“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A happy memory, part 2

I moved a little closer.
"Everything alright, gel?" Lew sounded loud and happy. Yes, yes of course it was. Mary was having a good time. We all were.
"Oh, it's lovely, isn't it, Lew, it weally is. Getting the family together like this, and it's not even a funeral! Ah, ha, ha!" Mary burst out laughing at her own remark. Lew grinned and nodded, unable to speak or even laugh.
"Bloody funny, that is, bloody funny, but you're right!" he finally blurted out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A happy memory

The hubbub of the pub was pleasant and, seeping through it, I heard "Roll out the Barrel" from across the bar. Lew was merrily singing along. Jessie was knocking back the red wine, chatting with her sister Mary, as if her memory problems never existed. After finishing his song, Lew tottered around the table and hunkered down with Mary. I didn't quite hear what they said, but Mary laughed and told him what a silly old stick he was. That I heard.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My moment in God's favor

When I was about thirteen, I wanted to be a missionary. I tried to convert my friends and teachers at school. I prayed for Jessie and Lew. For my brother Tony and my dog Rex. And once, apart from praying to Jesus to forgive my many sins, which I did on a regular basis, once, just once, I had a Denis-of-Lourdes moment. I prayed for a cure. I prayed harder than hard for Jesus to heal my athlete’s foot. When I woke up the following morning, my foot was still inflamed and my toes still horribly cracked. And there had endeth my religious phase. I gave up Sunday school and reverted to being a young teen filled with sinful thoughts and not much else.