Thursday, September 15, 2011

Curious Dependencies

I am always happy to receive photos of children—from friends and family and even strangers. At the top is adorable Salvador. His grandparents travel to Peru, one at a time, to help Lori with him. The three sisters are the grandchildren of our dear, late Sandra, the children of Josh and (an entirely different) Lori, from the left Rafaella, Naomi and Shayna. We see them too infrequently; the last time was, I believe, at their younger brother's wedding. At the bottom are two of the grandchildren of Michèle and Raymond, Paul and Justine. It's lovely that these cousins bond with each other during family visits: this photo was taken in Paris, where Justine lives with her two siblings and parents.

Dear Friends and Family,

Toby visited yesterday on her way from the reading group she leads on Long Island. Lovely to hear about the projects that are engaging her in her retirement: genealogy, gardening, serious reading—plus visits to her son and his husband, and their Baby, Brian. From here she was visiting a cemetery to check out a tombstone, which could give her some family information, but probably not! Then to New York to entertain a young relative. She's busy and happy.

Dave went shopping for us yesterday. In my explorations of the files on the large desk, I found a recipe for noodle kúgel I had cut out in 2007! It looked good at the time, but I never got around to making it, and of course I forgot about it. Kügel is a well-known dish, delicious when done well, but it has never been something I could master. I phoned Dave who was shopping for us, and asked him to bring me the ingredients—all very simple. He was intrigued by the recipe and wanted to make it for us—which he did. Vivian came in during the process, and I sent her a small portion when it was done. Merwin loved it; I loved it. And we ate quite a lot.

I found quite a lot of materiel in the piles that should be helpful for the chapter on Macbeth in performance that Laury and I have to write. She is coming over today to take a look at it. Doris is coming today too, and in fact just phoned to say she was leaving her house soon. I have been thinking about the chapter, mainly the possibility of horses on stage in 1616; I can't seem to get off of that perhaps trivial (non) fact. I think I mentioned that my friend John Payne Collier, whose forgery of the Keeling myth (Hamlet performed at sea in 1607) I wrote about recently, also discovered the Simon Forman records of performances in 1616.

The Cantor asked Rabbi Jodi to contact the Bat Mitzvah group (there were 10 of us) to see what they could do for me. After our two-year program of study together, we Bats had a few reunions, which we enjoyed, but it has been over a year—maybe two or three—since we last met. I see Joan and Ann at the Friday lunch but the others are young, working women. I really can't and don't expect them to drop everything and visit me! They first require an update of my condition, which is wearing for me to supply. Their good will, their phone calls, are quite enough attention.

I will return tomorrow.

Love to all,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Better every day

Dear Friends and family,

Last night I used the walker to get from my recliner bed to the kitchen to take middle-of-the-night meds. I didn't have to call Merwin, but when he heard me he rolled me to the bathroom. Later I went all the way myself into the bathroom with the walker! I think my body must be wonderfully resilient. There is clear improvement every day.

Last night we had a family dinner with all 4 sons and my two beautiful daughters-in-law. The two couples slept over, and then Arthur made us breakfast this morning. Dave stopped over with some cake for breakfast dessert. It was the usual family scene: a couple of the sons especially seem to revert to 10-year-old level, but I just let that roll off my back and enjoy their spirit and intelligence. Harvey bought us a new printer to replace the one that just collapsed a couple of days ago. He set it up and taught Merwin how to use some of its bells and whistles: evidently it does everything but clean the oven and wash the clothes.

Now I am eager to continue testing my new walking skills. No call yet from the Visiting Nurse, but by the time he or she comes, I may not need one! A lab person is coming on Monday to draw my blood, which is something I have done about every two weeks. Sergei did a great job on the support bars in the bathroom. They are strong and safe. He is so good: fast and productive. I can give myself a sponge bath and take care of almost all my needs by myself today. His attitude though is a little on the negative side. He looks at me pityingly: With his Ukrainian accent, he mutters something like "to this we all must come." But I disagree: this is not ALL age-related. I had an accident on a bad piece of sidewalk: Arthur and Debbie went to look at it, and I have been given the job of contacting the township and telling them about this dangerous condition. Then I got Sergey to talk about the 120-year-old people in his village, still drinking their Ukrainian version of vodka, etc., and he cheered up a bit. He is now making me a second banister for the steps leading to my bedroom: once that is in place, I think I can get up and down the stairs without too much difficulty because the stairway is narrow, and the two banisters will be a great support.

Hey, I am not complaining! I feel full of life, full of joy, blessed all around with so much. True we are missing certain events, like the planned visit to see Rachael and Michelle's new Lower East Side apartment (that's where Harvey and Sandy went this morning), but that is merely deferred, and Elliott's retirement party tomorrow looks doubtful, but there will be pictures!

Love to all,

Love to all,