November 30, 2019

Dateline: Birmingham, Alabama –

And just like that, home again, home again jiggety-jig. Sorry there has been no update the last few days but I did take Thanksgiving day off (but did post some pictures of the gathering of the clan – 15 this year. If we can ever get my cousin Jack and his family back from the East Coast some year, then we’ll likely be over 20.) The meal was terrific, the company was better, and this circle of eccentric individuals whom I have been part of for nearly six decades, heads into another holiday season. I won’t be back for Christmas. I have to figure out what my alone patterns are going to be. I allowed myself to simply absent myself from the holidays last year some 9,000 miles away but this year I have to start thinking about which of the Duxbury-Spivey or Duxbury-Thompson traditions I keep and which ones I let drift down memory lane. I don’t have an answer to that yet. I expect one will come.

I did head out for some Black Friday shopping the next morning and did all my shopping for the family followed up with wrapping and assembling my modest attempts at one of Tommy’s famous Christmas baskets. Both Tommy and Steve had that gay man visual gene that allowed them to take some wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, a pair of scissors, and some random household odds and ends and return an hour later with something that looked like a parade float. I, alas, cannot muster up that level of talent. The visual art gene, prevalent in my family, seems to have skipped me. Both of my nieces have it and have been creating a number of interesting pieces with collage and decoupage. Maybe they’ll give me one someday. Not being around my family much these days and everyone pretty much having everything they need, this years theme was books. (They’re easy to wrap). Next years theme is likely to be books as well and the year following that…

Spent some more time with my brother and his family with leftovers and Scrabble where my sister in law, Sally Bergesen was elated in her victory over me. I’m pretty good but even I can’t overcome the deficit of ‘Juke’ on a triple word score. As I drove back to my dad’s place, I all of a sudden began to feel unwell and, after an uncomfortable night, it was confirmed this morning that I have indeed picked up a nasty gastroenteritis (I’m guessing Norwalk or Rotavirus). I’ll spare you the clinical details. Let us just say that flying across country today was not an especially pleasant experience.

I don’t get sick very often so, when I do, it’s usually a doozy. I’m keeping my dehydrated self home tomorrow and then will take stock but I won’t be in the least surprised if I’m needing to take Monday off as well. We shall see.

The next two weeks, besides being devoted to Physician heal thyself, are about Barrie’s Dear Brutus. I’ll report in on that in a week or so. The lines are finally starting to stick, even the dreaded Act II.

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