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I spent the long long weekend at my Dad’s house in Swan Lake, MT, where the waters are the highest I’ve seen them in 30 years.

I got to see every member of my family in the past week, and it’s been great.  Susie and I headed east for the Canada / Independence Day long weekend, and flew into Calgary for a quick stopover.

We had dinner at Rouge with Steve and Nan, and I had a chateaubriand cooked sous-vide, which (as I pretended to know at the time so the waiter wouldn’t know I was a mere commoner) is when you vacuum seal your food and cook it in water at a very particular temperature.

Anyway: Delicious, and desserts were awesome, too.  Steve and Nan had lots of news for us to catch up on, and we shared some juicy tidbits as well.

The next morning, Virginia, Susie and I ran for the border, down to Columbia Falls where my sister now has a brand new house, built from scratch board and looking pretty and new.  It’s definitely got that New House smell, with, for example, an awesome new lawn but a few big patches of dirt from where construction happened.  It’s just going to get better and better.

Nicole has been successful in renting it out, which is a testiment to her salesmanship because this house is close to nothing except a beef jerky factory, which is a big draw for me but I can’t see it being everyone’s cup of meat. I mean tea.

Sad sad day: as we arrived at Nicole’s place, she was getting word from Stacia and Justin that her dog, Cinnamon, had had a panting attack, and was at the vets with a tube in her throat.  Cin is an old dog, a great dog, one of those chocolate labs who was happy being a footrest, and thrilled to greet you no matter who you were.

But she hasn’t been too healthy in her twilight years. You can see the ache in her bones going up and down steps. And her wag, though not droopy, was strained.

Well, skipping the medical details, Cinnamon was going to need a tracheotomy, and perhaps more, and Nicole made the brave and proper decision to let Cinnamon go… And thank goodness that Staci and Justin were able to reach her, and that they were there for Nicole instead of her having to do it herself. It was really a tough situation, but in a way it worked out so well that they could be there for each other.

Dad met us at Nicole’s place, and we all had dinner together and then left Nicole to work the weekend in the park, and we continued on to the cabin.

The next day, Justin rose early to put Cinnamon in the ground.

The rest of the weekend was as you might guess: sunning, relaxing, drinking, eating, knitting (well, for Susie), and being amazed at the height of the water.

We had BBQed -chicken, -bratwursts, -steak, -garlic-toast, -corn and -lamb. If you can heat it over flame, we did.

I set my Dad up with an email account and a new(ish) computer.  It was pretty exciting to think of him online after a lot of years of him not being.

And now it’s time to go, and I’m driving North, and thinking about how much I like that lake, and how I miss him.

 

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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