The Old House and Barn

    old wooden barn, covered in shingles, as viewed through the young trees between abt and the road

    My brother took the above photo on his trip to New Hampshire last month. It’s the old barn at the house we grew up in, viewed from a dirt road. Below is a picture he took of that house. It was badly in need of paint nine years ago, when my parents sold it, but it looks like it’s in good shape now. The biggest maple tree out front had to be cut down, but the smallest one isn’t looking so small anymore.

    ols red house, the oldest part with a granite foundation, stone wall in the foreground

    To Everything There Is a Season

    It feels strange to be back home in DC after nine months away in rural New Hampshire. And I’m driving back up next week for my father’s memorial service—driving because flying sounds like a terrible option these days.

    My father was able to live at home for most of these past months. Facilitating that was a two-person job, mine and my octogenarian mother’s. During his last month, he went from hospital to rehab, which I thought might become long-term care, but his old body had other plans.

    Fortunately I already knew his wishes, so all three of us were on the same page when it came time. He was at the hospital when we switched him over to hospice care, a small hospital in the White Mountains, and the staff was brilliant.

    My son made it up the last week, as did my sisters and one brother-in-law. Even my brother, who I hadn’t seen in thirty years, flew in. On one of the last days the old man could speak, a nurse told him he was lucky. “I know,” he replied.

    So it goes.

    Early last fall, during a drive down to a different hospital to pick up my father, my wife called me. Our first grandchild was coming. And then another call: she was there.

    Wordpress no longer supported the blog theme I was using, so I decided to start from scratch with a minimalist block theme (Livro) that allows full site editing. I’ve got most of the kinks ironed out now, though it still needs tweaking on mobile phones, in particular. More news and content will follow soon.

    We Are the Problem

    We blame the virus for
    the disastrous condition
    of our schools
    the catastrophic state
    of our hospitals
    the ruinous structure
    of our workplaces
    the collapsing authority
    of our institutions
    so we need not acknowledge
    the virus is not cause
    but revealer
    of our society’s frailty.
    Via: @PlaguePoems

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