snugglepot and cuddlepie
i got my masters degree in aerospace engineering from stanford university, and there, still in my 20s, i met angus from australia. angus was one of those spiky geniuses who tend to find their way to stanford, but he was, unlike many of those spiky geniuses, very people-smart. over the years, though we are separated by most of the pacific ocean, he has given me three of the most thoughtful and valuable gifts i have ever received from anyone. he once sent me a hunk of raw opal from his native land that still sits on one of my shelves. he once sent steve and me a bottle of penfolds grange hermitage wine that was the backdrop to one of the most memorable meals of my life. and while i was pregnant with our firstborn daughter, he sent me a series of australian children’s stories that steve and i ended up reading to both of our children and which have entered the mythology of our family. there was the muddle-headed wombat. and there were snugglepot and cuddlepie, two eucalyptus gumnut babies, who look like slightly hairy versions of today’s photo. here’s to snugglepot and cuddlepie, and to author mary gibbs, and to the land of oz, and to great children’s stories, and to friendship that spans cultures and decades and oceans.