Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Happy Holidays


While 2020 has been a large, runny turd in the punchbowl of life, it has not been uneventful here at Castle Schadenfreude. Alas, not all the goings on have been good.

I was diagnosed late last year with a form of macular degeneration in my right eye. Monthly treatments have kept my vision relatively stable. About the only thing I don’t do is drive on unfamiliar roads at night, though most everything else takes a little longer. It could be a lot worse, but we’re staying on top of it and I have a great doctor, so the outlook is as good as can be expected.

·       In February, Dr. Sole Heir’s mother gifted her a car with one catch: The Good Doctor had to pick it up in Maryland and get it to New Orleans. I volunteered to co-pilot, and it was a weekend well spent.

·       In the spring John A. Hoda was kind enough to have me as a guest on his fine podcast. Even better, I had the slot between two major forces in the business, Michael Koryta and Joseph Wambaugh.

·       The newest Penns River novel, Pushing Water, came out in May. Leaving the Scene comes out in the spring of 2021.

·       I read at a virtual Noir at the Bar in May. Kudos to Ed Aymar for keeping the flam going for these events in the DC area.

·       My mother died from the virus on August 13. If anyone wonders why I’ve been such a hard case about social distancing and staying safe, this is a large reason. Everyone has to die, and Mom had a 93-year run, but no one should have to die like that.

·       Public Service Announcement: When sump pump backup batteries die, they smell like a gas leak. So much so the fire company doesn’t even fuss about what amounts to a false alarm when they scramble to see what’s what. We’re more than grateful for their speedy and friendly response, though it will not prevent the cops in my books making fun of firefighters.

·       In a matter unrelated to the battery failure, the sump pump failed in October. The damage was minor, but it was a week spent moving things and drying to dry out The Beloved Spouse’s craft room, made even tougher due to the rising street value of Lysol and other disinfectants

·       One bit of unadulterated good news: I am retiring at the end of the year. I’ll likely keep my hand in part-time, but I’m using my brother as role model, appreciating that I now have the hammer and can choose when, how much, and on what to work.

 Corky has kept busy during her enforced confinement, as well:

·       She’s an active quilter. Each project gets a little more elaborate and challenging.

·       She still makes cards, though not as much as she used to, given the time taken up by quilting.

·       She spent a lot of time back in the early days of the virus making masks. We have a variety of colors and styles, as do some friend, relatives, and Zack’s entire class at flight school. (More on him later.)

·       We broke down and bought an air fryer, which keeps her busy keeping up with its features, as it also grills and does so many other things I can’t keep track. Last week it woke me up, made coffee, and emptied the dishwasher.

 Rachel (aka “Dr. Sole Heir”) is well into the second year of her internal medicine residency at Tulane. She doesn’t want too much made of it because she hasn’t seen many covid cases since the post-Mardi Gras surge, but things are picking up down there again, making all of us doubly happy to see she got her first vaccination on December 16.

 Zack (aka “The Sole Son-in-Law”) finished the basic portion of flight school for the Coast Guard and is currently on hiatus before starting rotary-wing training. Both he and Rachel are exactly where they are supposed to be, doing exactly what they want to do, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.

 Stay safe and patient, folks. The vaccines are at hand, even if they don’t roll out as quickly as we’d like. We hope to see you down the road a ways.


Happy Holidays.


eliduke said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours Dana!

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