How Ya' Doin'?

November 10-13, 2022

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

How to answer "How ya' doin'?" when we aren't doing much? Just talk a bit and show whatever pictures have ended up on the cameras.

Carla sideCarl frontOf course, we have to talk about health. Carla is still in surgery up at Carstar in Portland. Our hope is for full recovery around Christmas time, but parts are still on order, so it's hard to know anything for sure.

For Marianne and me, our health summary is short: We're fine. Her elephant-in-the-room is gone, with just a little lingering puny-ness. I'm not sure we can differentiate between cancer effects and just plain aging. Too bad we could not avoid both.

FrancePelotonI continue working on puzzles on the theory that it minimizes mental aging. I'm not sure that is true, since repeating this big France map was a struggle, but it is a reassuring theory. It seems that, in our age cohort, thinking impairment is a bigger worry than other diseases and debilitation. Of course, we also work on physical exercise too. Marianne does therapist-prescribed exercise daily and I can still get a thorough Peloton workout every few days.

Outside, Fall has arrived, as much as it ever does in our California semi-desert. We have had measurable rain, a rainbow, and feet of snow up in the Sierras, offering hope for the coming rainy season. Our citrus orchard is shaping up and there are still a few flowers hanging around. One cactus sprouted a new ear. Fun.

rainbow Flamengoes
flower orange cactus

Cambridgebig red

In our Cambridge neighborhood, trees are turning red and yellow, so I had to go out for a walk-with-camera. Some day we need to go up into the mountains for a color tour, but, by the time we notice changes down here in the valley, the color is long gone from the higher altitudes. Next year.

As part of my Veteran's Day walk, I checked out Fresno City College for the first time in months. They had their share of colorful trees, maybe even more than their share. None of these are native, but I suppose landscapers opt for one or two weeks of color. We're grateful. (FCC has serious construction going on and we are thankful this is happening on the Blackstone side of campus, far from Cambridge Avenue. A few years ago, Marianne and I canvassed our area for support of Measure C which is paying for these new facilities. It was good to see implementation.)

vets ram
orangered science bldg

DaleDale Pat MWhile I was out walking or inside puzzling, Marianne was socializing. She started with a Facetime call to Germany and her friend Dale. Keeping in touch with friends may be the best application of technology. (Other "social media" technology has decidedly mixed impacts. Twitter anyone?) Later, she met in person with Dana and Pat for one of their regular bakery visits. A good application of bakeries.

Her plan had been to visit friend Ren at Clay Hands, her downtown ceramics studio, but a Veteran's Day parade made it impossible. This postponed the visit to the next day and I was glad it did, because I could join in. Visits with Ren always include good conversation among her imaginative art.

roostersRen and M rock bird

The main galley display was devoted to a celebration of Jim Sheppard's life as a Fresno potter and ceramics teacher. We never met the artist, but his fifty years of displayed work told a story of talent. Art is a wonderful legacy.

Sheppard displayvase rockShepard

And that's it.

In the weeks ahead, we will start our holiday visits with family over in Monte Sereno and Monterey, but meanwhile we will do local the best we can. We're doin' fine.

Stay tuned.

John and Marianne.