Memories

Mike

I was shocked and saddened to receive an email from my ex-husband John saying that his brother Mike had died an hour earlier that day. He had pulmonary fibrosis and had not shared this news with John until last week, when they did a FaceTime call. Apparently, this is...

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Stay

The monthly Bored meeting at work fell on Dad’s birthday. It was supposed to be a much longer meeting than usual – and it’s more than long enough – and would mean a much longer day than usual. I decided that I didn’t want to face the lengthy drive...

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Birthday

Dad heading to school, circa 1936 My father was born on this day in 1931. He left us too soon, on August 18, 2001, at the age of 70. As I approach 60 – I am turning 58 this June – it is a little alarming to think that...

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Dark

The Naked Ladies are flaunting their pink, leafless blooms by the side of the road, and you know what that means: high beams have made their unwelcome return to my morning commute. I need a flashlight to get to the car, and I am extra vigilant looking for the...

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Past

It seems to be a universal truth that we all have more things and stuff than we think we do, and we find out how very wrong we were about that when the time comes to move. I thought I had a few boxes in the storage loft over...

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Birthday

Dad’s birthday dawned sunny and beautiful. He probably would have approved that I spent the morning doing some cooking for the week: my friend Alice’s recipe for dak dori tang (spicy braised chicken) and Ottolenghi’s recipe for mejadra. It was Suzy’s international kitchen! Megan and Rob hosted the party...

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Past

Wartime Dad on His Way to School A friend noted recently that they had never seen such a family for cleaning our plates as ours. Thinking about the observation, I realized that this was true, and also that our behavior has its roots in WWII. Our father grew up...

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Updates

I took a couple of days off around the Labor Day weekend, and I am pleased to announce that nothing horrible happened for a change. Faithful readers may remember that when I took time off last Labor Day, it was about 5,000 degrees every day, and when I went...

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Moving On

Every morning now I check the progress of the wildfires on the Cal Fire website. Overall, containment is up, but it seems that the Ranch part of the Mendocino Complex fire keeps losing containment. It’s down to 20% today. Overall, containment is at 46%. Full containment was originally projected...

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Unimproved

It’s hard not to retain a certain amount of interest in the past, though sometimes it’s better not to look back, since you might not like what you see. A case in point is my old apartment in San Francisco, which is now unrecognizable. For starters, someone decided that...

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Sixteen

It’s been 16 years since that fateful early morning phone call when my sister told me our father was gone and our lives changed forever. It was 6 am in San Francisco, which is 2 in the afternoon in London, so my sister had already lived with the knowledge...

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A Sense of Place

Margaret: It makes one feel so unstable, impermanent, with all the houses being torn down on all sides. Including, in the foreseeable future, ours. Ruth: Are you having to leave Wickham Place? Margaret: Yes. In 18 months when the lease expires. Ruth: Have you been there long? Margaret: All...

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85

Mom and her father Today would have been my mother’s 85th birthday. Sometimes I am surprised by how much time has gone by since we were orphaned. In some ways, it seems like it just happened, and in others that it was so long ago. With the unpredictable elasticity...

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86

Dad’s birthday dawned sunny and beautiful, but it was a sad one for me this year. Some years I am filled with how lucky I was to have such a wonderful father and friend, and other years it just makes me so sad he is gone. This was one...

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Fifteen

Dad’s Flowers Every year, we plant sweetpeas in honor of our father. They were his favorite flowers. We had a little bouquet of them at his memorial service, along with a photo of Dad and his beloved dog, Jesse. Our wonderful stepmother Margaret later scattered Dad’s ashes with Jesse’s...

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Megan’s Birthday

My former boss gave me a very generous gift certificate to the Ledford House, where I recently met my friend Jim for a drink in the bar, and taking Megan out to dinner on her birthday seemed like the perfect use for it. It was also a perfect day...

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Saturday Errands

It was a sunny Saturday morning. My sister texted me that she was teaching a CPR class that day, but was not looking forward to the long drive to town. Even though I was still slowly caffeinating in my PJs, I decided to join her and keep her company....

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Tick Tock

When my father died, I inherited a 250 year old grandfather clock which has been in our family since it was first made by John Jullion of Brentford. Fun fact: the oldest clock still on public display in Australia was made by the same gentleman in 1770. Rob unpacked...

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Remembering

Dad in Kings Canyon, 1980s This may be the first year I did not write a post about Dad on his birthday. I had a hard time with his birthday this year, probably because of losing my Roscoe so recently. I am still struggling with Roscoe’s loss on a...

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Magic

The glorious Bolshoi Ballet Megan and I braved the stormy, twisty roads to head to the South Coast last weekend. Rain and wind lashed Wednesday, and even the fearless former ambulance driver had to concentrate on the road instead of the spectacular ocean and scenery. I was glad I...

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