As I preview the topical landscape (i.e. the yellow sticky pad stuck to my office wall with assorted notations for next Monday’s letter) I am struck, yet again, by the trivial nature of most of what I propose to write about. Nothing too weighty, hardly anything of real consequence. The lack of substance is reflective of my daily reality. Sure, there are some big things, but plenty of little things, too.
One would suppose real life is all about the mundane and the sublime. Both coexist rather peacefully. To select and embellish only the grandiose for publication would stretch the truth to a breaking point. So the stuff worth trumpeting and the lesser-light/also ran material all goes into the melting pot which is the single page. It’s always been this way and always will be for me and my two. Would my truism serve you in the event you follow my yellow brick road of letters? As they say in advertising, your results may vary.
Yet history records that men (and women) of note did not always write on things of gravity. Thomas Jefferson beat me to the punch when it came to mentioning dull events. Take this passage from his letter in 1796 to a dear friend: “…I enclosed in two of them some seeds of the squash as you desired. Send me in return some seeds of the winter vetch, I mean that kind which is sewn in autumn & stands thro the cold of winter, furnishing a crop of green fodder in March. Put a few seeds in every letter you may write to me. In England only the spring vetch can be had. Pray fail not in this. I have it greatly at heart.”
Thanks, Thom, for assuring me that its okay to mix the minor in with the major.
As I always do on Friday, another letter was prepped and sent this morning to my dear parents.
April 23, 2010
Mom and Dad: If the newspaper delivery person crunches the lettuce one more time I’m going to have a cow. This is the third time the paper has squashed the greenery but perhaps there is a message there that the pot needs to be moved. At least that will give me something to do tonight. Other than ink stains on the leaves, it’s doing pretty well, all things considered.
In a couple of weeks you’ll get to see both kids, and I’ll be interested to hear what your thoughts are. Ellen is really into house-mode; rugs, furnishings, etc. She sent me a cell phone photo of the daffodil blooms from bulbs we planted last Thanksgiving just days before the ground froze. Luckily they survived the wintry blast. I’ve encouraged her to plant a garden because the dirt out in their back yard is pitch black. I would kill for such earth in lieu of the red gunk we have. Not altogether sure if gardening is her thing but it wouldn’t hurt to get her hands filthy now and then.
Reid sent me a text message last night from a going away party for his supervisor who is moving on to Google in San Francisco. This might open some spots for him at the agency but he is typically tight-lipped about any and all possibilities. He’s having a pretty good time in Chicago, which pretty much is a town made for good times.
Have been firing up the bike lately although speaking of dirt, it is as dirty as it has ever been in the last decade. I think tomorrow morning it will get a good washing to remove the accumulated soil and dried bugs and other road debris which is stuck all over the frame and fenders. It still runs like a top but it’s going to need some mechanical TLC in the relatively near future. The old girl has a lot of miles on her but has more left in the tank.
The crown molding is finally up in the master bath. Now there is the minor matter of filling the cracks with putty and giving it a quick sanding and coat of paint. My neighbor Mike has a spiffy miter saw which made quick work of things although it took us forever to figure out the angles and the cuts. We goofed up on several longish pieces so it was back to Lowes for more material. No job is ever easy, and this just proved that yet again.
I feel bad about not coming back to the Midwest this week. But the trip just wasn’t in the cards right now. There are enough credit card points piled up to finance a couple of trips and I think that’s what we should plan on. Maybe something toward the end of May or early June. We won’t need to worry about volcanic eruptions interrupting this sort of travel. Maybe we can yank your other son over to Omaha. He’ll give us an easy foil to pick on.