Before I start with the narrative, I wanted to write a bit; I hope, dear reader, you will not think this is a conceit.
Firstly, the pain is fading in my right leg, and I started the Saturday morning–Friday’s blog is written at a relaxed pace on Saturday morning–surprised that the sharp pain combined with stiffness is gone. There are still motion control issues as I need to relearn how to use my right leg again. The usual cure, just Advil and time, and waiting for someone to say, “you should see a doctor,” and the fading begins.
Next, I read a short article that the New York Times emailed me (I have an Internet subscription and get the physical paper on Sundays). The article described how the writer took an art class to learn to sketch and then found that you had to look with intensity and time at a landscape instead of just taking a photo. That the writer had a desire to freeze the view so it would not be forgotten–this desire was hard to fight against. The writer discussed in the piece that it would be a pleasant memory if you just enjoyed it, but it would fade, as all memories do. Was that bad?
I write this blog to remember every day. The last couple of years have been filled with events, many terrible and personally a disaster, but I want to remember them all. I return to them to understand what is happening to me (and indirectly to you, reader). I keep it focused, laser-focused, on my experiences during the day I am recording and my feelings. When I return to a day, say fourteen months ago, I can, while reading, recall most of that day, and I see in my words the viewpoint at that time. I can feel my memories fading and changing to match the current me, but I can return now to my previous self and reset.
I have changed the style and format over time. I do not regret the original formats or the new versions; it fits with the place I am at. I am no longer sad and frightened and no longer actively grieving for the millions we lost to the pandemic; thus, I no longer cry and find a hymn at the end of the blog. I grieve still, but not that way.
Well, just a few thoughts to record here. But, first, let’s return to my narrative.
Friday morning is not a rush, and I delayed getting dressed until late morning. I have a few Zoom meetings and a lot to read, and I follow along. I slept into the luxurious time of 7:30. Work was going fine, and then I got a request to talk to my boss.
A change at work impacted some folks that I can not discuss here; it left me sad and stunned. The rest of my work day was a blur after that. I am heartbroken for the friends impacted. Again, no details here, just tears.
Lunch was reheated goulash, the last of it. It was so good!
My new board game, War Room 2nd Edition, was to be delivered today. So I had to wait for that. With the sad news and the pain–which was quite bad on Friday–I was tired and rested for a while. So I had to put off my visit to Susie too. The vast package arrived at 4ish, and I had the delivery guy, not masked, put it in the house.
Aside: I am still trying to get used to our post-pandemic world while science says the pandemic is still burning. Violet Blue is still fully isolated in San Fransico, as are others waiting for a more scientific conclusion to Covid-19. I have my newest shot, keep my distance, and often wear a mask in crowds and small conference room meetings. I mostly fear the latest flu and colds more than Covid-19 and like the mask for that. I find at the shoe company that most folks still isolate themselves when they have symptoms and test for Covid-19.
I crossed over Cooper’s Mountain, avoiding the ticket-giving Beaverton area. Still sparkling and smelling clean, Air Volvo reached the hummingbird house without incident or raising the crime rate. Susie was excited to see me, and we called her mother, Leta, from her recliner in the living room. They had a friendly chat with Leta describing her day as it was late; usually, we call in the middle of Leta’s day and get to see what Leta is doing. Susie was ready for the park; it was still warm as sunset was still an hour away. Friday night is a time to hit the park, which is filled with the sounds of children. We stopped at the first bench and chatted with a parent who was happy for a polite distraction. Soon, some kids and his spouse ran toward him, and we moved on to the other end of the park.
We called Dondrea and Zophia while sitting in the park in the cedars. We had a nice chat with them. The sun was setting, and it was starting to cool. We next called Dan and Janet, who were happy to talk to Susie. Dan and Janet invited me to dinner at the Golden Valley Brewery (GVB). After that, the sun was moving to set, and the cool breeze that announced the sunset (when I used to sail and fish, I noticed that just as the sun went down, the air was disturbed by the change–it was our last chance to get that sailboat in before the wind dies completely) and headed inside.
Vanessa had dinner ready, and everyone was already having dinner. Susie was ready for dinner too. I headed to the GVB after getting a goodbye kiss from Susie. I risked 217 on a Friday night to reach the GVB. No incidents and no police presence.
I was ahead of Dan and Janet and ordered the day’s wine, pickles, and onion rings. I usually avoid cabernet sauvignon as they are too acid and boozy for me, but it was Intrinsic, a cheap one, and I wanted to see if it was worth it. It was not bad, but not as good as a malbec they serve from Argentina and indeed not as good as our local wines.
Aside: Grape names are lowercase when used in a sentence–I had to look that up. But wine regions are place names that must be capitalized, and the grape names are also capitalized. Thus I could have done this: Argentian Malbec. Also, you do not italicize the French names of grapes as they are not a phrase but words. For you grammar nuts and wine crazies out there…
For dinner, I had the meatloaf, which was better last time. We had to get some help from a waiter, and Dan asked very nicely with his usual smile that says, “Now!” to folks of a certain age. I then re-asked using direct words just short of being rude, and the waiter was not offended and quickly acted. Younger folks expect to be told directly with some force when they need to do something. They appreciate the directness. People my age and older would be insulted.
Dinner was excellent, and I was soon headed home. I then sat in the living room with the huge boxes and assembled my new board game, War Room 2nd Edition. I had to put labels on pieces and organize some items into different countries. War Room 2nd Edition is the masterpiece work of the guy who made the well-known Axis and Allies board games. It is a game recreation of WW2 at a slightly higher-level seen in the Axis and Allies series and dares to have more rules and a long game time of six hours (or more) for the grand six-person game. It starts in the 1942 setting of WW2 and, like the previous game by the same group, eliminates the insane number of paper troop counters and break-through rules of other games covering this same material.
The game is highly recommended, and we have waited years for it. Richard, Kathleen, and I will try it out on Saturday night (likely using the six-turn short game rule). However, I am not sure I can carry it into Richard’s house it is so big!
I put the stickers on and arranged the game while watching Lucifer season 2 and was laughing through the jokes and watching the writers and actors struggling with the new themes. Not sure the addition of a mother character was a success. I often do mindless tasks while the TV runs. It makes the process go easier.
The game, including most add-ons, is in its vast box. I ordered from the maker some more dice (in matching War Room bags) and some extra parts (likely something will get lost) before they sell-out. I am resisting the rolled-up map, but that might fit better in the box (another $85). I want to play it and set it up once before buying that!
I went to bed taking more painkillers. That seemed to work as I am better this Saturday morning.