Wednesday, May 23, 14:45 CDT

I finished reading One Hundred Years of Solitude (translated, though I think it might be worth trying to read in the original Spanish) early this morning. Life doesn't look quite the same afterwards. Sure, sooner or later things will be pretty much back to normal, but some books, you don't come out of quite the same as you went in.

My parents got home around noon today - my dad had surgery on his shoulder, which means he won't be up to much for a while.

Perhaps I should be sticking around here to help out over the next week. Instead, I'm going to Chicago to help my Aunt get ready to move to Missouri. Which is a fine thing to be doing, I guess. I just need to work on the timing of these things.

I'm listening to American Beauty, a Grateful Dead album I bought after hearing Truckin on the radio and liking it. And actually, this ain't bad. Good background noise, at the least.

Lately, it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it's been...

The yard here is full of big old maple trees. Maple seeds are fascinating things - they grow in pairs, shaped like a sort of wing. When they split apart and take leave of their parent tree, they don't simply drift gently to the ground; they hurtle. Spinning. With wind, they can fly hundreds of feet before plowing into the ground like tiny kamikaze helicopters.

Most years around this time, there're quite a few maple seeds drifting around. This year, there are billions. So many that the trees look as if they're still wearing a coat of dead leaves from last fall. And it's windy. Really, really windy. If you step outside at the right moment, you can see clouds and streams of seeds buzzing away from the trees, actually climbing higher into the sky. Some of them must be covering a quarter mile or better before they finally hit dirt.

Anyway, I'm off to make supper and start a fire in the wood stove. Don't imagine I'll get the chance to update this 'til I get home next week.