Letters to Holly

Friday, September 11

I Am Ready, Thanks for Asking.

Another football season has begun, and I always forget how much its absence saddens me. I am lighthearted again. I am glee manifest. Your Sis and I reviewed the New York Times team previews for our annual bet. I am the defending champ-een.

Her Teams (boo!)
New England

St. Louis
New York Giants

My Teams (yea!)
New England


Yes, we picked two identical teams again. Great minds.

I watched the first pro game last night in Dad's recliner. I've been sleeping in his room and his bed, looking up at a ceiling yellowed from cigarettes and surrounded by plastic-wrapped suits. It's time to go home. I need to go home.

Mom is incrementally better. She's walking more, and the DermaBond is itching. I should be able to leave today. We've already arranged her upcoming household chores to exclude any lifting.

Picture of the Day
Someone didn't think this through.

Thursday, September 10

Progress Dissolves

Not much to report. I'm hovering at a distance while Mom vegges on the couch. She's taking her medicine and says she's feeling much better this morning. I've read and sketched and fiddled online.

The house is affecting me. it's virtually unchanged since my childhood, and I too easily forget my life outside it. I feel as if I never left, never had great jobs, never got married to Your Hot Sister, and never did anything but sit in this red-carpeted room and wondered what fun existed beyond the wood-paneled walls. It's dreary. It's always been dreary. The windows are always covered. No wonder I read so much Poe as a child. It's a Suburban Ranch of Usher. I even had a stupid, stupid argument with Your Sis last night over the phone. I have to go back home Friday. I must make amends and shake off the gloomy stupor. She went to a lot of trouble to spring a surprise on me for my return, but I went Hulk when she let slip some trouble with the laborers.

I did run today, and that helped. I hope to cruise the town a bit this afternoon while Mom watches more TV. I won't get a chance to see old school buddies before I go home, but I will make lots of progress in this John Adams book.

I listened to the president's healthcare speech last night, and it was just what he needed to do. I also heard the S.C. Congressman bark out an accusation at Obama in mid-speech. Of course, he's from S.C. He's apologized, and House action may be taken. His outburst resulted in thousands of overnight pledged contributions to his opponent for the mid-term election. I'm sure he'll be a folk hero to the political shock jocks. I'm disheartened (but not surprised) to see the tone of the raucous town hall meetings has slouched toward Congress. Hacks and goons are infected with a combination of St. Vitus Dance and Tourette's. I'll be glad to see it shamed into silence.

Not that I behaved any better over the phone.

Picture of the Day
Muslim prayers in Kashmir during Ramadan.

Tuesday, September 8


I'm typing this from my childhood room, a room I last slept in more than 14 years ago. The carpet and walls are exactly the same. It was made into a sewing room, then Dad's TV room, and now it's the filing and PC room. I won' be sleeping in this room. I'm in Dad's old room, in my old bed. It's very small now. I feel 12 feet tall in it. There's a lamp on the wall that might be older than me. It has a brass pepper mill, and I wonder who thought that was a good decorative item for a four-year-old boy.

Mom is slowly falling into a drug coma after her 9:30 Darvocet pill. We arrived at the hospital at 10 a.m. as instructed for the pre-op preparation. She was supposed to be wheeled into surgery at 1 p.m. They didn't fetch her until 3. We sat in that tiny room for four hours with Mom hooked to an inactive IV drip. The nurse-anesthetist, the anesthesiologist, the surgeon, and the attending all came in to cover her drug allergies (briefly: all of them). The surgery started at 3:30, and she was done in an hour. About 90 minutes later, she was awake and snacking, now devoid of her gall bladder and sporting four tiny belly holes. They found one gall stone and sent it away for testing. About half an hour later, we drove to the local store to get her prescription. She says she already has relief from the bladder pain, but she'll feel the surgery tomorrow.

I read an entire Sunday NY Times while waiting today. The staff were helpful, but that was some wait time.

I hope to be back home Friday.

We visited with some of Your Sister's school pals this weekend: a high-school friend and her husband and baby Saturday, and a college pal and her husband and kids Sunday. It was a fine time. Lamb schwarma one night and s'mores the other. We cooked out Monday and ate many veggies from the garden. The corn was mostly a loss. It was puny and rotten. These weren't the stalks that got the baby oil; they're still growing.

I have a pile of books with me to read the next few days, and I might try to run one morning if I can avoid the school traffic of blasting sun heat. I stockpiled drawings for Sketchtember.

Oh, and this is the 800th Letter to Holly.

Picture of the Day
Just a matter of practice.