I found a message from one of my readers who said that she couldn't wait to get to know the people I had mentioned in a long diary extract at the start of this blog.
Well Cathy is very well. Her health is as sturdy as mine is precarious. Being a manager suits her, for she has charm and friendliness and gets other people to do what they must with grace. Sometimes she is discouraged by her clients, who can be very demanding and sometimes aggressive. My last son, William, asked us tonight how long we were together before he was born. Our relationship has had its rocky times, but we have known each other since 1978.
William is keenly attending a community college, where he is learning to make jewelry. Like many last borns, he is a born salesman and tells me that he is longing to finish school and set himself up in business. When he was sixteen, he started lifting weights and has remained very strong. I weigh 250 to 260 and he loves to pick me up. A small regret for me is that none of my children has grown up to be as tall as I am. It is a great advantage in life.
My second son, Matthew has worked since he left high school. He was an arborist until yesterday, when he had to tell his American employers that they would have to lay him off as he must have an operation on increasingly painful knees. There is less work for arborists and landscapers in the winter, so the firm will be happy to take him back after the four to six months he will need for therapy and recovery. If he is disheartened, he does not show it.
My first son, David, actually has the longest work history, starting with part time jobs he had while still in high school. He also was keen to leave home as soon as possible and had a very nice apartment overlooking the city's downtown. He is the closest of any of them to an academic. He had very good grades in high school, but decided against going to university like his friends. He learns by reading and searching the Internet. His ambition is to be a financial advisor. His knowledge goes so far beyond my own that I can no longer understand what he wants so badly to talk about. Nevertheless he is, for the moment unemployed, very discouraged and back living with us. We don't really have room for him, although when we moved to this house we made sure there would be a place where he could sleep over. We have an upstairs family room, with an angle couch long enough for him to sleep on. Meanwhile he is taking exams soon to qualify himself more. I am not worried that he will not succeed eventually, but I am worried that his frustrations will make him unhappy.
So three sons and no daughters. Cathy is surrounded by men.
As for me, despite hard economic times, my job is very secure, as is Cathy's .We should be "set" until our retirement.
I am also one of three brothers and my father was one of three brothers. My older brother retired this year, quite "comfortably", but my younger brother still has ten years to go. He has his own business, the success of which rises and falls. He will have no employer's pension, but on the other hand, owns a house in the country outright.
Cathy was born on a one hundred acre farm with eleven brothers and sisters, so her life has improved considerably. On the other hand my family was quite prosperous when I was growing up and therefor I do not feel the need to be rich. I have been already, possibly at the time of life when some easiness is the most rewarding. Although my parents were unhappy, we went to good schools and had wonderful holidays.
Southwell, Nottinghamshire - *The Leaves of Southwell* When posting about one of the carvings in the chapter house of Southwell Minster the other week, I inevitably got down from my ...
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