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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« ice cream | Main | alison & jeff wedding »
Monday
Sep131999

funeral

Worked most of yesterday, then went to see "Limey" at the Toronto Film Festival, starring Terence Stamp. Terence Stamp gave a brief speech just before the showing, and the audience went wild.

This afternoon I'm going to Jeff's grandmother's funeral. I did not know Charlotte Ross Grant very well, but she showed me several kindnesses when Jeff and I first began seeing each other. I was working on my ARCT at the Royal Conservatory of Music, but could not afford my own piano; I would rent practice rooms at the Conservatory and nearby churches. Mrs. Grant encouraged me to come by whenever I wanted, to practice on her baby grand.

I remember those afternoons clearly; the hours of scales, studies, going over a particularly difficult bar of Rachmaninoff over and over again. After I was done, Mrs. Grant and I would sit in her living room and drink tea, talking about everything from music to travel to her childhood. I remember she had an absolutely incredible dollhouse, with working lights, built to look like a house that she and her husband used to live in. Everything in miniature, created in intricate detail. At Christmastime, she would bring out a tiny Christmas tree along with miniature wrapped presents.

A year or two before Jeff and I were married, Mrs. Grant took us on a cruise and vacation to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand. It was the only time I've ever flown first-class. :-) Flying first-class on Quantas Airlines (Australian airline) was an unforgettable experience...computer-controlled reclining armchairs with so much room you could recline nearly horizontal if you wished. Gourmet dinner served with silver and china, snow-white cloth napkins instead of paper serviettes. And dessert...wow! Dessert was a make-your-own sundae, with all the ingredients wheeled out on a silver tray. You could pick which types of icecream you wanted, along with the toppings, served in a crystal bowl with a long-stemmed spoon.

I will always be grateful to Mrs. Grant for these experiences and memories.

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