The first call was on a train. Too much background noise to hold a conversation with a 96yo.
The second call was too short. Too little time between my friend finishing up and dinner needing to be ordered.
The third call hit a snag as I was unlocking my door and my neighbor, thinking it was his fiancé on the front porch, appeared in the doorway in an outfit not entirely fit for public consumption. My laughter confused Maga who demanded, “Why are you laughing?” as if I was the one being inappropriate. If only she could see what I did.
I tried to explain it, but this being our third time trying to connect this week, me being constantly on the move was too much for her brain to process.
“And how are you?” I steered the conversation back to neutral ground.
“I’m 96. That’s how I am.”
Apparently NOT a safe topic choice. I tried again. “Have you ever been to Maine?”
“Oh yes. Nila Slaven used to invite Nana and I up to visit. She had a tennis court and such.”
“Nila Slaven. She was very wealthy.”
“With a tennis court at her house? I’ll say. Did she have any children for you to play with?”
“No. I don’t believe she was even married.”
“Wow. And all that money?! That’s a story I’d love to hear.”
“She met Nana on a boat to Europe and they became fast friends. She’d invite us up every summer for a couple of weeks.”
“Oh, yes, Blue Hills. My mom showed me where you used to go. It’s fairly close to where we were just staying. How long would it take you to get there? Did you drive?”
“Back in those days, we took the train. Probably to Bangor and then someone would pick us up from there.”
“Uh, in these days, I take the train. That’s what I was doing last night when we couldn’t talk!”
“Good point. I guess things aren’t so different.”
Minus the part where I have friends with tennis courts on their private estates.