Granny passed away this fall, in the comfort of her daughter’s loving care. Although in the end she didn’t recognize Abby, and was confused anew every day by the virus and pandemic conditions, she died peacefully, and had a very good life. We celebrated her, like we do everything this year, over Zoom. More than 100 people and families showed up.
The ceremony was well prepared and carefully organized by Sarah and Jonathan. The children (Topher, Kitty, Nat, Abby, Lydia) all spoke, as did the grandchildren, each for a single minute. Here is what I read.
Granny was a magical thinker.
She loved telling stories about history. Quaker history and family history being the best two types. Dearie. She would liberally add details of which she could never have known. Precisely what the wife of a general had said Where she had once stood, or just how she felt. It was a part of the story because the story was better that way. Because she wanted it to be true. And so, for her, it was.
I saw this in our conversations about Tom, in the years after his death. She would imagine forgiving Tom. Imagine Tom coming back to her. Imagine reclaiming Tom. Tom was a part of her story because Her story was better that way. Because she wanted it to be true. And so, for her, it was.
Thank thee, Granny. We love thee. And thee will stay with us.
During the pandemic we have more time at home as a family. A lot more time. This has led to some innovation in terms of play. Reid especially has been creative. We now regularly play various types of tag around the house that involve flying stuffed animals (‘stuffies’). I’ll be taking a break from my ‘office’ to get a snack or go to the bathroom, and BLAM! a flying stuffed turtle (one of the multiple such we have at hand) will come flying out of nowhere and hit me. This is shortly followed by the rapid dissapearance of Reid as he calls out “YOU’RE IT DADDY!” I then grab the turtle and give chase. There are always instant tag-backs. That’s the primary rule. As a result there is a lot of running around the house these days.
Penzi Tag has been played more, with Penzi the stuffed baby rottwieler, a celebrity among the stuffies. In Penzi Tag, once you tag someone, you may also then pick Penzi back up and chuck him away, so that it is harder for the new “it” to return fire. This adds a whole new level of complication, and so most of the game is played as a close-range tossing-kicking-tagging scramble for the doggie. It’s pretty intense.
Finally there is Air Tag. Air Tag is great because all you have to do is jump and be in the air when you tag someone. However, that makes it complex, because you are rarely ready to run away after landing your jump. So some of Air Tag is silly: for example, standing close to someone, and alternating hop-touches with them. Air Tag is also spreading as Reid has taught some other kids as well.
State Parks are amazing. We need more of them, more support for them and more time for everyone to take advantage of them. Wow. Cobscook State Park in Maine is such a little gem. Of course, you need to be hardy to biting insects, like flies, etc. However, it’s an extremely special place. The tidal shift is gigantic, and the landscape changes dramatically over the course of the day, alternating from a simmable, boatable bay to a massive, sticky, mudflat. The tide changes so quickly, in fact, that you can watch the water level change over just one minute!
For Katie’s birthday this year we did one of her favorite things: a family hike. This year, with Reid 10 and Liam 13, we hiked Katadhin, the highest mountain in the state. One mile up, one mile down, and 9.8 miles sideways. No biggie!
Happy Birthday Katie Quirk! You are the best mother and partner we could hope for! Here’s to another awesome 44 years together!
We missed the recent local rallies and protests in support of Black Lives Matter, and George Floyd in the last couple of weeks, so when we heard that Trump was coming to Maine for a photo op with a company that makes swabs used in COVID-19 testing, and there was a protest, we thought we should do it!
It was a beautiful morning. The snow stuck to everything, walls, trees, branches, everything.
We shoveled the drive. I used the chainsaw. I cooked bacon and eggs on the campstove for lunch. We heated tea water on the woodstove. I had cold instant coffee. We did a 4 person exercise routine. We sat around by the fire and read. And blessedly, we couldn’t do a lick of computer-based work. It was glorious!