Author Archives: gelman

Season Change

I know the season is changing in Alameda.  The leaves on most trees are turning yellow and beginning to thin.  Some trees are now a bit orange and red.  The temperature hasn’t dropped much, but it is cooler outside.  The sun does not feel as warm.  Many are still wearing shorts and t-shirts.  I am wearing sweaters and boots.

Yep, it’s California.


Went to visit my friend in Florida.  Stayed at her beautiful condo where her brother is currently living with her.  There were no movies to see.  We spent a total of 90 minutes shopping in three days and bought nothing.  We sat at the pool a bit.  We went out to eat.  We watched television.  We talked.

A contrast to life at home.  Relax for a solid week.

Deja Vu

Erik is going to visit Julie.  Many years ago Julie drove with Erik from Michigan to California when he was moving.  I wondered which mountain range one of them would toss the other one off of on their journey.  Today, they are going on a hike together.  If history repeats itself, I have no concern.

I treasure the relationship they have, flavored with lots of humor.

Taking a Risk

When having guests for breakfast or brunch, I will sometimes make French toast.  I have a recipe that has become a family favorite.  Recently, I decided to try making it before the guests arrived rather than cooking after they got to my house.  I prepared the French toast, bacon, and sausage, about 30 minutes before they arrived.  I put the food in a warm oven.  It turned out perfectly as if I had just prepared it.

It feels good to try something new and have it work.


On Thursday mornings I run two or three errands.  En route, I call Julie and talk until I get to my first store.  When I return to my car, I call Carrie until I go into the second store.  Carrie is now working on Thursday mornings and is unable to talk.  I am trying to adapt.

Change takes time.


My family was over for brunch to celebrate two birthdays.  My daughter noticed the word GARAGE on my note board.  I told her I had to move items in my garage to prepare for a reroofing.  She asked if the family could help before they left.  I assured her I would handle it myself.  She always thinks to offer help.  After they left, I realized I forgot to ask for help getting my Google Maps to talk to me.

They are available when I remember to ask.

Genetic Connection?

Whenever I have guests for dinner, I tell then when it is time to end the event.  Either I sense there is no more to talk about, or I am tired and ready to have them leave so I can do dishes and clean up.  My friends like this.  No one is ever concerned about staying too long.

I had a party.  There were 24 people in the house.  One friend asked if it was time to leave, being cute.  I said it was not my choice this evening.  My 14-year-old grandson was there.  He knows nothing about my ritual.  I said, “Isaac, is it time for the guests to leave?”  He was engaged in conversation with someone at the time.  He looked at his watch and said, “Not yet.”  I asked him when they should leave and he said, “7:15.”  I asked him the current time and he said “7:10.”

My friends all laughed and suggested Isaac and I are related.


I have a smartphone that was a hand-me-down five years ago.  I use it when I travel.  I have a landline for home and office.  On a recent journey, I discovered I needed to recharge it far more often.  I suspected the battery was going.  And so, as soon as Julie arrived by plane, we headed to Verizon.  Buy a phone myself?  No chance.  Julie took care of all of the data, etc.

I bought an 8.  Anyone who knows me should be surprised.

Pie Again

I posted a while back about making a pie that Erik chose not to share when I gave him the leftovers.  I made an ice cream pie for Julie this weekend as she came for a visit.  She commented that she wished Isaac and Ari could have some.  They were coming over for a party at my home that night, so I called and invited them to sleep over.  They did.

Guess what they had for breakfast the next morning?

A Major Loss

One of my favorite people died this week.  She was my former mother-in-law.  I knew her for fifty years.  After my divorce, we remained close.  I visited her whenever I was in Detroit and spoke on the phone frequently.  She was a listener.  I recall her giving unsolicited advice once.  My mother was dying and she was afraid I was taking on too many responsibilities.  I explained why I made the choices I did and she supported me.  She was devoted to my children and to her greatgrandchildren.  Hearing about them were her favorite stories. We loved each other unconditionally.

I miss her.