Archive for July, 2007


My father has alzheimer’s disease.  He is 82 and it hasn’t hit him as hard as it hit his sister.  My aunt was pretty sharp as recently as four years ago.  That’s about the time we started hearing about the changes in her from my cousin.  Last year my wife and I met my parents in Cleveland.  We had both gone there to visit relatives.  I knew that my aunt’s memory was basically gone.  But, it was still surprising to see her in a nursing home, unable to recognize my father or her own daughter.

My aunt is a couple of years older than my dad.  My father’s changes are more subtle.  He still has projects he works on, although not as regularly as he used to.  He still converses, but not with the ease he used to enjoy.  My mom notices the changes and keeps us informed.

My parents live in Texas, while my wife and I are in Arizona.  I feel a need to move closer to them.  My sister is there, but she has a family.  She has two wonderful daughters who keep her hands full.  It’s time to put into motion a plan to pull up roots and relocate.  It’s easier said than done.  But, it is time.


I heard this poem by Billy Collins at least two or three years ago, maybe more.  I recently came across it on youtube.  It moves me.


July 27, 2007 at 1:07 pm 1 comment


My sister Barb lives in Australia with her husband and son. So she has asked me to send her pictures of our yard here in Tempe. Yesterday I was going through some photos from the last few years that I was transferring from another computer. I found some pictures of the trees that Wen-Ling and I have planted in the three years since owning our home. 

 This first photo is of the mesquite in our front yard.  This tree was planted in April of 2005.  We bought our home in April of 2004.  Mesquite trees are great because they are native to the Sonoran Desert.  They handle the heat well and can get by with very little water.

Planting the mesquite in our front yard

As you can see from the photo, it was barely the thickness of a finger when I planted it.  I planted it deep, however, and gave it a lot of water that first year.  It grew so quickly that I decided to stop watering it for fear that it would split or break in a high wind — something mesquites are known to do. 

 Now, two years later this tree is a monster.

Two years later

 I prune the tree often.  It tends to branch out into the space in which we walk.  If left to its own devices I believe it would wind up breaking under the weight of the unchecked growth. 

 On the upside, we already have good shade from a young tree.  Shade is a very valuable commodity here in the desert.

Looking up.

July 9, 2007 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment


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