The greatest reward…

My father and I have talked on the phone every day – the calls aren’t very long, a few minutes tops – but it’s good to hear his voice.  I’m all ears for however much time he’s got.

The letters have made it to his new address.  Amazingly, with all he has to deal with his anticipation for the pages is still there.  We don’t spend much time on what the letters contain.

The content is secondary at this point.  It’s nice knowing it brings him a a small amount of comfort and a sense of normalcy in the midst of what is admittedly an institution.  In all the years I’ve performed this weekly function this is the first time I have had the inkling that if the envelope didn’t arrive, the recipient – my dad – would miss it.  I don’t want to disappoint him.

I suppose the greatest reward a letter writer can hope to experience is sensing the anticipation by someone who is anxious to receive what you send.

Over the years dad has asked ‘did you send a letter?’ if it was delayed even day past its usual arrival.  It’s important to me, too, that he receives something each week.  As long as he expects to hear from me, that’s good enough.


This being Wednesday, I’ve plucked out and pasted in an older letter.

Nov. 27

‘Cakes/Reid: Well, the one thing about bathroom scales is they don’t lie and they have no way to break the bad news gently.  They call ‘em like they see ‘em.  So as soon as I stepped in the door yesterday after returning from Omaha, I sucked it up and stepped on to see how much poundage was added with mo’ turkey, mo’ dessert, still mo’ turkey and mo’ taters.  Oh, and that pan gravy slathered over everything.  To my surprise, I hadn’t gained much of anything and I would’ve been willing to bet a modest sum that I was up 3 – 5 pounds.  This is after not being shy around the table.  One thing you can say about your grandmother, that lady knows how to cook, not only in quality but sheer volume.  She can really bring it in the kitchen.  She asked about you guys repeatedly.  I told her all was good.

For the most part, the Christmas shopping is over and done with.  Maybe a few small things now and then, but your bigger gifts were shipped to South Shore Drive last week for arrival tomorrow (Tuesday).  I stopped at the house on Saturday before playing golf with Kenyon, Oleson and Allen.  Things looked good, Henry could be saddled and ridden like a bronco, and I dug up some chive to take back to Charlotte for my new copper window planter from Smith & Hawken.  Your mother and I went over to the mall to buy a couple of things, and it was good to be around her.  Weird, but good.  For the most part she appears to be happy, and it’s good for her to have her mom and sister and the gaggle of friends to help her.  Wish I had that in Charlotte.  But we had a pleasant enough time and it was good to see her.

The Colo. – Nebr. game was closer than the score indicated.  EB, my good friend going all the way back to 3rd grade, Bill C_____, was able to use the ticket so things worked out just fine.  The Big Red has clearly slipped a few steps but they will play Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game this weekend.  Your Uncle Ralph wants to go to the game in Kansas City, but he can’t find anyone to go with him.  He wanted me to buzz up for the weekend, but one game every 10 years is plenty enough for me.  Reid, did you know Butler won the Preseason NIT in NY?  Yeah, they rolled over Indiana, Tennessee, Gonzaga and some other flunky.  It was quite the show.  So you’ll have something to look forward to when you get back.

The weather sure is a hell of a lot different.  40s and 50s in Nebraska, 72F when I returned home yesterday afternoon.  Now, that is a bit over the norm, but people say that’s how it can be almost all the time.  It was in the upper 30s this morning, but no wind.  So it was nice.  But it will be 70F this afternoon.

Sort of settling into some routine around the house.  Leave work, hit the gym, go home and cook something.  One of these days, I have to get organized.  EB, I ain’t moving the office downstairs until I can assure myself that the mountains of paper littering the family room and current office are under control.   I’m paying most of my bills online, but I need filing space for stuff.  Got out on the Harley yesterday for about 50 miles.  It was good to ride if only for a while.

You guys do not need to worry about any sort of gift for me.  I’ll get you both down here soon enough and that’s enough of a present as far as I’m concerned.  So really, don’t send anything down this way.  I’ve got enough stuff on my plate – and on the couch and on the floors – to keep me occupied.  People are already out selecting Christmas trees.  I’m not there quite yet.  If the mall ever has a Scrooge exhibit, I hope they call me to serve as Old Ebenezer.  I’d fit in pretty well.  Well, gotta go and serve the corporate master.  Be good, be safe, be healthy.


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