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May 20th, 2012

Busy day in Winfield town

Today was remarkably busy. I got up (overslept a bit, so I missed Mass), did tea and toast, then packed up the dogs and the brownies and headed out. I dropped the brownies off in West Winfield for the scholarship barbeque (the Winfield Masons and Eastern Star hand out $1000 scholarships at graduation; the number is based on how much we're able to clear on our two scholarship BBQs--last year we handed out 12). Then I gassed up the car and headed to Utica to take the boys for a walk on the 840 trail.

When I got there it seemed excessively warm for 10 in the morning, but the boys were eager, there are a number of places they can drink along the trail, so we headed out. All was well until, at one of the drinking spots, Jiro decided to chase a frog. Into the water. Which was rather deep. And the boys are on a coupler, so I made a dive and hauled him out so he wouldn't drag Ping in with him. I must say he was quite willing to come out--he was a bit surprised, but not unduly frightened.

So, we continued. Ping readily drank at multiple opportunities. Soaking wet boy, nada.*Sigh* But, I reasoned, he's wet, so not overheating. We got to the midway point, where there are a couple of closely placed stretches where the path is completely shaded at that hour of the day, we slowed down, Ping drank more, Jiro didn't. So I turned back around. At this point the boys were walking more in the grass than on the path (which I can't blame them for). We finally got to their favorite drinking spot, and Ping laid himself down in the mud and refused to move. Which meant, finally, Jiro decided to actually drink. Which was good. But Ping was covered in mud. Bad.

So, after letting him cool down, I picked him up (by the harness, which allowed for the next part), and dunked him up to the rib cage in the flowing water. He didn't seem to mind a bit! So, I held him there for a bit, with Jiro looking on nonplussed, then put in him the grass, in hopes that walking through the grass (as they had been doing) would finish the job the water started. Well, that worked--sort of.

We headed home, where I continued with the weekends housework adventures, then took advantage of the newly white bathroom to take a long, luxurious shower before heading off for Belltower #118, OES NYS rehearsal. When that was over, we spent about an hour setting up for Tuesday's DD Visit.

Home to puppies, finishing To Light a Candle, and catching up on this and that (including waiting for Duchezz to get home from War Practice.

And then I saw that Robin had died.

He'd been ill for awhile, and there is no sense of surprise, but there is a deep sadness. For Barbara, who has watched her sons die in reverse order of their births. For Lesley and Barry as they lose another younger sibling. Barry as he completely loses his writing partner, adversary, collaborator, little brother--a very different thing than their on-again, off-again estrangements.

I never enjoyed Robin's solo efforts, but then I don't enjoy Barry's. Their work together, though, was magic--whether writing of coal miners saying good-bye to loved ones while saying hello to death, or capturing the Alice in Wonderland veneer that painted over a deep despair in the 70's, or the humanity of a baby brother dead, children marrying, and marriages that stood the tests of fame and time.

The voices of huge swaths of my life are being stilled, one by one.