had a long conversation on the phone with Sophie today. Long, that is, in comparison to what one usually can coax out of her. I was starting to talk to Grace to hear her version of their recent trip to California, when Sophie could be heard in the background demanding to talk to me. Then, basically, she got on the phone and said nothing, other than perhaps answering "Yes" when I asked her if she was Sophie or if she was there. Then Grace would take back the phone, start to speak, and Sophie would loudly repeat the entire process, and Grace would laugh and give her the phone again. Sophie repeated a few words of the big news item Grace had started to report to me, said something about seeing flowers, although I had no idea if that had been today or last week back in California, and gabbled for a while beyond my ability to comprehend. I did have a drawn-out exchange with her, though, when she did excitedly report that she had seen a doggie today. Further questioning revealed that the doggie was big and that the doggie was black. So that was all pretty good, as far as it went.
Grace made me quite envious, though, when she reported that they had encountered three – count 'em, three
– blue whales on a whale-watching trip while out there: a mother and calf, and another one nearby. I have always hoped to see whales myself, but never have, other than a passing glimpse of orca dorsals off the Atlantic Florida coast, once when I was in junior high. But it's the blue whale
especially that I've hoped to see, the biggest animal ever, ever since Andrew Long got me thinking about them back in the 3rd grade or so. So I told Grace that she had managed to do by age 7 what I still haven't accomplished in my whole life. She immediately dismissed that, pointing out the Sophie had seen them by age 2, after all, but I know that Grace will likely remember this event, even in a fuzzy way, while Sophie will likely lose it, other than the sort of "refreshed" or "implanted" memories that will come with the story, and with the photos and video that they took, which I'm itching to see. All told, though: too cool.
And Haley, alas, is still too shy to talk on the phone.