thanks y'all

Yesterday, he came through the mudroom door a month after I’d said a very tearful goodbye to him. He’s lost several pounds having survived a string of long, hard days photographing the Los Angeles River, the Rio Grande, The Hoover Dam and Lake Mead sustained in great part by a modest diet—not so much by design as by necessity—of avocado, cheese, sardines, bread and raman. He looks like he did when I first met him seventeen years ago, not an ounce of body fat on him. Complimenting him on his wiry physique, I joked that he resembles Jesus, at least the European version of the man. We laughed.

As part of his Guggenheim Fellowship, my husband Michael drove cross-country and back in a rental van packed with 220 sheets of spanking clean 8 x 10 glass, several jars of syrupy collodion and silver nitrate, gloves with which to handle the glass and chemicals, several gallon jugs of distilled water, trays and tanks and graduated cylinders, one dark box and its stand, one dark cloth, two large-format cameras, at least one tripod, a handcart and several homemade wooden cases in which to hold his glass plates after exposing, developing and fixing them.

During his trip he called me twice daily to tell me how many plates he’d shot, how long he’d sat in traffic, how tired he was, how great the World Series was, how nice his hosts were and how ready he was to come home.

Calvin, Nellie and I stayed home, but mostly not alone. A legion of friends and family came out to help me. Seti flew here from LA on a 24-hour trip from hell, and since I couldn't, Macauley picked her up at the jetport at eleven p.m. bearing a warm winter jacket and a burger for a gal he'd never met. A few days later he stepped in again to take my sick car to the mechanic, then took Seti back to the airport when she left. A week later my mother-in-law lovingly descended, but from Florida. Regrettably, both women witnessed Calvin have a bad seizure in the middle of the night. Both helped me manage it. Later, my sister drove up from Connecticut for a couple of wonderful days and nights. All of them gave me an abundance of love and support, helped make me smile and laugh.

Arnd, who traveled from Berlin, though not expressly to help me, stayed four nights and, in true form, tried fattening me up on loads of breads and pastries from Standard Bakery. Nick came by—twice—and thoroughly entertained me with his ever-quick wit; he knows me so well. Ann, Kevin, Russ and Susan brought dinner one night, helping me put a dent into my lonesomeness. Ann returned a few days later bearing gingercake and whipped cream for breakfast! Jen and Madeleine checked in, hung out and slept over. Maura, Matt and Lauren looked in on me several times and stayed at least short enough for hug and/or a drink and long enough for dinner. Mary walked Nellie when Calvin was recovering, Connie did some of my shopping and my new friend Sarah treated me to coffee. Our good-ole homies Luke, Sarah and Matt sent my sleep-deprived blues packing when they stopped by for a spell last Sunday night and turned my kitchen into an impromptu party. Lorry brought me some donuts, hugs, laughs and a smile. Barbara kept care of Calvin several evenings so I could saddle up to the bar and dine out with a few of my pals.

They cooked and cleaned and walked the dog. They brought me bourbon and pizza, homemade tamales and lentils and called on me often to ask if there was anything I needed. Without them, I’d have been hard-pressed to have made it a manless month without totally losing it to sleep deprivation, loneliness, monotony or Calvin's mania. Aviva, Kim, Lucretia, Teresa and Viv, I'll be sure to catch up with you soon.

Thanks y'all, from both me and Michael. Here's just one of hundreds he was able to take because you were here helping me cope:

click on photo to enlarge
Rio Grande, photo by Michal Kolster


  1. How marvelous to have such priceless friends and family! Next time Michael will want to stay home! :-))

  2. Its easy to give to someone as warm, loving, genuine and caring as you are Christy. Your abundance of friends and loving family and support are a reflection of all that you give and do.
    Love you bunches! Xoxo