The Dark Knight Rises

There’s a lot of comfort in the old church songs we grew up with. I could hear them singing the other day when I went by St. something-or-the-other. There is a rhythm and a familiarity that brings peace. In my mind, it is completely detached from the prison of the church that is the usual venue. But the music is different. At times, it is beautiful. Soothing.

I sat on the front porch and had a cigar with a book and whiskey. I enticed Terri out for a while and she sat on the swing with a blanket on her lap and we talked a bit. It was nice. We mostly talked about family stuff. Shannon’s perpetually working too hard and taking on too many commitments. Steve’s depression. Ryan’s addiction. Heidi’s cancer. It’s a nice front porch. Very Americana. There are two cats that are always stalking around—taking every precaution to be stealth but unaware that I am watching. Small town life.

I bumped into an acquaintance at the restaurant the other day where I was picking up some takeaway. She said she admired my life. That I was always traveling or off doing something fun. She is only around 30 I would guess. I didn’t ask her why she feels like she cannot go do things to have fun. I suppose it has to do with some self-imposed restrictions. Or perhaps a man. I don’t know her boyfriend but it would not be uncommon in this part of the world to have a man who wants his woman home at nights. But that is conjecture on my part. But so many people are sedentary. Sometimes through circumstances but mostly through choice. There are plenty of ways to do interesting things that don’t require money. I don’t understand making the choice to remain idle and stuck in a rut. But then I have nomadic blood. So how could I understand.

For me, even the routine activity of booking flights for me and mom to go to Utah for a funeral gives me a little thrill. In the old days it would have been standing on the pier, listening for the two blasts from the ships whistle and the gangplank being lowered to start loading passengers. Or standing on the train platform looking down the tracks watching for the train to come round the bend. Or loading into the horse-drawn carriage. Or climbing into a smaller sailing vessel. Or loading the car for an extended journey. It’s all the same to me. It’s motion. It’s life.

Mom, Shannon and I flew to Salt Lake City on Sunday. Larry and Ryan flew ahead of us. Sunday night we had pizza at Red Rock Brewing. I prefer Squatters but Red Rock is Larry’s place. Monday was the funeral service for Gaylyn. It was a perfect day to be outside–70 degrees and sunny. We gathered and paid respects and told stories for a couple of hours.

My family has largely been immune from death, but we all know it’s out there. We are all getting older and cannot all defy the odds forever.

The past couple of weeks went by quickly. I was in Worcester for two weeks in a row. Brittany and I had a nice dinner Friday night at Ocean Club and then again at Sono on Tuesday night. There is something seriously wrong with her couch, because when we snuggle in and put on a movie I immediately fall asleep. So she definitely needs a less comfortable couch if we are ever to get through all the good movies and shows out there.

The weekend past was one of the many fundraisers that our family manages. Shannon and Mom run this one. This one was to raise money for the impoverished in the community. At Christmas, they use these funds to buy food and presents for families that are struggling. I don’t know how they identify the families. I need to ask. It was a lot of work but a good time. I made 5 quiches on Saturday and on Sunday cooked a massive amount of hash browns and scrambled eggs. Terri and Larry did omelets to order, mom did pancakes and waffles and Shannon directed everyone. Melissa ran the food line.

There is a gaggle of old ladies who chip in for all the fundraisers and they are amazing. They handle their business and know where everything is and know how to solve any problem quickly. We call them, affectionally, the war horses. They were on hand this weekend too. We fed several hundred people and made $1,500 and then cleaned up and had a drink as a reward for our hard work. We will do it again in a few weeks because that’s how small communities work.

I am finding some pleasant routines here. Some mornings I slip down for coffee with mom and dad in the morning. Other days I visit at lunch time. A couple of times a week I sit outside at Epicerie and have a drink with Larry and Terri at the end of the work day. Good meals and drinks and occasionally a cigar. It’s a blessed life, although I always have an eye on the next road trip.

I took a long run around Salt Lake City while we were there. I’ve run a lot in that city over the past 30 years. We were staying downtown so I put in an easy 2.5 miles at around 9:45 pace. Not terrible for me. I’m slowly getting my running legs back. I ran down past the beautiful SLC library, and the original location for the Salt Lake Roasting Company, and The Peery Hotel where I often stay when I visit. I worked a lot in this city, but of course spent a lot of time here personally as well. I played rugby here for 20 years or so I guess.

I miss the mountains deeply. It is so comforting to look up and there they are. Everytime I come west I want to move back. But mom is in Somerset and so for now, so am I.

We had a good visit with Shane and Tekoa and the boy. Alex is dressing up as the Dark Knight from Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail. And his outfit, which Takoa made, is perfection.

Mom and I are at the Crown Room now. She is reading and I am semi-working but also trying to get these words cleaned up and ready for publication.

Not much, but it’s what I have today. Lots of pictures though.

I booked our trip for Amsterdam and now need to get flights sorted. Will be great to see S&O and just to be back in Europe. Last year was the first year I wasn’t in Europe at least once for at least 25 years.

That’s fucking bullshit.

No other news of note.

Humbly submitted.

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