Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sweet Sugar

That's my stepmother's preferred mode of transportation, in the photo above. She cruised into town for a visit on that Viking ship, and Dave and I traveled down to Greenwich yesterday afternoon to spend a few hours with her. Who knew the Thames was deep enough to accommodate a cruise ship?!

We met her at the dock and went to the Gipsy Moth, a pub near the Cutty Sark, for a pint. Then we visited the Greenwich Market, where we browsed the antiques and I picked up an assortment of old postcards. (One message, from Amsterdam, 1967: "Have been to the Holshuysen-Stoeltie Diamond Exhibition and admired some wonderful rings. All I need now is a millionaire!")

She seems to be doing well and it was good to see her and catch up on the latest family news from Florida.

Meanwhile, in our garden, remember those pathetic seedlings I painstakingly started in seed trays and transplanted into pots? Well, they're finally producing flowers. We have about 20 zinnia plants and 12 cosmos, and we could have had a lot more cosmos if I'd potted them all. They're vigorous little devils. (I gave the rest to Mrs. Kravitz, and the last time I checked, they were still sitting in her back garden growing in the seed tray -- they seemed happy enough.) Anyway, that's our first zinnia flower, above. I haven't noticed buds on the cosmos yet.

I saw John, our local sidewalk used-book seller, yesterday and he was at his table without Sugar, his trusty three-legged staffy. Sugar is always with John, so I knew something was up. I asked him about her, and sure enough, he said she'd died -- apparently her arthritis got so severe she had trouble moving around and one day she collapsed on the sidewalk. He took her to the local veterinary charity, where they told him it was time to "say his goodbyes." Poor Sugar! (You may remember I photographed them just a few weeks ago.) She was more than 10 years old, but I still feel bad. The last time I saw them, Sugar -- who'd never paid much attention to me before -- came up to me, nuzzled my hand and wagged her tail.

Dave and I went to a local photo shop yesterday evening to get passport photos for our Vietnam trip. While I was there, I had that last picture of Sugar and John printed. I'll give it to John the next time I see him.


  1. I'm happy you took that picture of Sugar. I'm also happy your first zinnia has bloomed!

  2. That is so nice of you to have that photo made for John. I had no idea that cruise ships could get that close to London.

  3. Sad news about Sugar, and really very kind of you to have that photo made for John. Nice to see that zinnia blooming there. Ah the seasons they go round and round.

  4. Steve, you are a true gentleman. Blessings

  5. You are one in a million, Mr. Reed. I hope you find John soon. Your Zinnia is lovely.

  6. I think John will really appreciate your photograph of Sugar. So thoughtful of you.

  7. John will love that portrait, I'm sure. We're still reeling here from losing our poodle Valentine -- can still hear her nails clicking in the hallway at night. So weird how these creatures become a part of the family despite the fact that they're a different species --

  8. So neat that your step-mother came to see YOU this time!

    John must be missing his canine buddy. I'm sure your kindness helps, especially your asking about Sugar. People need to talk about their loved ones that are gone, and they don't always get the chance.

  9. You are a precious man, Steve.

  10. Colette: Me too! Those zinnias were a lot of work and I'm glad it hasn't all been for naught.

    Sharon: I had no idea either! There's a ship anchorage in Greenwich.

    Robin: Or as the Byrds sang, "To everything, turn turn turn, there is a season..."

    Lesley: Thanks! (blushing)

    Catalyst: Thanks! (still blushing)

    E: I actually did find John and give him his photo. He displayed it on his table with some others people have given him.

    37P: I think he did!

    Elizabeth: Oh, absolutely. They're full-on family members. Still so sorry about Valentine. :(

    Jenny-O: Yes, it was nice to have the tables turned for a change!

    Ms Moon: Sugar was a precious dog!