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August 24, 2009
You're sure you're all right on the couch? You can have our bed, you know.

We were in Gonzo, the RV belonging to my daughter and her husband. Gonzo sleeps six easily: two on the bed in the bedroom, two on the bed into which the dining table can transform itself at a moment's notice, and two on the bed over the cab.

I'm absolutely all right. I can sleep anywhere and nothing wakes me up.

And nothing did. They had a campfire and a three-hour conversation right outside the window, and I never knew it. I did not regain consciousness until the morning, when the birds started to sing. Soon Marti the dog came out of the bedroom to inquire about the possiblity of a walk. Corinna and I took her down through the woods to a stream she likes. Marti has a friend who lives near there: a large turtle she sometimes meets on the way down there. But today there was no sign of him.

It is so cool and shady here, and so quiet. But that is not really why I came. I came here to be under one roof with my daughter again. It has been decades since she lived at home, and our lives are both much too busy. We live near each other, so our visits are never overnight ones -- lunch, dinner, coffee, a late-night run from the train station and then back to our separate homes. And so it was a delight to see her emerge sleepily from the bedroom, to sit across from her at the breakfast table. There used to be so many breakfasts, so many mornings, so many quiet nights all those years ago. It seemed then like we would have all the time in the world.

You're a beauty queen, I said. She really is turn-around-in-the-street-and-take-a-second-look beautiful, even when she's just gotten out of bed.

She gave a snort and stirred her coffee. Physically beautiful people fall into two categories, I have noticed: those who find the subject of their own good looks boring and those who find it fascinating. She's in the first group.

We went antiquing. I didn't buy a large brass balance scale from the 18th century and she didn't buy a 19th century wooden baby stroller. When we got back to Gonzo, I stayed in with the dog to write and she went swimming. Later we might go canoeing.

Or maybe we'll go canoeing tomorrow, instead. I'm not sure when we're going home. It feels as if we were home already.
Last week I mentioned loving the apse of Florence's San Miniato, with its wonderful mosaic. Debbie Sharp Loeb has just posted her San MIniato photos in the Hodgepodge at
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