In one of my first posts a few weeks back, I allowed that there were significant paperwork errors (a.k.a. ‘failure to archive past letters’) that have haunted me over the years.
It was a series of stunning oversights that would curdle the blood of tech-heads everywhere. They could, and should, hurtle “I told you so” missiles at my easily penetrated skin. The first two years of letters to Ellen while she was in college were rarely backed up. The hard disks that did contain the messages along with hundreds of other newspaper columns and other documents were subsequently lost/misplaced and the PCs used for the creations have long since been recycled or traded in or outright discarded. In my defense, feeble as it might be, it never once dawned on me that the enterprise of writing letters would someday lead me to this doorstep of a blog and potentially a book (which is written but has yet to pass muster with friends who’ve peeked at early manuscripts). To say I am chagrined at the weeks and months of AWOL letters is a massive understatement. Ellen professes to have kept the letters – somewhere – but in her helter skelter last year of a wedding and move into her first home, the issue of “can I see the letters, please?” has never been pressed. Perhaps that time is now. If I had a nickle for every time I’ve rued my malfeasance… Well, you know where I’m going with that. Hopefully, CD storage of recent years of letters will help me atone for past sins.
Here is last week’s note to the kids.
March 15, 2010
Ellen/Reid: There have been better weekends than the one that just passed. Was on the fritz, nasal-wise, with some sort of pollen-induced allergy, although it may just be the common cold. I perfected my couch potato act yesterday and didn’t do much of anything. When I can’t take a slow two and half mile walk around my block, then you know there is a problem. So, I just stayed on the couch and watched the golf tournament between lengthy naps. I did summon the strength to get to the grocery store for some bananas and ginger ale – and ice cream.
Bought the final remnants of moulding for the bathroom project. My neighbor Mike, armed with all the right tools, started the project late last week but in an error of measurement on my part, we were short about three feet of baseboard moulding. His payment was food at a biker bar called McCoy’s. They had the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had. Hopefully the project will be done by next weekend and it will be a real, honest-to-God finished bathroom. Still love the shower.
Planted more lettuce seeds Saturday morning, and it occurred to me to wish that I wish we had soil as good as the black earth in Iowa and Minnesota. One has to wonder what plant really likes the red clay down here. Apparently a fair number of them do; you’ve never seen such undergrowth. The trees are suddenly all in bloom and the weekend temps and a touch of rain seemed to make everything jump out. In a week or two, my place will be curtained off from the apartments behind me.
Steve A. is getting re-married. We talked last week before he and Jane were to head to NYC where his plan was to pop the question to her on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. That sounded pretty cool, and he was excited. They’ve been going together so long that it would hardly be a surprise. They used to be neighbors separated by a few houses. Now they’ll be live-ins. I didn’t talk to Steve this weekend but I’m sure his plan came to fruition. Both his girls were very much in support of it.
When you guys get to Omaha to see your grandparents, just a reminder to be on your toes. Patience pills everyone. Your grandmother is having a rough go of it, and she’s given to spells of anger late in the day. This is termed ‘sundowner’ syndrome or something to that affect. She directs virtually all of her frustration and rage toward your grandfather. I remind him that it is a symptom of the ailment, not a representation of the mother/wife we have all known for years. It’s hard for him to accept that. They have waffled on moving/staying, and your uncle and I are pushing the envelope a little harder in that regard. They need a different living situation where she can get care and he gets an iota of relief. He is literally at his wit’s end. But it is wonderful for you guys to be getting down there. They keep asking about you, and who knows how many more opportunities you’ll have.
As for me, I need to make my own flight plans to the Midwest for the end of April. I will keep you apprised of the air arrangements. Not certain if I’ll go into Des Moines or Omaha. EP, if you can make it down from the Twin Cities for a visit, great, if not that’s okay, too. Reid, I’d expect you’ll stay in Chicago.
My singles golf group continues to be an exercise in herding cats. I remember Lynn G. used to have a sign in her kitchen that said ‘Cork the whine.’ I may call her to see if I can borrow it. Be good you two. Call when you can. EP, send photos of your new furnishings.