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February 4, 2011   

The Old Home Place

After rounding Superior, a night in Toronto and some time at Niagara Falls this afternoon, we headed back across the border and an hour down the Thruway to Rochester, NY. I grew up here, yet ever since the day of my high school graduation, I have tried to stay away. I’ve made a couple of the reunions, Facebooked with some old friends, a few drive-bys barely long enough for a home-cooked meal and a sit by SP’s stone, but this time is different.

It’s a pale blue house on a few acres in the country, 20 minutes south of town. A couple old teachers, two horses, two cats and now, with Wes, there’s two dogs. Riley’s legs and hearing may be waning, but he’s still the smarter of the two. There’s a two car garage with two sensible cars, with room for little else amidst the kind of clutter that comes with staying put for so long. Sue knits, tutors, rides horses, cooks, plays piano and guitar, has season tickets to minor league baseball, and goes to bed early. Dad is proud of his snow blower.

A couple nights later we were sitting around the dinner table, Sue, dad, a good friend of his, Gunther Cartright, and myself. We talked of Sue’s upcoming Jeopardy interview, some politics and current events, Gunther’s girlfriend, and then of course, cameras. The old and the new. The salt and pepper figures made a handy subject for a test. We all had iPhones on the table. I regaled the group with some pictures and flat anecdotes from my road trip thus far. There was no Hungarian goulash, instead, it was grilled steaks, some sides and a salad—and a mushroom burger for myself. Which got me thinking, I love mashed potatoes.

 

Hungarian salt & pepper shakers

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