Monday, April 27, 2009

We woke to our last full day in Leicester with a mixture of sadness to be leaving friends we do not see enough of; others we had not gotten to see at all—long chatty phone calls to Brighton only served to make the distance even greater—and the not totally unexpected relief to be getting back to normal, whatever that is in New York. There was still a full day ahead that included a dance performance and much later The Mister would be doing a gig at a little pub across from the railway station called The Hind. 

We were back at The Jones for breakfast (I know, I know, get a life…) but this time we met up with The Mister’s Aunt Edna and Uncle John. The only times I recalled meeting them in the past was at the sad event of funerals. Edna is The Mister’s mum’s sister. Her husband John is retired now but he has always been a Sunday painter. I mean no disrespect for that description because, although he’s kept at the painting for many years and is quite accomplished, it is a self-described hobby for him. Curiously, he seemed really pleased that he felt he now had someone—me—to pass along his art materials to. We lingered over breakfast in family catch-up mode and many cousins were brought up whose names I was hearing for the first time but which seemed to delight The Mister. I think, considering the insupportable situation his sister created after the deaths of their parents, that The Mister needed to know he did still have a family back in Leicester. Seemingly pressed as we were for time we had no intention of turning down an invitation to stop back home with them. Edna and John’s warmth extended to their cute little up and down house, out past Abbey Park and in sight of the Space Center. John’s studio, though small was impressive, especially the flood of light through a generous-sized window. It challenged the notion of his painting as a hobby. Undoubtedly it is his passion and I ached a little from the memory scent of turps and oil paint. In the driveway sat the caravan of dreams, looking so neat and tidy, just like our song says. They drove us back into town and smiling, waved us off. But it was not like waving good-bye. It was a big, reconnecting hello from family.

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