An envisioning. 1975, January, and a flat somewhere on the edge of Budapest with the sun barely risen.

Oh to be here.

Hungary and up early. A cup of coffee and then another. Hands that feel cold and a little more coal for the fire.

Pancakes for breakfast with a knob of butter. The children visiting later and all that but peace for now. Not coming till supper time and the cleaning lady getting everything tidied up by two.

A morning to memory drift. A better time. If only. Papa having hated wars but ending up in two of them. The first war taking the big house in Vienna and the second two brothers. Someone else getting what was left after.

But things that were there in one place or another to pull out and remember by. Porcelain shepherdesses from Vienna, silverware that looks like twigs from the house in the Carpathians that Mother’s cousins owned and love letters that someone’s beau sent from the old hope chests in the attics in the summer house in Tyrol.

Old books to look through and photographs that fall out . . .funny . . .history as bookmarks. But one at the very back . . .Papa and his friends on that winter trip to where someone’s uncle had a hunting lodge. . . . way up in the mountains and snowed in for days . . .another five years and it all starting to go but no one knowing it then . . .

Grand Duke Michael (with camera) and friends in the snowy grounds of Knebworth House 1913
Grand Duke Michael (with camera) and friends in the snowy grounds of Knebworth House. ca. 1913. Vintage photograph. via

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