My father had recently retired after many years of working with the Scouts. It was a job that had taken him—and us—over most of the country: I think the traveling in-grained itself somewhere in my soul, because I haven't stopped. Dealing with a small army of volunteers spread over a huge geographic area the size of was more than a 9–5 job and had its costs for both him and for us.
Although I missed the retirement dinner itself—work, a meeting with a certain girl, and the perception that it would be kind of a stuffy banquet interfered, which I regret—I heard afterwards that it was a stellar affair with person after person coming up to talk about the good things my dad had done. While my mom had been a little over-whelmed by how good it was, my sister particularly found a sense of perspective in it.
In fact, the event was so momentuous that the Mayor declared April 13th to be M.B. Day—I've never heard of anyone else in the city having a day named after them!
Dad's since taken a part time job as a janitor at my brother's church (above you can see the whole congregation
installing him praying he does a good job) and another working as a ranger-of-sorts at a state park. He bikes to work and has dug up a section of the backyard and started a garden; life seems good.
As usual, being in town was accompanied by many good walks and quality time with people. I spent a few evenings over at my sister's house watching Sherlock. The show is absolutely addictive and my parents end up watching it as well. Walking home from my sister's late at night, I pass through the greenway. The cities used to have neighbourhoods and businesses right to the edge of the river, protected by steep, high dikes. No longer. The waters of the river rose over those dikes and over the roofs of the houses. In the aftermath of the destruction, it was wisdom not to rebuild. Rather, the river was given its space and the cities stepped back more than a half-mile in places. I often cross this dark chasm between the towns at night. This week, in addition to being dark, it is continuously shrouded by thick mists at night, and trees crowd in on you. Creepily, one night I am walking down the sidewalk on 17th towards the Greenway and pass a girl just standing, not moving, in the lamp-shadow of a huge tree. I have no idea what was going on.