Yesterday, we went to our friend Diane’s house for lunch. Clif had agreed to help set up Netflix on her computer and television. In return, she made lunch for us—spicy vegetable soup, cheese and tomato melts, salad, and chocolate gelato for dessert. I think we got the better end of the deal.
While we were eating, Diane told us the story of her German grandmother, who came to the U.S. when she was eleven, all by herself on a boat across the Atlantic. She landed at Ellis Island and made her way through the immigration process, with no adult to help. Once this task was finished, it was on to Chicago, again by herself, to stay with relatives. She was widowed twice, supported herself and her children by being a seamstress, and lived into her nineties. A hardy woman with a very, very strong personality.
Also, it’s interesting to think of this story in terms of immigration. Diane’s grandmother left Germany because she (or her family) felt there were better opportunities for her in the United States. (I can’t help but wonder how much a child of eleven would really want to leave home. She was the eldest in a big family.) Nowadays, Germany is seen as the land of opportunity for so many. It’s funny how things change.
After lunch, Clif helped Diane install Netflix streaming, while I took pictures. First, of Casey, Diane’s cat.
And then outside for some winter pictures.
After Netflix was installed and pictures were taken, there was more tea. And more talk, of course. We stayed until dusk, when the sky was dark but not black, and a waxing crescent moon shone in the night sky.