The business of family rolls on …


I suppose one way to look at a weekly missive between my two and me is to see it as a rolling update on family business. Almost all of that business is unfinished; few things ever truly come to a close. Granted, it’s from a dad’s perspective but that’s the wage of writing to offspring. They get context for the here and now from North Carolina.

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March 16, 2015

Ellen/Reid: I was poking around my credit card statement early last week and saw that the balance was a few thousand dollars and thought ‘How can this be?’ Sure enough, someone had run up a big bill at my expense at several online sites that specialize in young women’s clothing. Since that’s not how I choose to dress, I made a hurried call to the bank and as of Friday the charges had been reversed. It’s a head scratcher as to how someone would get my number and security code since the card is rarely used, especially at restaurants or gas stations and other stores. All the more reason to not use a card and instead pay cash. There is some sense of being violated.

The daffodils are actually out later this year around Charlotte. The dogwoods are blooming, too. This is when the Carolinas are a great place to call home.

The daffodils are actually out later this year around Charlotte. The dogwoods are blooming, too. This is when the Carolinas are a great place to call home.

We had a good weekend of weather. It’s soooooooo long overdue. All of us (especially you guys up in your neck of the woods) paid some serious ass dues this past season. Looking outside this morning the trees are really beginning to bud out. My early morning weekend walks were punctuated by a lot of lively bird activity and noises. That was welcome for a change. I obsess about the blue birds and as this is writing the male is perched on a bare limb a few feet from the nesting box. He’ll stay on guard most of the day. Some dryer lint was affixed next to the feeder on the off chance the birds might enjoy some softer cushion in their nests but they don’t seem to avail themselves of it. Maybe I used the wrong fabric softener.

Reid, it would be good to hear how things are going on your end. Give your mom a buzz since she’s asked me about it several times.

Ellen, your suggestions on updating/spiffing up the guest bath would be welcome. My sense of style seems to be largely AWOL. The tub should stay in place but the lighting, countertop, floor and wall tile are all in play. It’s not an ultra-urgent deal since I don’t have many visitors as it is, but it’s just time to come into the new age design-wise.

As your mom says, you and Tim (and Emma) are entering the home stretch on baby #2. Let me know how I might be able to help out. Your suggestion of a May visit is a good one. It’ll let the dust settle. Nice that you’re thinking of a new house. You’ll be out of space before you know it. Buyers will be all over your place what with all the remodeling and snazziness you’ve put into the house. It will sell very quickly. Would you even need a Realtor?

A woman has been knocking on my door about selling to her. Of course, she wants to low ball the price but units have been selling quickly here and for prices that are higher than I’ve expected and well over what she’s offering (about $150 sq./ft.). It would be hard for me to give up the privacy/view offered by the green belt. On the other hand, walking up the stairs, while it’s not hard now, will no doubt become an issue as I get further up in years. The paper this weekend had a story about how a lot of oldsters are looking for larger houses, and that is something I just don’t get. You’d think it would be the other way around. It is for me. There’s 800 sq. ft. here that goes unused.

This Saturday I drive to Florida. Dave and I will fish for tarpon on Sunday and perhaps hit the open ocean off Pompano Beach later in the week. Golf clubs will be tossed in the trunk, too, although hitting the links will be secondary this trip. Nice of him to have me down. I’ve told him a couple of times of Ben Franklin’s admonition that guests, like fish, go bad in two days. But he seems unfazed by it so I’ll try to be a worthy houseguest. Reid, let me know about Thanksgiving down at Hilton Head. If you don’t think you can muster the trip down here, that is understandable but I’ll need to shift to Plan B mode. I am, however, really looking forward to you and Liz in Raleigh that first weekend in May. That’s not all that far away, pal.

Love, Dad

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