“Visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick.”

This morning it was dark when I heard the blasted alarm ring. All of a sudden I flashed back to those working days when I got up at 5 or 5:15 every day. It was a daymare. This morning, though, it was so I could get Francisca to the bus stop to catch the bus to the airport. Her five-day visit finished in a flash.

Last night I had more trick or treaters than I can remember in years, and Francisca came to the door every time so she could see all the costumes. She was also the official dog holder as Gracie was more than willing to join any of the groups of kids. Gracie was sporting her new Halloween collar, a gift from my friend Clare. She looked quite festive in orange and black with a row of pumpkins, ghosts and witches circling her neck. I wore my wizard’s hat which played Ghouls Just Want to Have fun as the tip of the cap moved back and forth in time. I had bought Francisca a small witch’s hat as a surprise and she wore it all evening.

The house still smells of last night’s dinner, the leftover FraFra meal from Sunday. It was even more delicious last night than the first time. Watching Francisca eat was like being back in Ghana. She used her hand and scooped everything including the rice. I’m good with the t-zed, but I’m not so good with the jollof rice. I don’t tend to get it in enough of a ball, and it all falls apart before I can eat it. Ghanaians eat the bones, and Francisca finished off the Guinea fowl bones while I ate more than my share of the leftover meat. Gracie got the skin and, believe me, giving it to her was a sacrifice on my part.

The day is dark and cloudy and has nothing whatsoever to commend it. It feels damp. I sat and waited with Francisca until the bus came as Africans are not lovers of the cold. She bundles up for any temperature below 70°.

It seemed so wonderfully strange to have one of my students here. Never would I have envisioned it when last I saw them in 1971. Francisca’s elder sister Bea will be in Canada soon for her daughter’s wedding, and Francisca is helping Bea to get a visa to visit the US after the wedding and is hoping that she and Bea can visit. What an amazing gift that would be for me.

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12 Comments on ““Visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I hope there will be a photo of You both with Your hats on 🙂 Since we don’t have that traditon it feels sort of exotic for me 🙂

    Giving up the skin is a huge sacrifice 🙂 🙂 I always try to hide it from my dogs 🙂 🙂

    It’s fun how things turns out. Here You haven’t seen Your students in fourty years and now they come and visit You 🙂 I do hope that they can get visas so they can come and visit You again! Life gets much more fun if one has something to look forward to.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I’ll post them tomorrow-I promise!

      You know, I don’t even think Gracie appreciated the gesture.

      The one who visited has a green card so she can come and go from Ghana. It is her sister who has never left Ghana.

  2. greg mpls Says:

    me too! pictures please!
    glad you had the bonus vacation!

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    You are truly blessed. We had a few more kiddies than expected but didn’t run out of candy probably because the first group I wore a ghoulish skull mask from Disney. My wife said, “you better not open the door with that on”. I also wore my old Army jacket to cover the mask’s seam. I opened the door and said nothing and six little toddlers with parents waiting on the lawn saw them run away faster than a speeding bullet. I took off the mask and said “it’s ok come on back” but nope, they couldn’t wait to get past my driveway. So I learned that lesson. But guess what? I also laughed my ass off!

    • katry Says:

      I would have laughed too and felt bad at the same time, but I think the humor would have won over.

      The kids really liked the stuff I gave out instead of candy. This year it was a Halloween pencil, eraser and pencile sharpener. The kids got either a witch, Frankenstein or a Ghost.

  4. Hedley Says:

    Maggie had a rough night. She was placed in the “boudoir” as the young visitors started arriving and spent the next two and a half hours barking. She was set free at 7.30 with 30 minutes to go and did her best to join the trick or treaters on the front porch. The rest of the evening was a disaster as she perched on the back of her chair and barked at every shadow.
    This morning she was a spent force, we wandered out as usual at 5.30 and were confronted by three deer sleeping on the knoll. Maggie made no effort to exert her authority even though the deer were well illuminated by my flashlight. In to the house, upstairs and on to the bed.
    Love that Westie

  5. katry Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    My friends also have a Westie who barks at every trick or treater. She runs to the couch, jumps on the top of it and looks out the window while she barks, but she wasn’t as tired today as Maggie. I could hear her barking at the world.

  6. Bob Says:

    Here in Texas the weather was warm and sunny again today. Unfortunately, the great drought of 2011 continues. We would love to see some nice steady rain. You were lucky that you were spared the wrath of the October blizzard. Halloween in some parts of New England was postponed due to snow downing power lines. I don’t think that snow has ever fallen in Central Park since weather records been kept.

    Now begins the year end eating frenzy. It begins with an over abundance of chocolate from Halloween followed by a Thanksgiving feast, Christmas parties and ending on New Year’s with pizza and snacks while watching another meaningless bowl game. All that food just goes to waist, mine.

    • katry Says:

      There are still people here (over 260,000) without electricity and some schools have been postponed all week. The problem is the trees which still had so many leaves which held the snow and were way too heavy. The limbs fell and took down lines and even telephone poles. It isn’t just fixing the wires. It is clearing the trees and branches.

      You’re right about the feeding frenzy, but I make far fewer sweets for the holidays now. We all used to get together, but since my mother passed, we do individual holidays. I make a couple of traditional foods like date-nut bread and a few candies, but that’s it now.

  7. Bill S. Says:

    My power went out Sat. evening and just returned today. We got 17″ of snow, and everywhere you could hear the hum of generators. I have been back and forth to Nashua since Saturday, setting up a generator for Peg’s dad, and trying to clear heavy limbs and downed trees from the yard. This one will go down in the record books. When I left his house today at 4:00 he still had no power. The kids have been off school for three days, and next week is a three-day school week because of election day and Veteran’s. Halloween will be on Sat. this week.

    I’ll look for your photos on Thursday.

    • katry Says:

      That’s a long time to be without heat, and that’s a damn lot of snow for so early in the season. I’m impressed you know how to attach a generator. I’m thinking of getting one, but I’ll hem and haw and not buy one then the electricity will go out and the house will be freezing, and I’ll bemoan my fate and wonder why I didn’t get a generator.

      I think, though, you are convincing me, and last fall when I was in Ghana. Irene blew through and the house had no electricity for a week. I had the cleanest freezer I’ve ever seen when I got home.

      I’m glad you have heat back now!

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