Thursday, August 25, 2016

Men in Trees

I looked out the window of the family room this morning and was surprised to see a man climbing up the trunk of our Chinese Pistachio tree.

About a month ago a huge branch of the tree came crashing down onto the patio.  Walt called someone to come and check the tree.  Contrary to what we thought caused it -- some sort of disease -- it turns out the tree is too healthy and the weight of the branch finally was too much for it to bear.

We made an appointment to have guys come out and trim the tree, which had to be rescheduled when they got hung up on an earlier appointment.  But today was the day and the tree got a big hair cut.  It's amazing how little time it take to cut off lots of big branches and feed them into a crunching machine that turns them into sawdust in nothing flat.

While that was going on, Walt was upstairs cleaning up the mess in the bedroom where last week's flood seeped in to soak the rug.  What was affected was a bookcase where my father's old 78 rpm records were stored.  Walt asked if he should just throw them out.  They should have been discarded 30 years ago, but Paul wanted me to keep them after my father died and then after Paul died, I just never thought about them, but they were taking up a whole bookcase, which can now be discarded.

I told him I would first put an ad in "Nextdoor."  Do you have that?  Nextdoor is a private social network for all the people in a certain community. It's an easy way to put up announcement ("lost dog" "found cat," "marauding racoons" or anything that might be of interest to that particular community.  There is even a section for classified ads and I thought maybe someone in our neighborhood might like the records.  I put in this ad:
My father left a collection of classic 78 rpm jazz records, which we will throw away if we can't find someone who wants them and is willing to pick them up. Free to a good home (or even a bad home!). PM to
Within FIVE MINUTES, I heard from someone who wanted them.  He's a nice guy named Sean who moved out here from the east coast to go to grad school, but had to leave all of his records behind because it was too expensive to ship them.  He just recently got a turntable that would play 78s and he was thrilled that we were just giving him the records.

I was thrilled that there was someone who would enjoy them.  Not only did he take all the records, but he packaged them in three Blue Apron boxes, so we got rid of three of those too.

In the afternoon we went to see Florence Foster Jenkins, the second movie we have seen in 2016.  What a wonderful film.  We learned of Florence Foster Jenkins a couple of decades ago, when our friend Stephen Peithman told us about "the worst singer in the world," a rich socialite in New York who loved opera and thought she could sing.  She gave concerts around New York, made a record, and even sang at Carnegie Hall.  We bought one of her recordings just to hear her and yes, she was the worst singer in the world.  But this movie with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant makes her human and shows how her husband protected her and helped her achieve her dreams.  It's a very sweet story, It's Meryl Streep as you have never seen her....and Hugh Grant as you have never seen him and both are excellent.

After the movie we tried out a brand new Chinese restaurant having its grand opening this week and then home for Jeopardy.

I had seen my mother earlier in the day and she asked, as she usually does, if we were going to go out "partying" tonight.  I said no...but as it turned out, we actually did.

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