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We were getting ready to head south, but I had to see her one more time. Armed with a burnt orange mum, covered in buds, a Yankee Candle Clean Cotton Fragrance Sphere (quite a mouthful for a small object!) and two boxes of Maltesers (intact this time), I went to say goodbye.

The residents were sitting in a circle playing Pass the Parcel. You know the game, when the music stopped and you’re holding the parcel, you had to do something silly. In this version, when the music stopped, you had to answer a question. A charming assistant, another Miss J, was manning the music and timing it so everyone had a turn to answer a question.

I was fascinated, I was entertained and I had a doozy of a time. Why oh why oh why did I discover this wonderful group of people when I’m on my way south?

Question: “What is the most exciting thing that you can remember?”

Answer: “Coming from Latvia to America at age fifteen.”

(Imagine the stories she could tell!)

Question: How many children did you have?”

Answer: “Five, one a year for five years and age thirty I was done!

(I would love to hear about what must’ve been a crazy household.)

Question: “What do you remember about High School?” (To a gentleman.)

Answer: “Girls!”

(Can’t wait to chat to him.)

These were only a few. Top of my list when I come back next year, go and spend time with these amazing people.

I kissed Miss J goodbye, hugged her one more time, complimented her on her lovely red sweater and made my way back to the boat.

And that little lilac shawl? A friend had made it for her.

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