November 1, 2007


To give you a smile, the Polar Bears at the San Diego Zoo, October 2007.

The air is cooler at last. There were few trick-or-treaters up here on the Point, but it was a school day. We guessed that many kids, of all ages, celebrated last weekend or at school or church. Few lights were on, and most doors were closed against the slight chill in the air. Far away, here by the ocean, things begin to feel normal again.

I plow into Thursday noting:

  • Fire News: An all day fundraiser at Qualcom; NY Firefighters are in town to help; the UT has lists of organizations that have helped, will help, and are helping for the fire victims. The State Fraud cops are in town and did a show and tell for the media.

  • Train Trip News: The suitcases are upstairs and airing. I sent off a note to my friend Cee…we are visiting her in Portland, and she wrote back, “Don’t worry about clothes.” Hello? I live down here in fairytale land. It never rains here. Layers? Does that mean levis on top of shorts. Seriously, G said he wasn’t taking any shorts. This is an important thing for him. A major concession to the weather up north. Jammies? I need some for the train too. I note that invention is the mother of necessity. Or was that Uncle.

    Me? I’m getting wider again so have to try on everything before we leave. I don’t even own a warm coat. We will have to go thrift store shopping for a coat this weekend. What fun!!!! But I do not think a light windbreaker will not quite make it during a Portland or Seattle winter.

    Got mail and the newspaper turned off. Keep telling Duck that we will be gone, but we know he doesn’t remember. I’ll phone Dr. Jay and hope that he can wake enough to visit once or twice while we are gone.

  • Writing: There I am struggling to find the room for class this day. It had been moved temporarily across the street, “where the men gather to wait for work by Home Depot” the day’s instructions said. Where the undocumented wait. Where the illegal immigrants wait. Where the men wait who I cannot bear to look at as I drive by in my pick up truck.

    I read my Fire poem all the while composing a few lines of guilt….it still needs more punch before this noon… those men who wait all day for someone to pick them up as day labor. They work really hard, yet there is a hierarchal pecking order in the waiting line. I always feel terribly guilty that I have no work for them, that I have raised their hopes high as I move toward them in my pickup truck.

    “Hey lady, hey lady.”

    I cannot bear to look at their way and always drive by keeping my face straight ahead. Ah the guilt. At the end of the day, those who didn’t get any work are still there waiting in the growing dark. That’s when the guilt is worst.

  • Today: Rework my guilt poem, shelve and do library sale books, go to bank for money and new, larger safe deposit box, and lunch with the “Old Grey Poets Society.”

    You should have seen me at the bank yesterday. I had such trouble keeping a straight face. My credit rating must hang around my neck in diamonds as I metaphorically starve. Here I am sitting in the bank manager’s chair just wanting a price on the next larger safe deposit box. I couldn’t quite fit the CD’s of the house in since I added Duck’s papers and the box overfloweth. The manager looked to be in his twenties. OK. I handed him the checkbook, and after running my account number he asked if I wanted a 1 percent line of credit for the house so we could remodel.

    “We have already done that. No thanks,” I said, “We have our home loan and car loan with you now. That’s enough.”

    He looked surprised. We hadn’t been sold, perhaps that was it. When he pulled us up on his computer his eyebrows went up. That was interesting. G would have had fun with that. I’m afraid I just turned into Mrs. Gotrocks.

    “And how much do we owe on the house?”

    His eyebrows went up further.

    “And the car?”

    “One thousand five hundred,” he told me.

    “It was a good buy for a student car,” I said with my sense of humor in the air. “It gets 41 miles to the gallon.” Then I had to explain what a “student car” was. He hadn’t heard that phrase for a starter car. That brought me down to earth.

    He couldn’t find the info I needed on the safe deposit box, but later in the evening he called the house. Thirty five dollars minus seventy five percent. We can afford that.

Me: Found class after going in to the wrong parking lot….which was lined with tow-away signs. Read Fire poem. They said it was great, but somehow I got the feeling they were just being polite. Dinner: great fajitas again.

G: Came home happy again. I think life is settling in to the positive at last. Duck, Target for candy, dinner and only two trick-or-treaters.

Duck: He was with us for a few moments then faded to nothing. It was if the lights were on a dimmer and he was extinguished along with the light. He bled all over his bedspread, and when we changed it out we found his sheet…a single sheet, was filthy and sand filled. I don’t think he is letting them change his bedding. Now we have to watch this too.

Fires: All three fires will be under full control by Saturday. All evacuation orders have been lifted. Cleanup begins with warnings about scam artists and frauds. A tent city is being built at the border, and many are living in hotel rooms as rentals are very hard to find. The air is still bad as ash is everywhere.

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