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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, June 26

South Dakota

More on big-belly meals. The next morning we breakfasted at the Grand Oasis, a restaurant near the motel where we were staying after four nights at the casino. Rosalie had a 3-egg cheese and mushroom omelet that covered her plate and I ordered a new item on the menu—eggs and hashbrowns with locally made German sausage. The eggs were standard, the hashbrowns about twice what I needed, and the sausage, two huge chunks of meat that no one could have managed to consume in one sitting. If you know what a ring of bologna is, just imagine this German sausage as a ring. I was served what would have been nearly half a ring. Whoa! From now on I’ll order from the children’s menu.

The relativity of time. The years go by increasingly swift, like a film in fast motion, and I can never believe how many years have flown by from someone’s birthday or the birth of a child or a grand niece or nephew. What seems like only a year or two turns out to be eight or ten. Not possible, I say. Quick time. Not so for our stay in South Dakota. In the past, whenever we’d return, usually for some class reunion and usually over the Fourth of July, almost from the first day I would be in a countdown mode looking for our departure. We were always there too long, each day a day merely to get through, marking time as though I had all the time in the world to watch each day crawl like a snail mired in molasses. Well, the days were even slower on this trip. After only three days we’d been there far too long and we could hardly wait to board that plane to take us home. It was all about relatives, and the time with them was relative.

We were there to help my brother Bob celebrate his ninetieth birthday. The festivities went well. His daughter Jackie had put together a twenty-three minute photo album with music, many shots of Bob and all his relatives (and there were a bunch) cascading across the screen from youth to old age. It was very nice. And we ate a bountiful dinner before the eating of birthday cake. Again, whew! He wasn’t asked to blow out ninety candles, thank goodness, or we’d have never gotten any cake. We got to see and converse with relatives we hadn’t seen in a long time and may never see again. Sad how the last chapter of one’s life is so filled with final goodbyes. Rosalie’s sister Phyllis is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s and probably won’t last much longer. I hope not. What she’s now enduring isn’t life. It’s a death not quite completed, but should be. If I were ever put in a place like the one she’s in, I’d find some way to escape—out an emergency exit into a South Dakota blizzard where I could lie down in a snowdrift, a snow pillow to soften my ascent (or possibly descent) into eternity. That’s the way I’d go. But by then I probably wouldn’t remember what I wanted to do. I really must keep that bottle of pills near at hand so I can use them just before someone takes me to the Golden Bridge Old Folks Home. Golden Bridge, my ass.
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