Mrs. Charm has been sending us lots of interesting birds, but especially wrens, which we used to call our wren buddies. They are the king of all birds.
The other day at Rancho Roly Poly, where I went to run the irrigation system to keep the lawn green in case our buyer bailed before closing and we had to start selling all over again, I hung a new bird feeder.
I asked Mrs. Charm to send a wren to inaugurate the feeder. Then the doorbell rang and I went to answer it. I looked back over my shoulder at the feeder outside and saw a wren perched on it chowing down.
That was cool but what’s even cooler are the wrens Bar saw a day or so afterwards on our porch at the mini-rancho. These wrens were standing on the cushion of the chair I usually sit in, which was odd enough. But these two were going at it like we sometimes see cardinals do. Kissing. By rubbing the tops of their longish beaks together. Ah, love, ain’t it grand.
Mrs Charm’s good friend Michele Kay Schultz, came up in Hong Kong for part of her peripatetic life. She passed in 2011 but her memory lives. Wonder what she’d say about this:
“How, precisely, China (or Hong Kong’s titular boss, Ms. Lam) might be compelled to scrap this proposed extradition law is a question perhaps best left to President Trump’s national security team. But if America, Britain and the rest of the world’s great democracies do not stand squarely, clearly and convincingly with the heroes of Hong Kong, there is a great danger that China will read the further abandonment of Hong Kong’s people as yet another signal that the Free World will not defend its own.”
Russia, after all, defended Venezuela until the threat of a Trump invasion evaporated.
Barbara Ellen’s mother is on her last few physical days and BE is spending those days with her at her sister’s home, reminding me of the days of Mrs. Charm’s physical ending and the intense grief that went with it.
Grief never ends. It just slackens over time, gets easier to deal with.
Her mother’s room is crowded with a host of deceased relatives, immortal energy beings, who both frighten and reassure her. “They want me to go with them,” she says, “and I’m ready.” BE has accepted the notion of immortality and it will help her deal with her mother’s passing, make the grief easier to bear.
We get their thank-you letters. One in 2017 and two this year. Two Hispanics and one apparent black. I dislike confining the awardees to minorities but Mrs. C. might not and the University of Texas journalism scholarship is in her name not mine.
As I said in a comment back in 2016 when the scholarship went live, “Journalism was my living and I’m glad its over but it was more than that to Mrs. C and the scholarship is to honor her not me. What sort of journalist it helps produce remains to be seen. Hopefully an objective one. Not all of them are screaming leftists.”
I found it amusing that this year’s awardees were very different in their thank-yous. One was verbose, going on for several pages, mainly about herself (they are both women) while the other was succinct. She boiled it down to one page and spent as much space commenting on Mrs. C. as on herself. I liked the succinct one best.
“The prize recognizes [M.D. Anderson medical researcher Jim] Allison’s basic science discoveries on the biology of T cells, the adaptive immune system’s soldiers, and his invention of [an] immune checkpoint blockade to treat cancer. Allison’s crucial insight was to block a protein on T cells that acts as a brake on their activation, freeing the T cells to attack cancer.”
A blues mouth harpist who, up to this point, had counted playing backup to Willie Nelson as the high point of his life.
Just a little (3 years on the 22nd) late to help Mrs. Charm. And so far the drugs made from his work don’t treat her non-Hodgkins lymphoma anyway.
Via University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
He’s solo at a two-day new student conference, the way he wanted it. A reminder that my parents weren’t involved in my college career except to pay most of the bills. As I will be doing for him.
I wonder whether Mrs. Charm would have insisted on joining him? No matter. She’s there in spirit.
UPDATE: He cut it short, coming home in the early afternoon on the second day. Said he has his class schedule for the year and everything else he needs. Except textbooks, I imagine.
Mr. B. doesn’t want me to accompany him to his new student conference later this month in Aggieland. I wouldn’t have fun, he says, as if fun were the be-all determinant of human behavior.
Mrs. Charm, were she still with us, would insist on going. On the other hand, I remember that my parents didn’t get involved in my college career. They just quietly paid most of the bills, as I will be doing now.