Z is for Zenda. Well, I had to think of something that started with Z, and it could have been Zoo, with all those animals all around, but no, it’s Zenda.
When our two youngest children were little, my husband and I placed an ad in The Lady magazine in Great Britain. At that time, you could advertise for household help, and it was a great way to find well-trained nannies. Now the US has schools for this sort of thing, but at the time, we were impressed with the degree program in England, including child development and first aid, and wanted someone who wanted to spend a year or two in the States just for an experience.
It turned out to be one of the best things we’ve ever done. The advertisement generated some 200 applications, and we actually had a hard time choosing. We arranged a trip and interviewed our top 3 candidates, and their families. We wanted to make sure their parents were okay with where they were sending their daughters. And at that time, getting a 6-month visa wasn’t difficult, if we agreed to sponsor them and take care of their health insurance.
Zenda was our first.
We came home from church one day, about 4 months after she started, and she had run off with an American guy and left us a note.
We telephoned our next in line, and she was delighted to come over, and actually stayed with us for almost 2 years. She loved American guys. I’ll never forget my 4 year old son, who used to stand at the kitchen door and watch as a young man emerged from her cottage in the morning, and usually a different one each morning! “Why does Jane have so many friends? And they all are boys.” Even with this, she was a loving addition to our family and we were grateful we had found her.
This was the year that Charles and Diana got married. Jane and Angela (a girl we found for another family) were deathly homesick. So we got up early, waited on them hand and foot, poured mimosas and made them a gourmet breakfast fit for a king. They sat all day on our family room couch and cried. All day. Boy did they miss England.
Watching the royal wedding this morning, I thought back to that day, and I must admit, I missed my girls, those two lovely young ladies from England who helped our families out so much. My son had started calling a sidewalk a “footpath” with an accent. Asking to go to the “loo”.
I watch the pomp and circumstance, the proud heritage of this tradition going back over a thousand years, and it got me weepy too. I thought the commoners were very regal. It was moving to see the young couple. And every girls’ romantic fantasy. Marrying a prince. A ceremony of a proud people. A refreshing change that I hope has touched the world.
I hope there is a happily ever after for them. I’d bet there will be. I’m grateful to spend a whole day honoring love and commitment. Couldn’t be better for a romance writer, now could it?
And I hope Zenda, Jane and Angela are doing well. My one big regret is that we’ve lost touch.
What about you? Do you remember the other royal wedding? What did you think of this one? Did you get up early and watch?