The potential for change…

Ellen and a spooky friend. Ellen and Tim live in a St. Paul neighborhood of young families. And with young families come lots of kids.

In a few minutes I’ll take Betsy’s admonition to heart and take the first cautious steps in an effort to craft a new way, after nearly 10 years of the same old-same old, of writing to Ellen and Reid.  There will be a ripple effect in that whatever amendments are made in print will ultimately reshape this space.

To be honest about it, I am anxious about how this might go down.  But with anxiety comes the potential for change so you’re about to see if I’m up to the challenge.  Today’s letter will surface next Monday.

Last week’s letter might be the final installment of the old regime.  I’m still up in the air about how to treat Wednesdays (older letters to the kids) and Fridays (letters to my mother) but let’s just take one step at a time.


October 24, 2010

Ellen/Reid: Rainy here for the first time in a while and it’s supposed to be for the next few days.  It won’t be enough to help my long-suffering tomato plant and the dwindling temperatures mean the little fruits will likely stay little.  But when you compare the 12 to 15 edible orbs this year vs. the single paltry fruit from ’09, I’d do it all over again, which I’ll do next year but probably with a larger pot and more, more, more Miracle Gro.  The container garden might grow too with the addition of cilantro and other herbs for cooking.

Henry and his posse of goblins. Unable to find a dog costume large enough to fit the beast, Ellen and Tim (and Henry) settled on a t-shirt to get Henry in the festive spirit.

Things are moving very, very rapidly at work.  I’ve been put in charge of a group of about 17 or so volunteers for the letter writing process, and the latest fire this morning is getting them all systems access so they can actually begin writing the letters.  Probably should have asked others to help earlier but training for the volunteers was on the front burner.  But I am glad to be in the mix of things for a change and will keep you both posted on what transpires (or has yet to transpire).  If nothing else it’s an interesting project.  It may throw something of a kink in my Thanksgiving plans in that I might have to tote my laptop up to the Twin Cities to be available for my volunteers.  I’ll keep you posted on that, too.

Your grandmother is sounding a little better these days.  She seems to be on a different course of medication and it appears to calm her down somewhat.  I’ve been calling her now every few days and it is good to hear her voice.  She always seems interested to hear what you both have been up to although she is uncertain where both of you live.  On the whole I’m glad she is in Grand Island and close to Ralph and Gayle.  It’s hard for them, too, to be on the ball with her nearly every day but it is better than her living in Omaha without family very nearby.  Somehow I’ve got to get to Omaha to retrieve some of those items that are in storage for you guys.  I’ll give my friend Pete a jingle to let him know of our plans, such as they are.

Played golf on Saturday with my singles group for the first time in many months.  It was fun and good to see the people again, although there were quite a few new faces I’d never met before.  On Sunday, Felicia and I rode to Myrtle Beach to check out a store and just get some wind in our faces.  Myrtle Beach seems a very hurried, fully-developed place where every other store offers three t-shirts for $10.  I doubt it would be the kind of place for either of you.  The only allure is really the water and the golf courses.  That is unless you like small theme parks and would-be zoos that let you look at captive alligators.  The beach is pretty nice although for miles and miles and miles in either direction the only thing you see is hotels and stores and condos.  Kind of depressing. They say during the high season the traffic is hell.  I believe it.

The local paper the Observer ran the article.  I’ve photocopied it from both of you.  The editor asked me this morning if I’d heard anything from any readers and the answer is: zilch.  But that’s how it goes for some of the more mundane topics like mine.  Now, if I’d called Obama a Muslim or Bill O’Reilly an honest journalist, those might have gotten some people’s dander up.  Still, the paper wants me to write another column in a few weeks.

Glad you both got away for the weekend.  Give me a call sometime so you can debrief me on what you did and who you did it with.  Ellen, I’m sure Afton was a hoot, and Reid the Bay area had to be just a riot with some of your friends there.  If you took pictures at the birthday party for Andy and Steph’s baby, send those to me.  I’d like to see her.

Well, this pretty much wraps it up this week.  Not much else is going on.  You’d know if there was.


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