A reflection on things you’ll never read …


From time time to time I take a little gas about wearing too much on my sleeve in the weekly letters to the kids. ‘Why do you tell people so much?’ is a query that has made the rounds.

But there’s a fair amount you don’t, and won’t, see and read. Highly personal thoughts are routinely wiped clean from the blog; granted, I accept that this space is a public forum but untold numbers of passages never make it beyond the letters. I post what is mailed to Ellen and Reid because I think letters are a wholly worthwhile, and completely underutilized, form of expression. Over the past 15 years years the nature of the letters has evolved from filling Ellen and Reid’s college mailboxes to a running narrative and reflection on how a mobile life from Iowa to North Carolina (not to mention their situations in Minnesota and Illinois) is changing before our eyes. As I bare more to them, there’s somewhat less to share with you. As they know, in a lot of ways it’s far easier for me to write what I think, feel and experience than it is to say those things aloud. My two are my sounding board.

So it is that entire paragraphs are removed last week’s letter. As Reid and I drove back to Charlotte after Thanksgiving in Hilton Head, we talked of what is ahead. He heard about it in person. Ellen had to wait for what arrived in her St. Paul mailbox.

———————–

November 30, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Ellen, Reid prompted me more than once this week to put Thanksgiving 2016 on the calendar for St. Paul. That doesn’t sound like altogether a bad thing. And Reid, it’s kind of funny that you are still upstairs sleeping as I write this. It’s been wonderful having you down here for a week. You needed the down time. There is a sense here that grad school is a stress, a good stress at that, but it’ll be over in short order and you can get on with the working world.

Reid got to meet close friends during his time in Charlotte (at Macs, of course). It's good for him to know the people in my life.

Reid got to meet close friends Doug, Christie and Sondra during his time in Charlotte (at Macs, of course). It’s good for him to know the people in my life.

So today will largely be about cars; removing whatever remains in the bowels of the ruined Camry, visiting with the GEICO guy about what happens now that the car is deemed ‘totaled,’ and talking to ‘Big Al’ at the Toyota dealer about a new car.

It was hard to drop Reid off at the airport. The letters close some of that distance, but not enough.

It was hard to drop Reid off at the airport. The letters close some of that distance, but not enough.

I’ll stick with a Camry since the last one was virtually problem free. I’m not much into car labels anyway. In my view a car is largely just a way to get from Point A to Point B. Plus I need wheels that make it easy to get the kayak on top.

It’s raining outside this morning which makes it a pretty good day to do the dirty work that lies ahead. Ellen, we need to talk about your plans for Christmas since I might well make a road trip in the new car. That would include a long overdue stop in Des Moines, too. But for now, it’s on to other things and, possibly, other places.

Love, Dad

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