So far July has not shaped up as my favorite month.
First, we laid my father to rest, and now I’ve lost my job at the bank. I seem to remember seeing somewhere that lumped among life’s big stressors are moving, job loss, divorce, family death, etc. Hey, I’ve got two of the big ones covered. A proverbial double whammy. When it rains, it pours. In Niagara-like proportions.
A hopelessly optimistic letter writer would say this is just more fodder for the cannon, which I suppose it is, but not in the way any scribe would hope for. Ellen and Reid were informed last night in dreary calls. There were no details supplied beyond the utter shock. Some of that will be left to the pages which will be, at least for me, a sounding board to explain how I reached this juncture along with where – and how – to go forward from this point. Feelings of self-doubt and what-if-I-had-done-this-differently thoughts are the antidote if you suffer from sound sleep. At least you now know what keeps me awake.
Irony is at work here. The cell phone photo of the sticky note affixed to my office wall that was posted just the other day is the final time I’ll ever keep a note in that locale. I’ll just have to find a suitable replacement surface at home. If you thought the past few months made for gloomy paragraphs in my letters, well, I never promised you a rose garden of pleasant information. The kids will see all, read all. More to come.
Here is today’s letter to my mother. She won’t know of this week’s events; her plate is already full enough. She doesn’t need a side dish of bad news.
July 23, 2010
Mom: The newspaper shows that you guys have had some hot temperatures up there, but there’s no word about the humidity. It cannot be as bad and bleak as it is here. The daily minimum of showers is at least two. When you mix the dampness with the sheer hot sun (we’ve been in the mid-90s at least) it is a very uncomfortable situation.
Andy sent some photos of you and baby Ann. They were great shots. I should print some off and include those in the next letter. It was good to see you smiling in the pictures, and I suppose a baby will make you do that. She’s kind of a rolly-polly little thing but she sure is cute.
Reid is heading to New York City today to see a buddy from Des Moines who lives in Brooklyn. No telling what they will be up to but it sounds like a lot of fun. He called this morning once he reached the airport in Chicago, and I told him New York is a great town for kids his age or for people who have a lot of money. There’s really no middle ground. He wants to do a little sightseeing and visit some of the local hot spots. I asked him to call me this weekend to give me a status report.
Ellen and Tim now have a dog. His name is Henry and he’s a behemoth. He’s a mix of poodle and retriever. A fun dog but a real handful. He probably weighs something over 100 lbs. and I wouldn’t want to be the one to feed him every day. Ellen texts me on her phone every couple of days so that’s my main line of communication with her. She and Reid still get weekly letters from me. Habit forming, I guess.
Hope you’re getting enough exercise. It was fun to hear the piano in the background the other day when we were on the phone. We have to hand it to the staff there; they really try to keep you guys busy. I wouldn’t worry too much about watching TV since there isn’t anything good on most channels. I watched some history show last night on ancient Egyptian architecture. That shows you how bored I was. They don’t show enough baseball games for some goofy reason.
Things are kind of quiet here in Charlotte. Not a lot going on. Must be the dog days of summer. Everyone, me included, has the doldrums. It doesn’t look like I’ll be playing golf this weekend. My game stinks, and I’ve put it on the shelf for the time being. I wish I had your swing, but I wouldn’t wish mine on anyone. Saturday morning I’ll probably take the Harley out for a spin before the worst of the heat descends on us. There are plenty of breakfast spots to get to.
Well, you be good, we’re thinking of you all the time, and I just want to remind you that Ellen, Reid and I love you very, very much. You’re out of sight, but not out of mind.