January 24, 2012

Pour a Kijafa and do what you have to do.

I thought my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, might be writing a letter in this photo. She's using her avocado-green, Parker fountain pen, and there is a bottle of ink on the kitchen table.

She appears, however, to have just returned from someplace. Tatjana usually wore a robe—a "duster" or a "house dress"—at home, so it's unusual to see her sitting in streetclothes. She's wearing that two-piece, brown-and-white dress. Her open pocketbook is on the table. And she's about to pour a Cherry Kijafa into a cut-crystal wine glass.

Is she tense—is she filling out the customs form in preparation to mail a package overseas? Or is she relaxing—is she perhaps recording a family tree, or jotting down the chemical formula for a recipe?

Suburban Chicago, June 1965. Tatjana is sitting at the old, grey kitchen table that moved to the basement after we acquired the white, wrought-iron table.

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