Quick note before I fall off the face of the earth again. Mom should be here in about half an hour to pick me up. Jamie's driving down tomorrow, with baby Kylie, and driving back on Sunday or Monday, so I'll probably catch a ride back with her. (It's anyone's guess when Mom will go home, and Dad is unfortunately in Geneva for a few weeks.) Pop (James William Shackelford) was Mom's father; his wife Gram (Frances Adele Bergholm Shackelford) died in spring '98. So far they're the only extended family I've lost since I've been able to remember, except for two great-grandparents that I met all of about twice.
Still not entirely sure how I feel. I had a lot of respect for Pop, and I'll miss him, but ultimately I didn't know him all that well. (Distance in space and in time, and neither of us were all that talkative.) I've still got memories: catching catfish on Jake Lake when I was ten or eleven, sitting in the den just being there with him and Gram, watching his face when he opened Christmas presents. As for books, he gave me Foundation
; I gave him David Eddings, whose stuff he liked enough to read through the entire Belgariad and Malloreon at least once.
It's the house, the sense of place, that I'll miss most. I hadn't realised how much emotion and memory I'd invested in that house until last Thanksgiving, seeing how much it'd changed in seven years without Gram. And there'll be pictures, but a snapshot of the green carpet and the white-and-black tile floor doesn't convey how you had to run across the tile in winter to avoid freezing your feet. The glass-top table, with the clink of tiles and Gram saying "Well, if you don't have anything you want to discard, then you must've Mah-Jongged." That horrible organ (electric, I assume), the walls and walls of books, the clock that chimed the hour plus one (until it got "fixed," and then it chimed correctly except for one o'clock, when it chimed thirteen). The ridiculously steep driveway and my first taste of honeysuckle. And dogs, dogs, dogs: the only dogs I've ever liked lived at Pop's, and were without exception calm, quiet beasts. (I have an odd memory of a half-dozen hunting dogs yapping and jumping excitedly inside the dog pen, from when I was, oh, seven or eight and Pop still went deer-hunting. That is literally the only time I can recall any of Pop's dogs barking loudly or moving faster than a brisk trot.) Heidi and Oley and Underdog and Sissy and Dobie and probably several I'm forgetting.
Salon has made the entire Caedmon collection of Dylan Thomas recordings (eleven CDs) available for download
(sit through their silly ad once and you can then get all the files); listening to "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" and "A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, Of A Child In London" didn't help
precisely, but was neat regardless.
I'll try to check mail and LJ but I really don't know if the 'net will still be on or not. Have fun.