Day 214, a walk, grief, fireworks

Thursday, 7/4/2019

Good night’s sleep, pleasant quiet morning. Edited two more chapters of the book, then at 10am decided to go for a walk somewhere. Where? Some years ago we had a nice outing in Edgewood Park, on the west edge of Redwood City. However, this being a holiday, no doubt the parking lot will be full already, so: take a Lyft. Which I did.

Edgewood park’s trails all start with a stiff climb of about 300 or 400 feet. I do not think Marian could have managed those anytime in this century, so my memory of a pleasant outing there must date back to the 90s. Today was one more in a series of just beautiful days, temperatures in the low 70s, clear and sunny. I went up the hills in decent style, feeling normally strong.

After an hour or so, I called a Lyft and headed back, in time for a special lunch here, barbecue on the patio. Very decent ribs. Got invited to sit with Nancy, Tom and Karen, all retired from the medical field, working at Stanford or PAMF, I’m not sure which.

Played my space game for a couple hours (it’s wearing thin, I think I’ll toss it), and then Deborah texted with a picture: do you want the stuff in this drawer?

drawer_stuff

What the heck drawer is that? She was working at the house, so I went over to see. It was a shallow drawer in the top of the bedroom cabinet that I’d simply overlooked. Apparently Marian had used it as the place to keep… stuff she didn’t want to throw away. Mostly SWBB memorabilia, but quite a few other things, like the wrap-around sunglasses she used for a while, and her Stanford Blood Center Volunteer badge with its 750 hours endorsement. Deborah suggested I bag it all and sort it later, which I did.

Back at C.H. I went through it and set aside a few items as meaningful to me, like the orange button, “Croix de Candlestick”, for surviving an extra-innings night baseball game there, and some other pins. Several things seemed particularly meaningful for Marian’s life, and I put them in the box of her memorabilia I created some months ago. The rest went into the trash.

During all of that I was sniffling. I haven’t mentioned grief much in the past couple of months. That’s because it has not been a common problem. It hits at widely separated intervals, triggered by quite unpredictable events. This was an obvious one. But anything that recalls the life we used to have, the comfortable, interesting life of “Dave’n’Marian”, is cause for a deep wave of regret. I’m not going to compare my present, very comfortable life to that one; they exist in completely separate compartments. They aren’t commensurable. But the old life is gone forever, and every once in a while I get reminded of that and get a spasm of emotion.

I also still get occasional, brief twinges of the anxiety that I noted in the first weeks. I’m pretty sure it is based in the fact that for 45 years I had a smart, diligent person double-checking me and calling me on my bullshit and catching my oversights. Nobody around to do that now. What am I forgetting to do in a timely fashion? Well, actually, nothing. Nothing I’m aware of, anyway — but that’s rather the point, isn’t it?

So the transition continues.  Later tonight C.H. gathered on the 11th floor deck to watch fireworks in all directions. I stayed at the party for a few minutes, had a delicious rootbeer float (thanks to the Fourth Floor which were the nominal hosts) and looked at distant sparkles. But it was chilly out on the open deck, and crowded inside the penthouse, so I went back to my room. Not without some guilt; I really should stay up there and “network” but I don’t feel like it.

Distant artillery noises–the sound of a distant fireworks show travels better than the light–continued until 11pm.

 

Day 187, anxiety, paperwork

Friday, 6/7/2019

Starting last evening I began having mild anxiety, similar to the first couple of weeks. I guess the reality of the house being sold coming home? In reality, everything is on the planned track: the last bits of furniture arrive today and Monday … I have a modest list of things I need to do before a week from today to be ready for the move … everything is fine. Just fine. Tell that to my brain at 4am.

After a run, which felt fine (and the air was cool again), I settled in to assembling all the papers that the tax accountant wants to do that estate form, in summary,

  • Copy of death certificate (of course)
  • Copy of Marian’s will
  • Copy of family trust
  • Dec. 31st statement for bank account and each of six (6) Schwab accounts
  • Debts (of which we had only the December credit card statements)
  • IRS form 712 documenting the life insurance payment
  • Appraisal for home (I could use the price that has been accepted by buyer as the value, but I think I’ll wait until the appraisal “as of” December comes in)

and a few other odds and ends. That took a couple of hours and still isn’t done. It turns out that IRS form 712 has to be filled out by, not the beneficiary of the life insurance, but by an agent for the insurance company! Fortunately I still had documentation showing that this IBM group life policy was paid out by The Prudential, and the claim number. After an email to Katie the Tax, who recommended calling Prudential, I did that, and the customer service rep — after I got to her through a many-layered phone menu — quickly arranged for the form to be made and sent to me.

Part-way through this the IKEA delivery arrived. I must say IKEA’s contractor handled this very well, with two voice-mails the day before giving the delivery window of 11-2, and then calling half an hour before to say the truck was “5 to 30 minutes away”. Two long skinny flat packs for the bed frame, another pack of folded up wooden slats, another pack of two metal braces, and the mattress rolled up like a giant 5-foot long burrito.

I drove over to CH to check on the apartment. Although I couldn’t get in, I could hear power tools being used inside. I’ve been corresponding with Angela about the sink, and she has reminded me I committed to buying my own cabinet pulls. I need to do that tomorrow. Stopped at the bank to deposit a check, a small refund for overpaid car insurance. Then flaked out for the afternoon.

Day 129, cleanup, forms, FOPAL

Wednesday, 4/10/2019

I woke up with a lot of anxiety, based I think in the general level of upheaval going on. Going through all the memorabilia yesterday, and scheduling the estate sale with Deborah, left me feeling that I’ve got a big, vague, mass of things to do in order to get my possessions in order, and the “keeps” separated from the “sells”.

Then there was the realization that Deborah had suggested a sale the weekend of 12 May, while my (still tentative) move-in date for C.H. is 18 May. Where will I be in the meantime?

Then, in the middle of the night, I woke up and fussed for half an hour about how both the entry price and the monthly fee that I’ve been quoted to enter C.H. is around 20% higher than I’d anticipated. I eventually worked out that, even without the sale of the house, I have enough assets to pay that monthly fee for… about 40 years. But still it was a worry.

So I was fussed. I deliberately went to bed early, and got up early, so I could get a jump on … something. I pulled together two or three to-do lists and made a merged one that encompassed all the shit I need to get done. Then I went for a run, which improved my mood.

Back home I tackled the number one item: to set up a clear “sequester area” in the back of the garage where I can store boxes and objects that I am definitely taking to C.H. I moved some things into it; and moved sellable things (garden tools, etc.) out of it.  This alone, getting some definite physical sorting done, had a calming effect on my mood. In the rear of the garage is a big shelf where I’ve always stored the original boxes for products we bought. Most are now irrelevant, and I spent an hour breaking them down and putting them in the recycle. Boxes for things I’m keeping, like the scanner and the iMac, I dusted off and set aside.

While doing all this, Richard the gardener was working, and I gave him the update, the news that his services will be needed through May but probably no longer. In the course of this it emerged that he wasn’t aware that Marian had died! I’m embarrassed that I hadn’t thought to tell him. Anyway, we agreed he would be adding a new layer of bark mulch, as he has in years past.

I boxed up the scanner (don’t plan to do any scanning for a while, but I mean to keep it) and put it in the sequester area. Now I really felt like I was getting on top of stuff, so I took a break. Shortly after, Chuck arrived with lots of realtor documents for me to sign. There’s an amazing number of disclosure statements that realtors use for legal CYA. We talked further about possible dates for staging and selling the house. It will probably get pushed into June.

While we were chatting, Deborah called. She was worried about the sale date she’d set. “I’m thinking, I’m going to sell your bed, where are you gonna sleep?” I said I’d been having the same thoughts, and we agreed to push the sale date to a week after 18 May, the 25th. This took another load off my mind!

The most interesting thing Chuck had to say was a very intriguing fact: he has had a casual discussion with a woman who’s getting divorced. She and her soon-to-be-ex live in a 5-bedroom house about seven blocks away from mine, which they’ll sell. The woman wants to find somewhere smaller to live, but would like to stay in Palo Alto. Helloooo! He let her know he might have something that would suit. It would be fabulous to have a private sale, possibly with minimum remodeling. But this is still just a vague chance, not least because the divorce proceeding complicates the financing.

After Chuck left I took a box full of empty three-ring binders (from yesterday’s memorabilia triage) to FOPAL and did two hours of sorting.

Back home I worked a while on a more fun project. I have a stack of nice color prints I’d made over the years from our best photos. On impulse I ordered a pack of simple frames from Amazon and they came today. I had in mind making a matched set of nice pictures to decorate a wall at C.H. I quickly found that I’d have to reprint them to get them to look right in these frames. Or buy different, smaller, frames. Easier to reprint the pictures — or is it? Because as usual, it’s a struggle to get Photoshop and the printer to agree on color values. But a fun challenge. I got one picture printed the right size and good color, in a frame by supper time.

And now, in the evening, I feel remarkably less anxious, more comfortable, than in the morning.

Day 122, anxiety, discards, cardio

Wednesday, 4/3/2019

Woke up to some anxiety this morning. Odd, because I had a very good night’s sleep, up once about 2am then slept to 6:30, eight hours total. Six-thirty is unusually late; all through the winter I woke up when the furnace fired up. The thermostat is set to start heating at 6:15. Yesterday and today, the furnace never started. Why? Because for the first time in months, the internal house temperature at 6:15 was 69º, the set-point for 6:15am. This is the true mark of the changing seasons, that no heating is needed in the morning. Another month and it’ll be time to switch over to cooling.

Oh, wait… another month and I won’t be here, probably.

So I arose to anxiety,

a vague feeling of wrongness that I think is associated with yesterday’s final acceptance at C.H. That’s a big commitment to a whole new mode of living. Am I doing the right thing?

To “not be a home-owner” was, as I’ve written before, probably the first decision I made when I began thinking about becoming a widower, a year ago, when Marian was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My thoughts then were theoretical, speculative, but this stood out as a firm conclusion: if she goes, and I’m a widower, I won’t stay in this house. Researching ILFs and choosing Channing House is all the natural consequence of that decision.

I didn’t analyze it at the time; it just seemed right. I’ve explained it to other people since as not wanting the responsibility of a house, tired of worrying about maintenance and insurance and property taxes. That’s all true, but not complete. Analyzing it now, as the coffee water heated this morning, what came to mind was that I really wanted to break with the past. I don’t want to occupy a truncated partnership was the sentence that bubbled up out of my subconscious. (Whoa! Go my subconscious!) To unpack that sentence, I don’t want to continue to live as half a couple, alone in the shell once occupied by the tight little corporation of Dave’n’Marian. The house is the physical representation of that shell.

There are other life styles I could have picked. I could live in a regular apartment. I could become a world traveler, flitting from hotel to hotel with the seasons. I could buy a nice RV and become a “snowbird”, traveling to Alaska in the spring and Arizona in the winter. But C.H. has many practical advantages: it is comfortable; it offers a new community in which I’m pretty sure I can come to be an influential and helpful member; and the continuing medical care means I will not have to be a burden on any of my relatives as I age. The one time I talked with Marian about my “being a bachelor” notions, her only concern was to urge me to keep in mind that I wouldn’t have someone to take care of me the way I was taking care of her. C.H. answers to that issue.

Mulling all that I went for a run, which felt excellent. After a shower and shave, I did some

more cleanup.

I tackled two more shelves of the big steel cabinets in the shop. Here’s what I saw first.

check_boxesThat’s right, two nice banker’s boxes labeled in Marian’s neat hand as you see. Seriously, we have been saving cancelled checks from 1965??? Oh yeah; and old IBM pay stubs, too:old_pay_stubI was getting $405.95 each pay period, which I think was bi-weekly, so over $800/month, not bad for 1965! (Plus, I see, $25 for “local travel”, i.e. mileage for driving around SF.)

Ignoring the wails of imaginary historians appalled at losing all that good data on the spending habits of mid-century Yuppies, the whole thing went into the recycle bin.in_the_boxThat exposed two shelves of my published books, multiple copies of each.my_booksI won’t throw all of them out, but I fetched a box and put one copy of each book in it. The rest will go into the blue bin tomorrow.

About 1pm I went off to do three hours of sorting at FOPAL. One perk of that job is getting first look at all the donations. I pocketed a copy of On the Road, which I’ve been meaning to re-read, and one of Vonnegut’s Mother Night. I’ll read them (or anyway sample them, I’m not sure I’ll want to read all of Kerouac) and put them back in the stream another day.

At home I found an email containing the standard

Channing House contract,

a 51pp PDF. Sent copies to the financial guys and also to Chuck, who was curious about it. Need to read it carefully myself! Here’s the meat of it, from article I:

In consideration of the Entrance Fee, Monthly Fee and other fees payable by you under this Agreement, Channing House will provide you with residence, care and services at the Community for the rest of your life, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

Also got a notification that my

Ziopatch results

were back, and: no Afib detected. I have rare PVC’s (pre-ventricular contractions, which I’ve had since the 1980s) as well as rare “premature atrial complexes”. But these little blips of irregularity I notice are not of concern. That’s a relief.

 

 

Day 90, Shustek and old movies

Thursday, 2/28/2019

Toddled off to the Shustek center for a day of archival work. I and Toni worked together to photograph items that had been cataloged. Three years ago when we were doing this work the photo setup was a couple of (in my opinion) lousy little HP pocket cameras, and the day’s pictures had to be uploaded for later processing. Now we have a fairly decent Canon connected to a laptop so the pictures go directly into the database.

We caught up, clearing the shelves of a backlog of “To Photo” items. Like the FOPAL work this is good exercise: I was on my feet, moving items on and off the table and composing the images, for about five hours all told, and when I got home I could feel it. But before I ate I sat down and scanned old slides for an hour. Got to keep that project moving.

I’ve accumulated a bunch of famous movies on the DVR which is getting under 40% available. So tonight I swore to get rid of some. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World lasted only ten minutes. I stuck with Casino Royale for nearly an hour but finally lost interest. Two down.

Got an email from SouthWest reminding me of my reservation for a flight to Vegas for the PAC-12 women’s basketball tournament. This will be my first solo travel in, practically, ever(*). I’m nervous! Which is nuts; traveling by myself has to be easier than the last half-dozen flights I’ve taken, when Marian’s mobility and stamina were greatly limited, having to book wheelchair assistance, always checking the location of the elevators so as to avoid stairs, always looking to minimize walking distance between gates. And I booked those flights, and we executed all those travel plans, with confidence and panache.

So here’s another difference in my new bachelor life. Planning and carrying out travel as a couple, was easier (at least in anticipation) than it is solo. I need to think about what the difference really is.

At least partly it’s that I had the confidence of knowing Marian agreed in the plans. It’s like what I wrote about on Day 83: having made plans as a couple, the plans feel solid. When I make the plan by myself, for myself, I get the feeling I’m over my head and probably messing it up. I don’t know any cure for this but experience: go out and do it and verify that I haven’t screwed it up.

(*) The last solo trip I can think of is when in 1980 I drove to Seattle to attend the Clarion West writer’s workshop. After the ten(?) day workshop Marian flew up to join me and we drove back together.

 

Day 83, yosemite and imposter

Thursday, 2/21/2019

Drove to the “Yosemite” warehouse for a day of storing artifacts. Putting heavy objects (old servers, very heavy metal boxes) onto a pallet, strapping them down. Thought about how hard it is to spell pallet because of the confusion between

  • pallet, a small wooden platform for piling goods for shipment,
  • palate, the roof of one’s mouth
  • pallette, the flat piece of wood on which a painter mixes colors.

Trying to make a note, artifact number so-and-so moved to palla… palle… pala… shit! It’s really hard. One ell or two? Second vowel an a or an e? How many t’s?

In the morning, making plans for the day, I had an episode of something like, but not quite, imposter syndrome. I’ve had spells of this earlier, but this was the first time I thought about the sensation and tried to describe it. Basically I feel like I am faking my life. I see myself from outside, sort of, and feel a sort of contempt for a commendable, but obviously flawed and ineffective, effort to act like a real person.

This is new to widower-hood, I’m sure. When I was part of a couple, there was the constant agreement and validation that what we were doing was right for us, appropriate, sensible. I mentioned on one of the very early days that I missed the frequent little verbal validations we gave each other; but here I am missing something deeper and more subtle. It’s the implicit, unverbalized, confidence that what “we” are doing, the course “we” are charting, while it may be difficult, may not be as we’d ideally like it to be, is still correct, inevitable, impeccable, and would be approved-of by anyone else who really understood our situation.

Now, while there are times I feel quite correct, and even times when I positively enjoy the new possibilities, the loss of old constraints; but there are also times like this morning, where for a while I get a sinking doubt in my rightness, a sensation that I’m clearly faking it and could be called out as a failure and mocked at any moment. Not a sensation based in reality, and it isn’t crippling or even very bothersome. But I thought I should write it up as one more effect of bereavement.

Day 34, game day

Before the diary, a thought on the topic of

Not Screwing Up

The anxiety I’ve been having spells of this month? I’ve mentioned it several times. The best description would be the sinking feeling you get when you realize there was something you were supposed to do and you now realize you forgot to do it. Well, I had a bit of an insight on its source: I’m afraid of screwing up.

Here’s the thing: I, probably very much like most people, am prone to forgetting things or overlooking things. But for several decades I’ve been able to rely on Marian’s good memory and practicality to catch my mistakes or oversights before I make them. “Are you forgetting that…” or “You do remember we have to…” were common sentence openings for her, to me. Not so much the reverse, although once in a while I would think of some consideration she’d missed.

Now I don’t have that steady oversight. I lost my co-pilot; I’m flying solo. And apparently, it scares me. To a degree the fear is legitimate. I will screw up, forget things, drop balls. People do.

I find myself compensating, making lots of lists, checking my online calendar often, reviewing the upcoming hours to reassure myself that I have all my obligations under control. The extra efforts in home maintenance (treating the leather cushions, refinishing the table tops) are ways of asserting my ability to maintain in a general sense. Hopefully with time I will regain some confidence in my own wits.

Friday 1/4/2019

Started with a run. Exchanged emails with Scott about where to have lunch. Put in 90 minutes on one of my programming projects. Met Scott for lunch. Chilled out for the afternoon. In the evening, went to the Stanford WBB game against USC. Will tell the results tomorrow.

Day 33, a full day

Yesterday evening, coach Amy Tucker came through in spades, saying comp tix for my party for the Sunday game would be at the player window. I’m sure my relatives will be impressed with their seats. But somehow this exchange got into my brain and kept me wakeful much of the night. Anticipating this party, completely inane and unreal worry that I’d offended Amy, who knows? Worry worry and toss and turn.

Thursday 1/3/2019

The middle of the day is filled with my first cataloging shift at CHM in over two years. I’ve spent many hours over the last decade cataloging objects, but stopped doing that activity in favor of leading tours. A few weeks ago I was invited to schedule myself for cataloging sessions again. So today I was to show up at the museum’s Shustek Center at ten. One little problem: I’d been to the Shustek Center only once before, for a tour when it first opened a couple of years ago. I knew it was near Milpitas, but couldn’t remember exactly where.

Well, no problem, I’ll just get it off the CHM website. Um, no, I won’t; the site absolutely does not give that info. I’m pretty good at using search engines, and I could not find the address of this building. After an hour I did turn it up, using the online equivalent of brute force. I opened the online PDF of the Museum’s glossy annual magazine for the year the Center opened. There was an article about the creation of the new site, and buried in it was the address. Apparently that PDF wasn’t being indexed by Google.

Everyone at the site was very welcoming. I did some good work cataloging a rack of 1950s-era plugboards for IBM unit-record machines, and enjoyed lunch with a cheerful group of 8.

Back home by 3pm, just time for a little rest before heading out for the day’s second activity. One of the Stanford WBB fans, Harriet, had organized a group to go to Pinewood high school and watch a Stanford recruit, Hannah Jump, play. Five of us met at Harriet’s house for a good, simple meal at 5, and then off to the Pinewood campus in Los Altos Hills. I rode in Arlene’s Tesla, the first time I’ve ridden in a Tesla. We were all impressed by the quality of play in the game between the Pinewood Pumas and Sacred Heart Prep: the girls are fast, athletic, and intense. Pinewood won, and Hannah looked like a college-ready player.

Back home at 8:30 to find lots of watchable TV programs on the DVR. Quite a nice day.

 

Day 32, the year actually starts

Yesterday afternoon I did something that wasn’t on any of my to-do lists except the vague one in the back of my head, the looming little thundercloud of “shit that gotta be done pretty soon but not yet.”

tchotchkes
Tchotchke Central

Specifically, I started to sort all our little decorative tchotchkes and identify the ones for which we saved some kind of provenance record. The source was a big envelope labeled “art and decorative”, into which we’d tossed receipts and artists’ cards and brochures over the years. I was able to pair up a lot of objects with their receipts or other info. I was left with a dozen bits of paper that I couldn’t match to an object. I’m particularly intrigued by a receipt for an Inuit “Raven Fetish” in “dyed walrus ivory”. I don’t remember any such object.

In the picture, the seagull statue is by Ken Shutt, a sculptor who worked most of his career in Hawaii. Marian bought that sculpture when she was working for IBM in Honolulu in the 1960s. A nearly identical statue can be seen on EBay priced at $395. That one differs in two ways: one, the upper bird was broken off and re-glued; and two, its birds are bright white, where mine are about the color of my teeth. Say “cream” to be polite. I assume the yellow color is the result of the birds living with first one, then two cigarette smokers for thirty years. I’ve made a couple of tentative efforts to lighten this color, first with warm water and dish soap, then with warm water and a little ammonia. No result.

Anyway, at the end I have a dozen items I could price fairly accurately, from $40 to $500, and maybe 30 more objects that I can’t — but which are probably worth $1 to $10 or so. When I started the project I had the vague notion that I’d sell the items singly on EBay myself.

Then I got real: do I really want the job of creating 20 or 30 EBay listings, and then packing and shipping 20 or 30 packages, plus re-listing the ones that didn’t sell with lower reserves, etc. etc.? Seriously? How many hours would I spend on that and, if I paid myself $15/hour, would those sales even cover my time plus the packing materials?Nunh-uhn,  nope. So I left this project frustrated. 

Wednesday 1/2/2019

Started the day with a run. Well, actually, started the morning with a few minutes of anxiety, the “something undone” thing that’s been coming and going occasionally. It’s not bad; when I recognize it I can deal with it by taking deep breaths and thinking through my schedule for the day. But it’s annoying. (No, I am not interested in any chemical treatments.) So then the run. And spent some time looking up comparables for my tchotchke collection, then looking up listings for estate appraisers on Yelp. I think I will consult with my friend the realtor for a reference on that.

And then off to do stuff. First off, drive over to Stanford hoping to buy good seats for the now four relatives who want to attend the UCLA game on Sunday. I swung by the ticket office at the stadium Monday, saw it was closed, and went away without looking closer. Today also it was closed; grumping, I walked close up to read the notice in the window: closed for winter break, back on the 7th, buy tickets on gostanford.com. Oh, sigh.

So I went back home and used gostanford to buy very ordinary seats in the upper sections because that was all the computer could sell. I am pretty sure that if I talked to a ticket agent directly, they’d have courtside and such that don’t show on the computer. So later in the day I sent an email to Amy Tucker, politely asking if she has any comps. Bet she comes through.

With the ticket issue tabled, I drove down to the Mountain View Community Center and found where they accept donated food. Left off my two bags of canned stuff from the pantry. Then on to FOPAL for 2-1/2 hours of sorting, and so home for a quiet evening.

Day 29, little grief, some dinner

Sunday, 12/30/2018

Started the day walking to the coffee shop on the old route. Maybe not such a good idea, because… Well, let’s back up to 5:40 AM when I woke up in a sweat with that something’s wrong, something’s undone, anxiety. Took a while to go back to sleep, but did. So two hours later, walking to coffee on the old route, the route we’d have walked a couple years ago when Marian was still healthy, and grief and regret swelled up in the back of my throat.

“Regret” is maybe not the word; is there a word for strongly wishing things were not such? For me, “regret” has links with guilt, or at least responsibility, but that’s not accurate here. I regret that my life is how it is, but I don’t rue that, it isn’t my fault; it just is the case and I would it were otherwise.

As I tried to work out that train of thought, my logical brain finally produced a little comfort with the thought, “Well, how would you have things be instead?” Followed by the realization that there is no credible alternative to how things are. Would I have it that Marian had not died four weeks ago? But what then? Four more weeks of the really miserable, feeble condition she was in? How is that desirable? Or, suppose I had a time machine and could go back to the start of this year, when presumably the cancer hadn’t blossomed in her pancreas? There would be nothing anyone could do, even with perfect knowledge, to prevent that. (Imagining a sci-fi scenario, a person from the future pops in and tells an apparently healthy woman, “You need to start a course of chemo, stat!” Right…)

So that helped a bit, actually quite a lot: to work it out that, despite how much I wish things weren’t as they are, there is no other believable way they could be. So… what? Blow your nose and soldier on, I guess.

Afternoon, I did a docent tour. Fortunately today there were two of us so I had a reasonable size of group, about 20. In the evening, I was invited to dinner with Nancy, Don and Kate. Everybody is being very nice to me, for which I am grateful.