It’s that day again…


Another Monday, another letter.

My friend Alice asked last week if Ellen or Reid ever bothered to respond in kind to my letters.  The answer is no, at least not in the written sense.  It’s not a requirement and never will be.  If I expected them to write back or waited for them to get back to their old man, this endeavor would’ve ground to a halt a long time ago.  I don’t see letters as a quid pro quo situation by any means.  It is simply one avenue of staying in touch.  Ellen is, however, a writer of wonderful notes and those are always welcomed around holidays or special events.  Has some of my tendency rubbed off on her?  That’s not altogether clear.  But it is her way of corresponding and that’s okay by me.  All of her good works are sprinkled on my mantel.

But back to today’s letter.  It will be out the door around mid-day.  On the docket: Charlotte’s icy weather, my first viewing of Reid’s Christmas gift of Ken Burns’ series on national parks (incredible), a found roll of quarters returned to the owner, and a couple of topics scribbled on my office wall that escape my memory at the moment.  Maybe toss in a couple of wild card items thought up on the spur-of-the-moment.  I’ll post paragraphs from the Feb. 1 note next week.

I have gone in the wayback machine to cut-and-paste a letter from 2004 when the munchkins were still dreamy eyed college students in Indiana.  The formula then and now is largely unchanged: goofy entries reflecting everyday events plus big things and items that aren’t-so-big.  Here is just such a display of a dad gone wrong:

April 4, 2004

EB and Reid:

I hope you got past April Fool’s Day without so much as a prank pulled on you.  On second thought, perhaps someone should have pulled something over on you.  People don’t seem to create as many jokes as they used to.  Crank phone calls, short-sheeted beds, salt in the sugar bowls, shaving cream posing as whipped cream, etc.  Ah, those were the good old days.

Boy, Bend, OR was sure nice.  It may be the best blend of mountains, terrain and livable small city (55,000) in the U.S.  Sure, the weather isn’t warm in the winter (still, it’s nicer than ours) but who needs Arizona or Florida filled with old fogies.  Heck, you can always rent a motel room for a week or two in the sun if you want it that bad.  Lots of good breakfast nooks and great dining and fun spots.  Yo’ momma would like the arts, but that’s just her.  Toured a window factory while I was there.  Yawn.  EB, you’ll be proud: had a couple of glasses of green tea.  Tasted like lawn clippings steeped in a jar.

Mt. Bachelor is about 20 miles west.  Had 4 feet – that’s right, 4 feet – of new snow while I was there.  And relatively few were skiing or snow boarding.  It’s just far enough from anywhere that even in the busiest of times, the lift lines are lean.  I want to fish there.  Lots of rivers and such.  They are in a drought mode big time, so the snow was welcome.  I guess they haven’t had all that much.

Went to Portland one day last week.  Now that’s a city.  But everyone complains about the near-constant rain.  It was partly to mostly cloudy when I was there, and folks were saying how good it was to see the sun.  Sun?  What sun?  You won’t see a lusher, greener city anywhere.  Very hilly so you don’t get a good sense of what the area really looks like.  EB, they had the best bookstore possible, Powell’s, which takes up an entire city block.  Really cool.  Went to the Harley dealer there.  Very overpriced.  Very.  Plus it rains all the time, who wants to ride in that slop?

Looked at all kinds of real estate out there, mostly townhomes and condos.  Weren’t really a lot to look at.  The prices make you gasp, but it’s probably a market that will only go up, up, up.

Now the yard work starts.  Took the mower in for a tune up at Sears last weekend.  Doesn’t that sound like a Saturday chock full o’ fun.  There are lots of little patches of ultra-green grass where Scooter clearly “left his mark.”  And I thought I’d picked everything up.  You pick some, you lose some.  Actually, we’ll get off sort of easy this year ‘cause all the landscaping is done, or mostly done.  Dragged out the firepit and stuff.  So we’re ready to go.

Tough to get back into the swing of things today.  Got in about midnight after the drive from the Omaha airport and then couldn’t sleep very well.  It wasn’t like I drank a couple of diet Cokes on the way back.  Well, got to commit myself to work.  Easier said than done.  Be good.  Do right.

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