Today’s letter to my parents is in the mailbox. I would call it 10 to 12 minutes of “work” to create, but its not work, it’s fun. By my estimation, they’ve opened about 170 such weekly letters.
Ellen and Reid might not always acknowledge the letters, but my folks do. In a way, they are dependent on it for news. If it is delayed by even one day, they call: “Where’s the letter?” Without fail, they always mention the notes on our frequent phone calls. The pages give us something to talk about.
We all know the clock is ticking. In a real sense, I want to be the good son while I can. They have done so much for me, and for their other good son, my twin brother, that it is my turn to repay the favor. I don’t want there to be any regrets down the road, no angst that I should’ve said ‘I love you’ more often.
That is how every letter ends in pen and ink: ” Love, Dave.”
Here is most, but not all, of today’s note:
February 5, 2010
Mom and Dad: Well, this weather isn’t what I signed on for when I moved to North Carolina. The word ‘exasperating’ comes to mind, but if I was writing to just you, dad, the language would be stronger and saltier. This just stinks. It’s really put a crimp into my golf plans. Last weekend we didn’t have much more than an inch of snow, but it sat atop about ¾” of solid ice. Schools and businesses were shut down. With even the minor grade in my driveway, there was no way to get out. I was transported back to the Midwest as I chipped away at ice with the only implement I had, your mom’s ancient hoe. It’s been in the garage in hopes that one day there would be a real garden where it could be put to use. Now, it’s relegated to hacking at packed snow and ice.
Had a couple of beers with my pastor last night as we plotted the latest Caldwell newsletter. It’s funny in that of the two bars where John and I have conspired on the editorial schedule, he has known both of the bartenders by name, and they him. Actually, he has camped in this particular saloon one night a week for quite a while as he waits for his daughter to get out of dance class up the street. John’s a good guy, and we talked about the bank (where he used to work before his call) for awhile. Not a very pleasant conversation but it is what it is.
Kathy has N1H1. It has knocked her for a loop and for a while there she said she should’ve gone to the hospital. It sounds like she was running a fever for about a week. She is the first person I’ve known who has had this, and it just sounds disgusting in how harsh it hits people. To compound things, she has this big dog, Henry, who is almost 100 lbs. and a real handful. We’ve been keeping in touch about the kids and what’s going on with them. I wouldn’t wish N1H1 on anybody.
Reid is seeing dark side of the ad agency business. The parent company of his main account has decided to move its digital (Internet) business elsewhere. The subsidiary that is Reid’s actual account is upset because they think Reid and his team has done a great job. But the decision was made higher up in the food chain, so it looks like he might be pounding the pavement again. For a 24 year old kid to go through this – twice, no less – is disconcerting to me. Hopefully the agency lands another account or two to keep your grandson and his little band of workers employed. But the agency world is a dog-eat-dog situation. He and I talked about it at length the other night.
In better news, Ellen got a new dining room table. It takes some of the sting out of a couch that will be months late in delivery. I offered to buy chairs. They accepted.