All quiet here on the northern front. Thought I would update anyway.

We are juggling our way through summer–work, study, recreation, family and friends. Brynja is teaching one class, some type of math–hurts my mouth to pronounce it. The kids are in summer school, camps and such. But the majority of their time is spent frolicking in the backyard and devaluing our home–mixing sand in the lawn, breaking tree limbs and baking mud pies in the vegetable garden. With a five-gallon water jug, a few crackers and gummy bears–well, we can lock the children out of the house most of the day.

They are still very adorable, in our eyes, and growing like weeds (no, really, just like weeds–an invasive species sucking resources from other life forms). Every morning they still crawl into our bed, blurry eyed and mussed hair. The four of us now have to lie sideways to avoid falling onto the floor. Still, it’s a great morning ritual and we’ll miss it. We know this is all fleeting.
With the competition of playtime and great weather, it is difficult to resuscitate the inevitable brain cell loss caused by summer vacation. Nonetheless, it’s thrilling to watch them read, write, and articulate the things they learn about the world. They are both healthy, happy, and bright little kids. (Except when asked to perform complex tasks like, say, pick up their clothes. They wander around their rooms in a semi-catatonic state, staring at the floor, paralyzed by indecision on how to begin cleaning. That, and Milo still claims the highest number is 34. Other than that, they’re smart kids.)
You may know by know that Brynja received tenure and I graduated. This means we are likely to stay in Logan for several years. I’m working part time for a liberal pinko commie non-profit organization aimed at preserving canyon trails. So, we’ve had to hire a part-time nanny. Wow, we sure miss Perla. The new girl, Mijke, is just quirky enough to be very entertaining for the kids. And although I tire of hearing her say, in a breathy voice, chin elevated, “Well, as an artist…,” I do appreciate all the craft projects she does with Sophie and Milo.
Spencer is faithfully emailing once a week. He was able to endure his last companion without any physical altercations. He likes his current companion much better. Assuming Arizona’s new immigration laws don’t hinder “the work,” I assume all is going well. He’s proselytizing, teaching and eating well–being fed by members. He’s on a bike most of the time rolling around the city of Mesa. Spencer is “allowed” to email only his parents. But he can receive email from anyone and can write letters (through the post) to friends and family etc. So, drop him a line. Here is his contact information. He loves getting letters.

9335 East Baseline Road Apt #2077 Mesa, AZ 85209

Our fairytale lives have been fractured somewhat over last year. One of our best friends, Jen, is dying of brain cancer. The days of hope and optimism are long gone. At each visit, we find her in a worsened state than before–lost use of her right arm, right leg, peripheral vision. We were disheartened to watch her go from a limp, to a walker, to a wheelchair in about one week. But her connection to family and friends has been most devastated by her loss of speech. She can comprehend but not articulate. The few times she does speak, the words seem far removed from any contextual meaning. She mostly smiles through conversations. And except for the tears, she pretends to be content. Her seven-year-old girl–obliviously happy most of the time, may have the hardest time. Her 11-year-old girl seems to understand the gravity of Jen’s illness. But she is maintains a pretty convincing preteener facade. Jamie and I sip coffee and talk medical procedures. He’s been married to her for about 15 years. Anyway, Jen may have a few weeks left at best. Despite the operations, chemotherapy, faith and prayers, she has followed a trajectory very similar to that of Junior, and Bynja’s father. As we all know by now, God is less adapt when it comes to glioblastoma stage four. And on that note, I will sign off.

I love you all.

The Logan Winds

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