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Finally ...

Finally, we meet the granddaughter, Iris. That evening, Eva cried more than the baby... a lot more. I can't begin to express what a great gift it is, and how thankful I am, to be able to be even a small part of the story of a new life. It's humbling, because it makes you feel terribly small and insignificant, not the same way as staring up at the stars on a clear night makes

you feel tiny in space, but instead, tiny in time, a momentary splash in the long river of history. We're here, and then all too soon we're not here, and someone new and unique steps up for their turn at living a life. May Iris always be happy, well fed, and above all, well loved.

I'll slap you again old man ...

Three days ago the realtor called and told us that the house we had reserved months earlier would not be available due to unfinished hurricane repairs. But as it turns out, the replacement that we were offered was much more luxurious. Although not directly on the beach, like our original choice, this place is absolutely 4 star quality. Even though we are on the east coast, the house is situated such that we have a sunset view, over the water.

We have the entire top floor ...

Thank God for the elevator. A minor glitch, however; the dogs are scared shitless of it and refuse to go near it. Soooooo .... my exercise routine includes carrying a 20 pound dog up and down two flights of stairs a minimum of 4 times a day. Paradoxically, its actually easier to carry a dog upstairs than it is to carry one downstairs. I suggested to Eva that perhaps we should go shopping and buy a dog harness, 40 feet of rope, and a pulley. It would certainly make my life easier.

I love how the house buzzes with friends and family now. I was discussing road kill with one, and mentioned how the armadillos seemed to always die with their legs in the air and how the dead armadillos of the west gave way to the dead possums of the east as we traveled through Tennesee. She drawled in her Alabama'n accent, "Well, do you know what we call armadillos, in the south? Possums on the half shell."

Today is Mike's birthday and, as a gift to us, he made sushi for 9 people. It's gratifying to see how well Mike has aged; he is wiser than his years and much more mature than I was at his age. Happy birthday Mike. And keep it up...

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