Blue Lives On

“And thus the die was cast, the stage was set. There would be no turning back.”

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that last April I started a new tradition. Each April, I will reread a book by Norma Howe, young adult book author and my friend, who passed away two years ago this month.

I just finished Blue Avenger Cracks the Code, the second book in the Blue Avenger trilogy, where Blue goes to Venice. Here’s the passage that made me know I had to meet Norma. Blue and his friends arrive in Venice and take the vaporetto to the Rialto, near their hotel. They notice the way the vaporetto worker ties the rope around the piling, and a “short, gray-haired woman with a round, pleasant face” says to Blue’s friend Drusie:

“This is your first trip to Venice?”

Drusie smiled. “Yes, how did you know?”

The woman gestured over to the young man who handled the rope. “You’ll never forget that, as long as you live–the way he tossed that rope.”

Anyone who would notice that rope, which I had noticed myself, had to be a good person and a person I wanted to know. Now when I see someone toss the rope, I think of Norma. Is she the short, gray-haired woman?

It’s funny–Norma always questioned coincidences and scoffed at fate. So I guess it’s a  coincidence that I read that line, that I had noticed the rope toss, and that it moved me enough to make me want to meet her. I’m glad for coincidences. The stage was set for us to meet.

(I finished this post and looked at last year’s post about Norma–and found I had mentioned the ropes then, too. Ropes are important. Details are important. I could have changed this post to be more original, but hey, if that kind of detail led to a friendship, then it’s worth mentioning twice. Hope you don’t mind.)

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About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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2 Responses to Blue Lives On

  1. Vonda Wells says:

    It is positively masterful how those vaporetto workers toss and secure those ropes. All of the water maneuverings which they perform countless times and probably mindlessly are amazing to watch. Boats and water are as familiar to the native Venetian as our streets and cars are to us, but they are fascinating to those of us who are able to take that moment to observe and appreciate. Even the most common action such as stopping at a boat stop becomes so much more fascinating than simply pulling over and stomping on the brakes. Venice is truly another world.
    I also appreciate how you remember people. Our friends and loved ones are never truly gone as long as we remember them. Your friends are fortunate to be remembered so eloquently.

  2. Nancy Schwalen says:

    I remember how fond you were of her.

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