Monday, January 05, 2009

Hello babies. Welcome to earth. . .

It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you have about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of– God damn it, babies, you’ve got to be kind.-- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. in God Bless you Mr. Rosewater or Pearls before Swine.

So here they are, Edward (Teddy) Louis & Quinn John, born Saturday, January 3, 2009, in New York, not too far from where the author of this quote lived in mid-Manhattan. They, and their beloved mother and their worthy-of-her father are doing well, considering. They hope to go home to their fourth-floor walkup (!) in Brooklyn on Wednesday morning. Their uncommonly youthful grandfather will visit them in mid-February after a board meeting in Philadelphia. He can hardly wait

We were visiting Lovely Wife's family in Indianapolis when the word came -- via text message from their dad a lá Obama at 6 am that only Only Son could receive since we're too cheap to accept text messages -- on Saturday when we were leaving to visit daughter #2 in Dearborn, MI. On the way there, we discovered that Dearborn is closer to New York than it is to Minneapolis, and for several exciting hours we considered driving to New York the next day (Sunday) to see the two little lads.

But alas, saner and much less romantic heads prevailed ("What would we do without them?" our clerk asks) and we drove home on Sunday.

On the way home, we almost collided with a van that sped past our car in the early-morning darkness east of Jackson and began to fishtail on the glare ice on the roadway and then spin two or three 360s in front of us before it plunged off the side of the road into a ditch. All I could do was take my foot off the gas and plan for a diversionary maneuver if necessary, which it fortunately wasn't. We were shaken, to say the least, but otherwise undamaged, other than re-running the mental tape repeatedly.

* * * * *

So much more has been happening here than I can say. In October, I was happy to share a dinner and conversation with Brooklyn Quaker while in New York visiting my daughter. The day I returned home, I was notified (not unexpectedly) that my position was going to be eliminated on Dec. 1 and I have been enjoying a paid sabbatical ever since. The paid part will continue for a few months while I try to find new work, for which I am grateful.

I'm working at finding new remunerative employment, but I feel a little like St Augustine who said, "Give me chastity and continence, but not yet." I'm already as chaste and as self-restrained as I care to be, but I would like a little more time before I must abandon sloth . . . . *

* I happily note that none of the seven cardinal virtues -- humility, liberality, brotherly love, meekness, chastity, temperance, and diligence -- necessarily includes anything like toil or ambition. Whew.

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