The Dean and I | Part 12
D and I were guests in the Griswolds’ house for about six months. Here are two favorite memories from our first months in the house, plus a few pregnancy photos. Baby is due near the end of August.
The Sisters Next Door
Before leaving for Washington, D.C., Mr. Griswold gave us contact information for two sisters who live next door. Shortly after we move in they invite us to lunch. They’ve heard I play the piano. Would you please bring some of your music along?
I pick out a few favorite classical music books, and we walk over. It isn’t exactly next door. We walk up the hill a bit and then down just a bit before we see their house. Make that two houses! One very large house on the far side, and a smaller one right beside it, just at the end of the driveway.
We go to the front door of the smaller house. The sisters greet us warmly and invite us in. They look like they might be in their 50s.
This smaller house is big. In fact, it feels huge to me. We’re in the living room now. Large picture windows look out over Boston. Breathtaking comes to mind.
The biggest surprise, however, is the central feature of the living room. Two baby grand pianos, back to back! Both sisters play the piano. One teaches music right here. This isn’t just a living room. It’s a music studio! Large, brightly lit from outside and modern.
Over lunch we learn that one sister is widowed. In fact, the sisters decided the larger house was way too big for them. So they had this smaller house built to accommodate the pianos and to take advantage of the view.
After lunch we go back to the living room and play music. Lots of duets. I feel a little tentative at first. But no matter. They don’t care!
Why this memory? Because it seemed almost as surreal as living in the Griswold’s house. Almost like a dream.
Our Last Supper Out
The day before Baby is due to arrive, D and I throw caution to the winds and go out to eat whatever I want to eat. Enough of this clinic diet!
We arrive at a sprawling, popular steak house, sit down, eat our hearts out and have dessert. I don’t eat steak anymore. But I have to admit, my steak and baked potato with sour cream, and that scrumptious fruit cobbler with ice cream on top was heavenly.
When we finish, I visit the ladies’ room. As I walk past other diners, I can’t help noticing where their eyes keep landing. Yes, I’m pregnant and proud of it! Haven’t you ever seen a pregnant woman before now?
I get to the ladies’ room, open the door and walk in. I’m startled. Who’s that woman in the full-length, full-wall mirror? She’s staring at me! At first I don’t even recognize myself. No wonder I’m getting looks.
Before we left to come to the restaurant, D took this historic picture. See for yourself.
It’s hot and humid. I’m wearing the coolest, least restrictive maternity dress I have. I made it myself, along with most of my other maternity dresses.
Here’s one more photo. A friend from New Zealand made this for me. My favorite maternity dress ever. I’m not sure why I have that lovely corsage.
Of course Baby didn’t come ‘on time.’ But we didn’t have to wait much longer.
To be continued. . . .
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 April 2015
Photo credit: DAFraser, August 1968