Nine years of non-stop, gotta-get-’em-out letters might earn one the rep as borderline (okay, maybe just over the edge) compulsive. Apparently it is a label with legs; a few years back someone noted my “habit” was just that.
Here is my plea to the charge of “exhibiting a willful and overt display of OCD in the first degree”: guilty as charged. Lock me up.
But there’s not a jail secure enough to hold me. I’d bust out of lockup in a heartbeat. Let’s face it, the kids live nowhere near me. Reid lives 823.33 miles away and Ellen a staggering 1,224.35 miles. As much as I’d love to be near them and see them way more often than is possible, it seems to me that every letter is the next best thing to being there. Each page is my chance to check in, keep in touch and – at least mentally – shorten the distance.
Trust me, there are a lot worse things to be addicted to than sending a note to your kids once each week. On that note, here is last week’s letter in it’s full, yet boring, glory:
February 16, 2010
Ellen/Reid: Things are not so good with your grandparents. Your grandmother was rushed to the hospital the other day with some more stroke-like symptoms, but your grandfather says they couldn’t pinpoint the cause. He just sounds exhausted on the phone, and last night I broached the topic of moving to a new situation with both him and her. They are steadfast in wanting to stay in their home, but something is going to have to happen, and soon. It’s just not a healthy environment for either of them. He’s tired, she’s confused. Andy and Steph stopped by with their two little ones the other day, and I asked mom if she remembered their names. She didn’t. I am glad you guys will pay them a visit this spring. They need it.
On a similar note, I am having a will drawn up (in honor of my 60th b-day) and Ellen, I’ll send a copy to you for safekeeping. Nothing drastic about this, mind you, it’s just that your grandparent’s situation has hastened my desire to not be in the same predicament, or at least plan for it, if you call a will a plan. Your uncle has told me to include some health-related indicators in there, and I will.
Managed to squeeze in some golf yesterday with a couple of buddies from the bank. We had the day off. The weather started out in rain, but by the time we made it to the course that had ceased and the sun broke through. It was pretty sloppy but the round itself was much needed. Had a passable score but we all blamed the conditions for our generally spotty play.
Was sitting in Caribou the other day when the guy, a ‘suit’ no less, across from me really lets one go. Not once, but twice. Never in my adult life have I heard an adult fart in a public place so loudly and so brazenly. I looked up, and so did he, but he moved on about his business without batting an eye. Incredibly sordid. If I ever do that in your presence, well, you know what to do.
Reid, Betsy and Bob both give a good report of you at their dinner on Michigan Avenue. They are quite impressed with you and they are hopeful of your job situation. I’d like to get to Chicago in the very near future if that’s okay with you. That was a riot to hear about an earthquake in Illinois, although it would’ve added drama if you said it rousted you from your sleep. It would have had to have been much stronger to do that. Say, 7.0 on the Richter Scale.
Ellen, just keep plugging away on the job deal. I think that a lot of employers are buried in faceless applications, and my guess is that perhaps it would be good to zero in on a couple and try to meet them for coffee or a brief ‘fact finding’ visit in person. That way they can put a face with a resume. You would shine in those situations. Have you met with my cousin Tim, who is the head minister at the big Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis? He might have some connections and some thoughts for you. Just say the word.
Ellen, your b-day card was great – pointed, but great – and Reid, I appreciated that Betsy would hand carry your handwritten note with birthday wishes. Let it be known that I have heard all the 60th birthday jokes that have ever been created. I’ve had my fill for at least the next 10 years.
I told your grandparents that I had the unsettling feeling that I felt like Mr. Rogers when I donned a vest the other chilly morning over a shirt and tie. It struck me funny, but in a weird way. Maybe it’s an age thing. Hey, deadline Sunday 9:00 p.m. for mini-cash grab. 5x5x2 deep of found change. Four times to the winner, two times for the loser. Make your best guess.