A sea is parted and a writing class set to start …


There is great shame in some things. Make that many things.

While most can’t be mentioned (even to Ellen and Reid) some can: including pound upon untold pound of accumulated paper that never should have accumulated in the first place. It means less for them to eventually have to wade through and deal with. Not exactly a retiree’s dream task.

But on the bright side of the ledger, some writers are taking a gamble on my teaching skills.


January 11, 2016

Ellen/Reid: I am sitting amidst a sea of paper this morning. No, make that swimming in an ocean of paper; unread newspapers that piled up during the trip to Minnesota, circulars from the mailbox, tax material for this year’s IRS filing, unopened letters, et al.

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Hyper-embarrassing, yes, but this mountain of paper is already long gone. And does it ever feel good.

One of these days I’ve got to get organized. The coffee table is covered border to border with this flotsam. But it will give the retiree something to do this morning.

Ellen, I’ve got to hand it to you and Tim. Your household is hustle and bustle 24/7. My God, does Emma ever slow down? She hit the ground running early and kept on running. The rest of us should have such energy. You guys do such a good job with those little girls. And sweet Georgia has such a ready smile. She is so precious. Once the weather breaks there will be a return trip to help Tim with the garden and bring that Egg Smoker to him.

Reid, I’m wearing the new hat this morning. Thanks for sending it. And those Weather Tech floor mats might sound silly as a Christmas gift but they are the best thing ever. Immediately ordered was the trunk liner to match. (I hope it arrives before Thursday since Miss Emma and I will motor down, again, to Charleston. You’re right Reid, those mats will help contain the spillage from sloshing bait buckets on the floor of the front seat.) Ellen, let Tim know I found a float for the fish weigher thingie and hope to put it in action this week. The weather has turned colder and that may mean the fishing action has slowed but I’m still game to give it a shot.

Ellen, I’m just about done with All The Light We Cannot See. It’s very good and a relatively quick read. You will zoom through it in no time. There’s a movie about it in there somewhere. Once the third leg of Cormac McCarthy’s Southwest trilogy is done, that will be packed off for Tim. Your influence to sprinkle flax on cereal and such seems to be fine although the taste is a little weird and will need some getting used to.

Plans are coming together for the long trip the first week in February. I’ll keep you posted on those plans as they continue to come together. It should be a fun but exhausting week.

Talked to Mike Hill on Friday. He just wrapped up his final editing job for Ron Howard, In the Heart of the Sea. It’s really quite good but he said it came out at the same time as Star Wars which was bad for their box office results. Mike seems okay with retirement. At least he has one Oscar sitting on his mantle plus who knows how many nominations. The tough thing for him right now is a lung malady that has caused some issues over the past couple of years. His latest hurdle is recovery from a collapsed lung that doctors have reinflated. But no one is sure what the base cause of his ailment really is. He said the problem is very rare, but he has a lot of confidence in his doctors in Omaha. It was good to visit with him since it had been about a year.

Our weather is looking up a bit after being trashy for the better part of six weeks. The ground here is just sodden. The Bermuda grass is dormant so it doesn’t respirate any of the moisture out of the damp soil. It makes it tough to golf but my group is still playing every weekend.

I start to teach writing again at Central Piedmont Community College the week after next. There are already 14 students signed up for the class so I’d better get cracking on my syllabus. It’s already come together in my head. Now it is just a matter of installing it on paper. Really looking forward to the class. Also, woman I know has asked me to visit her book club for three evenings to lecture them about letters. If you don’t mind, some copies of what I send to you will be shared with the group. Nothing too salacious. Those poor women. They don’t know what’s about to hit them.

Love, Dad

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