Fixing the Dryer

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A day of rain at the first of last week gave me the incentive I needed to finally fix my clothes dryer. It’s a terrible job that I’d been putting off. Something had fallen into the hole when I was cleaning the lint trap. It was rattling ominously against the fan whenever I tried to run it. So, the clothesline has been getting good use!

I don’t mind using the clothesline. The process is rewarding in many ways. There’s the extra exercise built in to simply getting the wet clothes out to the backyard, and the repetitive act of hanging them. I sort the clothes as I hang them: pajamas, underwear and socks – in pairs – go in the back; shirts, folded in half over the clothesline are next; and slacks hang on the front line where the clothesline pole will keep them from dragging the ground. I fold the dried clothes as I take them down. Things dried on the clothesline hold onto a fresh air scent that no fabric softener can compete with. Sheets and towels are especially wonderful after hanging outside.

Still, there are disadvantages, too. The clothesline doesn’t remove wrinkles the way the dryer can. Unless it’s an especially breezy day, it also doesn’t remove the dog hair that seems to coat everything. The dryer tends to tighten up the weave in jeans and sweaters, making them fit me better right now when I’m between sizes. And then there is rain to contend with. And, inevitably, winter.

Fixing the dryer, though, is not easy. It involves first wedging myself through an eight-inch space between wall and appliance, to get behind the machine, so that I can unplug it and push it out into the room. Then, the vent hose has to be disconnected, the back removed(seven machine screws), and the vent guard taken off(more screws). A million things could go wrong! Screws drop to the floor, roll away and sometimes disappear. The vent hose is difficult to remove, but even harder to reattach. And, there is always the possibility that, one of these times, I’ll get hopelessly stuck between the wall and the dryer!

But, with cold weather coming, it would have to be dealt with eventually. The rainy day gave me the motivation I needed. I had work clothes in the washing machine, and I needed them. So, with plenty of cursing and pacing the floor, I tackled the job.

In this case, the offending object was a short pencil from the golf course, that I had evidently found in a pocket and thoughtlessly tossed on top of the dryer. Once it was removed and everything reassembled and pushed back in to place, the dryer works like a charm. And, though I chastised myself for the carelessness that caused the problem (and repeated promises to myself to not let it happen again!), the completed job gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. Success!

Well

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Lord knows, I can always find plenty to say when things are going badly. Sometimes I think the only reason I keep this blog going is so that I’ll have a place to voice my complaints! Many days, it seems like if I’m not grumbling about something, I have nothing to talk about. So, for everyone that endures the whining, I think I’ll get a few words down now when things are going well. And plenty of things are, in fact, going well!

Used to be, I’d fall into a terrible, self-pitying depression every year around my birthday. I’d take note of how little I’d accomplished in my life up to that point, how I wasn’t loved or appreciated, and how old I was becoming with nothing to show for it. No amount of well-wishes and birthday cheer could drive that blue mood away. And oh, if I had to work on my birthday, or if one of my children forgot to call, well…it was just that much worse. I’m happy to find that I seem to have outgrown that tired old habit. Now, my birthday comes and goes pretty calmly. This year, I managed to turn seventy without any melodrama.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having time to spend with people that I love. I took a day trip to the mainland to meet my best friend in Mackinac City. It was too short, but we had a good visit and a nice lunch in the time we had. I’ve had time to chat with several cousins when they were here on the island. Recently, my nephew and his wife came here on vacation. Then, my four sisters were here for a long weekend during the Emerald Isle Irish Feile’. I enjoyed the entertainment, some wonderful meals, good conversation and even puzzles and games, all in the company of some of my favorite people. The day after they left, four cousins arrived. It’s always a pleasure to see these women who I’ve known since they were small children.

Animals are active on Beaver Island this time of year. Wild turkeys walk in procession across the roads, and the migrating birds are starting to gather. The chipmunks and squirrels are busy, gathering acorns or just rushing around. I feel thankful every day that so far I’ve managed to get to work and back home without incident, though they seem to rush out in front of my car as if they have a death wish! On my daily walks, I often startle deer that are nibbling in the berry brambles.

My meager garden has been offering up loads of cherry tomatoes, and enough summer squash for my use. In addition, my cousin has shared the bounty from his garden. I’ve enjoyed lettuce, peppers and kale, and enough green beans to put several quarts in the freezer.

I repaired my clothes dryer. I was able to get my whole five pound bag of coffee ground. I cleaned the refrigerator, and the freezer above it. I started a new book. The dogs are both doing well. I won four dollars on a scratch-off ticket. I lost three pounds and, for five days in a row, at least, have not gained it back! There’s a hint of fall in the air, and that makes me appreciate every single warm day. Usually, I’m able to notice everything that’s going wrong. Right now, there seems to be an abundance of good things!

Coming Toward the End of Summer

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Here we are, one week in to September already. If the calendar didn’t tell me the end of summer is coming, the cold mornings certainly would. I put on my heavy, fleecy robe as soon as I get out of bed in the morning. It’s too early to light the pilot on the heater, but I think about it when I’m shivering in heavy socks and layers of clothes as I go about my morning activities.

The end of summer is always a mixed blessing. I love the warm, bright and sunny days, the bustle in town and the swarms of visitors enjoying our beaches. By the time September arrives, though, I’m looking forward to the quieter days of autumn. This year, these end of summer days bring special joy.

Right now, my nephew, who hasn’t been on Beaver Island in twenty years, is here with his young wife. They are both interested and enthusiastic visitors. Yesterday, we did a little tour of some of the businesses, beaches and historic sites. This evening, I’m joining them at the family farmhouse for dinner. We’re hoping to be able to entice my cousin Bob to join us for a couple games of Euchre.

On the same day that they are scheduled to leave on the boat, my four sisters will be arriving. They will be here for a long weekend. That is the weekend of Beaver Island’s Irish Feile, when we celebrate the heritage of “America’s Emerald Isle.” There will be lots of music and other activities that we are planning to take advantage of. Mainly, I’m really looking forward to spending time with my sisters!

When their visit ends, a couple cousins will be here. It’s always a pleasure to catch up with them, too. Late summer is an easier time for me to find time to enjoy company, as work is less demanding after Labor Day. Though the mornings are cool, the days are still pleasantly warm this time of year.

Though I don’t have much of a garden this year, I harvested enough tomatoes to cook up a kettleful to put in the freezer. I’ve had summer squash as a part of my dinner several times a week for the last month. Today, I’m going to pick beans at the farmhouse, and I brought cucumbers and kale home yesterday from that garden. My grapes are ripening, and so are the wild blackberries. I have an assortment of wild fall mushrooms brightening a corner of my front yard. As I don’t know the edible from the poisonous, I only enjoy the way they look.

The Northern Lights have been visible lately in our night sky, and the Milky Way can be very impressive this time of year, too. Next weekend, the full harvest moon will brighten the sky. Though I hate to have summer end, this end-of-summer time brings me plenty of joy.

What’s New…When I’m Old

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Turning seventy did not make me “old.” Important as that number sounds, and as momentous it seems the occasion should be, it is actually just one more day gone by. As they have always done, and as they will continue to do. When I was much younger, though, this age seemed like a far-distant, undesired and likely unreachable milestone. Yet here I am! And, in fact, no matter what the numbers say, most of the time I don’t feel old.

I have a quote written down, that I’ve saved for years. Attributed to Gertrude Stein, it states, “We are always the same age inside.” Inside, I feel about thirty-five years old. The mirror, of course, tells a different story. Sometimes aching joints and failing eyesight offer another opinion, too. Still.

Most of the time, aging is just a process, slow enough to not even notice the changes. Usually there is plenty of time to get used to it. In other ways, it takes me by surprise. Professional people seem, lately, to be barely out of puberty, yet here they are working as doctors and dentists and airplane pilots. And, with age, I have often been treated with a level of condescension I’ve rarely experienced since I was a child!

Now, when I see obituaries, I automatically categorize the deceased as “younger than me,” “my age,” or “old.” The ones classified as “old” give rise to exercises in simple arithmetic, and thought patterns like, “if I live that long, I have this many years left.” Some things simply become more obvious, or more offensive, now that I’m older. Watching old episodes of ER, I want to yell at the television when I hear the doctors debating about the viability of saving “an unhealthy sixty-two-year-old!” Only sixty-two!

Dealing with my own health, I find – or I assume that I find – a similar attitude. A couple winters ago, I took a bad fall on the ice, landing heavily on one side. A month later, I stepped off a ladder, thinking I was on the bottom step when I wasn’t, and landed hard on the other side. Luckily, neither fall was terribly serious; no bones were broken.

The only long-term side-effect is that both of my elbows appear swollen (still! two years later!), and are very tender. Lifting even light weights causes pain in my elbows. I notice it during my exercise sessions, but also when getting groceries, closing doors, and carrying packages. Supporting myself on an elbow in order to read in bed is very uncomfortable.

I know it’s not life-threatening; clearly, nothing is broken. Still, my life would be much better without this discomfort. So, when I have found myself in the Medical Center, I have brought the subject up. At least three times now, to as many different professionals. The best advice? Aspercreme. Which sounds to me like they’re telling me to live with it. And, yes, the topical pain reliever offers some relief. I can’t help thinking, though, that if I were twenty-something instead of sixty-something, they might do better than simply telling me to hide the symptoms!

But, that might just be me, being cantankerous. I’m the age for it, after all!

Seventy

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I had a birthday recently. It was one of those multiple-of-five birthdays that seem, for no particular reason, to hold extra significance. This year, I turned seventy, and it does feel pretty momentous…at least worthy of a few sentences.

I’m not bringing it up to invite well-wishes; I’m almost embarrassed at the amount of good attention I’ve received, in cards and greetings, phone calls and gifts.

Social media spreads the word far and wide. My computer was pinging so steadily with incoming messages on the morning of my birthday, I grabbed up my journal, sketchbook and study materials, and went outside to the picnic table. Finding it pleasant in the sunshine, I carried my little trampoline outside, and did my rebounder workout in the side yard, too.

The telephone also kept me busy. I heard from both of my daughters, and several friends. I had to cut one call short, in order to give myself time to get showered and changed for a scheduled lunch in town. That was an indulgent affair, too, filled with gifts and wine and laughter. All in all, it was a joyful and busy birthday, not lacking in any way.

I bring it up today only because it feels deserving of some acknowledgement and thoughtful consideration on my part. I have been on this earth now for seventy years. Life has been good, so far, though I’ve often stumbled along with little planning or forethought. Now, on the threshold of my eighth decade, it seems important to put a little more intention and planning into the years ahead. I have no answers yet, no specific direction, but I’m putting some thought into it.

It started to rain on my birthday, drenching the towels and other things that I’d put on the clothesline that morning. It continued to rain off and on through the night, and into the next day, very heavily at times. Sometime during the night, my clothesline collapsed. The rain has now stopped, the sun is out, and things are beginning to dry out. So, on this day off, I have my work cut out for me.

First, I have to remove all the clothes from the clothesline. Some may still be clean, but most will have to be re-washed. Then, with the post-hole digger, I’ll have to dig a new hole for the post. Just like the one at the other end did last winter, the post broke off at ground level. When I get it planted in its new hole, the clothesline will be shorter, but should still be manageable. Then, after it is secured in place, I’ll be able to get back to washing clothes and putting them on the line.

The clothes have to be hung on the clothesline, because my dryer is making a clattering noise again. Eventually, I need to pull it out, crawl behind it, take the back off of it, and try to figure out the problem. Until then, I’m depending on the clothesline. Which is giving me problems, too.

This is a wonderful example of how life often goes…which is why there is seldom actual opportunity for thoughtful reflection!

One Author

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As a person who loves to read, I go through a lot of books. Though I have a list of authors that I know I can depend on, I’m always on the lookout for others. When I come across a book that intrigues me, I’ll look for others by the same writer. That’s an over-simplified explanation of how I came to read Kate Atkinson’s books.

First, I read Life After Life. I saw it in a bookstore. The image – a rose – on the front cover caught my eye; the description on the back cover drew me in. It was an easy choice for my “next read,” and it did not disappoint. I’d never read a book quite like it before and, though the story line intentionally jittered around, it held my rapt attention all the way through. I hated for it to end!

Next, I read A God in Ruins which, though not exactly a sequel to Life After Life, had many of the same characters. As the style of the two books was so decidedly different, it gave me an idea of both the scope and the talent of the author. That put me on a quest to find more of Kate Atkinson’s work. I read Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Transcription, and When Will There Be Good News?

Then, after a pause where I was catching up on new books by other authors I follow, I kind of got confused, forgot Atkinson’s name, and started reading books by Kate Quinn, instead. Quinn’s books are well-researched, and often set in World War II. Like Life After Life and A God in Ruins. I’d read a couple of them before I realized that the authors, both named Kate, were two different people. Kate Quinn is also a very good writer, and I’ve now read many of her books as well.

Then, I came upon Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson. It is the first of her Jackson Brodie mysteries (there are five), and I loved it! I followed with the second in that series, One Good Turn, which was also wonderful. The third is When Will There Be Good News? I was going to skip it and jump to the fourth in the series, but a few years had passed since I’d read it, and I’d learned more about the Brodie character from the first two books, so I re-read it.

I’m so glad I did! For whatever reason, on the first reading, I’d missed a lot of the nuance and subtle humor injected into every page. I had also forgotten quite a bit of the story, so was held in suspense just as much as when I’d first read it. With the history of many of the characters gained from the first two books, I understood them better, and loved them more.

Next, I read the fourth Jackson Brodie book, Started Early, Took My Dog, and the the fifth and final one, Big Sky. And, though it didn’t detract a bit from my enjoyment of both of them, I was more than a little surprised to realize that I’d read them both before. When?! I have no record of them in any of my lists of “Books Read,” so that tells me it has to have been at least five or six years ago, before I started keeping book lists. I can only guess that I read them before I knew the author from Life After Life, so I was not appreciating them as much as I would when I knew her capabilities.

Anyway, Kate Atkinson has provided me with a good summer’s-worth of reading material. I’m now listening to Behind the Scenes at the Museum, to see what I missed in that treasure the first time around, and looking forward to her next book, Shrines of Gaiety, that will be delivered to my electronic reader in September.

Rain

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Today is my day off. I had a few things planned, but on top of my list was getting the lawn mowed. I call it lawn, but it’s actually just a mown field. If left to its own devices, it goes back to its true nature: a collection of various grasses, wildflowers, juniper, and blackberry brambles. That is what surrounds the area I’ve dedicated to lawn, and I’d be happy to let it all go, if circumstances were different.

As it is, I need to maintain a yard. The little dog becomes hesitant to go outside even when the grass is only a bit overgrown; from her vantage point, it must seem daunting, with grasses waving over her head. I walk the field, and I know how difficult it can be to navigate, in areas where the long thorny blackberry branches reach out to snag clothing and any exposed skin. I wouldn’t want to maneuver through it on my way to the garden, clothesline, or car. Also, there are all the critters – snakes and mice and mosquitos – that harbor in the long grass. I’d rather have some discouragement between them and my back door! So, I mow the lawn.

After a few days of rain in the last two weeks, it is ready. In August, the grass is slow growing, but the weeds thrive in summer’s heat. My yard is polka-dotted with long, tough stems rising up out of the grass. The blossoms of Queen Anne’s Lace are opening up randomly around the yard. Long grasses are crowding the rocks that border walkways and flower beds. It is definitely time to get the mower going.

So, that was my plan. I had already sabotaged it a little, by forgetting to put a gas can in the car yesterday, so I could stop at the station after work and fill it. So, that would mean a trip to town today, to get gas. To make the trip “worth it,” I would plan a trip to the bank and the post office as well. The bank had been unexpectedly closed the last time I stopped; I’ve been carrying around two small checks to deposit since last Thursday. I’d write a check for the phone bill that’s sitting on the dining room table, and drop that in the mail. Maybe, since I’d already be in town, I’d take myself out to lunch…or stop in at one or two of the little shops…or pop in for a visit with a friend. Because that’s just how my mind works.

By the time I got home, I’d think, “No sense is starting a big project now; this day has been wasted.” So, I’d take the dogs for a walk, or maybe for a drive down to the lake, and everything I had planned to get done today would be put off until tomorrow. Except, I woke up today to pouring rain. There will be no lawn-mowing on a day like this! All of my good intentions…that I would have probably frittered away on my own…have been set aside by circumstances beyond my control. Hurray! This is my day off!

Just One More

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I’ve been a little preoccupied lately with lapses in my cognitive function. Many folks have stepped up to assure me that it’s “perfectly normal,” “nothing to worry about,” and “happens to everyone.” Thank you! It really does make me feel better.

Still, I live alone. When you live alone, there are a few things you have to be especially watchful of. Choking is one. That’s unsettling even when it happens in a public place where there is more likely to be someone to pound me on the back and/or perform the Heimlich maneuver. Home alone, choking can be terrifying. Falling is another. Once, when I was much younger, I came home a little bit tipsy. Headed upstairs to bed in the dark, I accidentally walked right off the side of the steps, landing in a heap in the kitchen. Then, my only thought was, “I’m glad nobody saw that!” Now, whenever I take a fall, no matter how minor, my mind is running through what I know of skeletal anatomy, trying to assess the possible damage. And, living alone, the thought of losing my mental faculties is especially worrisome.

I do what I can. I try to be mindful when I’m eating, chew each bite thoroughly, and not rush through meals. After too many middle-of-the-night trips up and down the stairs, due to my own and my dogs aging bladders, I have moved my bed down to the main floor, to lessen the chance of a fall. And when I notice, as I have recently, that I’m not remembering things as I should, I pay attention. First, I help myself out where I can: I try to be more alert to what is going on around me; I write things down; I plan reminders. Second, I keep track of my lapses. I somehow feel it will be better if I figure this out on my own, rather than have to have someone else inform me. So, I have one more story to document.

This happened a couple weeks ago, and within just a few days of the other major forgetting incident that I’ve already told. I’m pretty merciful in my judgment about isolated occurrences. I’m busy, after all, and have a lot of things on my mind. It’s when the incidents of absent-mindedness start to pile up that I get concerned.

After several diversions and quite a bit of procrastination, I had finally – at the eleventh hour – gotten all the paperwork completed, and turned in my application to a gallery, for consideration for an art show. I was so proud of myself! I called my friend Linda (who knows well what an accomplishment this was) to tell her. She didn’t pick up, so I left her a message. While I was talking, not even to an actual person, I was preparing dinner for my dogs.

Rosa Parks has a “slow-feeder” dish to prevent her from eating too fast. It is bright green, shaped like a broad platter, with high nubs all over the surface. In it, she gets a measured one-quarter cup of dry food designed for small, senior, over-weight dogs, and one tablespoon of wet food, with her medicine mixed into it. I serve her on a fluffy pink rug around the corner from my desk.

Darla has a standard 2-quart stainless steel dog dish. She gets two scoops – like the scoop you’d use for flour or other grain – of her chunky dry food, plus a tablespoon of wet food with her medicine mixed in. Because she’s a big dog, I put her dish on a short stool, to cause less strain on her neck. Because the only thing my dogs have ever fought about is food, Darla is served away from Rosa Parks, at the other end of the kitchen.

It’s a little bit of a process, but I’m used to it. I had no trouble grinding up their medicines in the mortar and pestle, mixing them into the wet food, and measuring out the dry food while talking on the telephone. I put down the dog dishes, finished leaving my message, hung up the phone, and sat down at the computer. In no time at all, Darla came over and, with a big groan, dropped her head onto my lap. “What’s wrong,” I asked her, “why aren’t you eating your dinner?” I looked around the corner, and immediately saw the problem.

I had put the dishes in the opposite locations! Darla had lapped through that quarter cup of food in no time at all, “slow-feeder” notwithstanding, and determined that I was trying to starve her to death. Meanwhile, Rosa Parks probably thought, “Oh, it must be Christmas,” and tucked in to that gigantic bowl of chunky food without question. By the time I got it away from her, she had wolfed her way through half of it…which was more than five times her usual portion! She didn’t argue when I took it away, just lay right down for a nap, looking every bit like a big stuffed burrito!

Luckily, neither dog showed lasting ill effects due to my mistake. Still, it’s not something I’d want to make a habit of! It’s just one more thing I have to be more thoughtful about. One more thing to add to my “incidents list.” I hope that’s the end of it, for a while, anyway!

And Furthermore…

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I forget things all the time.

I lose things regularly.

Just today, I’ve wasted an hour searching for a little device that allows me to move images onto my computer from the little card in my camera. The camera, purchased more than ten years ago, is a bit old by today’s standards, when sharpness of imagery seems to be constantly improving. For a couple years now, I’ve been using my small tablet to take photos, instead. The tablet has books downloaded on it, for reading or for listening to, so I have it with me most days, anyway. The same cord that charges the tablet will plug in to the computer for downloading photos.

For no particular reason, in the last few days I have taken my camera with me, in walks around the yard and down the road, to snap photos of the dogs, summer greenery, and blooming things. Sometime in the last two years, I moved that little seldom-used device for retrieving pictures from the camera off the desk, and put it away. But where? I have now searched all four drawers in the file cabinet, every possible shelf, and one box and two baskets where I sometimes stash things. No luck.

This is frustrating, but not worrisome. Other than having to choose a different photo than I’d planned for this blog, it’s not a big deal. Even big things, like forgetting about meetings I scheduled myself (as I wrote about a few days ago) are understandable, as long as they are isolated incidents.

Years ago, when the hardware store also had a lumberyard, and I still worked at the hardware, we got a call from a customer who needed lumber. We didn’t have full time staff at the lumberyard; one of us went up there whenever needed. I left the hardware, and got into my car to drive the quarter-mile to the lumberyard. I backed out of the parking spot, and made the necessary turn onto Donegal Bay Road. Then, muscle memory kicked in (while my brain, evidently, zoned out), and I turned left onto the King’s Highway, right onto Paid Een Ogg’s Road, left onto the Fox Lake Road, and left into my own driveway before I remembered. I was not supposed to be going home! I should be at the lumberyard!

Foolish, yes. Inconvenient, undoubtedly. But also, not the end of the world. And, fodder for a good self-deprecating story. An extreme, but isolated incident. I’m sure there have been other similarly ridiculous lapses over the years…but I can’t think of any specific examples. It’s when things like this start to occur regularly that I get bothered. I’m not quite worried yet, but I do believe it’s time that I pay more attention to things. I need to write things down, for a couple reasons. First, to keep me from forgetting things, and second, to help me remember what I have forgotten!

Keeping Track

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I’m pretty good at keeping track of things. Obsessive might be a more accurate term. At a glance, I can tell you how many books I’ve read so far this year (40), and how many miles I’ve walked (172). I have daily records of my weight, work I do for myself and for others, and phone calls. It might take a few minutes to find the information, but I have records of Christmas gifts going back more than forty years. Gifts, recipients, and cost. Now, I feel like there’s something else I should be paying attention to.

Lately, it seems like my mind is slipping. In the middle of a conversation, I can’t think of the right word; I forget the reason I walked into a room; I get the names of my dogs mixed up. Most of it is nothing to worry about. I’m nearly seventy years old; I’m busy; I have a lot on my mind. This stuff happens to everyone, even people much younger than me. A couple recent incidents make me wonder, though, if it’s not time, at least, to start keeping track. Here is one of them:

A few weeks ago, a couple came in to the Community Center to see me. They were here on the island for the first time, or the first time in many years. They introduced themselves. I cannot now remember either of their names. He was the grandson of my Aunt Lizzie, who was an older sister of my Grandpa George. He was here with his wife, and they were on the island looking into his genealogy. Aunt Lizzie had, I think, two or three sons, and at least one daughter. I knew two of the sons, Walter and Hubert. They were maybe close to my Dad’s age. The man was the son of one of them, though I can’t remember which one.

Anyway, in between me preparing food and otherwise helping other customers (because I was at work, after all), we had a nice chat about family history. Though none of us had much information, it can be enlightening to compare notes, and it was a topic we were all interested in. Our mutual great-grandfather, whom I had always known as Henry (Heinrich, when he first arrived in this country from Germany), he knew as Caspar. I’d never heard that before!

Anxious for the opportunity to continue the discussion, I invited them to meet me at the family farm when I got out of work. I told them there are pictures hanging on the walls of Henry and his wife Elizabeth, as well as photos that included Aunt Lizzie as a small child. We’d have a chance, then, to exchange research and contact information, when I was not being pulled away by my job. They liked that idea, and assured me that they had transportation and directions. “I’ll see you just after seven,” I told them as they walked out.

Then, I forgot all about it. I finished work and drove home. I walked the dogs, fixed dinner, did my chores and went to bed without a single thought about it. The realization didn’t come to me at three AM, as sometimes happens with things like that. I didn’t think of it the next day, or the day after that, either. In fact, a good two weeks had passed when my cousin Caroline, whose grandfather John was an older brother of my Grandpa George, invited me to meet her for a drink. As I drove down the King’s Highway, past the family farm, headed for the pub, it all came back to me. Oh, no!

That poor couple! I imagine them waiting there in the driveway, expecting me to show up at any time…and I never came. I have no way of contacting them, to tell them I’m sorry. I can’t even remember their names. I would never intentionally do something like this. I was horrified! But, also, a little nervous. This is bigger than just daily run-of-the-mill forgetting! Maybe I’d better start writing down, for the record, these major slips. Though if Aunt Lizzie’s grandson and his wife had a say, they might suggest I apply my energy to keeping track of my appointments, rather than documenting the lapses!