Wednesday, January 25, 2006


When I was eight, we went to visit my grandmother for the last time at her beautiful old rickety farmhouse in the Shenandoah valley before she moved to a retirement "cottage", whatever that means. I fell off her exercise bike and cut my knee open, and when I saw the cut I hoped it would scar so I would have some reminder of my last day in those thistle-covered hills between the mountains. It wasn't a bad cut, but it scarred just like I wanted it to.

The burn where I hit my finger on the heating element of Dorte's oven while taking out a sheet of gingerbread people is fading, but I hope it won't vanish entirely. I'd rather like to have a memento of that evening with Ricky and his cousin in the living room watching "Jul i Valhal", the December night kept at bay by a pot of tea on the table and the Christmas lights hung from the curtainrod, and the smell of gingerbread.

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