2008 Fall Notes

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Age & Dates Health Losses Suzanne Knitters  

As I begin to write we are a few days past our 24th wedding anniversary and my 66th birthday on November 13th, which we celebrated very quietly. It is a curious fact of our calendar that if a date falls on a certain day of the week, then every nineteen years* that will repeat.  I was born on Friday the 13th and 67 is 3 times 19 so we will celebrate on Friday next year.

We continue in moderately good health.  Gigi has some aches and pains charged to arthritis and I continue to cope with the dumb results of my "Lyme-like" infection with continuing polyneuropathy that makes my feet half numb - At times I can't tell if I took my socks off and occasionally find my shoes still on. I get worn out rather easily.

This has been a year of losses in friends.  Hoyt Jones who fathered the squadron of kids that Betty and I shared holidays and other times and became a bit of mentor in later years, died in the spring.  An amazing woman named Toni Reynolds, who retired at least three times, the last when she was 95, died this fall.  I met her through a programming client and we had exchanged thoughts, health suggestions, and small gifts as she kept on and on. Her obituary revealed facts unknown to me, including a change of name and a film and theater career tucked in around WWII when she served with the Red Cross in Italy.  I get notices via the reunion list of the deaths of parents of my high school classmates and each time I am astonished that it has been nearly 30 and 40 years since dad and mom died.  My great aunt Louise Kelly continues to fascinate and my web site results in e-mails from people who have her paintings.  At long last I have pinned down her birth date, found in a family Bible by the daughter of her nephew that I have communicated with for years.  June 14, 1876 combines the date given with the wrong year in one art reference and matches my placing the date in the latter part of June from clues in the various census reports.  More at louise.htm

Suzanne Whalen, our friend who is featured on my page with her Seeing Eye dog Caddo retrained for wheelchair work at Southeastern, has had a fairly terrible year beginning with the death of Caddo.  She continues in pain from her fall in a manhole and had more problems from a fall from her chair on a small ramp that tore her shoulder and wrist.  The Seeing Eye has made two attempts to train up a replacement dog for her and both dogs have chickened out around the chairs.  Her mother had been diagnosed and treated for a limited cancer, but when pain sent her back to the doctor a scan revealed fast growing tumors throughout her body.  A forecast of only a few months to live was optimistic and she died last week.  She has gone to New York to be with her father.

Gigi is active in the Dallas Hand Knitters Guild, serving as president this year which involves 3-4 meetings a month and has just added crochet to her skills.  She is also active in the American Council of the Blind Dallas Chapter, having been nominated for 2nd VP next year while doing volunteer work this year including trying to find a Saturday noon meeting place for 30 people that serves lunch and doesn't require a fixed price per person (too high for many) or buffet service and convenient to DART bus or rail.  Dallas has the highest per capita count of restaurants in the country and it is astonishing how few fit in those guidelines (ALL the buffets and cafeterias seem to have meeting rooms, for example, while most restaurants limit an added room to catering service at $20+ per person, but buffets and cafeterias rarely have enough servers to handle a blind group and are awkward to do when blind.)

Not much to say, started late in year, so on to next.

* As long as you don't go across 1900 or 2100.  The year 2000 had a leap year in it, but a little noticed rule of keeping the calendar matching the sun drops the added day in the century years that are not divisible by 400. :-)

Contact Mike Firth
1019 Martinique, Dallas TX 75223-1445