Sunday, December 17, 2006


Yesterday I spent some time with my friend and colleague Al. We went to a Northport and visited the historical society, then walked around the town.

He is 80 years old, and so from another generation. Look at what he wore for our outing! A necktie, wingtips and a beautiful winter coat. He never swears. His intellectual curiosity makes him one of our best docents. I have never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. And this is one of the things I like best about him: he uses understatement.

When I described some visitors as "rowdy," he used the word "energetic."

I say "ridiculous," he says "there's room for improvement."

I say "riveting," he says "It's a good read."
Walking with him yesterday was an exercise in mindfulness. He walks with a slower gait, so I had to put the brakes on my usual Speedy Gonzales self.
I am so grateful for his friendship.


Blogger Pam said...

Ah, a real old fashioned gentleman. A dying breed, I'm afraid to say. Your picture is so perfect, I can almost hear you talking.

Vermont is always pretty but at the moment the luster is gone. It's been very gray and wet, unusual for this time of year but where is the weather not unusual these days? I will post more of our lovely mountains from time to time, I love sharing the place that was such a big part of saving my sanity.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Britt-Arnhild said...

Looks and sounds like a beautiful gentleman.....Lucky you to have a friend like him.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Mama P said...

Your artwork is beautiful. It would be so magical for a book. I'm sure you hear that quite a bit. Will check in later as I have Sunday School to teach. And yes, even as a Christian, I was close to giving up Xmas, too. The consumerism drives me bonkers sometimes. I'm attempting to focus on the beautiful smells, the gathering of people, the music, and lovely visuals like yours (and Pams... found you through her site...) Until later, mama p

10:51 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

What a special man that as Pam said is a dying breed. Enjoy your friendship ;)

2:47 PM  
Blogger dmmgmfm said...

What an awesome drawing. You really captured the spirit of the moment. And by the way, your friend is as lucky to have you in his life as you are to have him in yours.


3:16 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

Sounds like a delightful friend --- Is he available? I could use a friend on some outings :)

6:31 PM  
Blogger Sacred Suzie said...

This reminds me of one of the blessings of illness, that you see things other people don't because you can't rush. It's one of the reasons I picked up a camera again after a very long time.

He sounds like a beautiful soul and friend Caroline.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Potato Print said...

Thanks for those kind comments. Yes, I am very lucky. Hey, Endment, both Al and I are available on Thursday afternoons at the museum. Not enough people take advantage of his excellent guided tours.

5:23 AM  
Blogger miss*R said...

sounds to me like a perfect friendship ~ I love to spend time with old(er) people..they have so much wisdom. xox

5:44 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

It made me smile just to be in Al's presence through your words and your drawing. What a lovely energy to have in your life. I'm glad you both have each other's company to enjoy.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I love your picture - it really was as if I could hear you talking with Al! What a wonderful way you describe your friend!

Isn't it nice to HAVE to slow down? I race around a lot, and only realize it when I am forced to slow down!

11:04 AM  
Blogger melba said...

Ethan always tells me "slow down Mama, you are going too fast!" He likes to walk slow. Which is good, except when we are in a hurry. Then I find a cart or carry him (if possible because Maggie usually is in the cart or being carried as she doesn't likes to be pushed around)

11:33 AM  
Blogger Thailand Gal said...

Ah, yes, the gift of understatement. I really like that quality in people, too. Or should I say "such a quality is quite attractive." :)



2:21 PM  
Anonymous Sofia said...

I can only agree with what everyone here has been saying, you're both lucky to have each other. I wish I had a whole bunch of older friends, they're often much more fun and interesting to be around I must say, with all their experience and life wisdom.

It's so sad that the gentlemen are a dying breeed. You do find them still though, and I hope that there will come new generations of them. It wouldn't be the same without them. Let's hope that chaps in many countries are raised to be ones.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I'm sure that Al enjoys you as much as you do him. I think I asked you once before...but what is the name of your museum and where is it? I'd love to surprise you some day and pop in.
Oh, and I wanted to tell you that we have a "Bernie's Hardware" in our county!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Lisa(oceandreamer) said...

hello. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for a bit now, even have you bookmarked. I thought it was time to come out from behind the to speak. I find your words and your illustrations amazing and wonderful. I lived in Minnesota for a time in my early twenties, I could relate to the bundling and caroling. I loved how you described your friend Al, we can learn so much from the elderly, can't we?
Anyway, nice to meet you!

9:25 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I think gentlemen like that may be becoming rare, thanks for sharing him

1:47 AM  
Blogger ACey said...

This post encouraged me to feel a fresh wave of enjoyment and appreciation for a special relationship with somebody in the same general age group. I love your observations about the difference in self-expression.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

You have been Christmas tagged! (see blog)

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