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Being finally cool outside again, I just went for a walk around the block, by myself. It would have been the perfect day to take Pasha for a walk, but she died last Wednesday morning, in her sleep and the usual “animal cracker” pose. We got used to checking her breathing when we found her like that, almost as a joke, but this time it was for real.

But given Merry was on vacation and I could call in to cancel Tai Chi, it was the best possible situation. She just turned 18 and was in reasonable comfort and well-being, deaf at the most and arthritis we were hoping to medicate to alleviate in the upcoming winter. But there was no drawn-out illness or having to “put down”. I don’t ever want us to have to make that call again. Anyway, I’m not used to having my feet underneath me when I sit, or having to turn on the lights to get into bed and not step on someone. It’s just … hard. Missing, remembering, and a renewed sense of mortality is a strong libation.

We just got the cremated remains yesterday, and I’ll be building a shelf for the maid’s staircase for tins and photos, along with hanging a few funerary crosses from my family keepsakes (the association with particular relatives forgotten). I always meant to have a “hall of shades” and never expected the mementos of loved ones would be predominately for pets.

The rest of last week I made a point to really spend time with Mer. We had dinner and a movie (Shaun the Sheep) and spent time at the fair a couple days. She even got me to go up on stage and dance with “Street Beat” — something she had plotted for a while. I think I surprised people a bit, and had a few people recognize and come up to me later in the day. My friend the paper marbler, John, talked about starting a touring fair of sorts with other period craftsman. Visions of being a roadie or putting together my own acts tantalized my imagination.

We watched the Excalibur booth for a bit, but left it for the other couple as they over-scheduled, even though we usually take that last shift and join the Conservation Building’s pot luck afterward. Also on Sunday, Christina and her boyfriend, as well as Jeff, shared our base-camp picnic table by the Grange Building, snacks and packed lunches to boot. Good times.

Much of this year has been a blur. When asked what I’ve been up to, I can grab onto a few events, but it just seems like I’ve been in limbo between web design and Minecraft. I’d done a lot of Mason stuff, mostly on the Grand Lodge level, but even that seems a blur. Except for some of the poignant experiences above — and even in spite of a few — I’ve felt … old. Things that should be amazing or always fun previously just don’t have luster any more. It’s like I need a reboot. I realized a solution: grand-kids. But I may have to wait a few years. The conversation about adoption came up again. And spoiling our niece. I just want to see the world new again, without the constant weight of social injustices and outrage filling the atmosphere and cyber-sphere. I really feel for The Doctor when he’s ready to regenerate.

My 2nd annual “Shindig” went well, and Christina got to listen to a friend who experienced the riots in Buffalo in the 60s first-hand. We kept the Hawaiian theme (and didn’t have to buy many new decorations), and it was a good excuse to clean up the property thoroughly. I’ve been all about bright colors lately, wishing I had tie-dye business or formal attire. I’d like to reinvent my look.

And I want to be by water more. We discovered they sell clams at The Hatch by the marina and have to go do that. I would like to spend the day at Fantasy Island, half floating on the Lazy River and the other half in bumper cars, but business has been thin for a year now and it’s hit or miss I can even travel, depending on how close to “E” my tank and bank are. My extension on taxes is looming and I have new projects in the winds — but you know how winds are …

I’m looking forward to the Fall, but am glad we have some Summer left to take care of a few things. I really want to clean my car, bringing back memories of Michelle and I cleaning our cars together at Fisher Park years ago. This time maybe it will be Mer and Christina. Something about doing it with people you care about makes it very enjoyable and satisfying.

I think I could use more of that.