Just to clarify the whole thing, a long and involved story, because that’s the Z way.

My mother in law was a great friend of her cousin Carol. In the 1920s, Carol married an American and moved to Atlanta. They continued to correspond, though they never met again. Carol had one daughter, Sheila, who is mow 92. She and her husband Dan loved England and visited many times and stayed with us, at our last house and here.

For our 30th wedding anniversary, in 2003, I really wanted to visit them and also go to New Orleans. Russell also wanted to see them, though less interested in New Orleans than I was. They loved antiques and he and they bonded over that. You needed patience, though. They’d go into an antique shop and marvel over every item, it took hours. I left Russell to it. They told the story of the time they went into a big antiques mall, leaving their teenage son Danny in the car, listening to a ball game on the radio. Much later, they returned, just in time for the end of the match. What was the score? Different game, said Danny. Two whole games later and that was just one shop…

They were lovely, vibrant and delightful company. One time, Dan’s sister Reba came with them. She had a rich Southern accent that was a joy to hear. Dan worked for an international company and they lived in the far East for a while, they were very cosmopolitan.

Anyway, back in 2002 I said to Russell that visiting Dan and Sheila, then New Orleans was all I wanted for our 30th and he went along with it. We started to find out details of hotels etc, but then my mother took a turn for the worse and was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September, with six months to live at most. So we shelved our plans. She had a good six months but died on the very day that her maximum lifespan was suggested. Later, I tried to get the trip planned again but Russell flatly refused. No good reason, he just wouldn’t leave here, though at that time Alex and Dilly lived in the annexe and Ronan lived here for a while after university. It was an opportunity missed and he was just plain wrong to refuse.

Tim also wanted to visit New Orleans and was happy to stop at Atlanta on the way. Dan had died by that time. Young Dan (dropped the Danny) and his wife and daughter always extended a warm invitation. But Covid and lockdown intervened and it never happened. Now, Shelia’s health isn’t very good, though her voice and mind still are as strong as ever. So I’ve booked to go and stay with Dan, Rhonda and Victoria and see Sheila. I don’t want to leave it and it never happen. New Orleans will have to wait, but I have contacted Julie (Hey Bartender) in Athens, Georgia and am looking forward to meeting her too.

Fingers crossed. Covid may yet prevent it. But if I don’t arrange it, it really won’t happen and I’m tired of missing out and what iffing.

5 comments on “Sheila

  1. Blue Witch

    Covid is going to be around for a very very long time – largely because a vaccine that only lasts 3 months is not a vaccine, just an excuse for Big Pharma to make big money forever, and politicians to scare the bejesus out of people, helped by social media.

    In your position I’d be doing exactly the same. Hope you get there.

    1. Z Post author

      Thank you, BW. On Facebook I’m being called brave, at best. I wouldn’t bother with an ordinary holiday, but this matters to us.

  2. Beryl Ament

    I never really expect people to visit Detroit for the scenery or ambiance, but I can always hope. And I did plan to make it to Barton Mills or Soham, but the possibility is receding. Maybe this isn’t the year to wish you a happy Christmas, but my thoughts are with you.

    1. Z Post author

      I’d love to meet you at last, Beryl. Detroit isn’t the easiest place, I agree. Georgia has to be my only focus this time but I’ve got so many places in the US that I’d love to go, it would be great to fit in Detroit too!

  3. Scarlet

    Thank you for the recap!! I’m pleased to read that you’re just going to go for it – I need to adopt that sort of attitude myself. I’d love to see New Orleans – I always find it fascinating when it’s depicted in films. I hope Covid runs out of steam and you get to go on your trip.


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