Yesterday, memorial day, we went to some friend's house in Delmar, which is sort of like Bexley if such a thing existed up here, really a village slightly south with a pretty good percentage of nicer houses, maybe more like Worthington scaled down. Albany and Delmar haven't grown together yet, there's some pretty open area between. Anyway, the little village memorial day parade is going right by their house. Imagine artists having a house in Delmar. There was a croquet match out in the country on Sunday the day before at Jim and Cara's and Jim really went all out, buying the real set from Smith and Hawken, and setting up a beautiful course of six-wicket croquet. New rules and new layout to me, and better than the style I grew up with. Meanwhile I'm wondering here what the hell I'm doing discussing croquet. The point is though, that Connie was talking to Lori about the parade the next day at their house (in the new kitchen, while all the guys were out knocking balls about) and Marti registered that, and the next morning as I'm addressing the problem of what to do on pass with Barbara, mentioned that maybe we could make a day of it altogether with little Suzanne, Barbara's daughter (my granddaughter), and Barbara and all go over to Connie and Bob's, especially since Lori's little adopted daughter Deborah would be there to play with Suzanne, and particularly since Connie seemed to be really into the entertaining of everybody, and we could check out their garden, and watch the parade, and we even had some chili and fruitsalad to take left over from the Lark Street neighborhood association party on Friday. I had a call in to Yolanda, Suzanne's grandma, who has adopted Suzanne along with her husband Pete, who we are happy to see is hanging around the house quite a bit now though he left about 8 months ago and still has his own place. I called without much hope since her family often has big outdoor picnics where Suzanne is one of the most beloved little stars, and there's also the hesitation of cementing the birthmother with Suzanne too much and confusing her. But surprise! no problem, no big Memorial day reunion, no resistance, Suzanne is free. I was so glad because Barbara wanted so much to see her. We picked up Suzanne first, finding Pete there, and Marti got to say hello, not having seen him since the split, and then went to the Psychiatric Center to get Barbara, expecting a bad reaction at having Suzanne and Marti, wicked stepmother, in the car already. Barbara was so happy to see Suzanne though, and things went more or less smoothly. At Connie and Bob's she spoke to Lori and had a good time with the kids but went a bit rigid when confronted with Jeanne even though she was at the house a couple of Thanksgivings ago. At one point I went into the house to see where Barbara and Suzanne were and found them playing baloon volleyball in the livingroom, a good moment. The parade was ragtag and funny, impotent, it's a comfort to see the military pride so on the wane. The day could take up the subject of the waste and loss of all the beautiful young soldiers though, instead of still trying to justify, glorify. I couldn't believe that Bob put up a flag for cryssake. We took pictures and shot videos and had lunch right out on the sidewalk, saying hello to everyone who passed by, adding I think only a subtle oddness to the scene. Barbara soon asked to be taken "home" and I returned and went for a pedal around the neighborhood with Bob, pleasant. I'm all the while pretty sore from pulling out the juniper bushes Thursday afternoon, I wonder how long I have to suffer for that.


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