Monthly Archives: January 2017

one year

It’s way past the real anniversaries, but I was thinking the other day about how different my table looks now compared to a year ago. Then it was covered with sympathy cards. Now it has Christmas cards.

Most recognize my loss but they are essentially a message of joy rather than sadness. That’s a big improvement. Thank you everyone for the cards and support! I hope you are all reading this! I don’t think I’ll be sending out any kid of newsy Christmas letters for a while. Here is where you get my news.

Speaking of news, I saw Cubby last night at the union meeting. Cubby lost his wife last Easter Sunday morning and went into a tailspin for several months. He couldn’t work but now he’s back and looks good. We had a good long hug. Solidarity.


I carry a backpack almost every day. I guess it’s like a woman’s purse. It’s got a lot of stuff in it that I might need: energy bars, ibuprofen, toothpicks, pens, Kleenexes, notepads . . . lots of odds and ends. Each day I add stuff to it that I might need that particular day: tools, lunch, a water bottle, whatever. The one I’ve been using I got at Big 5 about 5 years ago for $12.

Honest, $12 for a new backpack. It’s a little on the small side. That was a feature that I wanted. I had had the experience of having a larger backpack and putting so much stuff into it that I could hardly lift it. Many times during the previous 5 years I had to carry something outside of it or not take it at all.

That was all good, but it was wearing out. Meanwhile, one of the items I inherited from Zach was a nice North Face backpack. It’s really nice – better in almost every way. But I didn’t want to use it.

I had two of Zach’s jackets. I wore them a few times but eventually I gave them to Jeremy, who may or may not keep them. His computer I had for a while and gave to Jeremy. I still have his iPad but I don’t use it. Come to think of it I still have his phone. I still think I’ll get all of his texts off of it someday. I have one of his belts that I use now and then.

I have his dressers – which were mine originally. I’ll keep those. I’ll keep Hobbes. A few other small mementos. And I guess I’ll keep his backpack. I put it into service today. I dumped out everything from mine and put it into Zach’s. As I was apportioning my junk, I found one of Zach’s pens in the backpack. That’ll stay right there. Then later I found another one in a different pocket. That’ll stay there too. But I’ll use the backpack. It should be good for 10 or 15 years at least. My Z . . .


I’ve noticed this since last fall when it started getting darker earlier. When I look out my bedroom window, as I usually do when I raise the shade in the morning or drop it in the evening, I don’t see the ocean in the distance so much as the flickering glow of my neighbor’s TV set. Directly in the line of sight with the tiny piece of ocean I can see is a rather tall and narrow window set into the lower part of the next door apartment about a hundred feet away. For six years I put my shade down and up and never gave much thought to what was through that window – it’s really not big enough to see anything and I’m not interested in my neighbor’s furnishings.

But now I can see this huge TV set flickering away at all hours of the day and night. Really. I’ve been up (for various reasons) at 2, 3, 4 in the morning; I think there was one time in the last three or four months the window was dark. I haven’t made a study of it and it’s harder to see in the daylight so I won’t try to attest to how much it’s on during the day but it’s on a lot.

I’m actually a little curious. Does this guy ever sleep? Does he leave it on when he’s not there?

Not enough to go over and ask him, though. Just enough to post this little rant.

ADDENDUM: Today, not even 24 hours after I wrote this, I came home about 5:45 in the evening. It was nearly full dark. I went into my room to drop the shade and  . . . the TV was off!

Maybe he wasn’t home from work yet.

Actually, now as I write this, it’s 8 pm and it’s still off. I hope he’s alright.

(OK, not another word.)


There’s a James Taylor lyric that’s been running around my brain lately. I keep hearing it because it describes my feeling pretty well. It’s from his song Shed a Little Light.

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

The last week or so I’ve had this feeling. To me, it’s a prelude to having a good cry but it hasn’t happened yet. As in times before, the triggers are quirky and impossible to predict. Yesterday I was watching a football game and someone got seriously hurt. How seriously? They actually broke away for two commercials interspersed with showing the poor guy lying motionless on the field surrounded by anxious medical people. For some reason I got all choked up watching that.

But it still didn’t trigger the good cry. I guess it’ll come one of these days.