October 2015

"Use the commonplace to escape the commonplace."

Haiku master Yosa Buson (1716-1783)

Quote from Sander

“I hate nothing more than a sugary photograph with tricks, poses, and effects. So allow me to be honest and tell the truth about our age and its people.” —August Sander


Pin cushion

Here's the follow-up to Caroline's emergency room visit: Venom testing at the allergist's office.  She was injected 20 times with varying amounts of venom from yellow jackets, white faced hornets, honey bees, wasps and yellow faced hornets. It turns out that's she's allergic to yellow jackets. 

Grandmother's Coconut

A scene from the garage floor: Emma has left her chalk on the floor, which seems to have been crushed underfoot and the coconut we took from grandmother's tree, which still hasn't been cracked open. 

Blood Infusion

Like a wind-up toy

she shuffles to the elevator

with her new swollen feet 

and new aluminum cane

I press the circle; the doors part; she enters and ascends

Once she escorted me to the doctor

Now I escort her

Room with a View

Only an hour ago

we were sealed up in our minivan

half-a-day, Miami to Savannah

Now, at the window of our hotel,

we gape at the containership

cruising down the river,

about to make its own crossing

Venetian Pool

The girls wanted to go to the beach today, but it's too damn hot. The water in Key Biscayne is about 83 degrees and it's just not refreshing. Instead, we went the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables which is filled daily with cool water from the South Florida aquifer. 


Yellow Light Of Childhood

We're in Miami this week to sell my mom's house. She's lived there for 44 years and, at 82, she's become too crippled to live by herself anymore. She will be moving in with my brother five hours up the coast. 

This morning I awoke before drawn and went for a walk at the park across the street. Their yellow street lamps play a big role i how I remember my childhood home at night. 

Finally in Miami

Twenty-five hours after we left Virginia, we finally arrived in Miami.  The kids raced to the park across the street from my mom's house. This is one of our last trips down here. My mom is selling the family home of 44 years because her health is bad. She's moving five hours north to move in with my brother in Palm Coast, Florida.

This trip was unexpected. Who goes to Miami in August? But we wanted to come down, pay our last respects to the house, and check-in on my mom. 

Train Trip Sleeper Cabin

Last night we took the train from Northern Virginia to Central Florida: 16 hours. When I was 20, I rode the train - coach - from DC to Miami and it was a terrible overnight experience. This time, I sprang for two cabins. Caroline and I bunked up in this one while Amy and Emma bunked up in a slightly larger one two doors down.  

The trip was surprisingly great.  I was worried the kids would grow quickly bored and up-and-down the train, but it never happened. Caroline, at least, was enamored with our cabin and all its details, such as a airplane-style toilet that doubled as a shower. 


Emma seemed delighted to be on the train. Here she is on her top bunk in Amy's room. 

So this happened...

Caroline got rushed to the ER in an ambulance this afternoon. She got stung by something at camp today. It wasn't a bee from what we understand. 

Her Girl Scout camp counselors called us at 3 p.m. to tell us that Caroline had broken out in hives across her face and neck and that her throat was tightening up. Amy and I raced to the camp - about a 10 minute drive away - to find Caroline in an ambulance. The medics had given her epinephrine and Benadryl and she as responding well to both. I rode with Caroline in the ambulance to the ER while Amy followed with Emma ( who was also at camp).

We were a little surprised to hear about her allergic reaction as she has previously been stung by a bee and a wasp and didn't have any major problems. She needs to carry an epi-pen from now on. 


Hot Tin (Plate) Roof

I was delighted to see that Mom's Apple Pie in Leesburg was mentioned by Southern Living magazine as destination in their road trip issue. Amy and I love their pecan pies. 

The ceiling of their small shop is covered in pie plates. While my wife and kids oogle the display cases filled with pastries, I always gawk at the light on the ceiling.