It’s quite simple. There is so much happening in my immediate, extended, expanded and spiritual families right now that it’s a full time endeavor to respond in the appropriate personal way in each case. Too many are neglected as it is. This is a real fine family time. One sister, Jane, has new twin grandsons this week and that would be sufficiently stunning in and of itself if that were the only thing happening, but it really ain’t, unless you’re them, and Congratulations if you are. That whole branch including their Mum, (much relieved, one imagines) and Dad (my nephew), Bubbas and Sisses, Aunties and Uncles, Great Grandmas and Grandpa, are all on top of the project. The photos are pouring in, and yep, they look much like the rest of us did when we arrived-maybe a little better than some.
Daughter spent a week shooting pictures in Cambodia with 19 classmates as a part of Discovery Week at school, and came home without a single negative happening to report except a suspicion that a large, black, doubtlessly venomous spider walked across her hand while she slept. Turns out it was probably just a big green lizard. Mosquito bites, peeling skin, thousands of photos, and a week of conjugal visits for the parents were all part of it.
Missus made several trips into the city the past couple weeks, to demonstrate beyond doubt that, after reading a book on the subject that I found in daughter’s school library discards, she is fairly adept at fashioning useful items out of mud. The coffee tastes the same; it’s like a refund on the lessons.
Son, Granddaughter, and Grandson have humiliated me in a good way by posting a movie to YouTube that exhibits all the creative fun and folly that my own cry out for, as I am apparently the only guy in a million who actually enjoys watching a talking head deliver poems straight, unmixed with the thousands of quite interesting images that sit unused in another sector of this memory continuum. The only problem for me is that when I watch it, the longing that comes from long separation builds up pressure in my chest and occasions short, knowledgeable bursts of angina. I cannot go longer than 6 months without direct contact with them, it seems, before it begins to take a toll on my otherwise very good physical health (forget about those pesky lumbar disks-a few days immobilized by slippage is the price one pays for neglecting to yogify them).
Brother’s younger of two sons, recently reunited with his bride in Korea after she (being from the UK, a notorious exporter of international terrorists in the nubile form of twenty-something fashion illustrators) was refused entry to the US at the Minneapolis Immigration checkpoint because she made the mistake of suggesting that one day it might be her wish to immigrate, and she had the wrong visa for that evil intent. If only I could have been there at the time. I could have pulled my US Senator out of the men’s room where he was playing foot-and-trouser games with an undercover vice officer, and he might have used the authority of his office to intervene on her behalf. He probably wouldn’t even have guessed that nobody in my family (well, maybe Pat, but with a business that big, its forgivable for him to imagine the Republicans might save him some money in taxes–what’s that you say? Fifty per cent goes up the military spout?) anyway, nobody would vote for the guy if he ran unopposed and had normal sex in the appropriate rooms of his own house. You can take the Senator out of Idaho, but you can’t keep him out of airport restrooms.
Anyway, the newlyweds are thriving in their new life in Seoul, and it looks like enough immigration red tape has been weasel-chewed that it’ll be a year and out for them, although the job prospects back in the US aren’t quite as rosy, and the trends are all in the wrong direction there, economically.
The dogs are fat, all three of them, and we love to herd them around this mid-size apartment complex of ca. 40,000 residents to the delight of women and children, and the frowning disapproval of the old farts. I just nod and smile and assure them that I’m sure the fidoes will eventually be delicious.