January 7, 1998
Before I get on with the new year of 1998 let's summarize the happenings of 1997, as I did last year for 1996. It was helpful to see the year as a whole; the entries of shorter time periods don't show the bigger picture that helps me put it all together.
This past year's major happenings/themes:
1) Peter's visit in February, greatly anticipated and enjoyed, since he hadn't been here for several years. His mysterious late-night stays in the family room with his computer were his initial contacts with Mykaila – though we didn't know it at the time.
2) Bob's recovery from December's surgery, which continued throughout the year, in walking with very little help from his quad-cane, and improved mental and social adaptations to life in general. He's not so sure he's that much better though!
3) A major change in Peter's life and ours with his marriage to Mykaila in May. He become a traditional suburban "daddy" to his three step-children, with our own grandchild due in June. His happiness and his new relationship with us is most satisfying.
4) Esther's death on September 2, after a month of rapidly failing health. Peter and I went to the funeral in Denver on September 8.
(The Esther of whose death my mother speaks above was my father's mother, not the Esther mentioned just below. Paul)
5) Esther Shapiro's visit at Thanksgiving, making it ten years of tradition for her visits. A good time with a dear friend.
6) Paul's traditional Christmas stay, as wonderful as always, with much talk about his new life in Ipswich and his commute to Massachusetts General and his less-than-perfect job.
7) Meeting Peter at Denver's Stapleton Airport to go to Esther's funeral. Even though it was a sad occasion he and I had a close connection and many happy times, my only vacation away from home all year.
8) My friendships with Jeanne, and Nancy to some extent. My close friendships are dwindling, though I have a number of chances for friendship with acquaintances – art and history classes, St. Rose School faculty, and Barbara RuHssin occasionally. I miss having lunch out; even Bob and I do that seldom any more.
9) My gardening through the year, on this year focusing on clearing and pruning, and vigorously getting rid of weeds. My new hemlocks (at least three of them) and that cleared out corner is one of my favorite spots.
10) My other hobbies have become a major lifeline: I spend hours each day on my painting, music, and reading. Otherrecreations are the jig-saw puzzles which obsess me when I have one going, so I only allow them in the long winter months. One could also include the TV soap opera, "As the World Turns," a long-time addiction. Holden and Lily have been trying to get together for years, and still haven't succeeded. Bob and I have fun discussing it.
11) My fourth year at St. Rose is a continuing enjoyment and satisfaction. I wish I could help these middle-school kids more; so many of them are so poor at reading, a vital base for any learning. Thank goodness Bev Meyeroff is such a good teacher.
12) Finally, but not less importantly, my health continues to be quite good. I can do all sorts of active things with only minor twinges from my knees, though I worry about them getting worse in the future. I take the prescription drug Naproxin, and over-the-counter Citrucel, Beano, Vitamin E, and a few Tums for calcium. My weight has stayed at 125, up or down a pound of two, all year. Most of the time I feel happy and energetic; Paul said I was "healthier than most people my age." He's probably right.
(As is often the case, an occasional over-the-counter medication was read by my mother's health care providers as literally as the Bible, and as imaginatively interpreted. The Tums were taken as proof infallible of gastrointenstinal disorders, a misdiagnois which lasted for years. – Paul)
Last Friday we got a phone call from Joyce Layman, telling us that Bob has inherited over $37,000 from his Aunt Tag. That was quite a suprise, especially since no one knew she had managed to accumulate that much money on her office-worker salary, and she had apparently told no one. Six nieces and nephews shared in this largesse. Ours is now stashed away in the M&I Bank, waiting for who knows what--our really old age, I guess.
Bob and I went to Hub Chrysler this morning to have his car serviced, then went on to the shop near Northridge to get Mykaila's needlepoint work framed. It took me quite a while to come to a decision, and Bob mentioned the different way he would probably go about it. I am a nit-picker when it comes to frames, I know, but I'll be looking at that for years I figure!