A compendium of small things…


Some weeks its just hard to find something to pontificate on in the fatherly sense.  It could be accurately chalked up to a lack of strong coffee or that nothing reveals itself at the moment of creative conception.  I am ramping up on red-red-red North Carolina politics that set our state back, our shunning of environmental issues and the like but nothing has jelled as of yet.  So I fall back on my PB days (the Pre-Betsy admonition to write something of depth so as to be of interest to her that in tandem would show my personality to the kids) and thus a letter becomes a compendium of the small things that went on the week before.

Last weeks letter was a definite throwback to the PB days.

———-

June 6, 2011

Ellen/Reid: Well, if you like heat and humidity this is the place for you.  Blast furnace hot but damp at the same time.  Go figure.

Here’s the update on Felicia.  Her surgery is set for the end of this month.  That nearly 30 day delay would absolutely drive me more bonkers than I already am.  Why in the world they wait that long on such a terrible disease is totally unfathomable to me.  I lectured her this weekend, more than once, to call her physician’s office this morning to see if she can light a fire under the operating doctor so we’ll see if that does any good.  There was a related article this morning in the paper about some new drugs specific to melanoma.  Advances, yes, but not a cure.  This comes at a time when she’s wrestling with other issues in her life, notably her son who has veered onto another path she’d rather he not take.  I don’t know.  I’m glad you guys are who you are, but it is very hard to see her have to endure another bout of the same situation she has already endured for years.  I’d rather that she take the time to tend to herself but the mother’s instinct to nurture, or at least care for, her offspring is awfully strong.  She needs to worry about herself for a change.  I plan to be with her at the surgery and be available for whatever else she needs between now and then.

Ellen, I’ll need to tap into your teaching expertise in the next couple of weeks.  My class on freelance writing is filling up at the local community college (it will probably top out at about a dozen or 16 students) and I’m starting to get nervous about it.  It’s not the content that is vexing but the presentation of things.  The class will be in a high-tech lab setting loaded with capabilities for PowerPoints and other sort of splashy gizmos.  My class outline is done but that’s all it is; an outline.  I’ll head over to the college later this week to familiarize myself with the ins and outs of the learning laboratory.  They say to teach is to learn twice so maybe that’s good.  All in all, this probably is something of an odd time for freelancers.  The pay scale has dropped like a stone (at least in the newspaper biz) but the availability of work is probably pretty good in that in this economy firms may not keep full time staff but instead farm the work out depending on their situational needs.

Your uncle lifted his cell phone to your grandmother’s ear this weekend but I couldn’t understand much of what she said beyond “I love you, too.”  I just don’t know what to make of it.  I wish I could be there a lot more often.  Her health seems to have stabilized for the time being.  I’m dependent on your uncle’s reportage of what’s going on and he’s around her often enough he sees the ebb and flow to her situation but he’s not sounding any alarms as of late.  It looks as if Joe is going to buy your grandparent’s house.  I have some mixed feelings about it, largely because he’s being influenced by your aunt and uncle (the house design is a bit staid by young person’s standards, I would think).  He’ll get a sweetheart deal on the house but I suppose when you do the math in terms of what it might sell for minus the real estate agent’s commission it’s probably not that bad an overly bad thing.  Joe and Ally will have their baby at the end of this month.  Ralph and Gayle are pretty excited about it.  Their third grandchild.  Guys, I’m in no rush.

That’s about it for this installment.  Working out for Wyoming (there’s a long way to go physically) and just trying to keep cool in this oppressive heat.  Reid, the offer of a ticket to CLT still stands, and Ellen, watch for news about a trip up to see your swanky new kitchen.  The pix of the gutted interior are cool, but for your sake I hope the contractors get a move on so you don’t have to live in a pile of dust and debris all summer.  An end-of-June timetable seems nice.  I hope they can live up to those terms.

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