Evening all:

Homeward bound, clear skies, seat 1A, and a very nice glass of Australian Shiraz: the perfect end to a very busy week. When it comes to September & October the weather has been perfect and we’ve been taking full advantage of this. Here’s an example. Last weekend was the Hyde Park Art Fair. Marcia and I took the “Duck” with top down, waving at folk as if we were royalty. Once at the fair, as is normal, I got accused of “racing” through the crowds and past the stands. Great art, but at how many stands can you “ooh” and “aah” when you know full well that aside from the hundred or so stands already seen there are a hundred some-odd more—not including those on the side streets. Then it was afternoon coffee at an outdoor café and finally a cruise through one of the local parks. Perfection!

In a few hours we are off to the northeastern part of the state for some Fall Color, a bit of hiking through the woods, and oh yes, my tenth year celebration with my company at the Mohican Castle. Marcia and I have been asked to provide a Dutch appetizer—Bols Genever and bits of salted herring (zoute haring). Am I repeating when I say that September and October have been perfect?

Last Sunday Jason and Cathy brought little Marin over for dinner-on-the-deck. Oma Marcia has made it her life’s ambition to shop for a variety of toys and Marin has taken full advantage. Of all the toys he especially loves the rock collection; kids do know how to select the very best, don’t they? Anyway, in appreciation Marin now smiles, babbles, and plays around—what a difference a couple of months make.

I hope that you are all following the adventures of Adrianne as she slogs through the vastly different culture of Tonga, trying to bring some betterment to those folk. She knows that Marcia and I are so proud of her efforts. However, what I think we should all be aware of is that she is just one of hundreds of thousands of young people who, each in their own way, with their own individual focus, are striving to make our world a better place. Once in a while I think we should recognize that all the negative we get from the media is in reality the much lesser portion of what is really going on with our kids. I believe that there is a bright future for our country and our world as these young people start to take on their individual mantles of responsibility. Who knows, it won’t take that much work for them to do a better job than that which our generation has done.

Lastly, a Shang update. This past week we had a heart-to-heart talk about him cleaning out the cat food dish. Apparently there’s been some depth of understanding since the very next morning a very contrite and very needy Shang, downcast eyes, just sat with his nose pressed against my knee. I suspect that it’s really too early to tell whether or not it’s a game or whether he really will stick to just his own food dish. So far so good.

Very last, I have an apology to make. My opening remark about “clear skies” has turned into a bit more than a misstatement, for the past hour I have had my hand over my glass of Shiraz as we’ve been bouncing heartily about the sky—sorry, at the time I didn’t know. I do know that it’s a whole new experience drinking wine by licking it off your palm, one I don’t really recommend.

If I have any sense I better shut the laptop down.

Have a great week.

Dirk

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