Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,
It's been almost three weeks without a record of our life. I needed a break and, besides, we really were not doing much. (I did do a "Tesla Year" report, but that was different.) Now we think we need a more-complete record. My memory of these weeks is pretty fuzzy, but the cameras gave us enough record to make a story.
The previous life story diary ended with Marianne's visit to a couple of hospitals for tests of her heart and other organs. Mostly, the stay at Kaiser wore her out and then, after transport to a lab at St. Agnes, the cardiologist looked inside her heart and pronounced it fine.
According to the cameras, while Marianne was gone, I kept busy with neighborhood walks and puzzle-making. I really don't remember!
By Thursday or Friday, the hospital memories had faded. Still not back on chemo pills, Marianne was doing great and was back in the art hut. That's her measure of normalcy. I had energy enough to do chores, including giving Carla a good cleaning. My normalcy. And then there was Friday night games with Jen, Brian and Geoff. Our normalcy.
Over the next week, we must have done things, but my memory is blank. The camera chip only showed a mid-week visit to American Tire to get the winter tires installed. In Germany, the shift to winter tires was law-mandated for November 1, but in California timing it is dictated by the first trip of the season up into the Sierras.
For us, that first trip was Friday (19th) with a "Thanksgiving" up in Martis Camp with Gabby, Ava, and Sam. In normal times, we would have gone down to their house to join in a large Rahimi family gathering, but in times of Covid resurgence and cancer treatment, we opted for a five-person crowd, not a thirty-five person one.
Our weekend was fun. Saturday was "Thanksgiving" and Gigi cooked all day. Very traditional. Sam and I took a ride, including a charging session for Carla where he learned how to play games while we waited.
Later, everyone but the cook went to the tennis court for exercise. (My exercise was taking pictures). Ava has become the family tennis wizard and dominated play. She even worked in some hands-on tennis coaching for Sam. I think he was torn between recognizing she is pretty good and that she can be a bossy older sister. Sam, if the boss is right, listen.
Back at the house, Gigi had finished a traditional Thanksgiving meal, with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, and pumpkin-flavored deserts. It was all good, and very traditional.
The kids stretched the evening with games and horsing around - literally. Ava was Sam's horse. She's transitioning from little kid to young woman and this night it was little kid again. We'll miss this.
On Sunday, it was time to decorate the tree. Gabby did the construction and Ava and Sam added the decorations. The house will sit empty for a couple weeks, but it will be perfect when the family returns for Christmas and, hopefully, skiing.
The decoration was followed by a pickle-ball session at yet another Martis Camp facility. Again, Ava was the best of the group!
After pickleball, it was time for a break over at "The Barn", a family-activity center at Martis. There, the kids ran into friends and Gabby chatted with other moms.
No more pictures from Sunday, but my recollection is that we worked in a board game and lots of chit chat. A perfect way to spend mountain time.
On Monday morning, we all packed up. There was one last picture and then we went our separate ways. Marianne and I had a five- to six-hour drive back to Fresno. The little family left an hour after we did and arrived home almost an hour before us.
One souvenir from our trip up to Truckee was a chip in Carla's windshield. After consulting with our insurance company, I took their suggestion and went to All American Glass to see if a repair was possible ($50 versus my $250 deductible for a full windshield). There I learned that they can indeed repair nicks, but only ones smaller than a 25-cent piece. I think our damage was more like 30-cents, but they said they'd try anyway. I had to sign a release saying the repair process might split the glass further, wasn't guaranteed to be invisible, and had no guarantee. Oh well, it would be quicker than ordering new glass and, in the end, the glass stayed together and the remaining mark just looked like a smashed bug, too small to worry about.
On Thursday, we joined Joan and Vern on their porch in an impromptu neighborhood celebration of his 93rd birthday. I don't think he liked the idea of drawing attention to aging and I understand.
Neighbors Nancy and Gene joined the crowd, maybe for the last time. After almost a half-century in the largest house on Cambridge Avenue, they will be relocating to the Bay Area to be close to family. All this caused me to think about our own housing-while-aging dilemma, a dilemma with no obvious resolution.
For "real" Thanksgiving, it was just Marianne and me celebrating. She fixed a three-course meal, with each course separated by an hour or more, and that made a very pleasant holiday.
No sooner was Thanksgiving behind us than we had to move on to Christmas preparations. Task one is retrieving ten boxes and bags of decorations from the garage attic. It's a two-person job to get everything down to the garage floor, but I'm glad to hand over all the creative work to my better half.
We did have to go pick up a tree of course and I think we set a record for speed this year. We walked into Skookums, found the row with 5-6 foot spruce trees, lifted one up, and said that was it.
Back home, we took a break for lunch-dinner and decided decorating could wait for another day.
John and Marianne