If you served Ellen and Reid with affidavits as to any efforts on my part to truly lecture or otherwise harangue them in the single pages, I’m confident they would tell the judge and jury otherwise. Or at least testify with straight faces. Maybe a smirk now and then, but relatively straight faces.
I’ve never been one to act the heavy with the kids. I get select points across (hopefully in a civil tone) in writing but nothing egregious. In my forthcoming (knock on wood) book, I call such self control “minimal dad-isms”. Dads do in fact have a place in the hierarchy of guiding their children, but a letter may not always be the best vehicle to blister a topic or behavior. If you are someone who believes in the concept of letters as an ongoing practice, then you let your body of work speak for itself. Thorny topics can be addressed over a period of time, weeks or months or perhaps longer, augmented by phone calls and – shudder – emails.
Trust me, the kids get the drift. But the bludgeon is purposefully out of arm’s reach at the keyboard. To me, a quiet tone is eminently preferable to continually thumping on this and that. When you harp too much, letter after letter, who would blame the kids of your dad-isms wore thin? Come to think of it, the same goes for mom-isms, too.
Welcome to Wednesday. Let’s turn back the clock a couple of years.
Oct. 10, 2006
EB/Reid: The move is virtually complete; all the stuff from the moving van is in (although not in the right places, yet) and everything came through in pretty good shape. The Harley is clean and operational, although getting it off the truck was dicey. Had to turn it around and ride it down the ramp because it might’ve tipped if we’d tried to back it down. The sound of pipes rumbling was certainly sweet. Had it out for about an hour yesterday, and it was good. The riding season here extends comfortably into November.
Spent $1,200 at Bed, Bath & Beyond on Sunday. Talk about power shopping. And virtually everything was on the sale racks, no less. Man, two sets of comforters (one for my new bed, one for the guest room), plus a coffee maker and coffee grinder, several sets of towels, pillows for all beds, cutting boards, a scale, bath mats, nice rugs for the hallways, wine opener, shower curtains, front door mat, plates and silverware, place mats, etc., etc. A woman at the office helped me match the colors and such. Then it was on to WalMart – another cool $300 on trash cans, food stocks, toaster, utensils, brooms and mops, cleaning supplies, etc., etc. Geez, it costs some serious dough to set up a household. What’s worse, is I’m not done yet. Yikes. But most of the heavy lifting is done.
Again, Uncle Ralph is scheduled to be here on Saturday. Charlotte is on full alert. The town clearly isn’t ready for him. He’ll take it by storm. I think what we’ll do is give him the nickel tour and we’ll camp Saturday night in some sports bar to watch all the games. He’s pretty excited about having a grandchild so no doubt he’ll rattle on about that.
Did you know Grandma and Grandpa will be down here for Christmas? They’re pretty excited, too. My guess is that you’ll spend Christmas in Des Moines. I won’t be coming back for that, obviously. FYI…tell me what you want gift-wise and I’ll just send things to the old homestead on South Shore Drive. Reid, I suppose it’s an option for you to come down for Christmas, but it’s understandable that you won’t want to fly again after having spent all that time in Finland. Your call.
Geez, they just installed a Blackberry wireless thing on my desk. Now that means that people can get a hold of me against my wishes. It’s another tech thing that I won’t know how to use. As if a PC isn’t enough.
Just signed up for satellite, phone, and DSL internet at the new abode. Hey, it’s all about costs. Man, my monthly charges for this stuff, car, insurance, mortgage, etc., will be through the roof. I suppose that’s just the freight that comes with owning a home. I’d better stick with my day job, huh? Things are starting to heat up at work. Lots of assignments and new people to meet throughout the company. ________________ has _000 employees in Charlotte alone. That’s a ton of people on the payroll.
Once you’re down here you’ll see how confusing the street system is around here. It’s awful. There are no fewer than 5 streets named Sharon, and a couple of Queen streets, etc. That’s why I always keep a map by my side in the car. Slowly starting to learn my way around. Not nearly as unnerving as it was although I still have my ‘where the hell am I?’ moments. But they’re fewer and farther between. Well, enough blathering for now. You guys be good, write often, and Reid, make sure you send me photos as you take them.