Monday, July 16, 2007

Chairman Bao's Driver

Gail Graham became an instant cyber friend just about a year ago. Having read a blurb about my blog in the AARP Magazine, she decided to start her own and suggested we swap links. Driving Chairman Bao has been a favorite read ever since.

Gail is indeed, one of the treasures I've discovered from blogging. How else would I meet a woman who was a Vietnam war correspondent, who's husband was a member of the design team for the original lunar lander, who translates Chinese for fun and is a successful novelist.

She travels, a lot, with her faithful companion Bao. Her blog is a marvelous travelog and keeps concerned friends assured of her well being. Last year she took an eight week road trip going north and east in a loop from her home in Tucson to Canada. Too long, she told me. This year she has cut it to six weeks. This is a woman with stamina!

Back in this country after 30 odd years in Australia, she is rediscovering the new America. It is far different from the one she left. This year's journey brought her to my neck of the woods and she took the time to stop.

Wow. What a fascinating and interesting woman. She is my age. Her face is etched with the experiences of her life. Joy from discovering new and wonderful faces and places, dregs of sorrow from having lost a husband and son in tragic circumstances, the satisfaction of success coupled with a lust for living long and well. "Senior" citizen is not in this woman's vocabulary. She is a keen observer of all that surrounds her, as you would expect from a writer, and she talks as she writes - with wit, wisdom and wonderfully colorful.

Bao, a Shih Tzu, is the laid back partner. He is as well behaved as he is cute. We had hoped for a Bao meets Bacchus photo op but 155 pounds of Saint Bernard on a sweltering summer afternoon was more than Bao cared to deal with. That's okay. We mother's understand.

I regret the weather was so hot. It limited our activities and where we could settle in to visit. We did, however, enjoy a leisurely dinner Saturday evening, she treated to the brunch cruise on the lake and we did the galleries where she was gracious enough to contribute nicely to the local economy.

Coeur d'Alene showed well. Leslie, at the Art Spirit Gallery took our picture and helped track down a misplaced credit card. Robin, from the new Story Woods Gallery walked it up to us. That's small town hospitality at its best.

Thanks, Gail, for coming by. It was a pleasure having you as brief as it was. The latch string will always be out. It isn't always this hot! I'll remember your kind offer of hospitality when the temperatures reach the -0 category this winter!

So, my friend, until we meet again stay safe, stay well and stay in touch!


Betty said...

I found Gail's blog from a link on yours, and have enjoyed reading about her travels ever since. She is, indeed, a very interesting woman. And, I'm in love with Bao!

Dogwalkmusings said...


I'm not a small dog person usually but Bao is absolutely the most huggable, loveable little guy you'd ever want to meet. Pampering pays!