An envisioning . . . 1990 and time to lie down after lunch somewhere in Delhi.

Oh to be here.

New assignment from Washington and India swapped out for Japan. Husband moving up in the world and an even bigger legation full of ladies to meet.

A few hours to lie down before it all starts again. Too hot to do much, the ambassador’s wife says. Some people hating winter and some summer. A summer hater she must be. Must have her fingers crossed for a post in Helsinki or anywhere else up on the Baltic. There a few places back and freezing.

New people to meet and hopefully another baby soon. First one off to school and people already wanting him sent to boarding school somewhere in Scotland. Funny. A British thing but not so much if you grew up in America. Even rich children getting to stay home there.

A few more years and no choice. But free to sit in parks and go to things you need a child to go to. Impossible to see a Christmas tree lit or parade otherwise. Too many people to turn and stare.

Not American, always, of course. Russian before 1917 when everything changed. Well, things changing before from what the old ladies said at the home for former aristocratic ladies where Grandmama was, but no one paying any mind. One story with swans down capes and troika rides down the Neva after another. So many handsome officers danced with one wondered if it could be. Officers yes, but surely some with looks only a mother would love.

A picture stuffed inside the portfolio at the end of the bed. Children more covered with swans down and fluff than any child should be. Grandmama’s little sister and her cousins, they must be. Mary Janes and not the little boots they were before. A long way back to the drawing room with all those ladies and their tea cups but coming back. A family party somewhere in the Caucasus where that black sheep cousin had moved to. Three houses taken over and the big children running amok while the little ones played tea party, and the grownups danced.

Memory more fun than the real thing. The bad parts left out.  . . . not many years and everyone scattered that wasn’t killed . . . .closer than before . . . the Caucasus a hop, skip and a jump away. . . .maybe tomorrow . . . .maybe not.

The three children of Prince Victor Sergeyevich Kotchoubey. ca. 1900.
The three children of Prince Victor Sergeyevich Kotchoubey, Nadezhda,Victor and Sophia. ca. 1900. via Facebook.

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