Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“Our lives improve only when we take chances – and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” Walter Anderson

The coffee is poured, the cats have been tossed into the yard (they actually sniffed their way outside), crickets are chirping, some Jon & Vangelis sounds playing on the iPod, and lots and lots of humidity. Marcia and I are home.

The cabin was prepared for its winter hiatus. This meant that any water in the plumbing system had to be drained or antifreeze added. The boat pulled out along with the docks, only the boat then had to be covered. Finally shutters were put up. Since I was a ‘newbie’ at all of this, next spring will tell the tale of how thorough and successful I was completing these tasks.

Day one of our return meant a visit with new grandbaby Vaioleti at the neonatal ICU. She had arrived 13-weeks early, was now 1-week old, and at 1 pound 13 ounces as independent as her oma Marcia. Any tube or wire within reach was fair game and had to be tugged or yanked at.

She is beautiful, oh-so tiny, healthy, and does all the things normal to these little preemies. Little things we take for granted, such as breathing and keeping up a heart beat have not yet been set in place. The staff is calm and with a little wiggling or rubbing, or a bit of extra oxygen ‘kick-starts’ their little systems. As parents and grandparents we go nuts. Adrianne and Tevita are slowly learning the ‘normalcy’ of this part of their baby’s walk on the path of life. Marcia and I are a little further behind.

Our return to civilization has also meant that we are again observant of people and not just the rhythmic patterns of animal life. One example is a neighbor. Oh, let’s call him TBL as short for “The Born Loser”. In the rich Yiddish vocabulary there is a “mentsh” and then there is a “schlemiel”; the ‘mentsh’ being the honorable giving person, and the ‘schlemiel’ being the klutz who always spills their soup.

For years his monthly lawn-cutting has been a bit of a laugh and neighborhood joke. Since his trees are near dead, any wind brings portions down. Rather than collecting these branches, the monthly solution is to just ‘plow on’ with his little lawn mower. The sounds as bits and pieces get carved up and spit out everywhere can be heard a block away.

This week it got better. Monday, Marcia heard a horrible scraping noise. Apparently, leaving the house, TBL’s car bumper had grabbed an empty box and pulled it under the vehicle. The solution? Why of course, just keep on driving!

Thursday came the repeat activity. It was garbage day. Returning home, TBL’s emptied recycling bin and garbage can were sitting on the edge of the drive. See, at this point its decision time. A mentsh would park the car and take care of the trash bins. On the other hand, this is not the way of the schlemiel. A schlemiel will try to squeeze by so that the bins can be dealt with sometime much later in the week.

Marcia heard the noise as the trash bin was knocked over and the recycling bin was driven over. For nearly a day, from our deck, we looked out over a mangled bin, its bottom torn out, and sides caved in.

Marcia, one who tries to save things, had failed in a bin rescue attempt and couldn’t forgive herself. We discussed this over glasses of wine at dinner.

Make it a great week. Be a mentsh.

Cheers,

Dirk

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