Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another Rise to the Challenge

I'm just going to consider this a "Guest Blog." These photos and great stories came from my dear friend Kaye, and they're worth an entry of their own. I met Kaye in our workplace in 1987, can you believe it? I'm still at the same company, while she has gone on to bigger and better things. She's a massage therapist, and a damned good one. Let me know if you need me to hook you up with a massage-to-die-for.

Here are HER words:


The things I have on the shelf around my massage room all have special stories and significance to me. Here are a few.

[This] pic is stuff that was my mom's. Things that were familiar and comforting in our home when I was growing up. I miss her a lot. Tomorrow would be her 90th birthday.

The Christine pic...ah, Christine. She was a client and a friend. I saw her every week, sometimes twice a week for about 6 or 7 years. One Christmas she gave me the candle in the center. I went to her home, because of her health issues she was unable to get out much (even though she was only in her fifties). The animal napkin rings on each side of the candle sat on her entryway table near where I gave her massage. After she passed away, I was able to get those as a reminder of the wonderful, awesome woman she was. You would have loved her. She was a poet, bawdy, irreverent, sweet and compassionate, and totally engaged in life in spite of her pain.

Burma is an even longer story I will try to condense. In the late '70s I traveled for 5 weeks in Asia with this guy who I used to date, but had met a woman I fell for after I had made my travel arrangements and before the trip. (Lousy timing) We spent a long week in Burma, flew into Rangoon. Then took a train to Mandalay. We travelled 3rd class. It wasn't until we were on the train, Wayne informed me it was a 14 hour trip. We had no food or water with us. I was furious at him. He was furious at me.

It was sweltering in Burma. No air conditioning in 3rd class. No dining car. I was becoming delirious with hunger and thirst. I wondered how sick could I get if I sucked on some of the Wash 'n Dry's that my aunt had sent with me. Pretty darned sick I imagined. And embarassing for my family to get the autopsy report that she died of Wash 'n Dry toxicity.

I kept wiping my sweat with Wash n' Dry's. A Burmese guy across the aisle watched me, intrigued with my Wash n' Dry's. He didn't speak English and me no speak Burmese. But he pantomimed and I understood that he connected the WnDs with airplanes. He was delighted. I gave him a couple of packs. (My aunt had given me about 500). He was thrilled.

At the next stop, he got off of the train. He came back with a beautiful basket of grapes that he presented to me. The basket is in the photo. Wayne snarled that I couldn't eat the grapes because they were contaminated and I would get sick. I knew I couldn't get sicker than I already was from the fruit juice I drank in Bangladesh. "I'm eating these!" I informed him. I'm so nice, though, that I shared them with him. He insisted that we pop the flesh out of the skins and not eat the skins.

So the basket means a lot to me. The picture beside it is one of 2 handpainted greeting cards I bought in Mandalay.


It's me again. Lori here. Don't you just *love* these stories and photos? I'm verklempt!

Thanks to Kaye, and also to the rest of you, who are still commenting and e-mailing with intentions of playing along. I am so far touched to my very core with everything I've seen and read here.


  1. What fabulous stories from Kaye...

    So touching! So amazing!

  2. Anonymous9:40 AM

    this kaye sounds wonderful! a sensitivity we need more of today.

  3. Anyone that is acquainted with her would agree with you, anon.

  4. Anonymous6:58 AM

    fantastic tales,meticulously cared for treasures,love the train, wipes,grapes. next time wipe the grapes with wipes and then eat 'em

  5. Kristy7:42 AM

    Kaye is wonderful indeed!!


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