Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas plans

Hey Folks,
I just finished paying Dad's bills, and am relieved to tell you that he has abandoned plans to go to Jill's wedding and see Ethel over the Christmas holiday. He had looked into flights and even talked about taking a bus and had said it was important to him to get to Jill's wedding because she seemed to be the one who most appreciated him. But then he called Bob Edwards, who told him that Ethel is not conversing much at all and would not be at the wedding. He offered to have Dad stay with them if he came at a later time, but gave his assent to Dad not making the trip now, so Dad will write a nice letter to Jill and stay here for the holiday. So, does that mean you, Carol and Barb, may haul him off to Branchport for a couple days? Just a thought. I've got lots more thoughts but wanted to get these posted now, then I'm off to mail bills, take stuff to the transfer station, hang a wreath at the church and clean it up for the weekend, etc. Then maybe I'll get to go to Keeney Swamp (in Birdsall) to see a native balsam fir stand (before the snow starts coming) with Sean Phelan, who has just finished his radiation therapy and is hoping to get his strength back soon. Anybody know anyone who wants to buy an RV?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Home again

Well, Carol and I also made it safely home about 5:30 PM yesterday. We really enjoyed the weekend also. As you said, Doug, May went by too fast, and we were all so focused on finally haveing Dad back here. Berta, it was wonderful to bet the opportunity to get to know you better. Sherm, I still owe you a game of Trivial Pursuits. I might be a little beter there than at Monopoly.
By the way, I have to ask. I noticed a lot of whispering and dropped conversations. I guess that was probably about the talk we (you all) had with Dad. Was there anything that wasn't brought up when we all got together with him?? Doug I like your idea about dropping in on him. If one of my Mom's neighbors had done that, maybe we could have found out before she got so bad. I found out later that some of them knew something was wrong, but didn't feel right about letting me know. I am always amazed at how well he gets along. I'm glad that now that he can focus more on his own needs. Sounds like we may need to continue to remind him that he doesn't need to continue to feel responsible for others. Old habits die hard.
We're just relaxing today. I've been hogging the computer all day, (Doug, thanks for the link to the Hag page, and the link to get my g-mail account operational. Haven't done it yet, but I intend to very soon.), but Carol can take over when I go to chorus rehersal tonight. She's been sorting mail and catching us up on other things.
Guess that's 'bout enough for now. I'm hoping this will become an active site. It feels good to be able to talk to everyone at once.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Jiggety jog

Hello folks,
It is good to be home again, home again, jiggety jog.

Sherm was saying something this weekend suggesting that perhaps "Middle Age Maelstrom" wasn't appropriate, so I suggested "Late Life Lyceum". Bert said something about Maturity, I think, but I can't remember exactly what she said, which I guess proves Sherm's point. Anyway, if someone has a "better" name, please pass it on. M.M.M. was what I was calling the website I was setting up for myself a year or two ago and I had thought it would work for this because I was thinking of us all being in middle life, but maybe I 'm just bring up the rear, as usual........

We got Dad home and I talked a bit with him about going to see him most days, probably around the lunch hour, so we can be sure he's ok and so I can do some sorting of papers and help him with whatever needs doing around there.

It was satisfying (to me, at least -- if you differ, please say so) to get together -- it seemed like a long time, I guess because the gathering in May seemed to go briskly along. I've spent the morning trying to catch up with myself but since the weather is warm, I better get some things done outside that I've been putting off until things dried out a bit.

I'll rejoin you later....


new dashboard

just wanted you to know that after i posted that little "glad to share" message, i updated to the new blogger software (part of the google empire). i had been trying to figure out how to get clarkety on my existing dashboard and couldn't. now, i've got it on my new blog-via-google (too many g's?) dashboard. ever onward!!


not in beirut but amazing

siblings and all--
it was such fun to share nina katchadourian's show at the tang museum with you, along with the drawings on the first floor and the meals and talks and games of monopoly. my bus trip was fine, and i was in the apartment at about 10 p.m.

now, i'm sitting at my office desk and avoiding doing "real" email while i cavort in blogland.

hope you had a good ride home, or are having a good time getting ready to get on the road.


Friday, November 24, 2006

so i'm finally here

Doug and other middleagists!!
Guess what. I finally got here, with Doug at my shoulder, on Bert's electricity but Doug's machine. I have to go back and read that letter that Doug sent me all that time ago.
Ever onward, but later.......

Friday, November 10, 2006


OK, Doug. I'm here. Now I just have to find out how to use it, create a profile and all that good stuff.

First Entry

I thought I'd set up a blog so we can post thoughts or annual letters or seasonal greetings or gripes or things we should discuss as a family, or whatever, and then anyone (of us -- as administrator, I can pick who can see or write to the blog, so let me know if we should add or whatever) can post comments at any time. I also thought I might set one up for cousins and such, as kind of a concentric circle.

As an introductory subject, I thought I would maybe talk about the recent elections or recent events in family life.............

It is so good to get Dad back to New York state. I had worried about him but hadn't found ways to break through so I could feel that I was helping him. I felt uncertain about talking on the phone because someone might pick up the other receiver, and didn't know if letters would get read, so I just tried calling and talking with him when it seemed like a good time. That was not often enough.

I knew he was being expected (by himself if not by others) to do more than was reasonable for him, and that he was very insulated and isolated there on Swamp Fox Drive. I was just glad that he got things worked out in his mind and with Ethel's family so that he could come home.

I hate that we didn't get things cleared up so he could have the house (33 S. Main) really to himself, but plan to get our papers and other things cleared up by the time he gets back to Alfred from Bert's. Part of the problem is that, although we got a lot of work done at our house, we still don't have places for lots of things, so things tend to stay scattered, including some of them being at 33.

I also hope that he and Bert are having lots of good time together, and that it's not too much for Bert. I know that they, being newly single, probably have things in common to talk about. But I may be making too much of that. Anyway, I hope that my perspective -- which is that Dad and Bert have always had a unique understanding of each other -- is correct and that my arranging for Dad to go out for a month is regarded as a good idea by the two of them.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Thanksgiving time. We took some of our organic chickens when I took Dad to Bert's, so they're in Bert's freezer. I know others have talked about food of various sorts and Sherm talked about a field trip, so those things could be posted here.

Meanwhile, please let me know if you received that letter from Dad's uncle Clarence Clarke to Dad's mother, Agnes, regarding Ford Clarke's recovery from tuberculosis and his compulsion to be involved in so many community activities that Clarence and others were worried that he'd wear himself out. If not, I thought I'd see if I can post it either here or at Facebook, so you can read it. It tells a great deal about why Dad is the way he is, even though he never had a chance to learn such things from his father -- the tendencies had to be inherited, somehow.

More on that later.