Cousin Tom, Pine Needles and apologies to Jackson Pollack …

There was a lot to relate last week to Ellen and Reid; the week was fuller than most. It was hard to confine things to the normal single page and for a few – few – brief moments it occurred to me to stretch the narrative out to a second page. That would have been the first multi-page missive in 15 years of letter writing.

But I stuck to tradition and jammed it all into 709 words – and two envelopes.

March 7, 2016

Ellen/Reid: While you two were no doubt snoozing on Sunday morning, I was out the door at 5:00 a.m. to meet cousin Tom at the Charlotte airport. He was taking the red eye from Portland to Washington, D.C. and we happened to be his layover. After landing at 6:00, he walked out through security and into the concourse and we found a seat to sit down and chat for about half an hour.


My cousin Tom Andersen from Salem, OR. Great guy who, as a city councilman, has upheld the progressive ideals of the Andersen/Bradley clans.

It was great to catch up on both sides of our extended families. Tom is on the city council in Salem, OR and he was on his way to some sort of municipal government meeting in D.C. His son Eli is in med school, and his other son Ben is about to present Tom a third grandchild.

Later in the day hopped over to Pinehurst with my friends Christie and Doug to golf at Pine Needles, one of the more reputable courses over there. It was fun but my game stunk, as it often does these days. It made for a long day and I hit the sack earlier than normal, if that’s possible.

Miss Emma and I hit the water early tomorrow for another down-and-back excursion. The high will be in the low 70s in Charleston and I just want to get out on the water. No telling what, if anything, will bite since the recent warm spell won’t have been sufficient to raise the water temps all that much to spread the fish out. Our destination will be the barge since it’s the one place I feel even marginally comfortable/confident in what I’m doing even though we are at the complete mercy of the tides.

The new furniture of the first floor living room will arrive a piece here and a piece there over the next couple of weeks. If anything it solidifies my stay in these parts. The salesman and I went around and around for a couple of hours and it’s all in all a pretty good deal. It’ll be nice to have the room finished out and somewhat cozier. Literally, I have never spent any time down there.

Your mom has given me some advice and counsel about how to paint. There’s an enormous vacant space on the wall above the first floor fireplace that needs filling, and I want to try my inner Jackson Pollack on a big 6’x6’ canvas even though I have not a smidgen of artistic talent or experience. She suggested a few things that will be helpful. The garage floor will be vacated of most stuff and the flinging of paint will commence. And if it doesn’t work out, well, what the hell. At least I gave it the old college try. If it flops, the canvas can always double as a drop cloth.

Well, this time next week, I’ll be totally on my own in terms of finances. My severance from the bank runs dry and it’ll be time to lean on the investments. I don’t mind saying that they’ve shrunk along with the stock market but that’s to be expected. The burners may be turned on for a part time job and I’m fine with that although there is no clue whatsoever as to what that might be. All part of the retirement adventure, I suppose.

I’ve got to bop over to the Social Security office to make sure things are buttoned up. I’m still a Medicare neophyte and need to button up some of the details on that.

The lettuce that was to be planted last week still languishes in seed packets in the garage. The plan remains to poke holes in the garden pots sometime this week since the temps will be germination-friendly. Most romaine and arugula which has emerged as my fav. The arugula is outstanding in a reduction sauce of heavy cream. Remember that sauce book you got me years ago that has been collecting dust? I’ve wiped the grime off and have actually started to use the thing. So your gift hasn’t gone entirely to waste.

Ellen, here’s your check for yoga pants. Do a couple of Down Dogs for your old man. I need it more than you do.

Love, Dad


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