Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday's Ride

Once upon a time, Duncan got into his little red wagon, and went for a ride. He headed north from Cluj, vaguely toward County Maramureş, and the fabled Satu Mare. But it was not long before he found himself amid sights he could not pass. At Chinteni there was a cemetery, overgrown with weeds, but full of handsome sepulchers. The reverence of Romanian peasants for their forebears was plain here. Duncan walked into the plot, and crossed himself. T’was not a common act for the lad, but here, he felt it, and did it. And he did so from right to left. Requiescat in Pace, Ioan and Lucretia.

Then, as Duncan turned to leave, a future tenant drove by, with his arm around the son who would one day place him here, God willing. So, Duncan was sure, the driver wishes.

Duncan stopped next at a nearby dwelling, guarded by a fearsome beast.

As well he had to be. For look at the home he guarded!

The house next door differed somewhat.

And the next had in front a carriage of great style and class.

But immediately to the right, beside this fine house, three men stood over a fallen cow, all black and white and cowering. Duncan saw her try to stand up, no doubt to run away, as one of the men struck her repeatedly on the head with a short rod of iron. One of the men saw Duncan taking pictures, and started walking toward him and his camera. Duncan waved and departed, without taking a photo of the cow’s crisis. Some necessary acts of rural men are best kept on the farm.

For the first time since coming to Romania, Duncan wished he had been in New Hampshire, where he could have provided a powerful pistol to the executioner, that the beast not suffer so.

Further to the north the cell phone rang, shattering the fairy-tale mood, but netting Duncan an invitation from Nancy Sherman and her family to come over to Oradea for the afternoon. As it was still only 10:30, and as the GPS indicated 160 Km to Oradea, Duncan agreed to turn west, and go to see his new friends.

But the road west proved a slow one.

And it led through Dragu, where Duncan was unable to resist using his camera. For there were misty mountains,

and wild flowers,

haystacks and cornstalks,

Colorful characters,

And a beautiful church,

With some color of its own.

When at last Duncan reached the next paved highway, an hour had passed, and he was only 30 KM (20 miles) closer to Oradea. He called Nancy back, and sadly, they agreed to postpone the shared ride until next weekend. Duncan headed back for Cluj-Napoca, filled with the beauty and drama of his morning ride through Transylvania. And “home” was, in itself, a sight,

With its Renaissance details,

And its cozy courtyard flat,

replete with Duncan’s wash, hung out to dry.


SKM said...

Nice job of illustrating your day. And your "Home, sweet, home" return.

Kazz said...

dad, you are way too adorable sometimes.

yvonne loves the dog.

keep it up,


Duncan McDougall said...

TY, Kazz. Good to hear from you. I will do so, God (and energy) willing.

Rather Dashing said...

You've changed so much in such a small amount of time! The Dad I knew would have gotten the diet soda from his trunk and stuck around for the hamburgers...

Rather Dashing said...

By the way, great photos.