Some people have all the luck…

Reid is in England for his short-term work stint.  Some people have all the luck.   Poor kid has a nice apartment smack in the middle of central London (hopefully with his own ‘loo’), Wimbledon is on not far from his temporary digs, England made it to the knock out round of the European soccer championship and, of course, the run-up for the Olympics is gaining steam.  Tough gig for a single guy.  I just wish he’d stay in touch with us on this side of the pond.

The living room is crammed with camping stuff in advance of the trek in the Bridger Wilderness.  I'm trying to pack light but lite-weight backpacking technology has passed me by.

My living room is clogged with camping stuff in preparation for the trek in the Bridger Wilderness (note: we still have room for late comers, July 21-27) but there was no mention of it for the first time in a while in last week’s letter and there was scant mention of it in the letter that was mailed just this morning.  The tinder-dry conditions are some cause for concern; unlike last year, there will be no fires on which to char-broil trout.  Instead, we’ll make do with a white gas stove to heat water for pasta and beans and flash-fry brookies.  Alas, my ancient but trusty40 year old MSR model A stove was lost during the move six years ago so a newer WhisperLite will have to suffice.  I’ll no doubt get into the Bridger goings-on a little more in the note to the kids next week.

Here is what was deposited in last week’s mail (although Reid got his via email late in the week):


June 18, 2012

Ellen/Reid: Monday has gotten off to a decent enough start but all that can crumble in the space of a few ‘do this…or ‘what do you think of this?…’ emails.  But none of those have come in so all things as of this moment are BAU (business as usual in bank parlance).

No sense mailing letters to your Chicago address until you return, Reid.  You’ll have to open your email to read them.  By the time this goes into the mail to Ellen, your plane will have already jetted east to London.  You get all the fun trips.  India.  England.  No doubt you will figure out a way to take the Chunnel beneath the channel to Paris or other mainland location.  Heck, I would too, if I were you.  Sad to say there is probably no chance for your old man to get over there for even a few days.  The schedule just won’t allow it.  I put on my blog this morning that if you were over there until, say, October or November then the odds of a visit would increase noticeably.  But not right now.  Too much going on.  The one thing you need to do is send us photos and whatnot of where you are and what you’re doing.  People ask and all I can say is “I dunno.”  So keep your mom and I posted on your comings and goings.

Ellen, your running cavalcade of photos of Emma has been just darling.  It’s just like being there.  Okay, not quite but it’s a great substitute for being hundreds of miles away.  She has just changed so much.  She’s putting on a nice amount of weight and her little smile is showing some personality.  Believe me, it’s hard to remember them (i.e. you and your brother) at this age once you guys reach the Terrible Teens.  I’ve got the framed ones here and there throughout the place.

We had a great 27 hours going down and back to Tybee Island, Georgia.  A ride that’s long but not too long.  The weather was incredible.  We didn’t do a whole hell of a lot.  A few drinks and some so-so seafood at a beach bistro, accompanied by a duo performing old standards on acoustic guitars.  That was a riot.  Some of the patrons really got into it.  We had breakfast at a classic old diner then did a couple of short walks on the beach, walked a little more once we rode back through Savannah (worth the visit) and then took a two lane road 40 miles into Hilton Head, where the traffic was just bonkers.  It was miles and miles of stop-and-go for most cars.  We really noticed the backup as we came out of HH Saturday afternoon on the return ride to Charlotte.  We stopped to check out the timeshare (no news there; I have squandered the resource but am trying to figure out how to use it) and had a nice meal and cool drinks over at the Westin.  That was fun.  I could have nodded off at the table but it was time to hit the road again.  We had a leisurely ride back to North Carolina.

We are looking forward to the trip to St. Paul in mid July.  Felicia has been through the airport but never really set foot on Minnesota ground.  We’ll be there just long enough to not seem overbearing.

Picked the first honest-to-goodness tomatoes we’ve ever had.  The secret must’ve been the patio variety because the Big and Better Boys really just never got going in the big pots.  There’s a bumper crop on the vine right now, believe you me.  They don’t get real big, not quite the size of a tennis ball, but that’s a far cry from the ping pong ball size the last few years.  Toss some of these tomatoes with a little basil and garlic, and you’ve got some nice pesto.  Glad to hear you had your first ripe raspberry.  Next year you should have oodles of the red rubies.  You might go online to see if you need to cut those canes back.  I’m guessing so but don’t quote me.

Well, over and out from North Carolina.  It’s getting warmer here, and warmth gives way sooner than later to boiler room heat.  We may have to start dunking ourselves into the pool.  The water level may rise, given my gain in weight.  Hope nobody harpoons me.


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