bunt sign

Thursday, October 4, 2001

The mornings have been gray and drizzly of late, but this one lasted all day. It's the first day without any sun at all in a very long time. The air had just a little more chill than it did a week ago. I had to pull on a sweatshirt this afternoon (because I am not going to use the furnace this early in the season). I don't know if this is a permanent change, or just an aberration. I guess we'll find out. I could watch the local weather report, but those guys lie. All the time.

When I stopped by Mom's this morning, it was the first time I've seen her this week. We're both awfully busy just now. I guess she's been saving up, because when I left she handed me a big pile of food. She says she just fixes too much for herself and doesn't want it to go to waste. I think it's more that she knows of my deficiencies in the kitchen and wants to make sure I have a decent meal once in awhile.

I was working at my desk around noon and glanced out the window. A young deer was meandering through the garden. If this is the same one that was here a month ago, it's lost its spots. It's still a small one, though. It didn't linger in the garden, but it stayed in the back yard, munching on the wildflowers, for about an hour before moving on.

David dropped by this afternoon and watched part of the game with me. He's getting more serious about finding an apartment now, so I don't know how much I'll be seeing of him in the future. As long as he's been living with his parents, I've had the benefit of being a convenient stop on his way home from work. But he starts his new job in Marin County in just over a week, and I don't count on seeing him as often.

I don't think he really wants to move out, and in most ways Suzanne and John aren't ready to let him go. But in real families nothing is ever that simple. You can wish with all your heart for things to work out one way, and the tiniest seed of a circumstance can keep it from happening.

Sometimes a change is necessary, or seems necessary. I'm just the uncle (and brother) so I don't have any say in what happens. I listen sympathetically to both sides and try to smooth things out as much as an interested outsider can. If I could wave a magic wand and have all the tension in the family disappear, I'd do it. Then everyone would be happy and want everyone else to be happy.

It's not that I think anyone wants anyone else to be unhappy, but when three adults live in one house, there might not be enough happiness to go around. It's a little like a treaty negotiation where all sides feel they're being asked to give up too much. Whenever compromise starts to feel like surrender, the talks are probably going to break down.

It's painful to watch this happen to people I love, but it's even more painful for them. I've lived alone for too long to be able to give advice about how people should live together. I'm a good listener sometimes, though.

Suzanne and John are leaving tomorrow on a cruise, so David will have the house to himself for the next week. And they'll be away from each other, with time to think about how they'll deal with the situation. Time and distance might give them all a better perspective. Not that anything will necessarily change, but at least it breaks the cycle for awhile.

wisteria leaves

Wisteria leaves.

With a four o'clock game today, I came thisclose to forgetting to drag the trash and recyclables out to the curb. Several times, in fact. I'd think about it, but it would be an inconvenient time, so I'd forget about it until the next inconvenient time. It's one of those endless loops that you can get lost in, until you force yourself to find a way out. In my case, I had to wait until after an inning during which Barry Bonds batted. I made one long trip down the driveway after he walked in the fifth, and another after he walked in the sixth. By the time he hit his seventieth home run in the ninth, it was dark out and I'd completed all the chores I was going to do today.

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