Cut the string, not the tie that binds…

The three amigos. We don't get together often, but when we do, we have fun.

The Charlotte Observer, obviously hard-up to fill space, was left with no alternative but to run my op-ed piece ( about the worthiness of letters to children as one method of connectedness.  The paper opined a few days ago that parents should snip the string quickly once their kids are in college.  My response was yes, cut the string, but not the tie that binds.

There are worse things than wanting to remain a factor in the lives of your kids.  And far less invasive means of contact.  Is it such a radical idea to want to stay in meaningful touch?

My agenda is not their agenda and isn’t intended to be.  Get on with your lives, guys, but here’s what’s going on in your old man’s life.  Here’s all you need to know in the space of whatever-number-of-words it is (650 or so).  Read it in the morning, or while sorting through the day’s mail, or while you’re idling on the El to Chicago’s Loop, or after work or before you go to bed.  It doesn’t matter when.  But know that week-in and week-out, something other than a bill or a solicitation will land in your mail box.


My mom gets something in the mail every week as well.  Here’s what should land in her mail box early next week in Grand Island.

September 3, 2010

Mom: Weather seems to be the big news around here these days.  Lots of folks are scurrying from the Outer Banks today as they try to escape the heavy winds and rain of Hurricane Earl.  He’ll brush by there sometime in the next 24 to 48 hours.  We won’t feel much of him in Charlotte.  The weather folks say we’ll get at most a light breeze.  And given the temperatures we’ve had of late, that breeze will be most welcome.

We have endured 90+ days of temperatures over 90 degrees.   90+ days.  It’s just been awful.  And the humidity just makes it feel that much worse.  At least September is here and hopefully the temperatures will moderate a little bit.  I noticed in this morning’s paper that you guys have been getting some 50 degree mornings which would feel wonderful to me.  Your first frost can’t be that far away.  As for us, the only frost we’ll feel is when we stick our hands in the refrigerator freezer.

I was a little too quick to lambast my tomato plant.  A little fertilizer and a lot of water and – bingo – there are finally actual tomatoes on the vines.  The largest is about the size of a tennis ball which is a significant upgrade for that plant.  It has grown to about six feet tall so there’s plenty of growing potential for tomatoes.  It’s been tough in this heat for fruit to set but it seems to be doing so right now.  I keep forgetting that our growing season is way, way longer than yours.  In a couple of weeks when the temps have died down a little I’ll plant some lettuce in a pot on the porch and with any luck that will supply me with lettuce into December.

Ellen is finally teaching her second grade classes.  Not much news has filtered in to me about how things are going but the assumption is that she’ll be doing a great job.  I hope to hear from her this weekend about how the first week actually went down.  She keeps sending me photos of her dog/beast Henry, and that’s a lot of fun to see.

Reid has moved into his new studio apartment in Chicago.  On the map it appears he is northwest of downtown.  It costs him a few more bucks every month but right about now the privacy won’t be such a bad thing for him.  He was tossing around the idea of taking a new job in his same company but there hasn’t been a real update from him for a few days now.  I’ll pester him when the weekend comes around.  He’s got a girlfriend but we know very little about her other than that her name is Jackie.

I’m supposed to teach a class on letter writing at the local community college but from all appearances, not many students share my enthusiasm about letters.  Only two have signed up and I’m afraid that the writing is on the wall – the class will be cancelled due to lack of participation.  We were supposed to have about 15 in the class, and unless some miracle happens in the next couple of days, another weeknight will become suddenly freed up.  Hey, keep your chin up and your attitude good.  I’ll do the same.

1 Comment

Filed under Adult Children, Contact, Correspondence, Family, Parenting, Writing to adult children

One response to “Cut the string, not the tie that binds…

  1. Mort

    Bully job in the Observer, Dave.

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