Hi HO!

“Hi Ho!” – so sayeth one of the great literary geniuses of the 20th and 21st centuries who recognized in  all of us, as individuals and as societies, the irony of our madness, our genius, our vulnerabilities, our evil twins, our capacity for love, our ability to dismantle it and our willingness to stumble through this life on an unguided path to self destruction. He did it with sincerity and of course with humor.  How else would we get there? Hi Ho!

I have been away but am back!  Not away in our usual sense as in traveling abroad – or I guess you would say “anarrow,” if traveling but not necessarily abroad. That’s not really the point, or perhaps the smudge, but after almost a full year of retired bliss I stumbled upon the shared responsibility of adjusting my Mother to the life of the “Assisted Living,” which is still a work in progress and in truth – takes a village.  The task that accompanied the promotion of her emotional acceptance of this lifestyle was the physical task of emptying her house of over one hundred years worth of collectibles, not so collectibles and antiques.  This may sound like an interesting diversion to the uninitiated but it fell like a shroud upon my brow under  which was waged a violent struggle  to find even a glimpse of light.  Susan was my salvation, once again, for she could so easily separate herself from her emotional attachment to the thousands of plastic bags, empty “antique”cardboard boxes, and canned goods still safely stored in the basement from the days of the Cuban Missile Crises.  Stop chuckling. This is not a joke! I will tell you when to laugh!  In a nut shell, Susan is not afraid of a dumpster!

If you happen to travel from Ithaca to Batavia you will see well worn grooves in the highway resulting from our nearly two trip per week routine from Jan though most of June. Toward the end, the Thruway attendants knew us by name, asked about our children regularly and often prepared a light snack knowing that Susan was no longer talking to me – some issue about this not being her mother’s house – and that there would be no dinner upon our arrival in Ithaca. Laugh!!    I owe her big time as do my siblings!  Hi Ho!  We also owe: my sister-in-law, Kim, about forty dinners, “Thank you’s” to Rob for an equal number of hangovers and our ill health to the Polk-A-Dot restaurant as result of stumbling in there one snowy, winter morning for breakfast – as if things weren’t bad enough already!

These were dark days but with any luck and a strong tailwind the sale of my Mother’s house will soon be complete and I will once again be finding humor in all the wrong places!  One thing I will miss is seeing Mary Battaglia.  We usually tried to be in Batavia the day before recycling went out which was also the day Mary parcels out the remaining days of her youth mowing the lawn.  It was also Paul’s golf day.  Apparently he doesn’t like the sound of the lawn mower so has her get the mowing done before he gets home.  Sorry Paul!

My desire is to clutter your in-boxes more regularly so until next time————-

Welcome to the Monkey House


  1. tomc


    As soul crushing as the Thruway can be, I remember when as a child in the late 1950’s it was a source of wonder. Finned cars looking more like spaceships than cars speeding past at some 60 miles an hour. There were even state run cafes every thirty miles or so where one could get a ( somewhat wilted ) sandwich and coke. Amazing. The future now that it has arrived , I am afraid, isn’t nearly as exciting.

    As for emptying our house now to make life easier on our children someday ; if we were to do so how would they ever learn that they should for their children ?

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