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Global Pen Pals

Letter 7 in our series.

Dear Joy,

The long, hot summer I wrote about in August may be coming to an end according to the calendar, but traces of it are still with us. Wild fires are still raging out of control in California; the hot spots all over the globe have barely cooled down; temperatures here in Baltimore have barely budged from the 80-degree mark. And, of course, we Americans are well into that wonderful national institution -- the fall election campaign. Talk about heating up! This one is on track to set records for amount of money spent and number of negative ads. And we're not even electing a President this Fall!!

Our annual Maine vacation was even more wonderful than usual this year. While we slept under quilts, our friends back in Baltimore were enduring 100-degree temperatures! The fruits of our blueberry-picking labors (and I do mean labors) are in the freezer now, ready to be plucked out over the coming year for some scrumptious baked treat.

Marc and Jessica and Anna and Ben were with us for the entire two weeks, and their grandfather was a fine hiking and biking companion for the children. But these old bones aren't as supple as they once were. So yours truly spent more time reading and relaxing than the rest of the crew. I enjoy the quiet time, though. I adore my grandchildren, but spending two solid weeks with them can be a bit trying at times, especially when fights erupt!

Actually, their parents finessed the fighting this summer. The kids saw two dogs frolicking one day at the very beginning of the vacation, and they begged their mom and dad for a pet. So Jessica and Marc promised them each a dog if they didn't fight for a year. We had two glorious weeks without a fight! (A month-plus later, now, the promised pair of dogs has been downgraded to a goldfish!).

In September, I took another journey -- a virtual one. I clicked on Mani's (Joy's late husband) web site and visited every spot along his life's journey in Bern. It brought him back with such immediacy! Thank you for including the link in your September letter.

My dear Joy, we wish you an early Happy, Happy Birthday!

Much love,

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