September 30, 2015

Over a decade ago, my husband David and I traveled to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It was an amazing trip, full of beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples and ruins, like Ayutthaya and Sukhothai in Thailand and Angkor in Cambodia, and spectacular landscapes like Halong Bay in Vietnam. We ate the most delicious food, battled with the craziest traffic (the rule was “don’t look when you cross the road – just cross!”) and even toured some of the region’s hospitals looking for rabies shots after a dog in Bangkok bit me unexpectedly in the leg. Out two weeks there were certainly full of adventure. They were also full of shopping. Things were cheap and beautiful so we went a bit mad. Textiles, ceramics, lacquer and paintings – I remember we actually had to buy a new duffle bag to get everything home. One of the most exotic things I bought was a pair of orange wraparound silk pants. I wore them a couple of times to parties and museum events when I worked at Pacific Asia Museum and enjoyed the way they shimmer and swish about when I walk. However, I don’t have much opportunity to wear such pants these days so this year, I’d been wondering who I might give them too. A dancer maybe? But I don’t know many of those, and they wouldn’t work on just any dancer…

Then Stacy suddenly reappeared! She, her husband Jonathon and their daughter Phyllis had left our neighborhood just over a year ago to move east for Stacy’s new job. We hadn’t known them terribly well, no doubt because our children don’t play together. But we liked them both and admired their talents. Jonathon is a musician, composer, videographer and a couple of years ago we went to see a great radio play he wrote (and Stacy directed) about greed, capitalism and the destruction of the environment – it was actually very fun! Stacy is a dancer and educator who teaches primarily at college level but also generously gave her time and talent to teach the kids at our kids’ elementary school before they moved. Intelligent, warm and full of spirit, she was always fun to chat to. I was sad when she told me they would be moving.

However, on the first day back at school this year, I saw them walking Phyllis to school and cheered. They were back. They had mostly enjoyed their time in Washington DC, but her college couldn’t extend her job contract so when her college here offered her old job back, they jumped and moved their lives back here. A few days ago, in what may have been my second sentence to her after, “I’m so glad you’re back here!” I asked her if she’d like some silk pants. This morning after coffee, I brought her back home with me and showed her the pants. She loved them and said she would absolutely wear them. I was over the moon. They are beautiful and someone in Vietnam worked hard to make them that way. They deserve to be loved and worn, not left hanging lifeless in a closet. Stacy, I know, will love them, give them life, and make them dance!

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