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December 13, 2000
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Sorbet, Toys, and Going First

I should only eat grapefruit I've stored in the garage in the evenings. Really. It's a bit like eating grapefruit sorbet without any sugar in it. It's just shockingly cold and tart and wonderful. It's a very abrupt way, however, to wake up in the morning. Especially after a bad night's almost-sleep.

Dueling snorers. I don't know why it is that ever since Fezzik died, I've started snoring like crazy at night. I want to blame it on the humidity or the cold, or finally being able to relax or something. But it's rather inconvenient to pick up a habit that wakes me up all the time. It was really cold last night, though, so maybe the dryness had something to do with it, as when it gets colder, it really does seem to get a lot more dry.

We had to get in by 8, so that John could make his meeting. So we were going in early and for the first time I didn't wear my extra layers. On the way in, I saw the flock of sheep huddled together in the single digit cold and I said, quite emphatically, "I'm very glad I'm not a sheep." That made John giggle a lot. But I really was glad I didn't have to stand out in the cold all night. I had a 10:00, and it was kind of fun. I had the entire afternoon for concentrating on and I started rolling on actual work again. Really getting to things, and that was very nice. Stopped for a quick break at lunch time for my Stouffer's stuffed pepper with beef and rice. It was actually really good, and not particularly salty. I enjoyed it a lot and the baby rolled contentedly afterwards.

I got to a certain point at 3:00 and was stymied. Luckily, that was when Debbie needed people to load toys up into the trucks that were going to the Armory to deliver them. So I went downstairs and started hauling toys to the trucks. There were four big pick-ups with covers and just enough room for all the toys. There are a *lot* of toys. They, luckily, didn't need the Baby Buggy's capacity, so I went back to work. Someone had already said that I probably shouldn't be carrying things, so I thought that if I wasn't needed to drive and mildly discouraged from hauling the things that needed hauling that I should probably just stay and work.

So I did that. Debbie said, later, that the ladies that were accepting the toys nearly cried on seeing how many there were. They'd had so many problems, and of all the companies that they'd written to ask for donations, Xilinx had come up with more money than all of them. With the toys appearing right in front of them, though, I guess the emotions ran pretty high. I'm glad that they needed them.

We went to dinner at the Oasis, after work. Karen and Howard were still here and John wanted to have beers and dinner with them, so we did that. While waiting for the beers, we also ordered a spinach and artichoke heart dip on their home made beer bread. The bread was soft and yeasty and crisp crusted and topped with Parmesan and garlic and butter and toasted crisp. The dip was creamy, garlicky, and studded with good sized chunks of artichoke, they'd also broiled the top of it so that the top was crisp and chewy. Together it was really nice. The baby, while I was hungry and waiting was starting to wiggle all over the place.

I'd been reading in various things that there's this 'activity count' you're supposed to do everyday. One says to do it twice a day and the baby should make ten motions of some sort within two hours, even when the kid is sluggish. The other said to count ten while the kid is most active and it should be within 2-4 hours. I counted ten in less than two minutes. Whenever I notice the Fish being active, it's been really active every day, and this time the critter was just bopping around as if to say, "I'm *hungry*!" The constant motion settled after I had a slice of that bread slathered with the dip, and the motions were significantly less strenuous after that, just slow rolling motions. I wonder how a baby whale feels like in its mother's womb?

I can't imagine over a year of gestation, though.

Dinner was good, too. Conversations turned through the whole housing situation, as Howard is moving here from the Bay Area and he's pretty amazed at the prices in comparison. It was very interesting to find that the house prices had dropped in LA and Hawaii because the housing prices in Japan had dropped through the floor. Ripple effect of the availability of real estate money. It's not cheap here, but it's not nearly as frightening as it is in the Bay Area. At $200,000 for a nice house on a good piece of property in Hawaii, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be fun to just get a place there for vacations and share it with anyone else that wanted to time share the place. I don't think I could live in Hawaii for the long-term. I'm too fond of my mainland friends to give them up quite that thoroughly. But it would be a wonderful place to vacation, or even live part of the time.

Going out into the cold, afterwards, was quite a temperature change. It was back down in the teens, and all the melted snow was now ice again, and the snow that was still out was crunchy and crisp. Breath fogging the air and it was just interesting to be out in such complete cold. Home again home again...

And on the way home we talked, as usual. One of the things we talked about was Fezzik. How I'm not crying all the time was one of the things I noticed, and that's a good thing. Then John talked about the communication we had with him and how remarkable it was; and that, in the end, we trusted him to be able to tell us when it was just too much and he trusted us to do the right thing for him. That he'd really relaxed with us there.

It might have been like the time when Geoff got all anxious because he felt that Fezzik was all anxious and afraid of trying to come up the stairs from the basement. Geoff felt like there was nothing he could do, and now I wonder how much of that Fezzik picked up. I had come along, at the top of the stairs and just called Fezzik and then encouraged him on his way up, and Fezzik had come straight on up after dancing back and forth for a while, whimpering with Geoff. I now sometimes wonder if Fezzik was that brave, sometimes, because I was there to encourage him to be brave. He also knew that with me there, if he got stuck I'd help him as I'd helped him up several times before. It was a suddenly odd thing to wonder if we saw Fezzik brave because he trusted John and I enough to be brave around us.

I know that John makes a big difference for me. Rather than feeding my fears, he feeds my hopes and makes me feel like I can do something to make thing better. Like with the childbirth, if I had someone that was only harping on how things could go wrong, what things to be afraid of, and what problems could occur, I'd be a screaming, nervous, terrible wreck. When John said that his goal was fun, it really opened my eyes to the possibility that it really could be fun. He said that I help him with it, too. Like the fact that instead of being grumpy about my appearance, I have fun giggling at my pearish reflection in the mirror as it just 'looks so funny!' I think that some part of me is like that, the same parts that believe, gut deep, that anything is possible and everything has something good in it. It really has to be some real part of me that can actually find the good parts of each day, whether I do it consciously or not, it's really a part of me.

Fezzik responded to that. That makes me cry just thinking about it. But he really did trust us to do what he really needed, as Carl put it.

I got to cry again after a few days without. Good tears, still. We also talked about what to do with the ashes and the best thing we can think of, still, is taking them to Marymoore and spreading them there. Then, no matter where we go to live, where we might move, we can always visit him there. If we spread them at this house, it would be weird, when we moved, to leave him with some other people we didn't know. Putting him on a shelf would be just really odd, too, as he never really was good at staying out of the way. I can just see the Fish gravitating towards the urn and dumping it over his head, 'cause Fezzik wanted to play.

Besides, Marymoore was the one place where Fezzik always ran ahead of us.

No matter how much we'd yell at him to 'Stay Close!' or 'Wait!!' he'd just take off in a gallop to the waterhole. He knew where he wanted to go and he'd go without us. I still remember a time, soon after my surgery when Fezzik just galloped off, John went after him to keep an eye on him, and I, who could just manage walking on uneven ground, just slowly walked after.

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