Category Archives: Writing to college students

Roll with the punches…

Ellen keeps sending photos of Henry, and I'll keep posting them. Reid is a really good photographer, and he needs to get off his keester and send some pics, too.

Every once in a while I wonder how things might be different were I a parent of kids just now in the collegiate swing of things.  When Ellen and Reid at least feigned burning the midnight oil back in the day at Butler U. in Indianapolis, social networks were still a gleam in the eye of  techies somewhere.  The controversial subject of “The Social Network” had yet to make his first penny, let alone his first billion.

Based on what I know now, I would roll with the punches.  As a seasoned texter, no doubt the three of us would text a lot.  We are all seasoned e-mailers but not with each other.  No way we would add to what already clogs our in-boxes.  Facebook is a non-factor for us, or at least not for me.  We call with some regularity (mostly on weekends) but we’re not the chattiest bunch ever made, except for Reid.  So we’re left with texting and letters to fill the informational-emotional gap.

To sound like a broken record, I’ve made my case in prior posts that letters fill an information gap for Ellen and Reid, can be read on their schedules, and are leisurely for me as the best 10 to 15 minutes of my week.  That would likely not change.  No time machine, however, will transport me to a bygone era to correct the many wrongs I’ve made in print over the years.  My hunch is that if it all went through the wash again, I’d fall into the same pattern; a gradual progression from occupying time to the sorts of things you see today.

So, yeah, I’d roll up my writing sleeves again.  And yeah, there are more options open today, but I’ll stick to my knitting.  And that would be words on paper.


We follow a different path today.  My friend Steve in Des Moines had his third ace this past week.  He’s the best golfer I’ve ever golfed with, bar-none.  It’s irritating to someone who’s never sniffed a hole-in-one, and I can’t resist rubbing it in.

October 4, 2010

Steve: I trust Oleson held you to a higher standard when it comes to post-Ace libations.  Hopefully you sprang for some aged Scotch or some such thing.  Hopefully Kenyon and Cox and Sam and others were able to partake in your generosity.  Your ongoing purchase of the club’s hole-in-one insurance is an annuity for some insurance salesperson.  I need to log onto the Register to see how many page views your Ace announcement made.  Hope their servers were able to keep up with the crush.  How is it you can routinely pile up aces and near aces and birdies and eagles when the rest of us can’t even sniff the cup when we’re already on the green?  Life just isn’t fair.

Just saw that our Steve A______-less Ryder Cup team got edged.  If you’d been there the score would’ve been something like 18 – 10 and you would’ve stifled those yappy Brits.  It’s probably the one thing Corey Pavin will take most of the gas on.

Have not played golf in a while, with one exception the weekend of September 18.  Other than that, the clubs have collected North Carolina airborne dust these last few months.  The bank has a three day holiday next Monday (thanks, Chris Columbus) and a couple of bank guys are trying to lure me to the course.

The job thing is wearing me out.  The theory was that I would use the time at the bank to look for other situations, and then along comes the extension to my FTE.  It was very much right out of the blue.  I’m glad of it because there are a few more weeks tacked on to my stay here and the new assignment, albeit temporary, has been at least interesting.  Not on the same plane as success as Allen Diversified Services but any port in a storm.  It’s a good thing since not much was happening under any of the stones I’ve overturned.

Today is the first time I’ve worn a non-suit coat/sports coat jacket since…since I can’t remember when.  We go from 100F to 60F in a matter of days.  Good for my tomato.

Now, what date are you and Jane tying the knot next year?  I need to get it on my jam-packed social calendar.  I know Oleson has already put it down in ink.  For his sake and your sake you’d best not schedule an evening wedding or the time slot opposite “Jeopardy” because you will force him to make a decision.  Too bad he was never a contestant.  That would give us an opportunity to critique him for a change in lieu of him lambasting some poor accountant because G.T.O. is the only one who knows some spurious answer to some obscure question.

I’m sorry the job situation derailed the pending trip to the Midwest and Des Moines.  If the current situation falls through – which it always can – I will likely try to make it up sometime in early December.  That is, if my blood isn’t overly thin from spending too much time in North Carolina.  By this writing, you should already have your fifth Ace.  Or would it be sixth Who’s counting at this juncture other that the rest of us who’ve never had one?


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Filed under College, Parenting, Writing to college students

Turn back the clock…

This is something I'd of never seen in the Midwest. Stopped the Harley on little-used SC-341 near Darlington, SC for this shot of cotton.

My guess is the first heady days of college life have gone poof for most kids.  Their lives have settled into a routine; study (their parents hope), eat, sleep, hang out with friends, and sure, party.   Okay, maybe those aren’t ranked in the right order.

By now, because they can’t stand the suspense of not knowing what’s going on, parents have initiated some sort of ‘how are you?’ contact.  That’s the typical formula.  Probably a mixture of emails and texts.  Schools might as well yank mailboxes because those will never see much use.  No, scrub that.  Then the credit card offers would never have a place to land.  But on further review, maybe yanking the mailboxes isn’t such a bad thing.

I’ve heard from a dozen people or so about my op-ed piece in the Charlotte Observer.  What a great idea, some say.  We should all do that, say others.   I don’t know.  Maybe my time, the time of correspondence, has truly gone by.  You can’t open up the newspaper these days without Google trumpeting a new something or other to make our lives even faster or more socially networked than they are now.  More efficient, too.  But we damn well can’t turn back the clock, that’s for sure.  I’m whining on a Monday morning.  Time for coffee.


Here is last week’s letter to Ellen and Reid.

September 7, 2010

Ellen/Reid: Reid, it was good to talk to you at length yesterday.  I like the way you think although I don’t pretend to understand but a small portion of your digital world.  This morning I’ll open up your emails and try to get through the web site stuff.  I really appreciate your help.  By this weekend most of the heavy lifting copy-wise should be finished.  And be sure to send at least cell phone pix of your new bachelor digs.  There’s something about privacy that you just can’t beat.  You shouldn’t be concerned at all that you don’t live in what others perceive as the tony section of Chicago.  It’s all about what makes you tick, not them.

So today was your first day in the classroom, Ellen.  Will be anxious to get the lowdown on your first week with the kids.  No doubt you will be a smash hit just like you always have been.  Good to get back in the whirl of teaching.  That is your realm.  Your weekend had to be lively and exciting what with Tim’s brother in town.

I overlooked a good Bubba story last week.  When Felicia and I were out west – out in western North Carolina – we were fishing a little stream on Saturday morning.  I was several yards out front working my way up the pools when I turned around to see where she was and she was frantically motioning me to hurriedly get back to her.  Maybe I’d come a little too close with a fly or something.  But her anxiety was real: we had a visitor.  It seems a local Good ‘Ol Boy, shirtless and maybe toothless and his backwoods element, had been spying on us from the bank.  Felicia had spotted him peering through the underbrush.  My guess is he was eyeing her instead of me, but it was fairly unnerving.  I never saw him, but a local confirmed later that Bubba was a little out of kilter.  All we could think about was Deliverance all over again.  We got out of there real fast.

Nothing new to report on the job front.  In a few week’s time I’ll be done here.  Already I’ve packed up most of my personal belongings and my cube is nearly barren of all but bank paperwork.  I’ve been taking stock of the past few years here, trying to make sense of what has unfolded (as opposed to unraveled).  I think I was a square peg in a round-holed world.  In the strictest sense, banking was simply not my cup of tea.  Now it’s on to whatever it is that lies ahead of me.  Fleishman-Hillard is a possibility but only as a contractor.  Better than nothing and it is in my wheelhouse.  The Charlotte Observer has approached me to write a regular column on senior housing issues – hey, I’m a senior – but it will hardly pay the bills.  But that’s where your help on the web site will come in handy, Reid.  I really appreciate you pulling all that stuff together and I’ll get at it this morning.  You’ve in essence dragged me kicking and screaming into the new world.  It will be a slow build but will be interesting if not fun.

Kind of a slow weekend in these parts.  Rode through Asheboro, NC and up to Winston-Salem to the Harley dealer.  Only then did we realize we’d already been to that dealer.  A pair of idiots.  It was a true senior moment.  The other high point was staining the front deck with some sort of water-proofing compound.  Big whoop.  The tomato plant, however, has made a resurgence in the face of my best efforts to neglect it.  There are fruits on the vine although the orbs are size-challenged.

This time next week I’ll be in Idaho with Bob and Dave.  I’m somewhat anxious about the trip because it is going against my grain.  That is, hold fast to the home front to keep plugging away for a job.  But has Bob has hammered into me time and again, things can wait.  Ready to see the Real West again even in the face of angst.  FYI…I will likely head to Nebraska to help your uncle Ralph tie things up relative to the home and to see mom in Grand Island.  There may even be side trips to St. Paul and Chicago, so watch out.  Keep your cell phones charged and ready for a call.

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Filed under College, Contact, Correspondence, Mailing, Parenting, Writing to college students

Finally, 100…

Look no further for the reason behind nearly 10 years of letters...Ellen, her hubby Tim, and Reid.

Today’s post is the 100th since this blog debuted last January 27th.   You’ll be spared any additional over-the-top celebration.   Finally, 100 posts.   One would think I’d run out of things to say.

For those of you who are regular visitors, thank you for sticking with me.  You’ve seen a campaign about weekly letters that began as a way to momentarily occupy Ellen and Reid’s time in college.  But since those carefree days, the tone, voice and demeanor of the letters has changed.  Lighthearted reports on joys and home life have given way to stark realities of adult life; wins and losses, disappointments and heartaches, anxieties and doubts.  As the kids have matured, so too has what they read.

I’d ask you for a few favors.

1) If you are a regular reader of these pages, keep doing so.  Thank you.

2) If you know someone with college age children or children who have flown the parental coop, forward my URL to them.  Perhaps they’ll find an outlet for their need to stay connected.

3) I’d like somehow to reach college advisors who wrestle with how to cope with or break the loneliness so many students feel.  Maybe letters are one way to help.  I’d like to reach professors of writing, too.  But I don’t know how to reach the upper echelons of college administrators.

4) I struggle with overall promotion of this blog, so if you have ideas to spread the word about this blog, I’m all ears.

5) A wholesale revision of my book – the new title is under wraps – is underway.  I’ll keep you posted on progress.

But thanks again for reading my thrice weekly foolishness.  I believe wholeheartedly in the idea of written communication.  Hopefully, if and when this reaches a 200th post, you’ll continue to agree with that assessment, too.


Here is last week’s letter to Ellen and Reid.

August 23, 2010

Ellen/Reid: As with subtitles that assure viewers in films that show animals in danger (‘no fish were harmed during the creation of this fishing film’) that was precisely the end result during the course of this past weekend’s trip to westernmost North Carolina.  Rather than dine on fresh rainbows or brookies, Felicia and I instead cooked limp pasta and ate at a funky Mexican place.  It is more proof that I simply don’t know how to cast a fly.  I whipped the water to a froth and the only fish that took the bait were apparently slow on the uptake or had some sort of fish-related learning disability.  The big ones were underwater, laughing.

Saw one of the prettiest streams I’ve ever fished, and if I hadn’t been such a ham-handed klutz in terms of presentation of a fly, I might have actually caught something.  The biggest fish was about 7 inches, hardly enough to keep.  But it was an upgrade from the week before.  At least the catch this weekend was measured in inches and not millimeters.

But it was still fun.  That part of Carolina – almost to Georgia and not too far from Tennessee – is a world apart.  Lots of trailers and the people really do live closely with the land.  We saw some traps and such, and people fish for sustenance, at least in my view.  The streams and rivers get worked pretty hard.  Lots of rafting on the Nantahala (sp?) and a nice river.  It rained hard the last night and that roiled the water beyond fishability.

Now it’s back to the job search.  Sent many letters out last week to local real estate and other companies in the hopes of landing content-related freelance work which is in my wheelhouse.  So many web sites are devoid of true consumer-oriented information.  That might be where I could lend a hand.  I do have my first client – an old friend of mine from Meredith days hired me to do content for he and his wife who are good producers for a real estate company out in the Bay Area of San Francisco.  It won’t be much but the activity around it keeps me eager to do that sort of work.  Who knows, perhaps I can parlay that into other work.  We’ll see.  Literally, there hasn’t been a single feeler from the scads of resumes sent out on so-called Internet job posting services.  Honestly, it will be work in the trenches.  We’ll see how it goes.

Bless Jane H__________’s heart, she is persistent in wanting me to join Dave and Bob F. for a guy’s golf weekend in Idaho in about three weeks time.  It’s a celebration of sorts for Dave.  She’s trying to pick up all the tab, but that’s not going to work for me.  I’d feel too guilty about leaving my post just when I ought to be looking for paying work.  It kills me not to see the guys again, especially after four years, but this just doesn’t feel like the time to be running off and having fun.  Bob is really working me, too, but in a good way.  His most recent text reminded me that the job search would still be there when I got back.  I feel a little bit of a shift, but the guilt would just be overriding for me.

Have to get ready this week for a presentation to the Main Street shop owners in _______, South Carolina.  The street is nearly absent of any business, and the owners appear to dicker about how to attract more business.  What they need to do is spiff up the area and begin to do some group promotion.  The tough part is the Main Street is not one you automatically drive on as you cruise through town.  You have to purposefully turn onto it.  It’s a highly spec job but who knows what it might lead to.

Hey, off to the coffee shop to plot my day’s activities.  You guys be good, keep in touch, and let me know how your worlds are rotating.

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Filed under Adult Children, Archiving, College, Contact, Correspondence, Family, Parenting, Writing to adult children, Writing to college students

The Mindset List…

Speaking of incoming students, here's Ellen's second grade classroom in St. Paul, MN. Almost all her incoming little ones are immigrant children.

Beloit College in Wisconsin does a cool thing every year that earns it tons of media coverage; it publishes a Mindset List to remind faculty and staff that incoming freshman have a different take on the world. Profs, therefore, need to take the chiefly age-related differences into account as they teach lest students go glassy-eyed.  The hope is to keep classes relevant and therefore stimulating.

For example, don’t inject Dan Quayle into lectures because students won’t know (or care) who he is.  Rodney King?  Who’s that?  Omit from technology classes that phones once had cords.  Few profs realize few students are in the dark about U.S.-Soviet cold war tensions (how do you stay mad at a nation when you lived side by side in the space station?).   Kids view the computers we used as museum relics.  Or that Clint Eastwood was once best known as Dirty Harry, not a director renown these days for artistic films.  Students are used to lickety split in TV, media, social contact.  In other words, they have bypassed all that was familiar to the rest of us.  What’s old will remain old.

But I found one item on the list to be reassuring.  Jessica, an incoming frosh, disagreed that her generation never writes in longhand.  “When I have time, I like writing letters to friends and family,” she said.  “It’s just a bit more personal.  And yes, I write in cursive.”  Hey, kid, your grade for the year: A+.


As it’s Wednesday, we’ll pull this letter from the long-ago archieves when the only aim was to keep Ellen and Reid entertained and occupied briefly while they were in college.

August 22, 2004

EB and Reid:

We had a great weekend.  You guys weren’t here!  Get it?  You guys weren’t here.

In a couple of weeks, people will ask us ‘what artistic or thought-provoking movies have you seen lately?  Sense and Sensability?  Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress?  The Living Sea?”  “No,” we’ll respond, “the only one we’ve seen is March of the Penguins.”  That’s the best we can do is watch a film where furry little birds trudge 70 miles to huddle in -80 degree temperatures and the three year old RIGHT NEXT TO US says ‘what’s wrong with the bird, mommy’ or ‘I haveta go pee-pee’?  Hey kid, so hold it already.

Actually, we spent the rest of the weekend moaning about how sore our hips were from the backpacking trip.  Geez, we’re just getting old.  And when I mention that to your mom she jumps all over me, “You’re only as old as you think you are.”  Yeah, well I may think I’m young but my hips think I’m old and decrepit.

Ellen, skip this paragraph because it doesn’t pertain to you.  Reid, Nick ________ went to one of his summer school finals ON THE WRONG DAY and subsequently failed his conditional status situation at Iowa State.  Now it’s on to DMACC for at least the next semester.  Make sure you have a calendar.

Nonnie was supposed to come over for dinner last night but she opted out because they were having a good meal over at the retirement home.  Our voice mail for her shouldn’t have told her we were having chicken tenders and fries.  I’ll have to try that again.

Went on the Harley for about 100 yesterday, and 300 on Thursday.  Bike’s runnin’ good but still can’t attach my bags until the parts come in.  A vandal stepped on my rear pegs and broke them off, and the bags share the same attachments.  Reid, pawned one of your medium sized Harley shirts off on Louis across the street.  He was in Hog Heaven.  The _______’s went through Sturgis while on vacation and all bought rally t-shirts.

We went to Wakonda for a pool party Friday night, and when the DJ started, your mom was insistent that we dance, so we danced.  There are two things I can’t stand to do.  One is sing, the other is dance.  So when we left, I’m literally wobbling up the stairs and the ________ come up to see if I’ve had too much to drink and do we need a cab.  That’s how bad the ankles have gotten.  That’s when she started all over again on the ‘you’re only as old…’  Can it, honey.

Well, that’s about enough pontification for now.  EB, you’d better draft a note to parents alerting them to the dangers of sticking tongues on cold playground bars or that ‘we strongly advise parents to encourage their children to walk on the playground because running on loose gravel could result in injuries’.

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Filed under Adult Children, College, Contact, Correspondence, Technology, Writing to college students

A psychological holdover…

Reid at the wheel of his boat in northern Minnesota. A bunch of his buddies from Des Moines joined him for the week. Long time friends and good kids.

It was about this time roughly 10 years ago when I spun around at my chair and wrote the first letter to Ellen.  It was the day after she walked through the door of her dorm as a freshly minted college freshman.

To this day I am still not altogether certain why I made a 180 degree turn from my desk to face my clunky Gateway PC and start typing away.  I’ve thought about the ‘why’ a lot over the years and still don’t have a ready answer.  It just happened.  I don’t remember what was written.  The letter was not saved.

In the first ill-fated draft of my book (then titled Weight of a Single Page) I theorized that the first letter to Ellen was a psychological holdover from my days at the University of Nebraska.   Every single day, without fail, I would purposefully glance at the slim aluminum mailboxes at what passed for a dormitory ‘communications’ center (augmented by a pay phone that cost a dime).  There was never, ever, a letter for me.  Nothing.  Even junk mail and credit card come-ons – still years away from flooding college in-boxes – would’ve been a welcome sight to my lonely eyes.  Deep down was some apparent determination to not let the same fate befall her.

So this week is an anniversary of sorts.  We’ll let Ellen and Reid decide if what they’ve received week in and week out over the years is indeed worth a celebration.


August 9, 2010

Ellen/Reid: Not much new on the job front these days.  Things have essentially ground to a halt inside the bank and now it’s on to other pastures.  I drive to Raleigh first thing tomorrow for an interview with __________.  Not very apprehensive about it having been in an agency setting before.  As you know, Reid, the agency is all about being vocal and making/supporting your own case and hope I get the chance to do just that.

Was going over and rearranging my portfolio last night to prep for the trip, and it isn’t looking too bad.  A.P., WSJ, Christian Science Monitor, Meredith, lots of marketing pieces, etc.  So some parts of the puzzle are in place.  My friend Jim in Des Moines gave me a caution about folks in our age group (60+) who’ve had trouble landing work or being taken seriously.  I’ll stick to my guns in terms of what I know best in terms of writing/thinking for the customer.  We’ll let the chips fall where they may.

Looks like my writing class at the local community college is a green-light ‘go.’  Signed up as the instructor last week so I guess there’s no turning back.  I’m really excited about the possibility and already have been working on writing exercises and class structure and the like.  Ellen, I wish I had your teaching credentials and you can feel free to give me a few pointers.  My instinct is that we’ll work on basics, basics, basics.  Since most of the students will want to get to blogging ASAP, we’ll hammer at organization of content and writing skills.  I will be death on any corporate language in the event there are adults that come from a corporate background.  Words like ‘engage’, ‘metrics’ and the like will be banned.

I’ve hung up the golf clubs on a hook in the garage.  Stop me if I’ve told you this before, but they are literally hanging by a hook and will stay there until something meaningful comes across my plate.  Totally comfortable with that decision.  I wasn’t playing worth a damn anyway.

There’s one less house on the market in my neighborhood.  The unit that sits diagonally across from me just sold this past week and the young couple was outside yesterday fiddling around and grooming the place.  They’re a nice pair.  Hard to believe the unit was unoccupied for almost two full years.  Other town homes though have been popping up on the market all throughout the complex.  Not a very good sign for real estate in Charlotte.  My little neck of the woods has a lot going for it but units just aren’t moving very well.  Totally a buyer’s market.

Reid, any suggestions for the blog are welcome.  Traffic is okay but I wouldn’t mind having more subscribers.  A pretty faithful bunch but it would be nice to have a few more regulars on the site.  I’ll post my 100th post here in the next two weeks.  Thinking of scaling it back to twice a week.  If you guys have thoughts on that, let me know.

I have made a U-turn on the book and am going to revisit it entirely.  My friends Julie and Jennifer were spot on with their critiques about it; i.e. more emotion and less lecture.  The title is new, too.  Really, if either of you have thoughts, let me know.  I’d welcome you guns working on some sort of chapter or preamble that would be included.

Well, it’s off to York, SC for an interview within the hour.  I’ll keep you posted.  Hope northern Minnesota was good and that the mosquitoes were smaller than normal.  I know they weren’t any smaller in number.

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A royal mess…

By this point it was all to be so simple.

This blog would get back to its very roots: the whys and wherefores and joys of letters.  For months I looked forward to precisely this time of summer to kick off a big push for written pages.  The 80+ posts since January of this year were part of a concerted build up to lead parents to mount a campaign to write to their children in college.  And if their kids were already out of school, it was okay to keep writing, too.

The blueprint was to encourage you to tip off parents that this blog might help pave their way toward some week-to-week non-electronic contact with their studious children.  In post after post they’d get the inside scoop that took me so long to learn the hard way; how to start, what to say, how to organize thoughts, etc.  Moms and dads would rally to the cause and all but abandon their Blackberrys and iPhones as they warmed – quickly – to the idea that words on paper, once abandoned as passe and hopelessly old school, was a concept whose appeal and effectiveness has come full circle.

But my situation made a royal mess of those plans.  My attention instead remains fixed on the here and now.  It has to be.  I wonder this morning how Ellen and Reid will take to all of this sour news.  As it is, I’ll meander to my college origins in the not-so-distant future, but not at this instant.  If – not when – my job search ends, then it will be Katy bar the door.


Another Wednesday.  Another old letter.

October 11, 2004

EB and Reid:

First, news on the Scooter front.  He was pretty lively this morning compared to the past couple of days.  Not quite his old self, but he’s eating some prescription canned food like there’s no tomorrow and he was running out in the backyard when I let him out an hour ago.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  But it was good to see him romping again, even if it was for only a few feet.  He was back to eating peas and TP, too.

Our weekend was pretty good.  Had Holly and Dana over Saturday night for dinner.  We all sat around the firepit bundled up in our fleeces and sleeping bags.  It was fun.  Dana need to down a bit of wine and laugh after his dad passed away a few days ago.  That firepit is really great.  We burned those old chairs from the original dining room set at the old house.  The _________’s thought it was funny to burn furniture and wondered if the couch was next.

Played golf Saturday, but there’s no need to bring up the ugly part of the weekend.  Man, Nebraska really got thumped by Texas Tech, 70-10.  Worst loss in Nebraska history.  I’d give your uncle a call but I want him to cool off for a few days before taking his pulse on things.  He’ll be cranky, no doubt.

Went out for about 200 miles yesterday with Scott _______.  The leaves and stuff were great and the Softail ran good.  Also went fishing in a farm pond with Mark __________, and caught a ton of huge crappies and bass.  When is the last time I fished in a farm pond?  Never, I think.  The cows in the field came on down to check us out and licked the road salt off Mark’s SUV.  They left a lot of ‘calling cards’ around his car that we had to be careful not to step in.

Off to NY later this week.  Then on to Chicago for the weekend with your mom and hopefully you guys.  What the heck is “Reading Break”?  Isn’t that just an excuse to get out of school and goof off?  Sounds like fun, if you ask me.

You guys can’t believe how clean the house is.  Your mom has been on a cleaning tear, vacuuming everything in sight and straightening out what was once cluttered.  She even vacuumed the closets.  That’s going a bit too far.  The woman has gone off the deep end.  Be sure to ask her about the new cabinet doors in the kitchen.  Ask her about the measurements.

Lots of work these days on the writing front.  My writer’s bloc has subsided a bit.  The trip to Oregon must’ve really sapped me because I was just flat-out tired for a couple of weeks.  Now I’m in the groove a little bit.  Emphasis on little.

Someone stuck a Bush/Chaney sign in the yard Saturday night.  I threw it in the street.  If it was paper, I would’ve used it to wipe.

Well, enough for now.  Gotta go.  You guys be good and I hope to see you in the Windy City.

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