Vacation over, time to head back across the country to that place where my stuff and my job are; however, in my heart Orange County will always be home. I don’t know if I’d want to move back here unless I was independently wealthy; the traffic was as bad as I remember, and the cost of living exorbitant. I didn’t look at rents as I’m sure that they’re ridiculous. One family friend mentioned that the house they bough new for $22,500 is now worth $600K, and at last check my folk’s place is worth more than $1.6M. Even the dumpy little 4 unit apartment building we lived in in the late ‘60s/early’70s just recently sold for over $1.2M.

It was a good visit as always, and for nine days I got to live the life of a retired person - no urgency, no great demands on my time. I did get a few good meals out including an excellent Peruvian meal, and of course mom’s cooking was top notch despite her constant worries that she didn’t know what she was doing. I got to see some old friends and some family including my sister who never writes. A few relatives couldn’t make it to last night’s soiree; Christine had a minor procedure done and couldn’t drive, and Jim had a few gall bladder attacks last week and was rushed to surgery yesterday; with those two down for the count there was nobody to bring their mother, the family matriarch, to the party. Maybe next year, I hope...

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My mother is getting a little morbid, and it was a tad uncomfortable. She mentioned that, should anything happen to them, my sister is to sell everything and send half the money to me. I’m glad there’s a plan and an understanding of their wishes, but it’s just not something I want to think about. They’re 72 and 74 and seem to be doing OK, mom’s diabetes (controlled) notwithstanding. They go to the gym and stretch classes several times a week, eat better than I do, and seem to be fit and trim. If anything should happen to dad I don’t know how long she would last as he seems to be rock that keeps her focused and her craziness under control. He would probably last a while without her, but I just don’t know. There were a few other uncomfortable comments and I just didn’t know how to respond.

Thanks for making it through my somewhat depressing ramblings. As a reward, here’s a sweet pup for your time: