Where Would You Go?

“Where would you travel, if you could go  anywhere in the world right now?” I asked the group of women assembled at the Short Story Club meeting in the nursing home.  We had just taken turns reading paragraphs from a travelogue written by twenty-two year old Lindsay, Mary’s adopted granddaughter from the University of Virginia.  Lindsay graduated from college last year and is in Seoul South Korea teaching English for a year.  She sends us updates of her adventures through emails to Mary.

Lindsay’s latest exploits took her to Beijing China.  She made comparisons between the peoples, their food, how much they elbowed, made eye contact, and spit. The babies of China “are more rosy cheeked than those of Korea,” she wrote, and are “bundled against the cold, looking like tiny Michelin men.”

The elders enjoy reading Lindsay’s travels. They recite her words with emotion, tone, and inflection. They laugh at the silliness of her Kindergarten students and put their hands to hearts at the kind gestures of her friends helping her maintain a sense of family in a foreign land.  Today, we boarded the plane with Lindsay and her friend Elizabeth, traveled through the silk, pearl and jade markets of Beijing, and tasted a scorpion on a stick.

“I would go to Germany,” Nancee said.  “That’s where my goose feathers come from.”  Nancee makes quill pens. She learned the craft and has sent sets to each President since Nixon and all the Justices of the Supreme Court since the sixties. They sign important documents with her creations.  A goose farmer in Germany heard of Nancee’s project and sent her thousands of feathers at no charge.  She washes them until they shine white, cuts them into quills, demonstrates how they work, and teaches her craft to others who want to learn.  “I’d like to visit Reimer’s farm and tell him thank you for his kindness,” she said.

We moved onto Paulette.   “I’d fly to Scotland.  I’ve never been there.  My ancestors were Scottish. I hear it’s beautiful.”

“I’d go to ‘Hawaiia’,” Caroline mispronounced. I went once a long time ago and it’s the prettiest place I ever saw. The flowers there are as big as your head and the people are so kind.”

“Egypt,” Shirley stated without hesitation.  “I was there in the seventies and fell in love with the people and culture.  It’s hard to believe that civilization is as old as it is, but when you are there, you can feel the number of years.  I watched the revolution on TV, watched that dictator fall.  I would love to be right there in Tahrir Square, tasting freedom.”

Mary was next.  “I’d go to Seoul,” she said, “to be with Lindsay.”

Emma was last.  She sat thinking for a long time. Finally, she looked up with watery blue eyes and said, “Home, I’d go home.”


Where Would You Go? © 2011 M Dawn Thacker. Read more of M Dawn’s portrayals about relationships and family dynamics by clicking her profile.

4 Responses to “Where Would You Go?”
  1. Virginia Phillips-Smith says:

    Oh, dear Emma. I know how she feels, I think.

    Good job, Margaret

  2. Rebecca Bakhaus Zdepski says:

    I would have to pull my heart out of my tummy first. Lovely work, MD!

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