----- 2013 ------- OCT--DEC -----


OCTOBER

10/02/2013  birthday
It's my friend's birthday, but I'll never tell.

10/03/2013   favorite words  
I think my favorite word is discombobulated today, and it has only one synonym, disconcerted.  See here.  That's a lot nicer sounding than either of my last two  favorite words: elephantiasis and pickle.  
What's your favorite word today?

10/04/2013   a personal rant
I don't have much support in the reader community (of which I am an avid member,) but I'm tired of all the pity thrown at the small bookstore owners  (see movie You've Got Mail,) and any (if there is any, because they've been the bad guys, too,)  compassion for large bookstore chains that are forced  to close.   My grandfather was a blacksmith, and then along came that damned horseless carriage.  Somebody else's grandfather made typewriters, and then along came that damned computer.  (I wish I could say 'somebody's grandmother, but that would be inaccurate.)  Somebody's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather's brother spent his days and earned his sustenance copying precious words onto a scroll, and then along came that damned Johannes Gutenberg.  Poor Johannes!  Along came that blessed Kindle.  I know,  I skipped a couple of generations, but I think this was enough to make you laugh or pound the table.  The long version of this is being saved for a post titled 'How to Send Readers from Your Blog.'

10/08/2013   about bread  
I think I have finally found a place to buy a good loaf of white bread.   Panera's.  I've found other places but the bread is never consistently good.  I think it depends in most places on who bakes the bread on the day I want to buy it.  At Panera's the sandwiches they serve have to be good every day.

10/09/2013   bread again  
I picked up the bread after having coffee with friends. Great toast tomorrow.

10/19/2013  neighborhood garage sale  
No garage sale at our house,  but we did clean out part of the basement.  We donated some to a worthy cause garage sale and some to Potter's House and got rid of some things in the huge dumpsters at each end of Cedar Creek.  Really a good feeling to have that done, even if I did give away some hard-fought-for antique picture frames.

10/20/2013  we rest
That was a lot of work, cleaning that basement room, and I'm coughing my head off from the dust inside and outside.

10/22/2013     Today  is  about  Amy's death. 
My very loved daughter died in an accident in Decatur on this day, October 22, 2013.  How do I write about my daughter in a blog after she's gone?  I can only say what's in my heart today, December 21.  She was my spirit, my friend, my partner in laughter and tears.  She was my confidante,  my soul mate, my traveling companion, my sparring partner, my political ally, my restraint, and my support.  She had the only smile that could work magic for me and countless others, and the only hug that could make everything better.  She was forty-eight years old on February 22.  She died too soon.

She left behind her dad and me, and Wes, the brother that she loved so much, love that was returned.  She was so proud of him, and his wife, the other Amy, who had become her real sister in all things family or white rocking chairs. She left behind her friends: Marykay, Steve, David, Sandi, Liz, Alison, Robyn, Robin, Susan, Erika, especially Bam, and so many others that I don't know.  She left behind her cousins: Steve, David, Lynn, Cindy, Greg, Linda, and Cheryl, and went at last to be with her big sister, Julie.


Saddest of all, she left behind Emma and Charles, her children, who returned her love every day in a million ways -- even when they didn't know it.

~~~~~~~~~
As for the day, October 22, I remember vividly the phone call from Wes at about 8 am and that he was having trouble controlling his voice.  When he said, "Let me talk to Dad," I said "He's out for breakfast with the geezers.  What's wrong, Wes?"   He answered through sobs "The worst possible thing, Mom.  lt's Amy."  But of course there are two Amys, so I asked in what was probably a frantic voice, "Your Amy?" and he said. "No, sister Amy."  That's how we distinguished between the two Amys: Sister Amy or Amy and Wes's Amy or AmyD. But either Amy would mean tragedy.  We all loved our Amys and they loved us.  From there on I know what happened, but  I see it all  "through a glass darkly . . . agape . . . love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."       

10/23/2013       today  is  also about  Amy's death

10/24/2013       and today

10/25/2013       and all the days to come

10/27/2013     memorial gathering for Amy 
Again I am writing about this day from a day in the future, January 3rd, 2014.  On this day in October, five days after her death, a memorial gathering was held for Amy at A S Turner & Sons Funeral Home in Decatur.  I expected to see a few of her friends and ours, but I was not prepared for so many people from all the parts of her life, and from other parts of the country, work, tennis, the Health Initiative she was involved with a few years ago, neighbors; current and from her growing-up years, Wes's and Amy's friends, the kid's friends, Marykay's friends, cousins Lynn and Cindy, all knew Amy, and most remembered her kindness, her wit and most of all her smile.

For more than three hours we greeted people, cried with her friends from 5th grade on, even teachers. I was still numb, just from knowing that her death was real, not some nightmare from which I would soon awaken.  Her friend, Susan Burns with Marykay had placed huge pictures and small all over the room. There were flowers and memorial gifts to the Athens Recreation Department and The Women's Initiative.  My granddaughter, Emma, was surrrounded by her good friends.  I dragged her over to meet a few people from her mom's life, but I was always glad to let her return to their care.  My grandson, Charles, came often just to give me a hug.  I could hug him back, but for the first time, I couldn't give him what he wanted.


Some of her friends got together and told Amy stories after the memorial, but her dad and  I came home. Amy once said that she thought she had finally told me about all of her youthful pranks.  I did get to sit and talk to Robin Raschke, her friend from fifth grade on, now a Professor of Accounting at The University of Nevada at Las Vegas.  Robin's partner Meghan, was so kind to sit through those hours.  Robin is out of my reach (except for Skype,) but she did tell me that Amy was the one who always seemed to stop them just at the point where they might get into real trouble. There was one night involving some traffic cones put in front of UGA Coach Dooley's house.  I'd love to hear more about that, and just anything at all about her.  I hope someday to sit and tell Amy stories with her friends.


The obituary for Amy Jo Antenen appeared in The Athens Banner Herald (onlineathens.com) and The Atlanta Journal and Constitution.



NOVEMBER


11/15/2013  where we live   
Did you know that most Americans live on 3% of our land, and we're happier than the other 97%.  Go to  delancey place.  and read the fascinating excerpt from Edward Glaeser's 2011 book Triumph of the Cities.  The rest of the world is similarly composed.  I wonder about that other 97% of land, don't you?   Deserts, oceans, jungles?  Edward Glaeser is an Economics Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.


11/26/2013   Thanksgiving, family, and falling down 
The family was all here for Thanksgiving Dinner (Wes and Amy brought the dinner from Decatur--delicious,) including the fabulous Aunt Bam, two perfect grandchildren, mom MK, Grandpa, Grandma, Wes and his Amy and the usual menagerie which on that day included only Shadow, Weezie, Nacho and Lumpkin.  There was also a football flying between grandson Charlie and Bam. 

 I, Grandma, decided to take Lumpkin, Wes and Amy's adorable but high maintenance bulldog for a walk.  Instead he took me for a walk as soon as he saw the football flying.  In spite of that, I still love Lumpkin.  Evidently as I lay prone with my face all scratched up and two very bad wrists, he came back and licked me someplace.  Bam even said she saw the fall and thought I had the balancing act nailed for a minute. 


I gathered a team, Bam of course because we've been in every hospital cafeteria in the greater Atlanta area, her hobo bag filled with who knows what  ( following sister Amy through several surgeries), Emma, and Wes, and we headed for Urgent Care.  We should have taken Charlie, too, but left him behind to chaperone the remaining adults and animals.  The x-ray showed one broken wrist, one sprained wrist, and a very messed up face.  Bam went home, slipped on her stairway, and sprained one of her wrists, too. That's a real friend.


11/27/2013  Tech    
The Georgia/Georgia Tech game, always the Saturday after Thanksgiving,  Amy and Wes stayed for the weekend.  I sure love their dogs,  Nacho is the little gentleman, and Lumpkin is the doe-eyed teenager, growling quietly in front of 'his' drawer.  I'm taking pain pills, but they don't help much.  


DECEMBER


12/02/2013  x-rays 

We had x-rays of my wrists explained and talked about surgery, metal plates, screws, recovery time (not short,) and set dates.

12/05/2013  pain today  
Surgery on my arm to put a metal plate to hold my left wrist bone in place.  No surgery on my right wrist, but the sprain pain keeps hanging around.  Surgery successful.  I have screws in my wrist, worked with furniture too long.


12/06/2013  delancyplace.com    
Go here  to read an article about the policeman on a pole.  This is a great web site.  Always something interesting.


12/07/2013  on pronouncing 'ough' 
Go  here  to see a slide show at dictionary.com 


12/10/2013  friends   
I'm going to see Donita with Gay.  We're taking donuts.  She's moving to the Alzheimer's unit next week.



12/11/2013   sadness, frustration, and easy money  
This is the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut.  Somehow I had to make myself type out the whole name of the school. It's painful because I broke my wrists on Thanksgiving Day and I wanted it to be painful, as if I could take away a little bit of the pain of those families.  I know the pain, no guns involved.  My daughter, Julie, died in 1969.  She was 8.  I know the pain.  My daughter, Amy, died this year, on October 22. She was 48. I know the pain.  I have my own pain, but I would take some of theirs if I could.  I was part of a citizenry that failed to act, failed to make our elected officials understand our anguish, our anger, and our disgust toward a group that succeeds in making sales of guns worth more than the living of young lives.  

Evil takes all forms, now assuming the forms of those who sell guns with no thoughts about the evil they perform when there are no controls over their sales.  Why can't evil take on some of this pain?  The NRA is nothing but well-paid cowardly puppets of the gun industry and the gun industry is controlled by cowards too greedy and too lazy to find an honorable way to make money.  All their words about their freedoms, the second amendment, their right to protect themselves are hollow words.  Some people really do need guns.  Those who sell guns know that, but that's not enough.  They're greedy  They want the easy money -- so they sell guns to dumb people, weak people, mentally ill people, mean people, ill-informed people -- easy money.  Innocent lives don't matter to them, just easy money.


12/17/2013  a letter to Emma Christin Antenen  
This is the first paragraph of the letter my granddaughter Emma received from Syracuse University:

"Congratulations on your admission to the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Department of Drama, Theater Design and Technology program, at Syracuse University for the fall semester, 2014. Candidates presented exceptional credentials. Your admission as an Early Decision candidate is evidence of our confidence in your academic potential and recognition of your achievement and personal qualities. We are pleased to include you among those students admitted to Syracuse University. "


Can you imagine how happy we all are for her  She has worked hard and is being rewarded for her dedication and her talent -- and we love her, too.  

12/20/2013   news about Charles Wayne Antenen.  
Charlie, our very talented grandson, got cast for a solo in the 
Spring Musical at Henderson Middle School in Decatur, Georgia.  He's cast for "Nicest Kids in Town, from Hairspray,  Charles Antenen, Dancers and Chorus"  Yay!

12/23/2013  Lynn and Cindy 
Physical therapy at 8:00 AM.  

In the evening we picked  up Lynn and Cindy, my nieces, from the shuttle--Lynn from Chicago and Cindy from Denver, Both had been here for Amy's memorial on October 27.
We stopped at La Parilla to eat, the kids were really hungry, and we stayed there and talked.  Such a cozy place. 

They helped us do a small amount of decorating, a wreath and our small tree, while catching up on what's new in their lives.  I love my nieces and it was really good to have them here.  We played dominoes and they picked out old family pictures they want me to scan. 

12/24/2013  Christmas Eve  
We were together without Amy, but we all made the effort, including Em and Charlie, to make these days about Christmas and family, so we did the Crazy Santa routine and Marykay got the best gift -- leopard boots.  She says she'll wear them to any parent/teacher conferences.

12/25/2013  Christmas Day 

12/26/2013  Lynn went home 

It was sad to see her go, but she had classes to attend and is still settling into her home in Evanston.  She sold her house in New Hampshire to move back to the Chicago area.  Lynn has spent most of her adult years as a buyer, first for Crate & Barrel, then for various other home and garden stores.  Her jobs have provided her with the opportunity for world travel.

12/27/2013  girls' day out  
Cindy and I went to a large flea market/antique fair, then for lunch at Johnny's Pizza, got home in time to go see a movie with Wayne, then to Fatz for dinner.  We were worn out, but it was fun and didn't stop us from playing more dominoes.

12/28/2013  Cindy went home 
It was sad to see her go, too, but she was looking forward to a whole week of rest and doing whatever she wants to do before going back to work.  She is a first grade teacher looking forward soon to retirement.  

12/29/2013  discombobulated  
I think my favorite word is discombobulated today, and it has only one synonym, disconcerted.  See here That's a lot nicer sounding than either of my last two favorite words: elephantiasis and pickle.  
What's your favorite word today?

12/30/2013   pain  
Physical therapy at 1:30, but I found out it's occupational therapy.   I don't have an occupation.  Getting better.  Can do things like doorknobs now.