Saturday, August 6, 2016

stopping by the woods

I'm in beautiful downtown Ogdensburg. Actually no, I'm at the Quality Inn just outside of Ogdensburg, but I just toured the town with my first cousins once removed Ted and Susan and their spouses Henry and Peter. We went to the Frederick Remington Museum which is the only thing to do in Ogdensburg - well laid out and interesting - and we drove around looking at the big old houses and the falling down houses and the seaway, on the other side of which is my fine country. We asked a local where downtown was, and she said, there isn't one.

So that's Ogdensburg. Still, it was entertaining being with these two long-term couples as they bickered through town. Turn THAT way! THAT WAY! They went together to Tibet. It boggles the mind.
Lots of lovely Tiffany stuff in the Remington museum
A painting entitled Canada. Yup, that looks like Toronto to me.
A local restaurant.

It's nearly noon. At 1 p.m., Ted and Susan's younger sister Debbie is marrying Dan, a man she first knew as a teenager. Debbie is 65 and has never married. Dan has three grown sons from his previous marriage, big big young men. I met them last night at the restaurant where the two sides assembled, at least 25 of us. It was terrific - what families do and are, people who have absolutely nothing in common coming together to celebrate love and marriage. I am glad to be part of it. Especially as there is almost no family left on my mother's British side, so the New Yorkers are it for me. And what a voluble bunch they are. When I arrived at breakfast this morning, they were avidly discussing what they pay their handymen.

There are dark clouds. The ceremony is taking place outside, on the parched lawn here. I pray it does not rain, which would put a serious damper on things, as there does not seem to be an awning or any kind of shelter. Or shade, for that matter.

An adventure.

The train from Toronto to Brockville, where I rented a car - a bright red Fiat - and drove to Ogdensburg, was an adventure too. Opposite me in the car was a family of four who did not look up from their phones for the first two hours of our trip. All four of them, faces plastered to the screens, as Ontario went by outside the windows. The boys were fraternal twins, I think, of about 11 - beautiful boys, locked into their games. They will soon be teenagers and lost forever. I wondered if their parents might one day regret not being a bit more present with them, instead of lost in their own worlds. But then I remembered how I hated playing I Spy and Spot the Licence Plate and all those tedious games to keep my kids busy on long trips. So maybe arriving refreshed, after being lost in your own private digital world, is a good idea.

Most of my family here are Democrats, except for Peter and Susan, who are very rich and so Republican. But we don't talk politics much. Here's something wonderful for all you Dems out there:


I have a pretty good idea whose woods these are, believe me.
And let me tell you something, my people say he’s a complete nobody.
This guy lives in the village.   So what if he sees me stopping here?
I dare him to sue me!   I dare him!
And by the way, this snow is pathetic.
These are by far, the least downy flakes ever!
I hear they had to import them from Canada.
I don’t know.  Maybe they did.  Maybe they didn’t.  We’re looking into it.
My horse – he’s the most incredible horse, seriously,
I have the greatest, the classiest horses –
My horse doesn’t even know what the hell we’re doing here.
The horses love me though.  They do.
They’re always shaking their bells at me, it’s very loving.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Let me tell you something, these woods are an embarrassment.
They’re not dark.  They’re not deep.  They’re nothing.  They’re for losers.
And I cannot wait to sue this guy.
I cannot wait to sue this guy.

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