Nov 22

Happy Thanksgiving

We didn’t make much, but we were left with plenty. And when it came time to consider all of the many things for which I am thankful, I made sure to tally the list twice, just to be sure. It left me with plenty.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and to your loved ones.

Nov 22

Thanksgiving Week

My lovely bride returned Saturday. The in-laws arrived safely yesterday. The front-end of holiday travel has been a success. We have a relaxed week ahead of us, which is the way Thanksgiving should be. Less hustle, more time for the small things, and the easy gratitude.

And, also, kitties.

Phoebe is thankful for this little pig mouse toy.

Poseidon is thankful for high perches.

And we are thankful for kitties.

Here’s the view from a high perch. This was the view from one part of the airport, when we picked up the folks. There’s an irregular feature of indoor winter shapes in this somewhere. It’s both symmetrical — you assume — and asymmetrical at the same time.

This evening we tried the inaugural use of our new miniature fire pit. I’m now teaching The Yankee how to start a fire.

She did NOT like it when she said “Every time I touch it I make it worse,” and I agreed. But! When I was eventually able to do it the right way, we had a fire.

I got in 30 miles on the bike yesterday. Just a few desert views.

For some reason, in the middle of this digital nowhere, there’s a dinosaur. He’s a statue. At least I think he’s a statue. He doesn’t seem to move.

What’s nice is the detail; even the road shows its imperfections. Also, my avatar reminds me to have some water. Look, he’s having a sip just now.

You’ve got to stay hydrated. A whole week’s worth of laid back festivities depends on it.

Tomorrow we’re going to a museum!

Sep 22

What do you know?

I was right.

Much like yesterday, this is also where we spent this afternoon.

I spent the morning at a bank, because somehow a simple task required the full morning. This is fun, though: the woman on the other side of the desk, is my step-cousin-twice-removed-in-law.

Yes, that’s a thing. I’ve just typed it into existence because there’s a chart and I have verified the information.

It reminds me of something a professor once said about hometowns and mobility. His general premise was that if you stay in that place, and your family is from there and you marry there, you’ll likely find yourself with someone in your own clan. Well, I’ve never lived here, but all of my people are from here and they married people. All it took, in this case, was finding out her husband’s name. That man’s grandfather was the brother of my step-grandfather’s grandfather. We’ve never met at reunions, the banker and her husband, but we know about the summer stews.

Small bank, smaller world.

Sep 22

Happy Labor Day

We had a short bike ride on Saturday morning, dodging raindrops until I couldn’t. I wanted to get in a quick 20 miles to reach the next round number for the year. (All of the records are falling this year!) And in the early going we went by this familiar corn field, which almost made it to Labor Day before turning.

And then, up the street and up a few hills, The Yankee was creating some big distance. See the little red dot on the side? I had to cover all of this ground to get her wheel again.

Eventually I did, and then we rode together for a while. She turned for the house and I added on a few more miles to get to that goal, and then found myself in the rain. It was foreshadowing.

We got in the car, pointed south and drove through every storm cloud that a third of this great nation can provide. My car hasn’t been this clean, nor my shoulders this tense in the car, in some time. This is just the beginning.

You know how, sometimes, you people stop under an overpass? When my wipers were going full blast and I was slowing down to about 35 on the freeway to let them keep up, it seemed like a good idea.

I always liked overpasses in the rain. That constant rattle on the roof interrupted, however briefly, by a bit of human engineering. It can be a sudden and stunning change, and then just as quickly, the rain returns, because the overpasses are only a few lanes wide. Sometimes you want more overpasses, I guess, if only to park under them.

We did not wait out the weather, but pushed on carefully through. And one of our rewards was this site.

You can almost see it there, but in the heartbeat before I took this photo, and those trees in the foreground crept in the way, you could actually see the place where the rainbow was hitting the ground. It wasn’t off in the distance, or beyond a hill. It was right there. I did not see the pots of gold, however. It is a busy interstate, maybe someone beat me to it.

We made it to my mom’s for a nice little vacation. We had dinner there Saturday night, and a quiet Sunday. Today my grandfather and a great-aunt and great-uncle came over for dinner. This was the first time I’ve seen my aunt and uncle since before the pandemic began. They were, and are, a hoot.

I could tell you stories, but it is a light week here, and you’d need to know them and hear them, anyway. But I will jot this down, just so I can remember it. Someone was telling a bit of a family story and my great-uncle didn’t hear who was the subject of the story. He said, “Who?” He heard the name. There’s a half beat where the name sinks in and you can see the gears readjusting to the new information. And then the man, who is in his 80s, giggled. It was him and them and perfect.

Jun 22

Happy anniversary to us

Take your time.

We were standing in the heat, in Savannah, where we’d taken our first trip, across the street from our tree and the place where we’d gotten engaged. Everyone was sitting outdoors on the hottest weekend of the summer — you shouldn’t reserve a space in August, I figured, because people would melt — so they melted for us in June, instead.

The story’s setting is really about the place and being our place, but the story is always told and remembered for the heat.

My uncle is standing beside me. He and I are waiting until The Yankee comes down the aisle on her father’s arm. She’s smiling to light up the world. I can see that smile even now.

We’re in front of everyone and, ever since, I’ve thought, it would have been nice to say something profound and special to her parents. How do you say in a whisper, in a moment, that you’re going to spend all of your time watching out for their daughter and trying to make her laugh? Not that she needs that, because she’s amazing. They know that, of course, because they raised her and watched her, and they were beaming with pride. That they were beaming with pride seems exactly why you should have that thing to say. I still kick myself for not being smart enough to figure that out, and not being cool enough to deliver in that moment.

My uncle delivers. He’s got this lovely little service, and it is just about perfect. I’ve heard him preach a little, but he’s a church singer. I can pick out his voice in a church full of singing people if I’m standing in the back of the room. He’s a good and kind and patient man, and, there, on such an important day, he was putting words to thoughts about what I’m supposed to do with all of my days to come. Almost all of our two small families are there to hear it, and the fullness of that remains as important as anything.

She says a part and tears up a little and I whisper something about taking her time. Like she needs this advice. This is one of the strongest, smartest people I know and this platitude is silly even as I say it, but there’s no rush here. Not really. It’s hot, sure, but there’s no rush. There is rushing aplenty in our lives, a lot of rushing that day even, but this is a moment to be empowered and encouraged and emboldened. Do it your way. The fans aren’t moving any air, anyway.

You may kiss your bride, and I did something funny and people giggled and then the ceremony was complete. We had a lovely dinner sitting at a long, long table. We took more photos, including this one, and the festivities continued long into the night.

And they continue still! The festivities continue on with adventures, at home and abroad, and with the people who care for us. They carry on in all the big moments. And they absolutely continue on in the even more important, little, pleasant and predictable parts of life, which was the sort of day we planned today.

Thirteen years of laughter. Take your time.