Monday, January 23, 2006

Florence Longstrreet 1907-2006

Our dear Aunt Flo, my grandmother's sister, and the last surviving sister of five, died last night, just a couple of weeks shy of her 99th birthday, and just a couple of weeks after our last visit with her. We are all very sad, of course, to be without her, but hers was a good, long life.

Like most of my own generation of our family, I didn't have much contact with Flo when I was growing up; in fact, I only remember meeting her once, at my grandmother's house. Most of the time I spent with her was after I got married, and she was an important part of our family, being sort of an extra great-grandmother for my children, Thomas in particular, although she also had a special soft spot for William.

Flo always had a remarkable amount of energy. She and I used to go out to the DaBelle par-three golf course in Burbank fairly regularly, a short course but one with no carts. She'd walk and play the entire course except on the hottest of days, and would get absolutely disgusted with herself when she missed a putt. We continued this until she was about 94.

Flo introduced us to one of our favorite eating spots in California, the Tam O'Shanter, a Scottish pub and restaurant with spectacular fish and chips, and Toad in a Hole made with filet mignon. Other members of my family had been there, before I was born, and it was my great-grandfather's favorite restaurant.

She was also a regular at our parties, where she charmed and impressed all of our friends. We all agreed that if we had to grow old (and it's either that or die young), we wanted to do it like Flo. I know that if I live into my nineties, I want to do it visiting with friends and family, and swinging a golf club.

Good-bye, Flo!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


It's been one of those weeks, and it's only Wednesday. Danny is sick, has asthma and so has to take breathing treatments. Our washer/dryer stack is broken, and not worth the price to fix, so we will be on the market for a new one immediately. My car is back in the shop. And the roof is leaking again.

On the other hand, the snow is mostly gone, taken away by rain and temperatures in the forties (fifties near my work). This week is shaping up to be fairly dry and no too cold, which is news I can definitely take right now, especially when I am driving a rented car without all-wheel-drive and leaving for work at 6:00 in the morning.

But I complain too much. Perhaps next week will be a bit less frustrating.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I think I jinxed myself by saying that the weather hadn't been so bad. Last night it started snowing. An inch of snow and ice was expected, but instead we got a think layer of ice and about four inches of snow. And the temperature outside as I write this is 8 degrees. That's Fahrenheit, not Celsius. Overnight, the wind chill is expected to get to 10 below.

But there are warmer days ahead, and hey! I have tomorrow off and so I'm going out for a relatively rare lunch date with my lovely wife, even if it will still be well below freezing at high noon.

And some more unseasonably warm weather is, supposedly, on its way (although my favorite weather Web site,, missed the boat on this storm), with rain predicted for mid-week. Of course, by the time I have another day off, it will have turned wintery again. Sigh.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

First Week Home

Sorry I haven't updated since we came back from California. After a day of recovery from jet lag (the children slept until after 9:00!), we just sort of hit the decks running, and this is the first chance I've had to sit and type.

The weather stinks. Oh, wait a minute, it actually hasn't been so bad. Raining today, but sunny several days during the past week, and mild temperatures. I'd just gotten used to California. Sigh.

All three of the boys starting skating this week. We missed the first of the two sessions, but this second one will last until March. It's Danny's first season on the ice, Will's second (and he's off to a good start), and Tom's--well, I've lost count, but he looks so comfortable on the ice that it seems like he does it every day.

I'm back to work at NPC (oh, joy) and Karen is back at school, this time taking Interior Design 2, which she really likes, and Accounting, which is a required subject for her degree. She hasn't given me an opinion about that class yet.

Meanwhile we are trying to whip this house into shape so that we can sell it and start over. We'll let you know how it turns out.