The dog days of summer and a lethargic effort …

Fishermen know them as the dog days of summer, that hot spell period during a sweltering August when the water is too hot, the fish too lethargic and the beer too warm.

Letter creation might suffer a similar seasonal fate. It was everything I could do to get last week’s single page out the door after letting the prior week’s letter slide altogether. I can’t recall another such energy-less stretch of weeks in the 15 years of writing to the kids.

To play on the fishing analogy, perhaps my beer was too warm. We’ll never know.

August 22, 2016

Ellen/Reid: I’m not sure what I was thinking, but for some reason there was no letter last week; you each got an envelope, but nothing was written. It would be easy to dismiss it as an age thing but it’s likely that I’m just plain addled.

Spent a chunk of the week in Myrtle Beach. It’s a nicer place than a lot of us give it credit for. You just have to get away from the 3-for-$10 tee shirt stores and water slides and other goofy attractions. Once you get off the beaten path – Hwy. 17 – then it’s a much more civilized place. But man it was hot and humid. It just drains your energy if you spend any appreciable amount of time outside. Walked over to the beach one morning about 6:30 with a  cup of coffee in hand and already there were thousands of people out strolling and looking for shells. The entire strip is something like 60 miles long and huge portions of it are wall-to-wall people and at 35-45 miles per hour, it can be daunting, and slow, to get from point A to point B. I broke my friend Kurt’s Loomis rod and will spend part of today looking at how to replace it. Ellen, I thought of calling Tim to see if he has any Loomis contacts that might take pity on me. Those are expensive rods.

The ceilings are now painted and looking good. Not sure if any more painting is necessary. Now it’s on to sealing the garage floor as well as the ever-constant battle against clutter. A relatively good job has been done on that score but there’s still a lot more stuff that can be jettisoned. I’m a little concerned


I didn’t invent bland living rooms, but I’ve apparently perfected hum-drum decor.

about the lackluster downstairs living room since there’s not a lot of art on the massive blank walls but it is what it is. I’m trying to complete at least one house-related thing every day. Ellen, you mentioned staging ideas so I’m all ears.

The Harley ad was in this morning’s paper. Since the Craig’s List effort went utterly belly up, we’ll just have to see how good, old fashioned newspaper ads work. If this doesn’t do the trick, and it will be in for about two weeks, it may well be that we’ll ride to the local H-D dealer to see what they’ll give me for it. It’s discouraging in that I thought the bike would sell rather quickly. There’s always Macs on Wednesday night since a ‘For sale’ sign can be put on the front windshield.

Reid, I’ve retooled, somewhat, the Pick Up Your Path blog. It’s a little bit better with more environmental news rather than just photos of trash. I’ll commit to a couple of posts a week and if you have any ideas to spiff it up a bit more, let me know. The goal is still to put the unit on the market in the next couple of weeks.

It’s probably not too soon to talk about who’s – me, most probably – going where for the holidays. The RCI condo is reserved for the week of Thanksgiving so that is one option. Ellen, you guys obviously won’t be going anywhere, and once you balance out the requests of the competing grandparents and in-laws, just let me know what works for you. I’ll be very flexible in that regard. I mean, it’s just a tough thing for both of you to decide at this stage of the game.

Been making a lot of pesto as of late and it’s been relatively good although there’s been no other pestos to try on a comparison basis. For once, I’ve gone strictly according to the recipe and perhaps that is the palpable difference. Years of fine basil crops have been squandered, however, in that little pesto was ever made. Why is that? I’ve also been on something of a risotto kick these last few weeks. Not sure how that came about but it’s good, too.


The four major food groups – bacon, home grown tomatoes, bread and beer – comprise a recent evening meal.

Several baseball size tomatoes are ready, so there are definitely BLTs in the very near future. Cooking for one gets old, however.

I was supposed to play golf this morning but that petered out. I was just beat from the weekend. The temps should moderate a bit this week which won’t ding my A/C bill quite so much.

Love, Dad


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