I miss you. I am really sorry that you have to put up with the horrible chaos of remodeling the office and our home while Willie and I enjoy a vacation in the Chilean summer. Santiago can be very hot but we have had splendid weather.
We are staying in a small hotel very close to my parents’ apartment and we spend the day with them. Small talk and gossip are important Chilean traditions…and eating! We eat all the time, each meal takes hours, and Berta’s cooking is famous. She has been with my parents for 34 years and is closer to them than any of their seven children and innumerable grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For lunch today we had ceviche (prepared with the best Chilean sea bass), lentils with Spanish chorizo and mango mousse for dessert. I have already gained several pounds and my face is full of pimples. Too much chocolate, wine and whipped cream, I presume.
My stepfather, Tío Ramón, is 96 and my mother, Panchita, is 92. They still play bridge once a week and my mother can always find a pretext to go shopping. I gave her walker a few months ago and she uses it to run in the malls. She buys as if she was planning to live forever.
Tío Ramón’s short-term memory is failing and sometimes he gets lost inside the apartment, but his recollection of the past is remarkable and we spend hours listening to anecdotes from his extraordinary life. My mother paints, writes beautifully, and reads in three languages. Her brain has not aged. (I am telling you all this because you have to be prepared for the fact that I have good genes, I may live a long time and I will probably remodel the office and the house several more times before my demise.)
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