Wednesday, October 21, 2009


A little more Mom today. I just made goulash in Mom's fry pan and cooked the macaroni in her saucepan. I probably put more red pepper flakes in it than she wanted but she just smiled and had another bite. After all, it was free and she doesn't have to worry about chloresterol anymore. (That's weird; the spellchecker doesn't like "chloresterol" so I checked myself.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

bookending the day with thoughts of Mom

Most days, I go for a walk and my usual path is the loop up around Pine Hill Drive and Fraternity Row. Sometimes my path is clockwise and sometimes counter-clockwise. I occasionally meet Elizabeth Gulacsy who lives on Pine Hill Drive and goes for early morning walks with her dog Duna (Danube, in Hungarian). Since the Uni-Mart was out of unfiltered Camels, I thought I'd take this morning's walk down to the Mobil to see if they could supply my habit.

We were getting a beautiful snow shower as I started out on my walk to the Mobil. There were spots of sunshine, especially beautiful on the northern hills as I passed the Alfred State horticulture facility. The Mobil did have my cigarettes and as I passed the road up into the cemetery, it beckoned me. I walked in to Mom and Dad's gravestone and thought of them, and Uncle K and Aunt Ahvy and many others who are memorialized there. Our folks and K and Ahv so nicely surround Aunt Roberta. It wasn't particularly heavy or solemn but more like comforting to have the spirits with me.

The day progressed rather like many: a couple errands, a visit to the Box of Books, a visit to the campus store to pick up my Times, email, an hour of ARTstor cataloging, other online work.

Just as I was about ready to get something to eat for supper, Doug stopped by to say he was going to fetch someone to look at the old fridge out behind the garage. I don't know how that went but I fixed some food and then did the dishes. Mom could never understand how many suds I used. I still haven't figured out quite the right amount and I was rather drowning in suds. Well, not really drowning but there were still plenty when the last plastics had been washed for recycling. Since I rinse my dishes as I use them and then do the dishes every few days, there aren't a lot of them with lots of detritus for washing. Oh, well, it was probably Mom's thriftiness more than a sense of green but it doesn't matter.

I am glad to report that I am not haunted by morose thoughts as I meander around the house and the village.

As I contemplated sharing these thoughts about starting and ending the day with thoughts of Mom, I realized that the 14th of October was drawing toward a close and tomorrow would be her 80th birthday. So happy birthday, Mom, and best wishes to all of us.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's been a while . . .

It has been a while since any of us posted anything here, but now there are fewer excuses NOT to do so. Sherm and I traveled to Queensbury (I almost started to type "Stephentown" even now) a week and a half ago, and took Bert's new MacBook to her. We installed Microsoft Office Suite and Firefox browser and an external back-up drive, and helped her choose and install a printer. She proved herself to be a quick learner on how to operate the new machines, which replace an old desktop that preferred to freeze, rather than operate effectively. We trust and hope that this will mean we'll be in more frequent contact, although I am calling more often than I used to, anyway. We trust she'll be able to stay in better touch with Mike and Sue, now that they've moved to Two Rivers, Alaska. We regret that we didn't get to see Kim and Brian, but hope to do so next time.
When I took Ian to Dr. Taggart, who has had several sessions with him since he was depressed last February, she handed me a letter she received from Jessie A. Hanes at Greater Binghamton Health Center , stating "Our Health Information Management Department received your request regarding the above-named individual [Chester Smedley Clarke]. We have made a thorough search in our State Archives and it appears that Mr. Clarke's records were destroyed by the Willard State Hospital. In the early 1900[s] there were no requirements that facilities save medical records. We are sorry we cannot be of more assistance at this time." This might seem to be the final word on the subject, but I notice that they list his date of birth as Unknown and Social Security Number as 10/23/1925, which was his date of death, so it's possible they missed something, however unlikely.
I was very concerned about our dog, Nicky, last week, as she seemed to be in a lot of pain, and initial concerns were regarding a relapse of whipworms for which she'd been treated when Mike and Sue passed through on their way north. Mention was also made of kidney or other problems, but now the best evidence suggests she just has arthritis, so we've begun treating her with steroids and "Glycoflex".
Ian went to his first school dance last Friday, and had a great time. He's also enjoyed medieval club fighting, and Science and English classes this year, although he continues to ask to be home-schooled. We're still looking into this, but don't know if it would be best for him, or not.
I could write more, but should probably get back to doing stuff around the house, so look for another installment later . . .