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Today in My History

2000:  The American Way of Grief
2001:  Purple Catsup
2002:  Why Does It Take Five Great Big Guys?
2003:  Travelin' Friday Five
2004:  A Lifetime of Memories
2005:  Bits and Pieces
2007:  ...And So They're Gone

2008: Luckiest Day of the Year
2009:  Cultivation
2010:  Chow and Chows
2011:  Good Deeds
2012: Playing Catch Up
2013: Itinerary

Bitter Hack

Books Read in 2014
"The Vault"

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Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


August 9, 2014

BobLindaSm.jpg (131361 bytes)At this time yesterday, a Mediterranean cruise was the last thing I thought I would be doing in 2015.  By mid-afternoon today, we had a reservation and assigned stateroom.  Char and Mike, Linda and Bob and Walt and I will be in 3 staterooms one right after the other.  And since the price range we had figured we could afford was sold out, we have moved up to the next price range, which gives us 100 sq ft more and is entirely too luxurious for the likes of us, but I'm not complaining.

Linda had called to make a reservation and found out that the staterooms we hoped for were sold out so she sent a note around asking if we thought we could go one price higher.  Within the blink of an eye, Char had secured two rooms for them and us and Linda had reserved the next one for herself and Bob.

This will be our first time on a large ship (1000 passengers vs. 300 passengers), our first cruise on the ocean (staterooms come equipped with binoculars, which I thought was a fun addition!)  I wonder if it will be as casual as the river cruises will be ... can I show up to dinner in my t-shirt?

But it really is exciting.  I watched some of the videos today and can't wait to get to Barcelona and take the tour of the architecture of Gaudi.  I don't remember when I saw a PBS special on his architecture, but I thought at the time how wonderful it would be to see it in person, but dismissed it as a pipe dream.  Now it appears I actually will.

I really encourage you to watch  this 3 minute film, if you are unfamiliar with Gaudi's work. (It takes a bit of time to load; just wait for a few minutes.)

So I guess we're all set for our 2015 season...and we haven't even done our 2014 cruise yet!  Bob and Linda are doing the same cruise to Southern France that we are, but a couple of weeks before we do it.  I wish Walt's mother were still around.  She got so impatient with us for always traveling to England or Ireland and never going anywhere else.  I guess we have gotten past that little problem!

Today I had lunch with my mother.  I was going to do it yesterday, but she was asleep when I got to her apartment, so I left a note saying I would be there today.

I feel ... I dunno ... selfish, maybe? ... that I was so depressed by the time we spent together today.  She has lost the art of conversation.   I was pleased that I hadn't seen her in several days because I had lots to talk with her about ... there were my two hearing appointments, my crab lunch, lunch with Grainne and the others, reviewing Brigadoon, and working yesterday.  I tried to draw each incident out to make it sound interesting, and to fill more time and when I finished, she looked at me and said, without having made a comment on anything I'd said so far, "so what else have you been doing that's interesting?"

The thing about my mother that I noticed many years ago is that she can't let empty space stand.  Driving her to Santa Barbara, she would talk the whole way, finding little things to talk about if there was empty space.  That's 8 hours of talking.  So she hasn't lost the need to fill empty spaces by saying something, but she doesn't have anything to say any more.  She probably asked me two dozen times (at least) what exciting thing I had planned for the rest of the afternoon.

At lunch, she looked the menu over carefully and then decided on the same lunch she has every day -- vegetable soup and fruit salad.   Before the waitress arrived, she had to check the menu again so she could remember what she was going to order.  And then when the waitress came to take her order, she looked at the menu again because she couldn't remember what she had decided on.

This is all normal and I'm used to it by now because it pretty much is how we have lunch every time we get together.  But I wish I could talk to her again, and I can't.  I can, and she will respond, but there is no "communication" going on.  I notice that almost nobody comes to visit her any more.  Ed hasn't been there in a month and he used to visit her several timrs a week when she lived in Marin County -- but he's discovered what a long trip it was that I made for years.  All the family claim to love her a lot, but only one cousin visits occasionally.  Her friends came once, months ago.  So if there is to be any socialization, since she won't leave her apartment to talk with anybody, it's all on me, and if I skip a day or two, she lets me know that she missed me, so I feel guilty when I decide to stay home. While I love her dearly, dear God I wish we could just once have a conversation again.  About anything.

The only thing we have that approaches "conversation" status is the temperature outside.  She doesn't leave the building and won't open her sliding glass door, so for her, if she can see any leaves moving on the trees, it's cool outside and if no leaves are moving, it's hot.  But if it's a hot day and I mention that it's 100 degrees out, she corrects me because she can see a leaf moving, so it must be cool.

Exciting things are coming up, though, because Jeri will be here to visit her in two weeks and Peach will be here the week after that.   She's good at faking it when new people are around, so it will be fun for me too because I won't have to carry the conversation.

Photo of the Day

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Day 40:  Happiness is always the morning cup of coffee!

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