Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hey Babe


Hey Babe,

Six years later and I’m still here and you are still there. So here is my report of the past year as if you didn’t already know.
Fall was great and then winter hit with a bang. Much colder than normal but Mister Heat keep me comfy in sweats. Only a few days I couldn’t ride due to ice and I’d judge how cold it was by the number of layers I’d wear. Note to self: Put up the winter clothes, it is July already.
I haven’t done much around the house. Got all the tools but no initiative. Oh, I did get some cushions to check off my old ‘to-do’ list. Ordered them online (I know you don’t know what that means) and got parts and pieces and one that never arrived. Still they were very nice about it and Lowe’s is still my go-to place for house stuff. Other than that, I’ve been sitting on my duff. There is still plenty of painting and scraping and sanding and polishing and cleaning to be done, but there is always tomorrow.
The yard did well through the cold. I got a string trimmer last fall and couldn’t find the refills. Wrong season, but found something to make it work. Cut some of the ornamental grass in the back and then thought that was a bad idea. It is growing back OK, so this fall I’ll attempt to trim the jungle out front. Lost a couple of boxwoods and have a couple more that are looking pale. Don’t know what happened. Probably need some fertilizer like you always mixed up. I just don’t have that green thumb.
On the other hand the bamboo is sprouting all over the place. I’ll trim that back in the fall too, but the bunnies like it as shelter.
Yes, there are bunnies again in the yard. Little itty bitty grey ones with white tails about the size of chipmunks are hopping around all over the place. And mamma has her spot over by the fence where she can sleep. And they all like blueberries.
Everyone likes blueberries. Of course grey jay came back and brought her cousins. Shoot, she brought the whole family. They are all over the place, dozens of them and just as pretty and curious as always. It is always good to see them to tell me winter is over.
Best part is I’ve not seen any cats or hawks.
Other than riding to the store everyday, I haven’t done much. Well, I did take a trip up to Pittsburgh for a brief visit with David and Maxine (you remember them?). Got to see their weaving projects and learn his music technique and see some incredible cobblestone hills. Nice ride with Art there and back and crazy wacked out friends from college.
David even came down here for a bike tour. Bought an inflatable bed for him but the pump didn’t work, so he got the regale appointments of sleeping on the floor in aforementioned cushions. Kensington Manor is still a class act.
We took a tour of his old neighborhood. It was interesting to see where a person I had only briefly known in college grew up in different circles only a mile away.
Then David and I traveled up to Delaware to visit with Art and Melissa and their critters. David went home and I stayed for a couple of days until Art and Melissa had enough of me and brought me back home. I don’t think I broke nothing and put on enough stinky stuff as not to offend, but watched some movies and talked and was a relaxing time with an old buddy. It was interesting living in someone else’s shoes.
Gregg and Nancy came down (you remember them from the backyard) for a like 80th year high school reunion and we had breakfast at McLean’s and walked around the old neighborhood. The one thing I got out of David’s and Gregg’s visit is I’ve lived in this town for so long, every block has a story.
Oh and I went up to Virginia Tech to watch a football game with my brother. I hadn’t been to Blacksburg since he went there way back in the day and the school is very impressive and big and the game was fun to be part of what I watch on television but be part of the crowd. I think the best part was some woman sitting in front of us doing cheers. It is a different world.
The neighborhood has been fairly quiet. Got some new neighbors behind and some new folks next door in Edna’s old place. Nice couple with a young baby. It is strange to hear children next door.
Three of my friend’s wives joined you. It is a club we didn’t ask to join.
The city is doing some roadwork in the neighborhood so I have to vary my paths to avoid the noise and mayhem. Seems the economy is getting better because neighbors all around are expanding houses. Some houses are just being torn down and replaced with a new mansion. The little plot of land Puppywoods has held it’s value but I looked at the city assessment and the quality was ‘good for it’s age’. Just like me.
Other than that, I’m pretty dull and boring. Premade salads, frozen pizzas, and sandwiches with a dash of OJ and V-8 and some instant coffee and lots of beer is my diet. The most healthy, not so much, but I still feel somewhat OK and now and then can sleep for more than 3 hours at a time.
Oh I forgot to tell you about the other new neighbor. We have an owl. Well not just one owl but two owls. They showed up in the fall. I saw them over by Willow Lawn and Al (that is what I call him) perched himself on the birch. I tried to chase him off but he just went from one spot to another giving me that look like ‘you dumb human, WHOO do you think you are?’ Well he seems to have settled into the yard and the other critters don’t seem to mind him now. He went through the winter and spring and has gotten accustomed to my voice so I can get within a few feet without him getting disturbed. We even talk to each other. He has this clicking he does with his mouth and he turns his head and nods. I’ve seen him wink and even close his eyes and sleep. Al snores. He is there in the morning and about 4 o’clock he give a ‘hoot’ to go off to do his owl stuff. Al is a very impressive guy.
Al’s girlfriend, I call Ollie, is much smaller and quieter, but he is very protective of her. Haven’t seen any owlet’s yet, but time will tell.
So have I rambled on enough? Probably so, but it is therapeutic for me to write you a letter every year. See you next year, one way or another.
Until then,
Your widowed husband


Jim said...

Oh Clyph, I never knew her, wish I had. But your intimate conversation with her has touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing this. It is a reminder that our relationships don't last forever, and need to be nurtured and cared for. I hope we can get together sometime this year. Debbie's dad on Augusta Street died in the Spring, and we don't get down there at all now. I wish you, and Al and Ollie, all the best. Burd

--charles said...

So sweet. Can't even begin to imagine the pain.