Posts Tagged With: age

THE EXOTIC CAMEL FAIR

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People camp here for the duration of the fair, just like our own fairs. But they have no electricity or laundromat.

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She is obviously older and Ranvir explained to us that India has only a guess at their population, that is changing now. He asked her, Mother, how old are you? She said, I don’t know, but I think I’m about 70.

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This man has a food booth with huge pots of wonderful smelling  broth or soup.  One pot I could see rice and lentils and we another with vegetables in a rich gravy. But we watched him serve a customer and he used this dirty rag to clean the stainless steel plate he used to dish it up. It didn’t bother his customer.

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In this booth, a couple cooks naan sitting on the table with a portable adobe stove.

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Then we meet what we in the U.S. would call a snake oil salesman. He sells bottles of elixir, (as good as viagra) some to ingest, others in pill form or a salve to rub on your skin  to cure just about everything.

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The Chinese have wonderful herbal medicines, and the herbs are very impressive as he explains to us how things work.  So several of us try his arthritis oil. Oh, well. My bottle cost me in rupees the equivalent of 16 cents.

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This young man is training a beautiful black horse.

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The current fad is to get animals to walk on their hind legs. Ranvir asked him how much he was asking for his horse. Not for sale. He plans to make it a champion and will breed it someday.

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As we walked this dusty road, a parade walked by us.

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This man casually leads three camels. They seem to be very docile animals.

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These two are all decorated and beautifully groomed just like my daughter did her horse at our fair. The similarities tickle memories.

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I took a picture of this woman by a heavily patched tent because of the stuffed animal on the top. I asked to take a picture and a young girl immediately reached up and hauled it down for me to see. Again, a slight commonality with an American fair.

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Ranvir talked to some animal buyers. He told us these guys don’t look rich. But they can plunk down $10,000 dollars for an animal-in rupees, of course.  He asked several of them how much they paid. One man we met was crying the blues because he sold his animals for $2,000 dollars and doesn’t have a bank account and no way to cash it. He couldn’t even buy anything to eat or drink. He asked us to give him rupees for his check.

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The man with the cane is showing off and dancing all over the place. Ranvir warned us people at the fair might ask you to pay to take their picture, but don’t pay any more than 20 rupees. I asked and he said 500 rupees. So, I said no. He then began his dance.

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Then he came right up to me and let me take his picture for free. Ranvir said, “He’s drunk. They come from small villages and this is the event of the year for them. So, they drink and party and have fun.” Another similarity of our fairs.  Too funny.

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We found a show ring where the horse has been trained to walk on hind feet.

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And then made to dance on a bed. A drummer keeps up a cadence. These horses are a unique breed called twist eared rajasthans.

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Remember our bad actor from the camel yard? Here he danced on the bed as well. I’m short and got buried in the crowd and couldn’t get the picture.  Ranvir said dancing animals on the beds is something new this year.

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This man is loading up sand into a truck. He has just met Hugo.

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Hugo wants to help. And he very quickly shoveled a load of sand into the pan.

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He does have flair for entertainment. He would be a hit at our fair in  Angels Camp.

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Everything gets decorated for the fair, machines, tents, animals.

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Back at camp,  I sit out and enjoy the dancing and the music.

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A magician struts his stuff.

 

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Theo retired early. We both gratefully  curled up with the hot water bottle delivered to each bed at night.

 

 

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FUNERALS ARE FULL OF LIFE.

I’ve heard people say, “I hate funerals,” I’ve said it myself. We don’t like to face the sadness of a life ending.

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Eleanor Darby, (left) lost her best friend and husband Dan,  November 9th, and, a good friend Betty Fitzgerald, November 7th. Eleanor is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. I took this picture as she stood outside the church yesterday, with her niece, Pam. She and Dan were married 56 years, they lived in Angels Camp their entire lives;  they were married in St. Patricks Catholic Church where the funeral mass was performed. Those necessary rites and rituals have meaning for all of us.

I can identify with the feelings losing a spouse can bring. I lost my husband of 40 years in 2000 and was numb for a year. I couldn’t recall later what I had done for Thanksgiving, or Christmas. I couldn’t remember some people who attended his service or much of what went on, though I seemed to be in control. With distance, we recognize that death is a part of life. An ending, but much more.

This morning and yesterday, I thought much about Eleanor and Dan, their boys, Mike and Robbie, who shared such wonderful and humorous remembrances of their Dad, from learning to say I Love You, his  dreams, and careers, and his famous chili beans that were cooked for the reception.  Dan’s brothers that I knew, Earl and Elda, Jack and Ida, Lloyd and Ruth.  (Eleanor and Elda are sisters who married brothers.) His nephew Rod and Kristi, his grandniece, Nicole and Larry. Friends, Don and Betty Fitzgerald, and so many more from every walk of life.

Relationships have so many patterns and pathways. I met his grandniece, Nicole, first, when she was about three years old and in the same dance class as my daughter, Virginia. We both lived in Fremont at the time, It was 1972 or 3. Her mother Kristi Darby divulged to me that our planned retirement in Murphys was very near where she had liived in Vallecito. Her mother had been the Postmaster there and she and Rod had a house they rented there. Not long after we built our house in Murphys, she ended up my next door neighbor,  two parcels over.

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Kristi with son-in-law, Larry, daughter Nicole, grandchildren, Shannon and Garrett. Nicole and Virginia then attended High School together. At the reception, we got to catch up on each other’s lives.

I met Eleanor and Dan, and Betty and Don Fitgerald through the high school sports programs, and Quarterback Club. Their kids attended High School with ours.

Dan’s father, “Chub” Darby, was a Murphys fixture, and all around character in his nineties, when we met. He participated in the Homecoming Parades, and his cabins are now part of a vacation rental. Darbys hale from gold rush days, two roads are named after them. I remember Chub whenever I cook his watercress potato salad. If I buy the cress in the store it never tastes as good as picking it in a local creek.

Our friendship was strengthened when all of us became a part of AFS, American Field Service, A student exchange program, along with Dutton  and Ben Smith, Carol and Clark Burton…Walli…so many memories and faces, if dis-remembered names.

Nicole went on an exchange to Austrailia. Virginia went to France. Eleanor and Betty took in multiple exchange students over the years.  Betty ran the program with the help of many others, as Kristi and I did in later years.

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Linda Djamaludin from Indonesia was our exchange student in 1986. They always say you get more from the program than you give, and it is so true. The support at AFS meetings was wonderful. Our girls went in different years.  At each meeting we would read Virginia’s and Nicole’s letters from their temporarily adopted country.

Eleanor, and Kristi, and I, with all the county exchange students, loaded into our Motor Home and traveled to Pasadena for a special opportunity to work on the floats for the Rose Bowl Parade.  We did it two years in a row with kids representing probably twelve different countries.

Eleanor and Dan visited students they had hosted in Italy, France, Switzerland and Sweden. They are really life changing events.

At the reception, we didn’t talk about death and loss. We were witnessing the continuation of life around us. Children, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews with the DNA and blood of their special inheritance of life everlasting.  And, then there is always Dan’s beans, Chub’s salad…Mike’s paintings…

 

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AS THE DAY GETS CLOSER

The older I get, the simpler my Christmas becomes. I feel closer to old friends as I write my cards.

As a family, we gave up giving each other gifts long ago, except for the children. As I age, I know that Christmas is a matter of the heart and we value the gift of time with each other over anything else. That includes the food,  an important part of our shared time together. Special dishes, lovingly and thoughtfully prepared.

Fond remembrance for Christmases past. The profound enjoyment of the music, the tinkling of bells. Teasing the kids, perpetuating the magic, and looking at Christmas through their eyes.

Appreciating the trappings of the season all around us, glowing lights, cheery voices, the smells of cedar and pine, the colors shining bright, secret smiles, hidden glances, the scurry and hurry and expectation of things to come.

And Peace. We don’t expect World Peace to happen as much as we may wish it. But, in our country or city neighborhoods,  where Christmas dwells, 80% or more  people take a day out of their work to celebrate Christmas, and there is a sense of peace. Little traffic on the road. The quiet of a neighborhood as everyone turns inward to reflect upon the  beauty, the warmth,  holiday hugs, the family together, the deeper meaning of Christmas Spirit. Love, Joy, Hope and at least, a day of peacefulness.

 

 

 

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