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Florence in Words

Alice is visiting

My daughter Alice has been here for nearly a week and I’ve been too busy to write, but here’s a very brief summary. And perhaps before I begin, I should say that we’ve been “mother” and “daughter” since 1965, though we have never signed legal papers. Then she was 17 and I was 36; you can do the arithmetic if you are curious about our current ages. The first thing we did together was drive from Mississippi’s coast north to Baltimore, which was where I was then living and teaching at Goucher College. Alice finished her last year of high school there, at Park School.

Over the years, we have had many good times together, some of them traveling in other places, and we can still have fun, especially in New York. This time around, Alice and I went to a very long, wonderful opera (Don Carlo) and a far shorter and funnier ballet (The Hard Nut), as well as a film (The King’s Speech). But mostly what we did was see other people who always enjoy a visit with Alice, and talk, talk, talk.

Alice lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi these days, after some years battling Katrina fallout along the coast, where she rebuilt two houses and sold another, which had been flattened. But she spends a good deal of her time visiting her children, Jack (and Maban and baby Kennedy) in Kansas, and Florence in Detroit, as well as me in New York.

We’re very companionable housemates. We both spend a lot of time reading the NYTimes and we easily share a single computer. We always have projects. This time Alice, who has retired from practicing law, is studying an IRS text, because she has volunteered to help seniors complete their tax returns. And I am thinking about a paper I must write for an MLA session on Marilyn French.

But most of all, together, we enjoy walking, shopping, eating (out or in), and seeing friends.
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