Monthly Archives: May 2008

My grandmother died a month ago in a hospice room at the Gutterberg, Iowa, nursing home where she’d been living for two years. When I heard she had stopped drinking or eating, I didn’t expect I would be there for the end. But with some light encouragement, I found myself with my mother, grandfather and sister talking, looking at pictures and and having cocktails around a hospital bed for her final hours. She went gently and, it seemed to me, with the same instinct for what’s sensible and proper that she always had before her slow mental and physical decline over the last seven years.

She died early on a Saturday morning. I wrote her obituary in the customary style before heading downtown with Gramps to finalize the arrangements (cremation, no service) and share some prime rib at a restaurant overlooking the Mississippi River.

Her good life ended with a good death. Among the many things I’m glad about, I’m happy it didn’t come too soon for Grandma to meet Johanna, whose middle name, Audrey, belonged to her mother, my great-grandmother.


Short on time, though not stuff to write about. So I’ve created a holding tank for future (imminent?) posts.

>> China Quake: I’m headed to Southwest China in October. And I’m getting my first real glimpse of the place in the midst of an incomprehensible catastrophe. One of my travelmates is following the story a bit more closely. Austin was on the NewsHour Monday night reporting on the quake, which he felt a thousand miles away in Beijing (click “streaming video” to see the broadcast and Austin’s looming head).

>> Weaselhawks: As of last night, softball season is ON and the W’Hawks are looking strong. Though we won by forfeit, we played like we had to earn it. Another season, another neglected website, though this time we’re all on the hook to document our progress.

>> Adel Bike Odyssey: Kirk and Alex and I mounted up in Des Moines last weekend and headed out to Adel, the site of Kirk’s beehives and, we hoped, some good morels (some pics from my last visit here). It rained most of the 30 miles, fiercely for the last five. No mushrooms found. We woke up on the cold ground and Alex called his friend to come give us a lift back. Good times!

>> Kansas City: March—seems like a long time ago, right? Can’t I still post some pics and thoughts on our visit? Yes? Good.