Family values & Earl Grey…

Politicians have their brand of ‘family values’.   We have ours.

One of the great things about a regular letter is every page helps you (in this case, me) fill the kids in on what’s important to our clan.  Once they’ve flown the coop to college or the working world and are absent of family kitchen table  banter during meals (jeez, what a pie-in-the-sky dream: family banter at meal time) there is a greatly reduced opportunity to pick up verbal scraps about what rocks your world.  A chunk of potential dialogue and chance to shape and share opinions dwindles away once they are no longer around.

If you become a regular at letters your children can glean your leanings over time.  For instance, Ellen and Reid ought to know this about my views if they’ve paid a smidgen of attention:

  • The environment is important.  I recycle virtually every scrap of paper and bit of plastic.  The trash men love me for my light loads.  I want the munchkins to respect their world.
  • I tilt just a tad to the left politically.  I come from the Watergate era when a certain party butchered the notion of public trust.  We have never been the same.  If we have a Tea Party, it usually involves Earl Grey.
  • Be respectful of other people.  They can have their views and you can have yours.  To be polite, civil and nice never hurt anyone.

You will find no endless and heavy-handed paragraphs devoted to my views.  They are of the age of majority and they can make up their own minds.  But they deserve to know the building blocks in their backgrounds and where their dad is coming from.  Frost’s road less traveled has many exit ramps and Ellen and Reid are free to find a detour of their choosing.  With a little help from their old man, of course.


There was no letter mailed to my parents this week.  Drat.  Their whereabouts and the facility they would end up in was in too much of a state of flux.  But I am off to Omaha today (Friday) and I’ll hand carry what they need to see.  Probably read it to ’em, too.  Here is a letter from a few years back.

April 11

Mom & Dad: The weather mavens are calling for 80F this afternoon so we have gone directly from pre-spring to summer like temps.  Had the kitchen window open this morning so as to hear the birds, and it was very nice.  On the other side of the scale, opened up a melon only to find it almost entirely buggy and rotten, and without milk, it was sort of a sparse breakfast.  But there’s no end of food downstairs of fast food joints.

Within two weeks I’ll be up your way.  Really excited to blow out of town and hit the road.  It will be good to venture over to Des Moines to see friends and golfing buddies, who I have prepped in terms of low expectations for my game.  They’re not entirely buying it but they’ll see for themselves the sorry state of my game.  I’ll probably head out pretty early Thursday morning and return about meal time on Saturday.  Of course, it depends on when I play golf.

Rode with a Harley group last night to some flea-bitten cantina for dinner.  It just reemphasizes that I like to ride by myself instead of with some group.  I just don’t have much in common with those other riders.  Maybe it’s a sign that it’s time to get rid of the bike.  Just kidding.  But it was a nice evening for it.  In the mid 70s.

Reid is in the throes of looking for a job.  Not a lot of real hot prospects in Indianapolis, and I think what will happen is he’ll venture back to Des Moines where he has a lot more contacts.  The hiring scene has definitely slowed down, and that doesn’t bode very well for college graduates.  Reid needs to be more proactive and targeted in what he wants to do.  He may venture on to the graduate school scene, but I really don’t know what schools he’s already applied to, if any.  He’s a good kid if someone would just give him the chance.

Ellen seems to be keeping her head up.  She’s frustrated with her current job, not the job so much, but not having many prospects for teaching.  She gets paid pretty well, probably more than a fledgling teacher would make, but she’ll get there soon enough.  If she and Tim tie the knot, knock on wood, that would solidify her situation somewhat because Tim would do okay in the job market.  Not sure where he wants to land.  He’s got another year of grad school at Minnesota.

Mike H____ and Mort M________ are due to arrive a week from today.  We’ll play golf and eat, then play a little more golf then eat some more.  We won’t be a wild and crazy bunch, that’s for sure.  Not certain what film Mike is working on right now, but he’s got some time on his hands.  That’s why he’s headed down here.  It will be good to have them in Charlotte for a couple of days.  Well, that’s enough for today, but I’ll call you guys soon enough.  Hope you’re feeling better mom.  The cause of your pain in the neck is sitting right next to you, most probably.

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Filed under Adult Children, Archiving, Creativity, Family, History, Parenting

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