Day 112

Lancaster, PA

I get to know Eileen better as we work together fixing computer troubles, doing laundry, making breakfast, exploring the web, picking up her friend’s car, running errands, and talking nonstop the entire time.

Leenie tries to convince me to visit New Zealand, showing me her book of photos from her visits there. I start to get used to her Irish terms of endearment, “boysie,” and “dearie,” but they aren’t really my style. I know they’re meant sincerely.

I find some geneology software, and together we enter a couple of hundred people in the family tree. This helps me build familiarity with my Kuhn ancestors. I can now follow my paternal line back to my great-great-grandfather Christian Kuhn, just as I learned in Minnesota of my great-great-grandmother Mary Turton Greaves.

In the afternoon we go to the Big House for tea, where I find myself the star of the show. Leenie even has me juggle for her friends. I meet George Steed, whose son Eric apparently told my dad stories at sea, and Helen Cox, who expresses her fond memories of my father and grandmother. Two other ladies there mention that they knew my grandmother Isobel. Mostly they ask many questions about my trip. I don’t speak loudly or slowly enough at times, but otherwise I do okay. I’m assured that I will be the subject of conversation for weeks to come.

At dinner Leenie and I team up in the kitchen to make a huge veggie curry. She chops, I mix and fry. The result is nowhere near as good as the chili, but we enjoy it as the fruit of our cooperation.

Two issues become apparent during the day that cause me concern. One is that Leenie has no reliable source for rides to the store and other necessary places. I try to talk her into asking how she might be allowed to use the bus that serves the larger surrounding community. The other issue is that when her eyesight deteriorates to the point where she can no longer read, her avenue of communication will become upsettingly small for such a garrulous person. I think a carefully planned computer system might help, but I don’t have the time to tackle that project.

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