Sunday, May 26, 2002


Visiting Jeff's parents today, who have just returned from Florida, back home to Staten Island. Though they are both in their eighties, and both suffered hardships in WWII--Jeff's mom was in a series of concentration camps, while Jeff's father was forcibly conscripted into the Russian Army, sleeping on the ground for three years--they are both in pretty good health, and are very committed to eating in a healthy way--lots of veggies, fruit, even some kind of butter that has the good kind of fat in it. Jeff's father, an engineer, studies medical school newsletters, and one of our first bonding moments was discussing the nutrients in kiwis.

Jeff's parents are fond of telling us how they met as refugees in Munich, broke up, and then bumped into each other in a dental clinic in Manhattan, where Jeff's mom was waiting for her appointment, and Jeff's dad was delivering a toaster he'd fixed. "Who runs into anyone in New York?" my mother-in-law likes to say.

After we visited, Jeff and I drove down to one of Staten Island's little beaches. There were only three other people, all kids, on this patch of sand, and it was low tide. There were clam shells everywhere, some of them edged in a blue ink that Jeff told me the Indians for dye centuries ago. There are parts of Staten Island that still seem wild, but it hards to believe when you're driving past the fourth identical Dunkin Donuts. There's a wonderful Buddhist temple/museum perched on a hill in Staten Island, too, which the founder picked because it reminded her of Tibet.


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