See the kids or burn the clothes …


It’s getting to be Spring, and with it comes an urge to do a couple of things. One is to venture North to see both kids. Indeed, one trip is ordained; Ellen has her baby in mid-April but as for Reid, I’m waiting for him to signal a green light to visit Chicago. Second is the overwhelming desire to put away – or burn – winter clothes that have seen way too much usage this season. Enough already.

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February 23, 2015

Ellen/Reid: It was really cold here last week. 9F was the lowest temp in more than a century. The houses down here just don’t seem insulated/equipped for such frigidness. My upstairs can be very warm but the middle and lower floors hover around 60F with the heater and gas fireplace on full blast. It’s just sort of a shoddy approach to home construction. Late Tuesday it rained with a little snowfall tossed in so there was a good half-inch of mostly-ice on the back driveway. Even though the incline isn’t overly steep nor very long, it makes that little hillock almost impassable. It took some salt and a little chipping to get rid of all of it. Sublimation (evaporation of ice) took over at night. It sort of warmed up on the weekend, if you call the 50s a warm up.

For the first time in more than a month, I got to tee it up with my regular group, including Pam, Sue and Jane. There is no prohibition against trash talk. In fact, if you can't dish it out, get out of the way.

For the first time in more than a month, I got to tee it up with my regular group, including Pam, Sue and Jane. There is no prohibition against trash talk. In fact, if you can’t dish it out, get out of the way.

The arm is feeling pretty good, enough so that I ventured out onto the golf course. I took very easy swings on Saturday as a test drive, and scored reasonably well (79). It’s actually the best I’ve posted in quite a while and perhaps the lesson is that I should try the go-easy approach all the time. I reverted to all-out gung-ho golf on Sunday and played awful. But the wound feels good and it’s a month today since the surgery. It wasn’t too sore this morning. Every week that goes by will be better for it. The return to the dermatologist isn’t until mid April.

A half brown-half albino deer wandered through the greenbelt last week. It was a very young buck with small antlers and my camera wasn’t at arm’s length before it scampered away. There haven’t been a ton of deer sightings in the past few months so they must be getting used to the construction zone. A few of them were standing in a muddy lot a little while later munching on the fresh grass the developer plants to combat erosion. At least that is the assumption. Haven’t seen too many feral cats as of late either. Might be resident coyotes culling the herd although I never see or hear them. Every killer cat taken out means more birds in the neighborhood. There’s a Web-based cartoon called the Oatmeal and the artist/author takes delight in skewering feral cats as murderers of millions of birds.

I was pretty down after Tom and I got skunked last weekend down in Charleston. But I have this Friday off and there is temptation to make a scouting foray into the mud flats down there in another down-and-back trip. I really do enjoy just getting out and seeing what’s out there. Maybe the recon will pay off once the weather and the water temps return to more civilized conditions. The drive down is pleasant enough with a jug of hot coffee and the CD player blaring. Not so much on the return when it’s not unusual for me to pull over to take a nap.

Reid, I am thinking of a fishing kayak upgrade. I rented the same Wilderness model you sat in over Christmas and it’s more stable and wide enough for me to stand. The only issue is it weighs about another 15 pounds which may push my limits in terms of lifting onto the Camry by myself. Not that the Ocean Kayak is bad by any stretch. It’s just that you wonder if an upgrade is worth it. The Hobies are the king of the kayak hill, but they push $2,500 and up and weigh more than one person can reasonably lift. Most Hobie guys have trailers or pick ups and I’m not going to do anything like that. Plus, they have this foot pedal thing which makes them zip along but isn’t kayaking about paddles? I ran into a Hobie owner at Oak Island last summer who’d ruined several sets of foot pedals on oyster beds in the murky waters and he was trying to sell his boat. He tried to interest me. I’m committed to loading/unloading by my lonesome.

Reid, I’m excited about seeing you and Liz in Raleigh. It’s been long overdue to see you guys, and let me know about March 27 in Chicago. That would be enormous fun. I’d fly on a Thursday night and take the train to the Loop and to some stop on Division or wherever it is you tell me to get off.

Love, Dad

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