Packing those bags.

News comes this morning that the E.U. will be allowing vaccinated tourists this summer, which means it’s time for the Derringers to start planning the inaugural post-retirement mega-vacation, i.e., a month in France, likely this fall. I did some peeking around VRBO in Paris and found about what I expected — plenty of inventory, not a lot of bargains, but hey, no one ever said the city of lights was cheap.

But you know what? I don’t care. My high-school class Facebook page has a disturbing number of obits lately, and then with the loss of David? I’m heavy into fuck-this mode, let’s go to France.

We may only do two weeks in Paris, however. Suggestions for the other two weeks are welcome. I’m thinking Lyon or somewhere on the Mediterranean coast.

A weekend that was a mix of relaxing and productive. I got started on another book (“The Committed,” the sequel to “The Sympathizer,” which I read last month), and stopped to think what a miracle it is, because from roughly 2016 to 2020 I could barely concentrate on anything long enough to sink into a good novel. I don’t keep count of these things, but this year I’m clipping right along.

Didn’t watch the Oscars, either. I just peeked at one of those best/worth-looks roundups, however. I can give a big thumbs up to Lakeith Stanfield’s Parisian nightsuit (“Freaks & Geeks” reference there for those in the know), and sigh deeply over Frances McDormand. Great actor, I love her honest-face anti-glam aesthetic, but lordy, I am writing this post-workout, with my head-sweat drying in a frizzy mess, and can honestly say that my hair looks better than hers did last night.

There’s a line, Frances. You crossed it. But you’re a winner-winner, so hey, chicken dinner.

I have absolutely no opinion on Chadwick Boseman, other than: He died too soon.

That said, I think I will jump into the shower and fix my hair. Frances, you do the same.

Posted at 8:58 am in Current events, Movies |

67 responses to “Packing those bags.”

  1. Heather said on April 26, 2021 at 9:30 am

    France! I really liked Aix-en-Provence and Beziers on an extended visit some 20 years ago. But it’s hard to go wrong on the Mediterranean.

    Wasn’t planning on going to Europe until next year–I feel like I want to see family and friends in the US first so we’ll see. Meanwhile, how’s this for a reentry plan: for my first immune weekend, I’m going camping in Wisconsin with some people I don’t know all that well. A campsite right on Lake Michigan? Yes please. Even if it’s a little chilly.

    Maybe Frances is taking a cue from her character in Friends with Money, who stopped washing her hair because she didn’t see the point.

    630 chars

  2. Susan Gillie said on April 26, 2021 at 10:01 am

    The year after I retired, I went to Paris. When I got home, I was diagnosed with fourth stage lymphoma. I’m staying out of France for awhile.

    Friends recommend Gate 1

    198 chars

  3. Deggjr said on April 26, 2021 at 10:15 am

    “… a disturbing number of obits lately, …”

    This sentence struck a nerve. There are so many cases of prostate cancer among men my age or younger in our increasingly smaller church that I wonder if my case is just yet undiagnosed. Take the opportunity while you have it.

    We had great experiences in Paris, Versailles, Normandy some 30 years ago.

    353 chars

  4. Jeff Borden said on April 26, 2021 at 10:18 am

    If you have a couple of extra weeks, I’d make a jaunt to Spain. The food is excellent, the wines are great, the weather is beautiful, the art and architecture are stunning and the people are among the nicest we’ve ever met in Europe. It’s also less expensive than much of Western Europe.

    I’ve not kept up with how Spain is dealing with the coronavirus in recent weeks. Not too long ago, things were a mess, so that may work to its disadvantage. But of all the places we’ve visited over the years, Spain would be my choice for a second trip with Portugal a close second.

    572 chars

  5. Dorothy said on April 26, 2021 at 10:34 am

    You and I are on the same page about Frances. I admire her so much, but at the same time I feel like she should have at least put some minimal effort into her general appearance. She didn’t have to pay $$$$ for a fancy hairdo, but for God’s sake woman, have some self-respect.

    We had a two week trip in September 2019 and am so glad that we did. But as far as the near future? Well we took steps more than two months ago to build a one-story home and it’s just a half mile from our son and his family. I finally convinced my husband that I did not share in his desire to buy acreage and build on it just so he could have space for his beehives. He’s had cancer twice; he takes a lot more medication than I do. He’s not as healthy as I am. I’m not wishing him gone but the fact his, his mother died at age 57. I told him that if he dies before me, I’d sell a home on acreage so fast it would make his crock of ashes spin. So we are building again, and this time on a small lot but within walking distance of our granddaughter. They haven’t broken ground yet but that should happen sometime next month. We anticipate moving will happen in November.

    I’ll be retiring but he wants to work. More power to him. But I also hope that commuting 90 minutes each way gets old really fast. (For his next position at work the security is really high, and working remotely is not an option. Yet.) He’s going to join a beekeepers org in the Columbus area and he’ll probably find a farmer that will love to have his hives at his farm, hopefully not far from where we’re going to live.

    We’ll be spending a lot of money to do this, but that’s what we worked so hard for in the previous 40+ years of married life. We were also fortunate to inherit some money and that is helping, too. I don’t want to miss a minute of any soccer games, dance recitals, music recitals, softball games, etc. I hope we have at least 15-20 good years left with decent health and no more pandemics.

    FYI my boss knows about this, and my two closest co-workers, but no one else knows. Anyone who knows me on Facebook, please don’t make reference to this news there. I don’t want the rest of the department to know until the fall semester starts.

    2217 chars

  6. Deborah said on April 26, 2021 at 11:07 am

    After you spend two glorious weeks in Paris may I be so bold as to suggest you spend a week or so in the south of France someplace in a small village that is close to a lot of other villages and interesting places you can drive to. There are many gorgeous small villages with interesting shops and cafes, granted some of those have dried up and blown away, but if you do the research ahead you won’t waste time. Then you might want to end up with a few invigorating days in Paris again before you head back to the airport and your trip home. Also if you take the Chunnel train you can almost make a day trip to London, it’s literally just a couple of hours trip from Paris and it’s quite scenic too, except for the half hour or so that you’re in the actual Chunnel. Take seats in first class on the train, it’s not as expensive as it sounds. I can recommend a wonderful inn in the So of France, that has an amazing chef and a delightful host.

    942 chars

  7. Suzanne said on April 26, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Y’all are giving me travel lust. We have a significant wedding anniversary this summer (40 years!) and were hoping to take a trip to Europe or something but then, COVID hit and we stopped planning. We also have a niece getting married near Chicago the weekend of our anniversary, so we may stay a few extra days and do some relaxing, if anything is open by then.

    Hopefully, next year will better for travel. Happy 41st to us by then!

    437 chars

  8. LAMary said on April 26, 2021 at 11:45 am

    I second the small villages in the south suggestion. There are some great small villages in the mountains as well. Narrow cobblestone streets, little bakeries, butcher shops, cheese mongers selling the local tome. I was staying with friends in the small villages so I can’t recommend lodgings, but exploring the places where there are Roman bas reliefs in cliffsides, churches built in the tenth century, and town squares surrounded by little cafes are lovely places to decompress.

    481 chars

  9. LAMary said on April 26, 2021 at 11:59 am

    The Oscars. I watched about three minutes. The ABC affiliate here was covering the arrivals and the ceremony. ABC is owned by Disney. In the three minutes I watched a reporter show the arrival of one guy, then handed off to a guy who talked about Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii. I got the picture of where this was going so I decided to watch the Dodger game.
    And Frances can wear her hair whatever way she wants. I’m more disturbed by the immobile faces, inflated lips and yard long hair extension look. You know, those women who keep playing with the hair that’s hanging over their shoulders, down to their waists? Bugs me. Call me judgy.

    642 chars

  10. Margaret said on April 26, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Although I love the south of France, Normandy is also wonderful and full of history. I’ve never made it to Alsace and would love to see the picturesque villages there. I thought “The Sympathizer” was a fabulous read and an excellent discussion book for Book Club. Unfortunately, I was one of only two people who finished it.

    324 chars

  11. ROGirl said on April 26, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Aix en Provence and the countryside around it are great, but I was there before the Peter Mayles books came out.

    112 chars

  12. JMG said on April 26, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    If your trip is going to be in the fall, may I suggest the Perigord region west of Bordeaux. Beautiful countryside and it’ll be truffle time! Also, the Lascaux caves are completely amazing. Margaret, Alsace is very beautiful. You should go at Christmastime, when the region basically transforms into a fairy tale.

    313 chars

  13. LAMary said on April 26, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Good point, ROGirl.

    19 chars

  14. ROGirl said on April 26, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    The quality of the light in southern France is different, more vivid and intense. Vincent van Gogh didn’t exaggerate the colors. Rosemary and thyme grow wild in the red earth, and the scent perfumes the air.

    207 chars

  15. Julie Robinson said on April 26, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    The morning was spent looking at paint chips and buying a new washer/dryer, the latter courtesy of my mother’s checkbook, and wasn’t that generous?

    So I haven’t caught up with Oscar fashions, and while I don’t like greasy hair either, like Mary I shudder at the plastic surgery victims. Frances is her own woman and can do as she likes. I wouldn’t care to have anyone tell me to lose 10 pounds, or whiten my teeth, or bleach my hair, and I suspect that’s her point.

    We sent in our passport renewal forms last week, and travel is the number one goal for Dennis in retirement too. This year will be mostly getting moved and settled so I think anything overseas will wait for 2022. A niece is getting married this fall, in New Orleans, and we’ve started looking at flights, only to be amazed at how few are non-stop. I’m used to that in Fort Wayne but expected better flying out of Orlando.

    Dorothy, yay! If we are ever lucky enough to have a grandchild, I’ll want to be close by too. Our son has been dating a young woman who we all think is practically perfect in every way, and it’s been since a year ago in January or February, and I even contributed my engagement ring to help hurry the process, but they seem content as they are. So, it’s back to practicing patience.

    1282 chars

  16. Beobachter said on April 26, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Something a little different to consider is a bike tour, such as: The Castles of the Loire Valley. My wife and I have biked the Loire valley twice. It’s beautiful and a great way to see castles, chateaus, gardens and the countryside at your own pace. We’ve used this Austrian company for various self guided bike tours throughout Europe (link is in English, and highlights their French tours):

    Nowadays we use only e-bikes, which are offered on most of the tours.

    Getting to the Loire Valley from Paris is quick and easy with a TGV (fast) train.

    617 chars

  17. basset said on April 26, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    We were going to go to Sweden last summer and timed our booking exactly wrong, the lockdown came about fifteen minutes after I bought the trip. Managed to get the woods lodge and nature tours cancelled and refunded, had to pay for the unused air tickets though. May try it again this year, going to let the situation develop awhile longer though.

    348 chars

  18. JodiP said on April 26, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Oh, this makes me so excited! Lisbon is top on our list.

    As for France, I would love to go to the Le Lot region in southwest France. I follow a tourist page on IG and it looks so stunning:

    We also loved Arles and the surrounding area. Close to the Camargue, an amazing nature reserve. Arles has a very good museum on the Roman period, a collseum and is charming. It’s near a ruined fort which is now kinda an outdoor mall, but still beautiful. Also, Les Carrieres des Lumieres is incredible–it’s an old bauxite mine in which huge projections of art are done to music.

    607 chars

  19. JMG said on April 26, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    I plead guilty to geographic dyslexia. My previous post should have said “east of Bordeaux.” West of Bordeaux is water. I second the emotion on Arles, especially for Van Gogh enthusiasts.

    187 chars

  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 26, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Going around on social media — 72% of all adults live within 20 miles from where they grew up. How far do you live from your childhood home?

    I’m 300 miles away from where I grew up.

    188 chars

  21. basset said on April 26, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    239 miles for me, and not much reason to go back.

    49 chars

  22. LAMary said on April 26, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I live about 3000 miles from where I grew up. I don’t miss living in that small town. Even with 50 years of changes a lot of what I didn’t like about it is still there. When I talk to friends who left and live in NYC or CA or even in other small towns in different states they agree there was something stifling there. When my brother, who lived there all his life next door to the house where we grew up, died last year he was held in very high regard and the flags were at half staff. He was a great guy, no question about it, but he could not imagine why anyone would want to go to Europe. He used to go to Atlantic City to gamble sometimes. That was it. He said everything you could possibly want or need was available in that town in NJ. Same mayor for 40 years, redlining the shit out of the place. Five Jewish families, no African Americans, no Latinos. Not until maybe the last five years. I see the town’s online group and see the same small minded shit that sent me fleeing years ago.

    995 chars

  23. Sherri said on April 26, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Google maps says I’m about 2300 miles from where I grew up.

    61 chars

  24. JodiP said on April 26, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    I am about 135 miles from where I grew up. I had planded on living far, far away, but college got interrupted due to my folks losing the farm. I lived a few different places, then moved here when my oldest niece was going to be born. Minneapolis has always been special to me, and I’m happy here–have build a good life. Said niece is now a mother and we are seeing her, her sweet husband and cute kid this Saturday. I’d prefer living in France, Italy or Portugal, but that hopefully will come as the retirement plan.

    517 chars

  25. Mark P said on April 26, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    I’m within 20 miles of both my childhood homes, but only because I can’t convince my wife to move to Colorado. There is nothing in my hometown (hers, too) to keep us here and some good reasons to move.

    205 chars

  26. Deborah said on April 26, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Google maps says I’m 1,193 miles from where I grew up. My husband is 253 miles from where he grew up.

    101 chars

  27. Julie Robinson said on April 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Born in Iowa, grew up mostly in Illinois before going to college in Indiana and staying, now heading to Orlando. We moved every year until I was five. Which measurement would you like?

    184 chars

  28. Scout said on April 26, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    I’m not quite ready to go international yet, but I do hope to do a little US traveling this summer. My grandson moved to Seattle in February and we would love to visit him there. We would also love to do a Sonoma wine tour too, and maybe a Tahoe trip.

    I live 2400 miles from where I grew up. My friends have finally stopped asking me when I’m moving back now that I’ve been here 38 years.

    391 chars

  29. Little Bird said on April 26, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    1,034 miles from where I grew up, 697(ish) from where I was born.

    65 chars

  30. Dave said on April 26, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    1,046 miles from where I grew up and my wife is almost the same, 1,044, according to Google. We lived in Fort Wayne for years and that was 181 miles from my childhood home. All of our married life, we’ve lived farther than 20 miles but I have one brother who fits this description of under 20 miles and a sister who has lived farther away but came back.

    355 chars

  31. Bob (not Greene) said on April 26, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Google Maps says I am a 7-minute walk away from my childhood home. If I didn’t have to cover a village board meeting tonight, I’d probably be having dinner with my mom, who came over to our house last night.

    207 chars

  32. Suzanne said on April 26, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    According to Google, I live 20.6 miles from where I grew up although we have lived farther away several times.

    However, our daughter lives 646 miles from where she grew up and our son, 1,820 miles away. So, I don’t know if that’s an editorial comment on where they grew up or our parenting skills…

    302 chars

  33. Deborah said on April 26, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    I said in a comment at the end of the previous post that we had watched “The Father” instead of the oscars. I know people are saying they don’t want to watch the movie because they’re currently in throes of a relative with Alzheimer’s and would find it too depressing. I would encourage you to rethink that, because the way the movie was made it’s shows it from the perspective of the one with Alzheimer’s and it’s fascinating. Having gone through it with my husband’s uncle, it gave me insight into what it must have been like for him. Yes it’s sad, and everyone who has Alzheimer’s doesn’t have the same experience. For instance the Father character (Hopkins) kept his ability to speak even though he was pretty far along, whereas uncle J lost that a little earlier and that made it somewhat more complicated. Anyway, consider watching it, it’s extremely well made and the acting is excellent all the way around. We saw it on Amazon Prime, but had to pay $20 to rent it, well worth it.

    987 chars

  34. Julie Robinson said on April 26, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Deborah, I said the same thing on the last thread, minutes before Nancy posted. We watched Iris during the time my MIL had Alzheimer’s and soon after FIL died of complications from it. It was very insightful and even cathartic, and we had a long discussion afterwards. We haven’t seen The Father yet, but we will.

    Okay, I finally looked up Frances McDormand, and I’m puzzled. The gown is ill-fitting but looks expensive, she’s got on eye makeup and some serious rocks at her ears. But her hair looks like day three without benefit of a brush. And I say this as someone with curly hair that does what it wants, so not without empathy. Is this a person who doesn’t give a flying fig? Or someone who needs help?

    711 chars

  35. Mark P said on April 26, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    I guess I should say there used to be a reason for us to stay here, but the last parent died 8 years ago, so there are no longer any family ties to this place. I’ve wanted to move for a *long* time.

    200 chars

  36. David C said on April 26, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    175 miles from where I grew up but it’s 260 miles to drive it because somebody put Lake Michigan in the way.

    108 chars

  37. Deborah said on April 26, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    I saw photos of Francis McDormand at the Oscars and I’m actually impressed that she’s not all into the ridiculous overdone face and hair crap. She looked just fine to me. When you see hairdos of models on the runways, their hair often looks like they just got out of bed, so I think that must be pretty chic these days.

    319 chars

  38. Diane said on April 26, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    Google maps says I live 1,786 miles from where I grew up. I never really thought about living anyplace else but my husband had a pull to live in the mountains and so here we are.

    179 chars

  39. Colleen said on April 26, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    1100 miles from Fort Wayne. My adulthood has also included a jaunt to western Kansas and Columbus Ohio.
    I’m reminded that 32 years ago I was in Hungary as part of my History Independent Study. Despite their leader,crazy Orban, I still want to go back. I also want to see Greece. However, Steve is not anxious to do international travel. Never has been. I will have to work on him…

    384 chars

  40. alex said on April 26, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Less than a mile from where I grew up because I love the area and have deep ties to it. I also spent many years far away.

    Julie, Frances McDormand has dressed like a frump for every Oscars show ever. I think it’s intentional and it’s her way of saying she’s a private person and not an image-conscious celebrity. Amazing how it makes people uncomfortable and that’s probably part of the thrill for her.

    414 chars

  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 26, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    “Iris” was helpful, in a number of ways. I’m sure I’ll watch “The Father” at some point, but candidly, we’re just dealing with some fairly deep-seated unpleasantness that’s always been part of the picture, but growing cognitive decline just takes all the wrapping paper and cushioning off, not that there was much before, leaving us with an assortment of sharp jagged edges wherever we try to get a grip. I’ve known a number of people who get gentler and kinder as they grow confused and muddled, while others . . . do not. Add in just enough comprehension of TV news to trigger a great deal of decades old racism and hostility about “others,” and you get a toxic stew that makes every conversation a minefield. So I’m afraid Sir Anthony (whose Instagram short video this am was sweet and classy) will have to wait for my viewing of his work on that subject.

    858 chars

  42. Ann said on April 26, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    Since 1969 I have lived at least 400 miles from where I grew up, but then last summer we sold the condo outside Chicago and here I am, right back in Marquette, 3.3 miles from the house I grew up in. Never in a million years would I have expected this. That’s life for you. But it is amazing how many people never move. When my daughter was teaching in an Ohio suburb she was the only teacher in the whole school who hadn’t been born in Ohio. When I ask people at my mom’s assisted living place if they’ve always lived here they’re likely to say something like”oh no, I’m from Negaunee.” Negaunee is nine miles away.

    621 chars

  43. Deborah said on April 26, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    We watched “Minari” tonight and I’m sorry to say it didn’t cut the mustard for us compared to some of the other movies we’ve watched recently. We couldn’t wait for the movie to be over. We stuck with it to the end, but just barely. I really wanted to like it.

    259 chars

  44. Dexter Friend said on April 27, 2021 at 2:44 am

    I wanted to visit Spain in the late 1970s but in those days Carla Lee refused to fly. Later on she was flying , to The Dominican Republic, Las Vegas, California, Florida, but by then I was retired and had forgotten about Spain.
    Skilled professional people can or used to be able to relocate to better jobs, but union workers had to and wanted to hold onto good paying union jobs, which were like gold. Outside of Michigan workers who drove to Texas for work, then had hard times there, and “GM gypsies” who bounced around the country in different plants trying to make a dollar, and people like I worked with who had shuffled to as many as 7 different Dana Corporation plants to keep working, those of us who avoided plant closings were happy to stay put, so the only places I resided beside Ohio and especially several places in Indiana, my home state, were months-long stays in Texas, California, and Vietnam, which of course was a one year tour. After vacationing every year for decades from Cal beaches to Cape Cod, from Florida to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, I still have the old wanderlust to visit England, which is where I am convinced is where most of my ancestors lived. I write this knowing many English folks wait impatiently for the day they commence holiday and jet off and out of Blighty’s fog and dismalness. And I really have buried the desire to visit “The Spanish Riviera”, as tour companies used to call it. I am holding out on visiting anyone until the 4th of July. Dr. Fauci seems to think that’s a good plan, so does President Biden. In a month it’s Memorial Day, and I am planning a little drive up to the Mackinac Bridge just for a look around and a change of scenery, and a slab of Murdick’s fudge to bring home. I phone-talk to people daily and I am active of Facebook and am doing OK. Living alone is indeed different as you can imagine.

    1876 chars

  45. alex said on April 27, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Get a load of this:

    “People have a choice to be gay or straight, right? Some of the craziest things against God’s rules on this earth, we have a choice now. When do the parents get a choice here, and the children get a choice whether this is good for their family or their personal well-being because there’s a lot of families that are psychologically affected with this, physically affected with this. I’m not saying masks don’t work, they do for some cases.”

    The anti-maskers are on a crusade to unmask the public schools around here and they have an asshat school board that narrowly voted against it.

    My ex, who was a teacher, told me the biggest mistake he ever witnessed during his career was the changing of school board membership from appointed to elected. Suddenly the board was comprised of uneducated and ill-informed people with political agendas that had nothing to do with education.

    And people pay big money to live in this school district. Why, they’re even bigger fools than the board they elected.

    1083 chars

  46. Deborah said on April 27, 2021 at 8:32 am

    We take a 10,000 step walk nearly every day and still always wear masks. Yesterday my husband said he was going to take his off and wear sunglasses, because they always fog up on him when masked. But in the end he didn’t do it because he’s so used to wearing a mask he said it seemed wrong not to. It is surprising to me how many people we see wearing masks outside still, even young people. It depends where you are in the city it seems. The last time we walked in the evening up Clark where a lot of bars are, there were a lot of maskless, young faces on the street. In the warmer weather I’ll probably not wear one outside as much. Today in Chicago it’s supposed to get up in the 80s, we shall see.

    701 chars

  47. robert said on April 27, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Beautiful column. We too have the Europe bug. In the south of France, check out the Fondation Maeght in St. Paul de Vence
    Someone mentioned Alsace – I lived there for two years – loved it.

    223 chars

  48. Indiana Jack said on April 27, 2021 at 9:40 am

    We had planned a week or so in Rome in April 2020, so obviously that didn’t happen. It’s been bumped several times on the calendar but now seems set for mid-September. My wife and I have found we enjoy an extended visit — five days or more — in a single European city then exploring it at the pedestrian level, living more like locals than travelers. We’ve experienced Florence, Paris, Barcelona, and Prague that way and loved it. Our best advice is to go in the off-season or “shoulder season.” No lines at the Louvre in mid-November and that’s when the nouveau beaujolais is released.

    590 chars

  49. Jessica W said on April 27, 2021 at 10:03 am

    I live 2600 miles from where I grew up, but only 200 from where I spent my first six years.

    My parents lived 2600 miles from where they grew up. All of my grandparents lived 8000 miles or so from where they grew up. Only one of my sisters stayed in California, in part because her husband wanted to stay near his parents, who are still alive and enjoying themelves.

    I’m not quite ready to go to Europe. In a few years my spouse will be retired from her teaching job and we can then travel outside the times when school is out and things are crowded. We’ve got our eye on a Jewish culinary tour of Greece that is probably going to happen in 2022. If that doesn’t turn out we’ll go to Portugal and Spain on our own.

    726 chars

  50. Snarkworth said on April 27, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Julie, may I encourage a hands-off approach to your son’s future engagement? Our son had a girlfriend we were so fond of that we practically broke out in flashing neon lights of approval. Alas, it ended.

    203 chars

  51. Julie Robinson said on April 27, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Snarkworth, we are being very hands off although it’s killing us. I only asked once if it was under consideration because I wanted to offer him my engagement ring, knowing cash is short for him. He told me there was also a ring available from her grandmother and that made us think they had discussed marriage. That has been it and that will be it.

    348 chars

  52. LAMary said on April 27, 2021 at 11:36 am

    I read an article yesterday about a private school in the arts district of Miami. Grades 1-8, I think. The parents received an email telling them to keep their kids home if they had been vaccinated because based on information Robert Kennedy Jr. shared when he visited, vaccinated people can cause girls and women to stop menstruating. Just being in the presence of a vaccinated person can do this. The school is furloughing all the teachers who had been vaccinated based on this. This is a pricey artsy fartsy school. I would blame it on Florida but RFK Jr. needs to put a sock in it.

    587 chars

  53. Sherri said on April 27, 2021 at 11:52 am

    While I live 2300 miles away, my mother lives on the same land she grew up on, and that her father grew up on, and his father. Her mother grew up on the neighboring farm. My father grew up about 10 miles away, where his father grew up.

    235 chars

  54. Deborah said on April 27, 2021 at 11:57 am

    RFK Jr needs to put more than a sock in it. Wow, just wow.

    I found out this morning I got scammed ordering something online. Another lesson learned. Sigh.

    158 chars

  55. Julie Robinson said on April 27, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    What’s he done now? I know Twitter banned him for his antivax screeds.

    We just got back from titling and registering the car. $375.

    134 chars

  56. Dorothy said on April 27, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Well y’all have been talking about trips and thought I’d mention that in March we rebooked our flights to San Diego for late July because my nephew (whose wedding was supposed to be last August) had rebooked their wedding for this year. Well, he got a promotion at work and is now no longer living in San Diego and so the wedding is postponed yet again. His mom, my sister, had already bought her flights, too. So instead of going to a wedding, we’re going to meet her and her husband out there for a five night stay and see San Diego! We’ve never been to California so I’m sure we’ll have a great time. I hear from many people that SD is absolutely beautiful, weather is perfect all the time, etc.

    About four years ago this sister asked me if we’d like to do a couples trip sometime, and of course I said yes. But then my husband got thyroid cancer, we had our two week 40th anniversary trip, and then Covid hit. Among my siblings, she was born 23 months after me. I’m number 6, she’s number 7 of the ten of us. We don’t get to see each other very often because she lives in upstate New York. I get the feeling this trip is going to be epic!

    1146 chars

  57. David C said on April 27, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    The chances of the school director getting through this without having to back down in a humiliating way are pretty slim. Most teachers aren’t going to go along and the parents aren’t going to be happy with whatever crackpot replacements she’ll manage to bring on board. Unless it’s some sort of fundie school. Then all bets are off.

    333 chars

  58. A. Riley said on April 27, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    150 miles away and there are times I wish it was 1500. I think I mentioned we’re going to a small housewarming party for a nephew and his very young family near Indianapolis. The little house is in a development so new that Google maps still shows it as pasture. So anyway, the other night, the hostess rounded up the usual suspects for a Facebook Rooms videochat (which by the way *sucks* — next time it’s Zoom or nothing) about what everyone’s giving them, bringing for the party, etc., etc. My God, what a bunch of gloom & doomers.

    – Oh, next year, once the county reassesses it as residential the property taxes are going to go way up, they’ll be in trouble then.
    – Oh yeah, when I worked at the mortgage company, we saw people losing their houses that way all the time.
    – Oh, they need everything, all they have is a sofa and a tv and a bed, that’s all, oh yeah, and baby stuff.
    – I hope he’s not in over his head.

    And these are the people who *love* them!! Jesus H. Christ. Can we have a *little* hope and congratulations and encouragement here? This right here is why I moved away and will never ever *ever* move back.

    1140 chars

  59. brian stouder said on April 27, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    I grew up in Southeast Fort Wayne – 2 blocks north of McMillan Park – and now live in West Fort Wayne – literally in the shadow of Channel 15’s TV tower (they named our neighborhood “Tower Heights, when it was built 40 years ago).

    50 years ago, in southeast Fort Wayne, most of our neighbors worked at Fruehauf Trailer (a few blocks north) or Rea Wire (maybe a mile or two further east) or International Harvester (ditto), or Essex (ditto), or the Falstaff Brewery – etc.

    And then, White Flight began, and our lily white neighborhood shifted rather dramatically into a much more diverse makeup. Our new next-door neighbors (who were Black) were the nicest people you’d ever want to meet; he worked at GM in Ohio (couldn’t tell you where) and still to this day lives there. My mom lived her life out at the same address, too – and I couldn’t say who lives in “our” old house.

    By way of saying, I suppose I’ll live my life out at our current address – and happily at that!

    PS – Dorothy – the only place in California I ever was, was San Diego; it is beautiful there, indeed! Don’t miss visiting their zoo!

    1116 chars

  60. LAMary said on April 27, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    Dorothy, definitely go have a cocktail at the Del Coronado Hotel. Trust me. And San Diego is usually a bit cooler and less dry than LA so unlike LA in the summer it does not feel like it’s about to burst into flames at any given time. My son, who has spent a lot more time in SD than I says the Mexican food there is better than in LA also. Check out La Jolla when you’re there if you have a spare day.

    402 chars

  61. Dave said on April 27, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    A. Riley, I gather these are relatives? Cheery, uplifting bunch.

    Dorothy, I can’t imagine that your husband will enjoy commuting 90 minutes each way for very long. That’s a hard road unless he loves to drive. In a week’s time, that’s 15 hours of driving, it comes to about 2 1/2 days a month. Sorry to be so cheery, hey, maybe I’m related to A. Riley’s downer family.

    One of my co-workers used to torment the handful of men who didn’t move to Fort Wayne with how much of their lives were spent driving. They never cared to hear it.

    As I’ve posted before, Kennedy, Jr., is one of the people who’ve helped to poison my anti-vaccer son’s mind.

    657 chars

  62. Dave said on April 27, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Brian, my first guess is that your neighbor worked at the GM foundry in Defiance, there were many black men who lived in Lima who made the trek to Defiance daily.

    Forgot to add this to my last post and got back too late to add the edit.

    239 chars

  63. LAMary said on April 27, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    There was a spate of older people dying of pertussis, AKA whooping cough, here in CA a few years ago. Antivaxxer parents were not getting babies vaccinated and grandparents who were not vaccinated against whooping cough as children were catching whooping cough from the kids. That TDAP vaccine was one that RFK Jr. said had mercury in it. I want to know how he benefits from indirectly killing people by spreading bad information.

    430 chars

  64. Suzanne said on April 27, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    I had a job a few years ago with a 45 minute commute. I didn’t last very long. The money wasn’t bad, either, but there were so many evenings when I struggled to stay awake driving home, I decided fairly quickly that it just wasn’t worth it.

    246 chars

  65. jerry said on April 28, 2021 at 2:09 am

    A word about holidays in France. My sister-in-law is French and she and my brother-in-law have spent just about every summer holiday since their marriage in Provence. Originally it was four weeks rising to six after retirement. Talking to Nicole yesterday they aren’t going this year and her brother says the situation in France is chaotic.

    We’ve had both our jabs but have no plans for foreign holidays this year – we’re waiting for a chance to get out to Australia again and see our grandson.

    504 chars

  66. Dexter Friend said on April 28, 2021 at 3:14 am

    brian stouder: My ex’s dad was in the office at Phelps Dodge. He never mentioned the big explosion there 55 years ago now.

    Tucker Carlson has really gone off the deep end, calling for people to summon cops if they see any kids wearing masks, anywhere at all, calling it child abuse. Good god, no, I wasn’t watching…MSNBC played the clip. New CDC rules really take the pressure off, and in just a couple months family gatherings , mask-less if outside, will be deemed just fine.

    486 chars

  67. ROGirl said on April 28, 2021 at 8:09 am

    I sent in the final payment on my house yesterday. It’s located probably less than 15 miles from where I was born and maybe 5 miles from where I grew up. I have also lived in New York, England, and was in France for a year.

    223 chars