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Friday, June 8, 2001

Since I'm having severe connection problems tonight, it's just as well I don't have much to say. I had a good day. Suzanne came by at noon and took me to lunch. We went to the Powerhouse Brewery in Sebastopol. We saw more of Sebastopol than we planned on, because that town is under permanent construction. Everywhere you go, streets are either being resurfaced or dug up. Sometimes both at once.

As many times as we've headed to the Powerhouse Brewery for lunch, this is the first time we've actually made it, because we've finally figured out that Friday is the only weekday it's open early. It would have been a good day to sit at one of the patio tables, but with the jackhammer blasting away just outside the door, we decided to sit inside so we could talk.

We caught up on some family stuff. She and John went to the Giants game yesterday, so we talked about that, too. I ordered the first burger I've had in months, because, as I told her, I was thinking of it as my last meal.

Monday I find out the results of my tests, or get assigned to take more tests, or get put on some kind of dietary restriction. I have no idea what's really going to happen when I see the doctor Monday, but I'm not taking anything for granted. I guess the smarter thing would have been to eat extra-healthy today, but hey, they make good fries at this place, too.

Then this afternoon I was out digging up my garden when the phone rang. It was my former neighbor Grady, from the old Home Office days. He was out driving in the area and wanted to check out my place. I've been here since September, but he's been in the hospital, off and on, almost that whole time.

So I told him how to get here, and we had a nice visit. He showed me some of his scars and described in vivid detail the pain and suffering he's been going through. But through it all he's lost 148 pounds (and is still huge, but his face looks like a different person).

He's still the same Grady, big, blustery, but vulnerable, even a little fragile. He got back from his most recent trip to Los Angeles for follow-up surgery just last week. I tried to visit him last Friday, when I was running back and forth to the hospital, but at the time he was home I was carrying something (ahem!) that had to be at the lab while it was still fresh. By the time I dropped it off, I'd just missed Grady.

Today while he was here I told him about the missed connection, so he wouldn't think I'd been ducking him. But he doesn't think like that. He'd seen my car and known I was around, but assumed I had business in the neighborhood and didn't have time to drop by.

I've seen him so rarely in the last year, but he still treats me like a close friend. He's never offended that I keep turning down invitations to party with his other friends. I feel so out of place with all the wine connoisseurs and gourmands he hangs out with. I'm just a simple country boy, you know.


All the yard work I've been doing lately has been in the garden area, and it's starting to look better. I should be out in the field working on cutting back the high grass, but I'd have to put on long pants and long sleeves, and I'm just not about to do that on these hot days. So I keep clearing out more and more stuff from the garden, where it stays cooler. If the weather holds, I might not have anything left in the garden but the roses and the birch trees.

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