Where’s the beef?


The holidays are nearing, and, mercifully, what shopping there was to do is done. As letters go, this is akin to Clara in the old commercial: “Where’s the beef?”

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December 8, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Holiday shopping for you guys feels like a mishmash of bland stuff; cash for your coat, Reid, and pre-natal yoga lessons you’re already using, Ellen. I’ve got a few other things but nothing you haven’t seen before. Really needed are ideas for Tim. I lost the eBay bid for the Thomas the Train set, Ellen, so I’ll take you up on your offer to go buy something for Emma next weekend. I’ll ship a few books this week. Honestly, I’m just drawing a total blank about gifts this year. Reid, it will be good to have you down here. We’ll head to the coast for some surf & beer.

Ellen, that is such exciting news about a sister for Emma. It certainly makes your planning a lot easier in terms of wardrobe and such, although a kid brother wouldn’t have been bad. We could have called him Razzmatazz II in honor of your ‘bro.

Reid and his equally feisty niece Emma have always had a special bond.

Reid and his equally feisty niece Emma have always had a special bond.

Reid, you were just a terror on two legs. I mean, they might have named the Terrible Twos after you, you were that bad. I’ll try to make it up there in advance of the April date.

On my walk last weekend I found a kid’s drivers license and debit card on the sidewalk. How those cards ended so close together in such a public place is beyond me, but a whitepages.com search revealed his landline and somehow I reached his dad. They came by and got the cards that were left under the front welcome mat. They gave me a couple of movie tickets which was nice and a fair exchange. I might bring those with me to Minnesota for you guys to use.

The local community college, Central Piedmont Community College, is taking another flier on my teaching skills by letting me teach about writing. It’ll be just before and after I retire so I’m really looking forward to it. I kind of like the idea of helping in a classroom. I’ve got to figure out the Mac equivalent of Powerpoint so stuff can be shown on a screen. If you have solutions, let me know.

Hilton Head is booked for next Thanksgiving. I check in the Sunday prior, Nov. 22 with Saturday, Nov. 29 check out. Bikes come with the package. I’ll spring for or help with flights. It would be great if we could get you all down here. Sleeps six. Ellen, I’ll arrange for a crib if this all sounds doable for you, Tim and Emma.

A waterproof camera is said to be heading my way as part of this sailfish tournament next month. I’m really getting excited/antsy about fishing on the ocean. Another totally new experience. Dave Hemminger has been charged with learning about baits, tackle, etc. The expectations seem to be that you troll for these things, although how a mighty fish would be fooled by a fake, snarky bait moving along at a mile or two an hour is a mystery to me. Tim will be glad it’s all catch and release, which it ought to be anyway. I’ll head down on Thursday evening the 15th of January and drive all the way back the following Monday the 19th. My boss reminded me to use available vacation so I’ll take this coming Monday off and head to the water, again, this time probably to Oak Island on the North Carolina coast rather than Charleston just to mix things up a tad.

The weather here has been all gloom and doom here lately. It just feels raw and testy to me. On the bright side, the days start to get longer later on this week. We have that to look forward to.

The post-retirement renovation plan is to work on some DIY guest bath upgrades and a bench in the garage to stow all the fishing stuff and other tools. It all has been sitting in a plastic bin for 8 years and I’ll have the time, in theory, to get all this done. This retirement thing really does have me on edge. The one thing I hope to train myself to do is to sleep later in the morning. It would be a wonder of wonders to snooze until 7:30 or 8. But for now, I’ll have to settle for staring wide-eyed at the clock at 5 a.m. Ugh.

Love, Dad

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