A seat at the conversational table…


You don't get to see Reid often...but here's the lad with his old man as we wait for a flight out of Omaha in mid-June. He's a good kid and is the king of digital advertising.

It would be easy to see why most folks perceive I’m overly reliant on weekly letters to Ellen and Reid with a few texts tossed in for good measure (we rarely e-mail each other).  True, letters do a lot of the heavy lifting.  But not all.

One cannot hide behind letters alone.  In a way, the letters are a seat at the conversational table.  Each page gives us an opening on the phone; i.e. ‘I saw this in your letter’ or ‘tell me more about that’ or ‘what’s up with this?…’  The letters give us something to talk about once we get past the obligatory ‘what are you up to?’  ‘Oh, not much’ banter.

At the least they have some advance warning about what’s happening on my end of the spectrum.  Perhaps subconsciously they gain time to process information before their custom ring tones alert them that dad’s on the line.  Better pick up the phone, guys.

——————

Since I’ll be on the road this weekend, I sent my mother her typical letter a few days early.  Nothing earthshaking to share this week.

September 16, 2010

Mom: Now it’s clear to me why skin doctors make the big bucks.  There are lots of people in their waiting rooms and the waits are long.  This morning I lounged for about half an hour before they called my name – and my appointment was at 8:15.  He gave me a good going over followed by a stern lecture about the sun.  He snipped off a little thing on my nose and sent it in for a test and the results should be back in a few days.  We’ll see how it goes.  He underlined the urgency by wanting to see me again in two months.  I’ve become an annuity program for him.  I’ve been trying to wear sunscreen and hats as much as I can.  I think this is residue from my lifeguard/pool manager days back in the swimming pool business all those years ago.  If only we’d known then what we know now.

I’m trying to gear up for a car trip out your way in the next month or so if I can swing it.  I can’t wait to stop by your place and check out your new room – and also check out the food.  If it passes my inspection then it’s good.  No doubt we’ll make a break and head out to some restaurant or ice cream joint that I know you’ve been to.  I’ll stay with Ralph and Gayle, and probably make a side trip to Des Moines to see my friend Steve.  I’ll bring my woolies with me since the temperatures out there will probably be far cooler than the heat we’ve been having here.  Yuck.  But it’s good for my tomato plant.

Nebraska seems to be cruising in football.  Their schedule isn’t the toughest and that may hurt them in the rankings.  Of course, none of the Husker games are broadcast down here and we’re stuck watching Southern teams play Southern teams.  It gets a little old.  I’d rather watch the “name” teams play.  The local pro NFL team, the Panthers, got waxed last week by the New York Giants and already people are saying the entire season will stink.  Probably so.  They’re just not very good.  Hey, they could pay me a million and I’d make a few tackles.

Rode by some cotton fields in South Carolina last weekend while out on a cruise on the Harley.  The locals say they don’t’ see as much cotton grown around here because all the cotton business has moved to China and other factories overseas.  This used to be a big area for cotton mills and cloth and clothing but all you see nowadays are plants that are shut down and shuttered.  I’m telling you when you ride the back roads in the Carolinas you wonder what people do for a living.  It’s depressing.

Hey, Ralph says your new medications are nothing short of wonderful.  That is wonderful.  Glad they finally found a combination that works.

No news from either Ellen or Reid.  But I take that as a good sign that they’re not in trouble (that I know of) and they’re keeping their noses clean and going about their business.  Like Andy and Joe, they are living their own lives.  Can’t wait to see you!

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

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