Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sorry for this long pause. November is always a difficult month for us now, and on top of that I managed to get the local cold germ which did not want to let go--I find typing while with a runny nose is an unrewarding experience. However, I am now pinned to my chair because once I got over the cold and felt well enough to run in the park again, I broke my ankle. This happened Monday so maybe I'll be getting a little caught up here!

Trying to remember that day is odd. I know that after we checked in and got to our rooms, we went out looking for lunch. We walked around the several square blocks that constitute downtown Olympia (and have ever since I can remember) looking for somewhere to buy a sandwich--there are plenty of small restaurants there and we did end up somewhere comfortable and casual and a little crunchy in the way a home to ageing hippies is likely to be. I felt as if the streets were full of ghosts: my parents and grandparents, friends from school, the girl I had been in high school, the college student who spent three summers working for the State of Washington just a few blocks away. My husband and children were not haunted in the same way but I think they may have felt a little disoriented.

People kept turning up throughout the day. David and Amber picked Anna up from the airport in midafternoon, and brought both her and some of Thomas's possessions to us at the hotel. They had his laptop computer, and also some clothes that he hadn't wanted to store, though I think they must have just been what he was wearing when he packed up to leave for Iraq. I got one whiff and said: "I am not taking his dirty laundry back to Maryland." It's amazing how long the aroma of sweaty young men can linger. The clothes were not in good shape anyway so we tossed them (the only thing I've been able to throw away, though we did manage to dispose of his socks and underwear finally).

Eventually, Anne arrived from Vancouver and we went back out again with a different goal this time, shopping some of the little boutique places that have sprung up in the storefronts. There was a quilt shop that I recall, but I don't remember what, if anything that I bought there. And then it was time for dinner.


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