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What if it rained?

April 9, 2012

I had an interesting flight home this week. I ended up talking to the woman next to me for most of the trip. She turned out to be an evolutionary biologist working on butterfly genetics. I spent the entire flight grilling her about her work. She spends the school year in the lab and summers catching butterflies on remote islands in southeast Asia. I think I found a new job to aspire to.

* * * * *

The weekend was spent with family. My sister-in-law’s father died this week. He was a lovely man, the kind of guy who was always on the floor fixing one of the children’s toys ore playing their games. He always had a smile on his face and he was usually found holding hands with his wife of 60 years. He died in his sleep at home at the age of 80-something. It is the kind of death that you’d want for anyone — peaceful, no lingering illnesses or drama. But it is hard to be blindsided by it. No warning. He just didn’t get up for breakfast. His wife was telling the story to us yesterday after Easter dinner so matter-of-factly, like she was still trying to get her head around it. Sixty years is a long time to be married.

* * * * *

The lilacs and crabapples are blooming and the whole world smells of it.

* * * * *

I think our house is not sold after all (we will have final word tomorrow — they asked us for one more reconsideration and we will refuse). And we are okay with that. This process was making us unhappy. And now we hear that another house in the neighborhood, one about the same size and age as ours and with similar issues has sold for substantially more than we are selling for. This is good news and makes us feel better about it all. And so back on the market we go. It’s been nice having our house to ourselves for a couple of weeks.

* * * * *

Mr. Spy is downstairs listening to Elliott Smith, with whom I once played a gig many, many years ago when we were both in college. I am thinking about this instead of wondering whether the Elliott Smith is the sound of a dark mood. But then comes Paul McCartney singing “My Valentine,” and I know we’re okay.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2012 11:48 am

    Wow. Sixty years. That really is a long time. I’ve been married for almost half that–of course, it seems like just yesterday to me.

  2. April 10, 2012 12:03 pm

    I misread crabapples as crap apples. And then I giggled because I’m that juvenile. And at the risk of sounding also schmalzy, I agree with your last bit too. The three of you together in whatever form that takes is more than OK.

  3. Jeannette permalink
    April 11, 2012 7:12 pm

    When I was in college I spent the whole of a flight with a geneticist as a seat partner. He was a nice professor; I was an undergrad. But his work was so interesting. (I can’t even remember exactly now the details.) I do remember at one point he switched from hedging his esoteric work with a few comments (you know, how all we specialists do. ha) to really getting into explaining something. It made me feel good like I had asked good questions and that he took me seriously.

  4. April 11, 2012 7:17 pm

    That’s exactly what happened to me. I think she thought I was just being polite at first, but after a while, she really got into it. I love listening to people talk about the things they’re passionate about. It doesn’t really matter what the thing is. Also, I am really happy to know that there is a company that does gene sequencing calle Genewiz.

  5. freshhell permalink
    April 12, 2012 7:11 am

    Yeah, I think parting ways with the folks who don’t understand ‘as-is’ is just as well. You’ll find someone to buy it who won’t demand the impossible.

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