Saturday, November 29, 2008


Claudia says she doesn't want her photo taken as she is windblown.Thanksgiving Day, Lloyd's elder daughter came with her son to visit us. She's the sort of guest to have: asks politely how she can help and knows where things are so she can do so. Her son is 33, but has developmental problems. Although his muscular abilities are poor, he gets around on his own and can dress, feed and toilet himself. However, he communicates with a limited number of signs and vocalizations. As little as that is, it is amazing to me what a wealth of expression that is. My amazement is multiplied when I remember that learned men told his mother that he would not live past the age of three, that he would never walk, that he has cerebral palsy, autism, whatever the diagnosis du jour is for what we used to call "spastic retardation".

We had a lovely time. She and I caught up with what is going on in one another's life. She had time to talk to Lloyd. We set up Lloyd's Christmas present—a new Sony LCD tv replacing his eighteen-year-old 36" Sony. I wanted to wait until Christmas Day to give it to him, but the old one went south last Monday. We spent all day Friday watching movies: The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Mad Money. I won't critique the movies. We had seen them all before, enjoying them enough to watch them again. It was all, "Pass the popcorn."

Claudia called just now to tell us that she was home, making what is, for us, a six-hour drive in just under four and a half hours. Of course, we stop—as my mother used to say—at every rest stop and tree. We stop at the rest areas to buy snacks and use the hygienic facilities. We get the dog out for a run. We take our time. She gets in the car and drives. She doesn't stop for stock or stone. She only stops for gas when the engine is sucking fumes.

The word of the day for November 29, 2008 is "
visitation" — Pronunciation: \ˌvi-zə-ˈtā-shən\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1: an instance of visiting: as a: an official
visit (as for inspection) b: [2]wake [3] c: temporary custody of a child granted to a noncustodial parent [visitation rights] 2 a: a special dispensation of divine favor or wrath. b: a severe trial : affliction. 3 capitalized : the visit of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth recounted in Luke and celebrated July 2 by a Christian feast.

Our quote for the day is from John Milton (1608–1674), British poet. Paradise Lost (l. Bk. IX, l. 20–24):

If answerable style I can obtaine
Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes
Her nightly visitation unimplor’d,
And dictates to me slumbring, or inspires
Easie my unpremeditated Verse:


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