life in the village


When Philip and I first began to meet people in Brookline Village, we would joke about being the diverse couple; he an architect and me at the time an HR person, because everyone else was a doctor.  Alright, there were a few nurses and nurse practitioners, but it ended there.  Sometimes following their conversations at barbecues was as hard as reading their handwriting on their prescriptions…… But they are a good bunch, despite the language difference.

One of the nice traditions of our neighborhood is the dads regularly gathering for poker, it is a happy thing to hear them exclaiming and laughing with such abandon.   For the last few years they’ve played on Father’s Day evening, the crowning glory to an already great day.  Last night was no exception, they gathered at Peter’s as his wife, an ER doctor, was working the overnight.

Surprisingly early, Philip came back with an astonished smile on his face, clearly in a hurry and on his way out again. He was looking for the child-sized crutches we had recently inherited but had no reason to use for anything more than a bit of imaginative sympathy.  He shook his head from side to side, smiling, and said “Only here, only here”. When I asked him to reconcile crutches with his poker game, he obliged.

Not long after they all arrived, Peter’s son returned home with a cut in his foot.  After sending a photograph of it to the boy’s mom, it was determined that the laceration was worthy of some attention.  The requisite equipment and supplies were obtained in minutes, the boy cheerfully lay down at the top of the basement stairs, remaining still beneath the strongest light in the house.  The poker-playing thoracic surgeon jumped in to stitch things up, while the boy ate chips and chatted, despite a mild stomach ache.

Minutes later, play resumed without further incident.

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