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By Jeanne Marie Laskas

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We can hear more people upstairs and soon realize that there are other tours ahead of ours. There must be ten families here to take a look. I had no idea there were so many other people sharing my dream. This panics me. I think these tourists should go back to the antique stores and buy some stuff and take it home, like they’re supposed to. We stay in the basement a long time looking at pipes and tanks and other basement things. Fran is awful proud of these pipes and tanks and is talking on and on about them, but I don’t process a word she is saying.

He’ll tell my mother it’s the secret to our relationship success. “When the train leaves the station, you can either go for the ride or get out of the way,” he’ll say. ” My mom will laugh. My mom loves the train metaphor, too. I am not particularly impressed one way or the other by it. ” Alex says. “You’re kidding, right? ” Marley gets carsick. Yes, well. ”) Yes, well. PROBABLY I SHOULD PAUSE HERE AND EXPLAIN the history of this poodle. Because it is important to note that Alex did not have this poodle when I fell in love with him.

Something about that carsick poodle cemented our relationship. It may sound strange to say. But looking back, I can see that it did. Because already I was saying “we” got Marley. ” How I loved adding that word to my vocabulary. ” Was I ever really part of a “we”? SO, IT’S A FARM-SHOPPING DAY. ALEX IS AT THE wheel of the Passat, and we are headed down to Scenery Hill on a stinking hot Sunday in June. I am telling Alex my thoughts on processed air. On my need for filters. “That’s what it is,” I say.

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