End of June, 2013

We’ve had a busy time since we got back.  At least that’s the way it seems in retrospect.  It didn’t seem that way as we were going through it, I have to say.  The highlight of the last three months has been the updating of the house, refurbishing the small bath, then our master bath, and putting down wood floors upstairs.  It involved working slowly with our original contractor, only to finally give up on him and get another one to help out, and then starting over again with a new contractor set to get the master bathroom and closet updated.  We paid a lot more for it than if we had done it ourselves, but then again, we were able to get it done relatively quickly.  We also had the pond redone, and that turned our orignal pond into a much deeper (if not so much larger) pond that now allows our fish to swim around with great abandon.

We visited California again toward the middle of May, to attend Courtney’s graduation (Master’s degree, and teaching credential — congratulations to her!), and then after a week in Santa Barbara (a great visit — even though we’d spent time many years ago in Santa Barbara, it has changed greatly since then, and so it was like finding a whole new world.  Kyle was there with us, as he was also out for the graduation).  We then went to Palmdale to celebrate Courtney’s birthday.

Gwen had her three cousins visit in mid-June, which created a natural deadline for getting all the work done on the house.  It turned out to be a useful forcing function for the work, and led to some challenges, but not really many.  It also was planned that I would go away to Chicago, and visit Kyle, which is indeed what happened.  Unfortunately, I missed greeting the cousins, but Gwen said she had a marvelous time with them.  For me, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with Kyle, including getting to see where he hangs out during the day (1871, as it is referred to), a business run as a collective of the entrepreneurial businesses that use the space on the 12th floor.  I spent time during his working hours at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Field Museum (natural history).  Over the weekend, in addition to getting to talking with Kyle, and going places with him, we met up with his girlfriend, Suzie, and it was my pleasure to get to know a little about her as well.  I ate well while there (as I always do with Kyle), including a marvelous breakfast on my last morning there consisting of scrambled eggs and a rhubarb / strawberry coffee cake provided by Suzie.

I’m not sure I’ve got this retirement stuff figured out; there are many troubling aspects I’m concerned about.  Having a little history now does soften things, however, but all this is for future blogs.

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