Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Folks

Twenty odd years ago, my bros Cam and Chris joined their friend Patrick and flew off across the pond to open and run a Mexican food restaurant. Kate, Ian and Traudel's daughter, was married to Patrick. Cam and Chris stayed with my hosts, Kate's folks, Ian and Traudel, before finding their own digs (across the street!) Hence was born my family's connection with our UK folks. Ian. One of my hosts in Sheffield. He of the world's most perfect "Oh Crikey"! He who turned me on to the American jazz singer Melody Gardot (RUN to check HER out!!), he who forced me to say, in true British style, "I have to go to the toilet!" instead of using all the American euphemisms (restroom, bathroom, ladies room, etc.) Traudel. Mutti, the quiet center, Ian's wife, she who allowed me to take over her sink and wash dishes and NOT be a 'guest' (eeewwww), she who both gives and accepts oodles of hugs, she who gave me a gorgeous blond-braided doll I've christened Liesl. Klaus. My Lovely Mother's host in Manchester, and Traudel's brother. He who has met us in Paris, and twice in Italy, he who KNOWS about wines, he of the continuous hand gestures and goofy jokes. Kate. Ian and Traudel's youngest daughter. She who joined us on the night of our arrival to share champagne, and she who so graciously shared her son, Luke, with Toni-the-Colonial. Luke and his Daddy, Keith. The young lad for whom I'm leaving Double BB, and his handsome father, Keith, who does (in fact) have an entire head. Chalk this photo up to jet lag! Dave. Ian's brother, first met on this trip and instantly befriended, he who has days-of-the-week socks (proof to follow), he who drives a cool Prius hybrid but LOVES his wife's red Smart Car, he who bestowed upon me numerous WWII-related gifties for my WWII-crazed bros. See? True story. My Lovely Mother. Isn't she, though? Lovely, I mean! Yours truly. Enthroned in a plush red leather chair [such as I covet for our living room] at Chatsworth, surreptitiously photographed by My Lovely Mother. Blame this photo on her!

Not pictured (chalk lack of photos up to camera being in wrong place at wrong time):

Karen, Mick and Sarah:
Ian and Traudel's eldest daughter, her husband, and their daughter.

Tracy: Dave's wife, who looks like I want to in my next life: beautiful, voluptuous brunette with brown doe-eyes and one of the warmest, most accessible personalities in the UK, I suspect! She who woke up early after 3 days traveling for work in order to accompany Dave and Ian in taking me to the airport, after only having met me one evening, earlier in the week.

Kurt, Alison, Hannah, Holly, Johnny and Jamie: Klaus' eldest son, his wife, their daughters, the daughters' boyfriends, who welcomed us into their home and LUSCIOUS garden one evening for chatter, laughter, and conversational exchange of a deeper level. Alison told me, as we were leaving, "I feel like I've known you forever!" The most meaningful and reciprocated compliment I've received in a long time!

Luke - My New Not Secret At All Crush ... because it's a heart-melting picture and because I CAN! I taught him how to 'give me some fist' and Ian has promised to maintain the tradition!


Holly said...

So you had a Holly with you there? I'm glad for I'm sure it kept you from being homesick. Just that, nothing and no one else. Just Holly did that....ahhh yeah, that's it!

Cam said...

How lucky to find yourself surrounded by such kindred, amazing people.

And, did you not, in fact, snack on those cheeks for hours? He is a cutie patootie!

Bring on more pics!

Holly said...

Back again...umm, Kate? Did you not think she and you look very much alike?

beth said...

amazing people become amazing friends...
lucky you!