I got up just before 8 this morning, at the urging of the cats, who were hungry. I fed them, gave them treats, and made coffee. I needed to get up anyway so I could walk before we headed down to the bay area to see my dad. Malida had a Pilates appointment at 9, so she got up too.
I got out of the house by 8:30 and walked in the park. It was kind of chilly. Not the -37 chilly that some people are experiencing, but chilly enough that I work a jacket, hat, and gloves, as did everyone else out walking except the one guy in a t-shirt and shorts.
When I was walking yesterday, I noted that one of the big trees had dropped a big tree branch just off the walking path, and they had the area roped off. Today there was a big crew out there starting to take the tree down. I hate to see the old trees come down, but it is better than them falling on someone. We have lost a lot of big trees in the park over the past year or two. They plant new ones, but it's not the same.
While I was walking I listened to a podcast of This American Life. The story was about an accident at a nuclear missile silo in Arkansas in the 1970s. I had read about the incident a number of years ago, but This American Life has a way with storytelling that brings out the little emotional details that make for a compelling story. I got back to my car before the story finished, and sat there listening to the end before I left.
I headed back to the credit union, where the manager immediately asked why I came back, and took care of the problem herself. I love this credit union. They are so friendly, and genuine in their customer service. Issue resolved.
By the time I got home, Malida was back from Pilates, and we headed down to have lunch with my dad. I don't spend Christmas with him, so we always try to see him shortly thereafter. He had some business out and about, so we met him at the restaurant where we always eat. It's his favorite, and mine too.
He has the remarkable gift of being able to keep a conversation going. He knows how to ask questions about what is going on in our lives, and also to tell stories about his own experiences. I don't think I ever really noticed it until Malida pointed it out. She loves talking with him. He hates to have his picture taken, and I can rarely get a good one, but Malida waits until he is talking with me and stealth snaps a few with her phone.
As I wrote the above paragraph, I had the thought that for most of my life I have focused on my dad's shortcomings, and never really noticed his strengths. Something I have to pay more attention to.
After lunch we came home and I went out to walk again before it got dark. The tree crew was still there, but just cleaning up. I was amazed that it took them all day to take the tree down, and that they could do it all in a day.
One less tree.