Despite his wealth, my distant Uncle Toby Spence has lived in this house with his wife Kathleen until his death shortly after my visit. Toby is an outstanding painter, and he pores over my watercolors. Kathleen serves tea in Toby's studio drawing room cluttered with brushes and oil tubes. He has recently suffered a stroke, and can't speak well. Once, after several failed attempts to speak, he starts to giggle, then rolls into frustrated laughter until tears flow, and we all laugh at this tragic joke.

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