August 15, 2017

“When’s your next trip,” Maga asked.


“Oh, I’m having visitors on Thursday too.”

“My mom and dad, right?”


“I’m also headed west, but not quite to Colorado.”

“And why are you going there?”

“To celebrate my friend’s bachelorette party.”

“Is this a friend from work?”

“No. We have mutual friends in common.”

“Oh. So this is for her wedding shower?”

“Not exactly. The bachelorette party is more like a celebration of her last, wild night out before she has to settle down into marriage.”

“Oh my. We didn’t do anything like that when I got married. Is she from [city we’re going to]?”

“Nope. She’s from here. She’s local.”

“Do you know her from work?”

“No. From mutual friends.”

“I’m glad I’ll have visitors this weekend too.”

“Me too.”

“And if you ever get the urge to travel out west to my area, the invitation’s always open.”

“I always have the urge to see you, Maga! I’ve been out twice already this year which is once more than my usual, but I’m hoping to get another trip out to you under my belt.”

“You have been out twice, haven’t you?”

“I wouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t true.”

Although sometimes the urge not to repeat myself 15x does lead me to stretch the truth from time to time… ;)


8.8.17 – 8.9.17

August 9, 2017

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.


July 31, 2017

“But it’s Monday,” Maga said.

“I know, but I’m going to a birthday party tomorrow and I’m not sure how late it’ll go and I didn’t want to miss our weekly chat.”

“Oh, well thank you for calling tonight.”

We spoke about the usual things (the weather, my siblings, my travels), when something obvious occurred to me.

“Maga, do you realize we overlap states?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you went to college in MA. I live here now. You were born in NJ. I went to high school there. Your name is Virginia. I went to college at JMU in Virginia.”

“Why you’re right. My goodness.”

Her genes criss-cross my insides while her travels/earlier life criss-cross my exterior path.


July 25, 2017

“I’d forgotten it was Tuesday until the telephone rang and there you were,” Maga said.

“Here I am.”

The conversation about various family members lulled, and before we could transition back to today’s weather report, Maga said, “What was I going to tell you?”

“Something juicy?”


“Juicy gossip.”

“Oh goodness no. Nothing like that, so I guess it doesn’t matter that I can’t remember what I was going to tell you.”

“Well, I’ll be here when you remember it.”

And I will. Even if it’s just over the phone and not in person. Even if it’s once a week instead of every day. Because if there’s one thing I am, it’s dependable. And if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s listening. So, talk on, Maga. I’ll be here.


July 18, 2017

“I talked to your mom earlier this week, so I know all about your fabulous vacation!”

“It was fabulous indeed! Hot. But so fun. How about you? What have you been up to this past week?”

“Oh, not much. A few little errands here and there. What time did you get back from your trip?”

“Super late Sunday night. About 12:30.”


“No, AM.”

“The afternoon?”

“No, the evening.”

*pause* “Oh, so it was still light out.”

“No, no. It was after midnight.”

*pause* “What’s the weather like there now?”

“Everyone here thinks it’s so hot, but compared to the heat and humidity of North Carolina, this is easy breezy.”

*pause* “It’s quite nice here now too. We had a lovely sunset the other night with the mountains in the background and such.”

“I love sunsets! Did you take a picture?”

“Not this time. Did you take many pictures on your vacation?”

“Just on my phone.”

“If there’s one you really like, I’d love a copy of it.”

“I’m not entirely sure how to get the pictures off my phone…”

“You take it to a place and they can get the pictures made for you.”

“Look at you, Maga, with this current information about technology!”

She chuckled and hiccuped. “What was the weather like on vacation?”

“A minimum of 95 degrees + 100% humidity. You felt like you were melting.”

*pause* “What time did you get back from vacation?”

“Late Sunday night. Well, since it was 12:30, technically, it was Monday.”

“Oh, so very late at night.”

“Yes!” We arrived at the point much faster this time.

“And how’s your weather there?”

“Hot. Thunderstorm-y.”

“So, usual summer weather?”

“You got it.” If she could see me, she would have seen me tap my nose and point in her direction. We spun off on a tangent about my job, which was unusual, but I was happy to answer her questions about what I spend my working hours doing.

*pause* “So you spend a lot of time writing and editing?” Maga said.

Being in production, I do not do those things per say, but I couldn’t help but think of all the revision opportunities I was having tonight. My retellings of the late hour I got home + the weather were on point by the time we hung up.