20 December …


Another week gone …  and the sunrise yesterday was spectacular.


This morning, Mark (using radio club equipment) will make a connection with Santa Claus via ECHO link on the radio club’s repeater and a group of third graders will get to talk with the old boy using what ham radio operators call “third party traffic”. 

Mark also has plans to see that each child will receive a QSL card from Santa whose call sign is “C 1 AUS”.  QSL cards are postcards ham operators send to anyone with whom they make a long distance contact. 

Bet it’s a holiday those third graders won’t forget.


Some evenings Paul and I are left to babysit each other. 

We are developing a pattern.  I settle in my rocking chair (which is nearly an antique now) with my knitting and he pulls his rocking chair (which is now being used by the fifth or sixth child) next to me and either reads or plays MindCraft (which I don’t understand at all … but I have developed the ability to say “Wow” or “Yea” or “Oh oh” at appropriate times).

We are five and eighty-seven …


This has been and continues to be a busy day for local ham radio operators. The contact with Santa this morning will be followed by an exam session this evening for a wannabe and an operator looking to upgrade his license.  That will be followed by the annual holiday potluck.

Last year, George and I prepared a game for the holiday get-together this year … a BINGO game using RADIO as the headings.  I won’t be going to the party.  I thought I could, but this morning I realize I’m not ready for condolences in large servings … yet.  Family can take over for me.

For the three door prizes, Mark and I got a large holiday decorated plate with matching bowl and I made up a batch of pimento cheese dip.  Boxes of crackers were included.


Snow this morning … but nothing like winters past.

This is George on the front loader clearing the road …

and this is looking at the house from the driveway (the window you can see is on the second floor).

I wonder if we will ever see those winters again.


I had an appointment with the Social Security office last monday.  Tying up leftovers is a chore.  Fortunately, I had Mark for support while facing the bureaucracy.

I will be receiving a lump sum death benefit and a slight increase in my monthly allowance.  Now to work on a new budget.


Recent big setback was a phone call with the daughter of a friend from 63 years ago.  Her mother died unexpectedly, shortly after George.  We had served in an American Friends Service Committee group composed of college age folks the summer of ‘54.  George and I were the “leaders” since we were the oldest of the group at 26 and 24.

Liz is second from the left in the middle row.

Can you find George and me?

How young we were. I would guess many of the others are also dead now.  After all, we must ALL be in our 80s.

Memories …


I’m doing much the same as same …

The upside-the-head blows hit when most unexpected.  One evening last week I burst into tears when I came in from closing the chicken coop door because there was no one waiting to ask me how many eggs had been collected.

Two steps forward to every one step back … but those forward steps seem to be accomplished with less fuss and fewer regrets.

It will have been a month tomorrow.

Reassure me again how it gets easier.  

The things we need to learn before we can do them, we learn best by doing them.

… but no one promised us “easy”.


So … ‘til next week …