Monday, May 21, 2007

A Visit With My Long-Lost Daughter

Wow! Was I snoring or what? Woke with a throat that was rough and a bit sore.

It was 7:30, the sun still hidden behind Bennett Mountain. (Was up at first light, but it was too cold to climb out of the warm bed.)

As I told Henry and Charlene last night, it’s nice to wake up in my own private space where I won’t be asked to vacate at 11:00 a.m.

But I already miss the road.

A critical mission to "Starbuck’s". It's convenient location, about a mile away, the factor in choosing it over the other shops. At a cost of $4.95 for a scone and cappuccino, it is clearly on the expensive side.

As I walked past people at this "neighborhood" shopping center, I flashed back to the "waving people" in Nebraska. My fellow locals won’t even look at me. In the cities, eye contact is threatening.

Drove out to Kenwood to pick up mail.

Gorgeous weather. And the foliage and shadows amaze me. Everything seems so incredibly lush here, maybe since the oaks were just budding when I left.

A former co-worker at Chateau St. Jean, "Bill", was a character in a dream last night, so it was odd to run into my friend "Bonnie" outside the post office. She has worked at St. Jean for over twenty years. I had missed hers and Ross’ 55th birthday celebration on May 5th. As we talked, she introduced me to "Angelo" who works at the post office. I’ve never had a favorable impression of him, but maybe that will change. She said that our friends Kathie and Dave have retired and now have a place in Scottsdale, Arizona. They divide their time between here and there.

Spent the afternoon hand-washing clothes, then the "Aerostich" riding suit and finally the motorcycle. Used solar power to dry everything.

Recorded expenses in the checkbook, working through a stack of receipts. Less than $9,500 in cash and in checking now.

The anxiety of grocery shopping - this is something new. Costs are clearly increasing, while income has essentially ceased. Do the math, and it's just a matter of time. (Of course, life is just a matter of time, isn't it...)

Arranged to meet Jessica at "A’Roma Roasters" tonight. It was great to see her! But she is weary from the stresses in her life. I probed into her comments more deeply. Her new hearing aid is very frustrating and demoralizing. (To limit costs, she and her audiologist decided to try the new aid in only one ear.) The digital technology was supposed to be an improvement, but in fact, she has found it to be worse. The sound quality is poorer than her old analog aid, and they have been unable to make it function with her cell phone.

Psychologically, it is a major blow. There has always been the hope (perhaps even expectation) that improved technology would eventually mitigate some of her hearing loss. It's not an idea that is nurtured, yet the unexpressed dream is always present. And digital technology has been touted as a major leap forward in hearing aids.

I feel my involvement in her life has been so inadequate lately. I owe her much more, and it pains me to see her suffer.

She grew tired of talking about it. “So…how was your trip?”

How do I answer? I realized I haven't really thought about it!

We went on to dinner at "East-West", now re-opened across from Howarth Park. It's a better location for business. All the same staff members are present, but they have added a young man as busser! (I'm not sure if he’ll be able to break into the all-female server force though.) Chatted with "Jana", a server I've known for years.

The menu at "East-West" is priced in even amounts, such as $10.00 or $11.50. No $9.99 or $11.49. I remarked to Jess how refreshing such honesty is.

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