Hello old friends,
Itâ€™s been some time since the last time, and I hope this in-between time has been good to you. I have been here and then there and now here again, and a lot has happened for things to be remarkably the same.
But in the interim, these things also came to pass:
– another smashed passenger-side window and my laptop, iPod, wallet, camera, favorite pants, best friend of an old sport coatÂ Â and fifteen hundred unbacked up photos from the last stretch here in Kenya found a new home
– trick or treated with Edward Scissorhands and the Indian princess on a warm pumpkin night
– played softball with my brothers for the first time since Nixon got on the helicopter
– found the love of my other brothers, Pat and Tom, waiting for me
– had dinners with Karen and the Chief
– cut some firewood
– saw one of my best friends turn eighty-eight
– watched the Golden Globes, Gerlach-style, with Billy and Bev at â€œBevâ€™s Minerâ€™s Barâ€
– spent some cold, wonderful days at the beach, and witnessed there:
- Big Daveâ€™s groundbreaking, running front flip
- A and Aâ€™s siamese cartwheels
- seven-corner frisbee
- Bubba unearth from deep beneath the sand castle under construction, a pair of beach shoes just his size, just what he had been needing
- a beautiful, tender series of mermaid and merman sketches
- Quay Ludeâ€™s awkward resurrection
- a run once more with Alice, to the sea wall and back
I fell in love again, with my girls, and taking the measure of it, wondered, not for the first time, what business I had getting on another airplane.
The way back went through Westminster Abbey with Doug and Joe, the last admitted that day, and lots of crypts and sarcophagi of mostly people I didnâ€™t know, military notables, worn marble and decomposing flags, and the Virgin Queen, and then — in a space no bigger than a barber shop, Chaucer and Milton and Eliot and me, bug-eyed, and the rose wreathed in flame, so that at least for the life of this dark marble they are one.
Back here, some dogs left, some were born, zebras wrecked part of the fence, Gilbert and Benson soldiered on, and the rains didnâ€™t come. But we did, all of you and me, back to work and back to our business of making a place for some kids to live.
Let’s talk soon,