We’ve been watching the political-melodrama U.S. TV series Madam Secretary. But you don’t need to know the details of the program to get this post. I thought I’d use it as a basis for some “fun” today – it’s Friday – mostly due to the episode we just saw and because, as you probably know, my wife is English (and we have been married for, uh, quite a few years).
In that episode from its 3rd season, the U.S. Secretary of State’s twenty-something spoiled, mouthy, annoying pain in the neck for the previous two seasons and now continuing to be so apparently daughter has returned to Washington recently after a summer in Oxford with her English fiancé.
In the kitchen, unexpectedly she gets all emotional and reveals to Mom (the Secretary of State, I repeat) that she was like wow really unhappy with her English husband-to-be when they were in England. Suddenly, she announces she doesn’t want to live there. She says she hated the place.
It is taking me much longer than I had hoped to work through the final bits of (what I lightheartedly like to call) my, uh, personal “Gone With The Wind”:
As a consequence I know I haven’t really had the time to write posts here as usual in recent weeks. But no writer should ever cut him/herself off entirely. I always find some time (mornings especially) to read blogs and check social media – especially Instagram.
I like Instagram because it’s fun. And it’s a necessary distraction at times. I can’t get over the stuff some people post.
Yesterday, I was having what I had thought was an innocuous FaceTime with my father. There was our usual current discussion of the weather in his northeast Pennsylvania, and any snow – including what is up at our house in the Catskills. There was also the required exchange about what the new U.S. president is up to. And there was other chitchat.
As I thought we were about to sign off, abruptly he veered without warning into again reviewing my mother’s cancer and death in October 2015. Through hard personal experience, I’ve learned a lot about widowers since then. “The widower” is a particularly difficult area in our culture.
We’ve been there before to concerts, but it dawned on me that I could not recall ever seeing the Albert Memorial (across the street) in daylight. I’d been by it previously only after dark. So outside of the hall, I went tourist and snapped a photo:
I was writing yesterday late morning when I noticed no heat was on and the house had started to feel cool. Venturing downstairs from my office, I discovered the boiler was out. Next I saw gas workers outside.
There was a gas problem on the high street and National Grid had turned up with what seemed like a dozen vehicles. They’d had to shut off service to quite a few houses. Water from a burst pipe up the road earlier somehow got into the main gas pipe.
“Uh, not good,” one of the workers told me.
“So this is the water company’s fault,” I laughed.