The birthday wishes, lots of them, are over. Sarah and George are in flight back to Austin. Maureen warmed a splendid ragu sauce and spaghetti dish we had with a salad and a nice merlot for dinner. Just the two of us. She is now listening to the news in the family room with the fire i built earlier dying down.
i may put on another log later and read a bit. There’s this Robert Penn Warren book, A Place To Come To, i want to finish. i started reading it about six months ago, and unlike most of Warren’s work, this one is hard for me to get into. Warren and Faulkner remain my two favorite novelists, and this novel is just a bit disappointing. But i find it difficult to not finish any book.
Tomorrow, i plan to start my year of seventy-two. Of course, there is a golf round involved. This one with one of my best friends, Pete Toennies, whom i’ve known since we were both on an Amphibious Squadron staff deployed to the Western Pacific in 1979-80. That deployment was one of the craziest and most rewarding in my span of nine long deployments.
There’s this bathroom wall i need to mend. i hope to repair at least one fault a week in our 26-year old house from here on out. Houses a quarter of a century old require attention, and i haven’t been very good at addressing aging problems, with the house or me.
It will probably take at least the rest of the month to work out our travel plans and budget for the year. This fixed income stuff is a little tiresome when it comes to our desires to see people and things. So we are going to be a little more proactive and plan ahead. Maureen is good at detailed planning and budgets. i’m not. i’m also, as Ricky Nelson sang, a “Travelin’ Man.” It is hard to get that out of my blood. i’ve seen enough places but there are others i would like to see with Maureen and return to my favorites. Now, i am more interested in seeing friends and family than places, but those friends and families are spread just about everywhere. So travel can accomplish both of my needs.
If it were just me, there would be constant travel, but there is this lady, you see, who likes to spend her evenings with me at this home with a fire in the fireplace with music playing while we read. And she likes to fix me breakfast and eat the same at our kitchen table every morning looking out the breakfast room window and hopefully catching sight of a humming bird. Strange, i think, in the quiet of this evening after the whirlwind weekend with Sarah and George, strange that i enjoy the evenings and the breakfasts and the fire and the humming birds and, most of all, being with her, probably more than she does. And all the while, i’m thinking of hitting the road to somewhere. Strange, indeed.
And as this afternoon wound down, i received a wonderful phone call. Blythe, my daughter, wished me “happy birthday,” and then, Samuel James Jewell Gander, my grandson with the middle names honoring my father, pronounced, “It’s good you have lived so long,” (or something like that: Blythe, please correct because i think his actual pronouncement was funnier).
Here is Blythe’s correction on the Sam quote: “Hey, good job on staying alive for so long.” and i was right: it is funnier.
After a brief conversation, i asked him how he was, and he replied, “Amazing.”
Made my day, and now, i will sleep well tonight.