A period of relative calm…

Henry the Conehead is a picture of absolute despair. Ellen says he'd otherwise nibble at a wound on his paw. Poor guy.

Not a whole lot has changed in any of our situations; mom is the same (good), Ellen and Reid are getting on with things (more good) and the bank continues a drip-drip-drip process to condition employees for the inevitable before it lowers the job-cutting boom (not so good).  All in all, it is a period of relative calm.  Still, we three have our own brand of hurricane season.  Hanging over our heads is the omnipresent threat of heavy weather blowing in.  You know it will happen, you just don’t know when and with what force.

Caught in the calm was last week’s letter.  It reverted to the letters of old (before what is known as the “Betsy Admonition” to make the letters more meaty with less fluff so as to keep her – and anyone else’s – attention).  Fluff was apparently in vogue last week.

Of note was the decision by my boys in Des Moines – Bob, Dave 1 and Dave 2 (I am Dave 3) – to make a courtesy trip to CLT.  As with Coeur d’ Alene last September, we will reconvene for golf and wine although not necessarily in that order.  Last year was something of a sympathy tour for them in terms of me (I will give them their due credit: they ponied up for virtually all the expenses) but this time is more of a guy’s trip where we’re all on more-or-less equal footing.  As Dave 3 has told chief organizer Dave 1, the caveat is how and when events will unfold in the Midwest.  That could derail the best laid plans.

As for next week’s letter, hopefully it will be de-fluffed sufficiently to meet the “Betsy” standard.


September 12, 2011

Ellen/Reid: Now, the last few days of weather here are what North Carolina is all about.  Sunny and warm, but not too hot, beautiful evenings with low humidity.  If the state Chamber of Commerce wants to tout nice weather as an enticement to those wanting to relocate to the South, they can start with this past weekend.

Haven’t heard from your uncle in the past couple of days which I take for a sign that nothing much has changed for your grandmother.  It’s good if she appears to be holding her own.  She’s always been a fighter.  My friend John at Caldwell has asked me about her situation regularly.  He’s very good about that.  Several others there have commented, too.  I suppose that just shows the relatively small size of the church community.

Apparently there will be reprise of the trip to Coeur d’Alene from last fall.  Bob Furstenau, Dave Hemminger and Dave Dahlquist will come down to visit Bradley Acres here in Charlotte in early November for a four day weekend, and we will drink wine, tell stories, and venture over to Pinehurst to play course #2, the track where the U.S. Open has been held and will be held again in a couple of years.  We will use caddies, which is always fun.  Pat D. still does a land-office photo business with Pinehurst so it will be fun to walk in the Pro Shop and see the work on display.  We’ll play another course over that way on Friday, drink more wine on an overnight stay in Pinehurst, get up to a hearty breakfast and Advil and then play #2 on Saturday morning before resurfacing in Charlotte.  This time Jane is relieved of any planning duties.  It’s on the broad shoulders of the rest of us.  It’s nice of those guys to want to come down for a long weekend, given the hectic pace of their working lives.  That doesn’t apply so much to Dave H. as he spends lots of time down on his farm in southern Iowa.  I think Bob is gearing up for retirement.  He uses all his vacation time to good advantage; motorcycle rides through the Rockies and just this week, a golf escapade in Scotland.  I think Gordie is on that trip but I’m not altogether sure about that.  Lucky stiffs.

Looks like my next college teaching gig on writing for newspapers may fall through.  Doesn’t look like we will reach the minimum number of attendees (which is only seven or eight or something like that).  For some reason I thought the attendance would be very good but that’s not the case.  I was actually pretty excited about teaching this course.  Given that newspapers are falling through the floor, maybe budding writers can read the tea leafs and see there aren’t many newspaper jobs.  Perhaps, too, it should be renamed “News Writing.”  That way, we can cover print, online and broadcast.  As Felicia says, “We’ll see.”  Hopefully the college will give me another crack at it.

Felicia is out on the Outer Banks this week with some of her past cronies from Shelby and other North Carolina cities.  After the summer she’s had, she deserves the R&R.  As far as can be told, they are riding bikes, walking, and drinking wine.

Reid, I’m sorry to err in not booking our Thanksgiving flight arrivals closer together.  That was totally boneheaded on my part.  I had the chance to make things uber convenient and blew it.  Since you get in earlier than me, and Ellen, if you’ll indulge him, you could get picked first at noon and then come back to pick up your old man at 4:33 on U.S. Airways.  I’m really excited for the T-Day trip and to have something to look forward to.  As much as I grouse about not wanting to travel anymore, it’s one trip I’m looking forward to.


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