Less Mess, More Memories

Since our return from New York late September, I’ve been trying to get the apartment more settled and organized. We finished most of our renovations months ago and never got around to putting things completely back together. Then My Mother The Dowager Duchess took her final bow and we returned with memories of her. What we carried home with us was followed months later by some furniture, art, and other things we didn’t have the heart to part with.

We also shipped back from South Dakota dozens of framed family photos we had left with Linda and Tom (Jerry’s sister and her husband) when we moved to Spain. About 10 boxes. They were supposed to go through the photos, keep what they wanted, share with the kids, and then get rid of the rest.

Somehow, in the emotions of our departure, Linda and Tom missed that point and thought they were simply storing boxes of papers! So, in September, we whittled the 10 boxes down to 4. We’ve now got a lot of framed photos and not a lot of wall space. I’m doing what I can, while turning what I had hoped would be a minimalist apartment into a Victorian-looking collection of clutter.

I’m trying to keep the clutter under control and, I must admit, we both love seeing so many family photos back on our walls (thanks, Linda and Tom) along with original artwork, including paintings and sculptures by The Dowager Duchess.

We used to have close to 200 photos lining a hallway or stairway in every one of our [more spacious] homes in the States, plus dozens displayed on tabletops. A few dozen is all this place can handle, I think. And each one requires me to drill a hole into the concrete wall. So, if I measure wrong, that’s where it stays! I still have to figure out permanent homes for all the additional sculptures and knick knacks that are strewn on most surfaces.

Mess makes me crazy.

(Click the images for a better look.)

OF COURSE, DUDO…
… AND MOOSE MONITOR MY PROGRESS.

Lady Liberty’s Spanish Holiday

We bumped into Lady Liberty last week while shopping in Mijas Pueblo. She said she was here for a short break. Although it’s always a pleasure to see her, I’m hoping the “short break” is not one of those alternative facts we’ve lately heard so much about.

ON THE PLAZA VIRGEN DE LA PEÑA.
VIEWED FROM THE GLASS ELEVATOR
AS WE HEAD BACK DOWN TO THE PLAZA.

Art, Art I Want You

We shipped a few pieces of furniture, some artwork, and two boxes of miscellaneous goods from my mother’s (The Dowager Duchess) New York apartment in late August. It went from there to Amsterdam to Madrid and finally arrived here in Fuengirola today.

New York and Madrid were great — well, except for the guy who incompetently packed the two boxes of miscellaneous goods. So, OK, Madrid was great.

The representative in Amsterdam sat on the shipment for nearly three months. As he explained to San Geraldo, when he finally responded, “It’s a long way from Amsterdam to Spain.”

But, it’s here. And it’s a joy to see my mother’s things in our house — especially my mother’s paintings, sculptures, and needlework.

Today’s photo is an embroidery The Dowager Duchess did more than 25 years ago. It’s 18 x 22 inches (46 x 56cm) and the work is so expert that, at first glance (and sometimes even after careful study), most people think it’s an oil painting.

As we unpack and start to get organized, we’re reminded of — and in awe of — my mother’s exceptional talent. (Click the image to be wowed.)

“So I pondered the point of art in this life…”

I’m So Excited

I received email last night from the Kid Brother. Email! His wonderful family, the staff at AHRC NYC, took him to buy a mobile phone and immediately set up an email account for him. He’s already taking pictures and sending them to me.

FIFTH AVENUE AND 54TH STREET.
(MOMA IS ON 53RD BETWEEN FIFTH AND SIXTH.)

Yesterday afternoon, they went to MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) where I’m told he really enjoyed himself. Along with a slightly blurry street scene, the Kid Brother also shared a couple of even blurrier photos of his favorite artworks, and a close-up of his own artistic creation inspired by his day at MOMA. Of course, I like his creation the best.

It was 2 a.m. when the messages came in, but I happened to be up and immediately sent him a quick (and simple) note. This morning, I sent him photos of the cats.

A KID BROTHER ORIGINAL.

So, now not only can we speak on the phone every weekend (and, hopefully, one of these days on FaceTime), but I can also email a brief note and photo to him every day just to feel connected.

NOW IF THEY COULD JUST GET HIM TO
SHOW SOME EXCITEMENT!!!

If the Kid Brother were to watch this video, he would say, “You’re a nut!!!”