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  • Nico plopped down at my feet and tilted his head upward, silently asking me to scratch his ears. I obliged. He was a sweet dog, strangely human. I had only been here twice, and each time he greeted me with such enthusiasm and then completely relaxed, as if I were an old friend with whom he was completely happy to hang. No nervousness or pretense, just a big hello and then relaxed content. It was lovely.

    Spencer was out in the car. He knew about Carol’s prognosis and I think it made him nervous. Death is a frightening thing to a teenager, I remembered this. It is as if you might catch it like a virus, via breathing in the air or shaking a hand. He’s a good kid, easily provided a helping hand was polite, but I could sense that he was eager to escape.

    I took in the room while I waited. Simple lines, vibrant color, quirky charm. The sensibility of an artist. A mirror on the mantel offset to the left, placed just so, to grab the late afternoon light and bounce it into the darker corner. “Ah yes, I would do that too” I mused, now scratching Nico’s back. I wondered if this would be her last Christmas, and do her children appreciate that wonderful tree?

    Carol slowly appeared, apologizing for my wait. It was a friend of hers on the phone who had just lost her 24 year old son in a fire. She lamented not having made it to the funeral last week “..but I just couldn’t bear any more sadness” she explained to me, sighing heavily. I told her it was OK.

    I promised to return for a visit soon, to have a cup of tea and show her a photo of where I was to set up her drafting table in my house, where her rug would find its new home. She brightened at with this news, and Nico’s ears perked up too. Walking to the car I wondered what cookies to bring, and whether Spring would arrive soon enough for her to show me her gardens.
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