It is April 8th. This morning I meet with Dan’s estate attorney, Bob Blue, at 10:30 am to finish up details. This afternoon, Turning Leaf ladies come by to “stage” the house for the estate sale that will take place this coming Friday and Saturday. And, of course, the height of the eclipse, at least at the Proving Ground, will occur at 3:22:08 pm. The day seems fraught.

To-Do List

I have not bought proper glasses for viewing the eclipse, whatever part of it we get here adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay. Marcia Gayle, though, is meeting me for lunch and she has a pair to spare. I must also remember to return my book to the Aberdeen Library. Homecoming (2023) by Kate Morton. If your taste runs to historical fiction and family sagas, by the way, it is very good.

Picturing The Sale

I have no idea exactly how TL ladies plan to arrange things. I have been told the house will have “one way in, same way out,” but it seems to me that that creates problems when it comes to clearing the garage and tool shed. There are three floors in the house as well. The array of stuff ranges from, as they say, the sublime to the ridiculous. There is junk. There is valuable antique porcelain. There’s an electric keyboard and some fine old harmonicas. A number of beautiful fishing rods and a bunch of tackle and gear. A whole pile of M&M related toys and doodads. I can’t begin to imagine what all is in the garage.

Whose Past Is It Anyway?

Lowestoft plates

It’s my past, a lot of it. The Lowestoft plates that came to my mother. From her side of the family? From Dad’s side? Random items of sterling and silver-plate. Another few dozen books, mine and my Tattooed Boy’s, which didn’t manage to make it out with Carter.

It’s Dan’s stuff. The remaining contents of his writing office and his painting studio. The fishing gear. The contents of the garage.

It’s our stuff. So, so, so much kitchenware, pots, pans, glasses, plates, appliances, storage things. Gardening equipment, pots of all sizes, shelves, lamps.

It’s a shared past of thirty-nine years, much more than that for us separately.

Good Omens


Am I superstitious? A little.

When the Moyer‘s muscled lads began moving boxes and furniture to the truck on April 5th, I noticed tracts of thick dust and scraps of paper. I had a thought and took a look in the library where Aunt Helen’s old glass-front bookcase had been. Be still my beating heart? Was that the tiny carved ivory mouse Doffy had given me decades ago and which I last saw on top of that shelf something like fifteen years past? It was. All quarter-inch of its diminutive glory. I went nuts, showed it to everyone and found a small box lined with cotton to protect it until such time as I can display it safely. I was so bummed when it disappeared but hope had always sprung eternal. Mouse will soon be back in his house, which will be in my house, and we will carry on together.

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

an excellent bourbon

It’s now April 9th. It was a long drive from Aberdeen to Boston. I need supper and, even more, something with alcoholic content. I have a few bottles with me but no glasses. I slung on my coat and wandered down Sumner Street toward Maverick Square, the nearest concentration of businesses. A couple of blocks away is The Quiet Few, an old-style bar such as one finds in such old-style neighborhoods. It was still two minutes before five but they welcomed me in. Such an array of whiskeys and bourbons! And a short menu full of basic food. I got a Guinness and a comforting mac-and-cheese. David the bartender is a sweetheart with a mop of dark curls.

New Neighbors

While I was testing my key on the front door, a young man noticed the sign for an open house that had been posted. He lives on the back side of this block with his wife and baby daughter. His name is Randy.

I now have a barkeep, a neighbor and my mouse, and I’ve not yet spent a single night on my 870 square feet of East Boston charm.

Very good omens.