothing had changed. She had the kind of life I knew she’d always have. A life I used to dream about. We stopped going to the formal events at Homecoming about ten years ago. Nights full of joy had turned to a kind of sorrow as the years wore on. More and more painful stories. Empty chairs. Those we knew. Those we wished we knew better. Those we would never know at all.
We took turns hosting every year. It was the three of us we cared about most of all anyway. Everyone else seemed like intruders as the years rolled on. I mean, if you had no one to sit with after fifty years, well, like I said, a kind of sorrow.
I pull up to Esther’s summer home, guarded by two stone pillars two times my height with a black plaque, Ryan written in raised gold letters. A good, strong name. My stomach drops like it did the first time Patrick brought me here, so many lifetimes ago, God rest his soul. Ester’s outside to greet me after I make the mile long drive. I take the circular drive in front of what my parents called a mansion. She’s wearing her signature blue, a dress this time, with a white sweater effortlessly strewn over her shoulders. She motions me to park under the concrete portico at the front door. And it takes my breath away. The view I hadn’t had since that night. The night we held hands for the very first time. When we pulled in the drive.
I practically leap out of my POS car, which looks even POS-ier surrounded by the stone mansion, the forsythia in full bloom, the manicured dogwood and Esther’s roses. My heart beats like the young girl who’d just held Patrick’s hand. I could still feel him close and shuddered. Esther and I do what we always do. I give her forget-me-nots. She gives me lily-of-the-valley and we hug a year’s worth of hugs in a minute. Trudy makes her way up the drive behind me. We put our flowers in a vase Esther’s prepared this year. Trudy’s driver opens her door. Slow to straighten up, a wince clouds her ever-present smile when she reaches in for her Edelweiss. When the Rolls leaves it’s just us three. Like no time has passed. And we look at each other with all the memories of the girls we once were. Trudy slips her flowers into the vase with a wink.
Some things a person thinks will last forever. I never expected the way we would be pulled apart.
© Laura Elliott, 2011
0 Comments on Answer: Reunion Story as of 1/1/1900
After a seemingly endless dark day, the heavy layer of storm clouds were beginning to drift away.
Happily reunited, mother and baby basked in the glowing promise of a new day.
For Illustration Friday: layer
acrylic on canvas 6"x12"
Author: Gavin Curtis
Illustrator: E. B. Lewis
Published: 2001 Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
ISBN: 0689841159 Chapters.ca Amazon.com
In this touching tale, a frustrated and distant father comes to see his son through new eyes. Mark loves this one.
, ages4 8
, ages4 8