Friday, January 31, 2020


We decide to walk back from wherever we have been.

Twilight. It is lake country, quite beautiful, almost serene. Switzerland? The Italian lakes? The darkening light is reflected without a ripple on the surface of the lake.

We have just treated our friends Donald and Sharon to dinner at a fancy restaurant. I became nervous toward the end of the meal about the expense, having spotted earlier a notice saying they accepted cash only. It seemed, however, when the bill came, that they would be willing to accept a credit card. I worked out what the tip would be. If I added 20% I calculated that it would be $80! I deemed this to be an absurd amount for a tip and fretted about the tip inflation of the past few years. I decided on the old standard of 15% and added $60 to the bill. The wait staff seemed politely, if not enthusiastically grateful.

I retrieved Sharon's big carry bag from where she had left it, by the table, with a colorful scarf on top. I was careful to be sure the sunglasses she had left hooked to the strap did not fall off, and carried the bag ahead of the others, down a narrow passageway between other diners' tables.

It was then we decided to walk back along the lake shore in the twilight. Our grandson Luka and our daughter Sarah, who had been with us for dinner, went ahead. I followed with Jake, our King Charles spaniel. We heard the splash of a fish breaking the surface of the water and Jake became attentive. I let him dive into the crystal clear water and watched in amazement as he came nose-to-nose with a beautiful rainbow trout, his long ears trailing behind him in the streaming water.

Heading on down the shore, I left the others behind and tried to catch up with Sarah and Luka, who were now far ahead. I was worried that Luka had become separated from his mother, and searched in the crowds of families on holiday, out even this late to enjoy the pleasures of the beach. I could not see either of them and was still worried when I reached the end of the lake, marked by a huge, rather ugly industrial building--perhaps a mill or an iron works.

I turned back, taking out my cell phone in the shadow of the building with the thought that I could call Sarah to find out where she was. I scrolled through multiple prior screens, and tried swiping to access the telephone, function but for some reason was too clumsy with the phone to be able to make it work...

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