The Magic Hands of Travelling Nurses Make Wonders To Appear

The Magic Hands of Travelling Nurses Make Wonders To Appear

One of the works of Cousin Cita King Smith, this quilt appeared in my life in August 2009.

The occasion?  We gathered for a surprise party for my cousins, all staying at the Blue Sky Lodge in Carmel in a small suite. Cita and Traci drove down the coast road from Washington. They took their time, enjoying the trip.

Boy were Russel and Karen surprised. When Todd and Karie led them in to the social hall and took their blindfolds off, they walked around the room as though they were dreaming.

Russel and Karen Wolter and their donkey on the ranch, Carmel, summer, 1968

Karen Dawson Wolter, Whoog, and Russel Wolter, Carmel Valley, Wolter Ranch, 1968

I felt like I was dreaming, too.

There were people at the anniversary party that I hadn’t seen since the days when the cuffs of my jeans would bring home a cup of good dirt from walking the rows between the ranch and ODello’s in my Keds. The days when there were too many blue bellied lizards to catch on the path near the creek side of the house, and everyone ran way too fast. The days of long twilight.  Aunty Myrtle would make me either unroll those dungarees or else take them off entirely before coming in off the porch.

We were at their wedding. We were really little, but pretty dedicated to being there. Marguerite had a horrible earache from doing too many underwater somersaults in the Blue Sky Lodge pool, and we had to leave the sanctuary with her in agony before the wedding ended — too much sobbing at any wedding is kind of distracting. We held her on our knees but she was inconsolable from the pain. She perked up a bit later, but it was awful to see her in such pain. Thus we missed the big finale.

Cita and Traci continue to be one of the best things that ever happened to our family. During the aftermath of the weekend of that party, Don Luce said that he was so glad to see how tightly knit we were.

Cita and Traci are like two sisters I never knew I had. I keep trying to figure out how to get all of them (and Owen) in the same room together with my two original sisters to see what kind of a party it will be. Lots of talking and laughing is what I imagine.

Rufus and I will keep cooking until we find the magic recipe. It has to happen eventually.


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