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Monday, 18 August 2014

Letter from Switzerland

The author and her grandfather (1964)
Yodeling and Kvetching in the Alps
By Harriet Eser Phillips
[WritersClearinghouse News Service] Posted 19 August 2014
South Bend, Indiana
That damn it to hell Linkedin.... I was trying to look somebody up and of course without "joining" you can't do that.... and even then the info was sketchy so I am triple aggravated.  Chances of deleting myself are very good indeed.
 
I truly hate gadgets. Mme Ludite for sure.  21st Century version of Mme Lafarge, I think.  Watching the death of civilization while I dust.
 
Oh Lausanne!  Ponce de Leon threw up the pizza he swiped.  Yes, I could have told him that was a foolish heist.... I remember it well....
 
Barbara was a drunk as a witch on Halloween and descended into the potted palm.... It was Fourth of July time, 1964, we flew to Europe from Venezuela, and there was a massive patriotic themed dinner at a swanky restaurant complete with a gigantic ice carving of a goose (well swan, maybe), featuring caviar or some such between his fridgedly  frozen wings. Must be the company picked up the tab.
 
I sat next to the Swiss office comptroller, if I say Fogelsanger I'm close, could have been Feuchtwanger. Anyway, he was pointing out the wonders of the Swiss navy, and I asked him if he thought maneuvers in Lake Constanz would serve them well when there is a major invasion?  Am I wrong, or is Switzerland landlocked?

I also pointed out the total folly of being neutral, thereby guaranteeing safety from harm, as although I am not a physics whiz, the concept of fall-out going sideways had to be addressed promptly.
 
Ah Jesus, radio is playing Rosenkavalier Overture. How the hell am I supposed to be able to think while that's going on?  Anyway I also suggested that if Switzerland were to be ironed, and the mountains flattened, it would probably be larger than the United States. 
 
I think he was a bit disconcerted with this smart-assed 16-year-old as his table mate.
 
I think we all then went to Geneva to see the flower clock, etc.  You were heading for San Tropez. You and Daddy also probably had a fight. You were in your "what the hell" mode, and that was not his style, being hyper-intense.
 
I am in a major housecleaning today (started yesterday with the sun room windows inside, big ladder time). Decided if I am to have twinkly chandelier and pretend I am Maria Teresa, Empress of Austria, and the environs, it is very necessary to shine it up myself, as no servants are appearing here. Nasty job, but I'm done and it's gorgeous (I'll send you a photo, like you care?) Now it's off to dust and vacuum. 
 
Life is good. Cheeks is on the porch. She is quite irritated with me.  It's hotter than blazes, just suddenly as it has been lovely. Supposed to rain tonight. I'll take it. Haven't had time to write anything as Marilyn and I are in the serious thick of our "Project."
 
It's all consuming and we have had horrid set-backs, but I think now we are actually going to move ahead. If I tell you we found a company in St. Joe, Michigan, of all places after messing about with assorted universities and a gaggle of geeks in Cambridge, Massachusetts, you will probably be as astounded as we are.
 
Wish us luck. I am tired of being financially strapped and if this works, we are talking serious butter on donuts. I think the cleaning jag is my way of staying calm and focused.
 
Be careful out there. They are all idiots. Really.

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