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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 »


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 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 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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