16 March 2010

Moves and anniversaries

Not much to blog about today. Most of my thoughts are focused on my upcoming trip to America. I'm getting all my essential papers and "things" together, and starting to pack. I never take much with me in the way of clothes — I just buy some there, where they fit me better and are less expensive.

But there are plenty of things I do haul across the ocean: some jars of my home-made quince jelly for my mother, a few packages of Spéculoos cookies for my sister, a bottle of wine for my aunt (she likes the fancy bottles more than the wine), and then several pairs of glasses that I want my sister, an optician, to have a look at, tighten up, and maybe put new lenses in.

Today was my late father's birthday. He died nearly 20 years ago. It won't be long before I'll be as old as he was when he passed on.

Two days ago was the fourth anniversary of our dog Collette's death. I'll post a picture of her here because I miss her and she lived with us for nearly 13 years. She got to spend the last three years of her existence in the country, in the vineyards — free, at last, from the leash.

Collette on March 16, 2005 — one year
before she died at the ripe old age of 14

We're going out to look at some radiators this morning. We're trying to decide whether to put old fashioned cast iron radiators in upstairs, like all the other radiators in the house, or to go with something more modern.

We've moved me out of the downstairs room after my 6 years residency there, because there will be a lot of dust and commotion overhead when the hole for the new staircase is cut. I have my computer all set up in the little room that has until now been our guest room (if you've stayed here, you know the one). We took the guest bed apart and stored it in the garage.

My old downstairs office, half-dismantled and being cleaned,
and then my new digs upstairs in the old guest room with W.

The guest room has also been Walt's office for 6 or 7 years now, so now he has to put up with my noise and clutter for a few months while the attic is fitted out.

This is the first time in about 18 years that I haven't had my home office in a spot with a clear view of our front door. I think I came to see myself, over the years, as a sentinel. In three different houses, I could see anybody who came and rang the front bell. I could see the mail being delivered. I guarded the house.

Now that era is over. I'm moving inside. I have moved inside. Feels funny. Mixed feelings.


  1. IMHO, go with the cast iron "fonte" radiators. diffuse and retain the heat longer.
    Have a good trip and come home to nearly new house!

  2. Ken,
    Sue and I will be sad to to meet you next week. We remember you warm welcome last year. Hopefully there will be another time.
    Have a safe and wonderful trip back home with family.

  3. Collette was a beauty, with an intelligent expression. I don't think we've ever had a dog who looked smart, but you love them anyway, don't you?

    Have a good trip, Ken, and be sure to post about BBQ and fresh fish while you're there.

  4. I'm glad I got to meet Collette in her later years and Callie in her youth. I'm glad you met our little Maybelle- she passed on just a few weeks after our meet-up last March.

    Perhaps you will be able to set up your computer station in the attic near a window overlook. If not, your kitchen will be a good spot to see the comings and goings of your neighborhood.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip and remodeling.

  5. Collette is so beautiful! I wish the animals we love could live as long as we do.

  6. Ken

    Was this a typo "the fourth anniversary of our dog Collette's birthday"?
    Hope you have nice weather on your trip.

  7. Collette was gorgeous and I understand how you still miss her.

  8. The Beaver, yes, thank you, that was a typo. It was Collette's death in March 2006.

  9. Collette was a beautiful dog and I can understand how you still miss her, even though you have Callie. We feel the same about our previous dog.

    I hope you have a good trip and enjoy your time with your family.

  10. Our animals bring us immense love and finally, immense sadness at their passing. We can never have one without the other. It is better to have loved and lost...well, you know the rest.

  11. I would imagine it will take a while before you're really comfortable with your new location.

  12. Bon voyage, Ken. Don't catch cold. Hi to your family.

  13. Gosh, has it been that long? Ray and I still talk to Wellington and Hannibal, long after they found their permanent cat-napping spot in the sun. You were wise to give yourselves time to mourn Collette before bringing Callie into your lives. Wish you were coming to this coast. Perhaps another time...



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