Ruth died last night, surrounded by daughter, grandsons and nephew, many of whom had flown in from the west coast and been sleeping in her tiny room for days. The nurses said they'd never seen so many attentive family members. She was well loved and will be much missed.



 Ruth, my son-in-law's gradndmother, 95, is in hospice, hanging on by a thread. Relatives have flown in from the West Coast and are camped out in her tiny room at the nursing home, in view of the capitol. Not much eating or sleeping going on on anyone's part. Kids home from school today for colds and snow.


big houses

 Camilla shows off her new house in Providence. It looks an awful lot like the place I lived in the suburbs of New York (below) when I was just a little older than she is.



This is Bar Tabac, a bistro that is one of Ed's two hangouts. Yes, it is in Brooklyn. I post this because it has been said that I do not visit Brooklyn, so every time I go, I make a picture to prove it. Further proof, I ate hangar steak and mushroom risotto, in case you're doing an autopsy soon. Brooklyn has been known to be a dangerous place. To wit the several bodies found in nearby backyards and cellars. Since gentrification, however, the cellars are more likely to contain rare vintages.


winter activities

It's tax time in New York. Trying to get it together so as to spend some fireside time in Providence at the new digs. Planning to go up and check it out on Thursday. My sister very kindly took my truck down there—filled with a load of firewood—so I'll have a room and wheels and even a gym membership (same company as mine in NY).
   And a fire in the fireplace, when the January thaw passes.


moving on

 Welcome to Forest Street. The first minivanload came in before yesterday's close, and several more thereafter. The movers come—tomorrow?—and presumably the rest will be rattling around in a much bigger space. And The Dog, who has been terrified of the activity will be able to settle down. They FaceTimed me the first-floor room designated for me and other aging guests. Adjoining bath that adjoins the kitchen. Convenient. It's killin' me that I'm not there—I love moving. But that seems to be heritable: They go in for new digs fairly frequently, this being the third house (not including land and  tiny house) they've bought. I'll try to get up there with the Welcome Wagon next week.


indoor weather

We have had some bitter cold here. But apparently it doesn't compare with that they've got in Missouri today: Sub zero. And to think I liked it there because the winters were warmer! It's a oasty 28 here in New York. Key West is calling. . .


back in the day

The publisher and his girlfriend lived upstairs; the office was downstairs.
Once upon a time, two guys from Time—and their girlfriends—started the Illinois Times, a weekly newspaper in Springfield. That's the capital of Illinois, for those of you unfamiliar with the Great Midwest.  I think it was in 1975? The publisher was a hometown boy, but he had met the rest of us in New York City, and we seriously needed an intro to the neighborhood. James Krohe (crow-ee) Jr. became our native guide and office intellectual/historian. The four of us moved on—the girlfriends to lifetime careers in journalism; the editor and publisher not, oddly enough—but Krohe stayed. Well, he didn't stay in town, but he stayed on as the conscience and the memory of the paper. He recently published his thousandth column and decided to cash it in. His voice, dry and wry, mordant and trenchant, is on display in a recent column.
   Now Krohe (actually, the Southern Illinois University Press) has published a book, Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves, a history of that heart of the heart of the country he knows so well. I was given a copy by the former Illinois Times publisher, and am enjoying it immensely. It's like hanging out with Krohe in an expansive mood. (Well, maybe that's a bit contradictory.) You can order it on Amazon. It makes me feel like a know-nothing, but I'm learning. And getting a little nostalgic.


family photos

 I actually like the one where I cut off Chris's head better. But then. . .


for the record

I take pictures of Camilla with this portrait every year, but this year the haircut makes the resemblance unmistakeable. The girl in the portrait is my great-great aunt, Claudia Glenn.  The portrait was given to her niece Claudia Dowling, my great aunt (grand aunt?), who in turn gave it to me.  And the girl in the photo is my granddaughter, Camilla, so I believe the girl in the portrait to be Camilla’s great-great-great-great aunt. My first cousin Glenn, who is in charge of geneology, says that's right. I am meant to give the portrait (and the locket you can barely see hanging from it top left) to a niece. That would be Madison Glenn. And then she should give it to whatever niece winds up with the names Claudia or Glenn. I guess that leaves it up to Eva. 


the great escape

It has become a tradition to take Hannah's picture with the boys.

On this New Year's Day she had her 36th birthday.

One of the subjects did not want to sit for  this picture

...and gave us the slip in The Case of the Disappearing Downward Dog.


and then there's this

Photo courtesy of Pam
As Johnny would say, brrrr wah!