The Yellow Springs Irony Reunion

Next up in our reunion series we have the namesake Yellow Springs of irony water fame in Glen Helen Nature Preserve (as popularized by Chappelle and Letterman, who hung out there recently and did a special on Netflix).

There are many natural and human-made improvements since our last visit years ago.  Most significantly, there is a gorgeous beaver dam in the significantly wetter land, with a new boardwalk along the Little Miami River.  The iconic orange waterfall of course is still flowing (one must stop and taste the iron), as are the main falls and cave falls.  Other areas still look familiar, just more grown up and watery.  It was a perfectly sunny, breezy day for walking one of the loops (and walking off some excess poundage!).

Last but not least, here is a typical dramatic Ohio sunset in front of our house.  On top of our house, we now have a brand new roof, completed yesterday by the amazing contractor team in just 8 hours!  And inside, we finally received and installed all the furniture shipments, and the items we bought from Ron.  It’s starting to look home-like.  Soon there will be photos.

Sukkot Fall Equinox Birthday

Three occasions in one– Sukkot, Fall Equinox, and E’s birthday!  Several inches of rain have fallen in just a few days, and it’s still coming down.  My new herb bed is now a pond.

Most of the day, E. assembled a Jenga jumble of furniture parts into two dressers, including repairs to the pieces that arrived damaged.  Now we have somewhere to put our clothes!  The rest of the shipment is still taking the scenic route, apparently.

Meanwhile, I worked on straightening up my office, incorporating one of the shelving units we got from Ron.  Now I have places to put things.  You can see it met with the Misu seal of approval.



More Reunions, and Furniture Adventures

Today we had a very pleasant reunion with our friends Ron and Steve.  Ron used to own the Bird Cage consignment shop in Fairborn, and is selling off his stock.  We were happy to take some furniture off his hands, but mostly to see him again.  We had already run into Steve at Kroger, where he is a manager.  It was good to catch up with our old friends, including Toto the dog.  Now Misu has a nice table for her sunroom, and E has somewhere to put her globe.  There are wooden shelf units, a lamp, some crystal stemware, etc. strewn about the house for now.

When we got home, part one of the wayward furniture shipment had finally arrived, after circling the country, possibly on a NJ garbage barge from the looks of it.  Somewhat the worse for wear, it was bashed up and had parts missing.  Very frustrating.  E tried to call the company, but it turns out they’re religious Jersey Jews and were closed for the holiday…convenient.  Right now the living room looks like it had an IKEA attack, complete with appropriate cussing!

Meanwhile, our driveway is filled with roofing materials to replace the leaky roof.  Of course it proceeded to rain for days right when they were scheduled to begin, so that job is delayed.  Happily, we don’t have to pay for any of it!  Yay, leasing!  One of these days we’ll get it all sorted out.

Here are festive flowers and a festive German festbier by one of the many local breweries.  Last but not least, here is a birthday cake for E by yours truly.  It actually looks like one, and hopefully tastes like one.


Happy Sukkot 2021

Happy Sukkot to those who celebrate.  A sukkah isn’t happening this year, but I still try to decorate and cook festively.  It seems my son has taken up the sukkah torch this year, which makes me happy.  Here are some harvesty scenes.  You can see the boxes we’re still living out of in the background.  One day the furniture we ordered will stop orbiting the planet and find its way here.


Asters and Other Wildflowers Along the Narrows

Each time we return to a preserve we haven’t seen in years, it’s like a family reunion with the natives–wildflowers and trees, that is.  Yesterday was our first time back to the Narrows.  There were some huge, impressive fungi growing on trees.  Lots of kayaks and canoes were floating down the Little Miami on this warm sunny almost Fall day.  A couple were walking their young cat on a leash!  Frogs were still jumping around in the water.  The many species of asters were putting on a spectacular starry show.  There were too many wildflowers in the prairie area to name.


Joys of Suburban Life

Here is Her Majesty Tricky Wu Misu lounging decadently in her luxury high-rise condo.  “Bring me foie gras and caviar”, says she, “and a cat-tini, stirred not shaken!”  Her new arch-nemesis, a fluffy black cat from next door, has learned the terror of even approaching Her Awfulness Who Presides Over The Turf.  It sounds like bloody murder.

Our driveway has become roofing materials central, as our leaky ancient roof is about to be replaced–at no cost to us!  Ah, the joys of leasing.  Meanwhile, it seems some furniture we’re expecting to be shipped has wandered off into the FedEx ether, or been lost on a NJ garbage barge, or something.  Oh, the joys of living out of boxes.

Also, mowing a postage stamp lawn is so much easier and less waste of time!  The “garden”, such as it is, is so tiny, I have to figure out what I can squeeze into it.  It’s a different kind of challenge.  It’s the Suburbs.




Misu now has more furniture than we do!  Here is her latest luxury acquisition.  She pretty much owns the sunporch.

It’s Yom Kippur, the holiest, somberest day of the Jewish year.  I’m feeling mighty somber.  Not sure about the holy part.  I have nothing profound or otherwise to say.  I’m not even thinking about food, which is different.

The pandemic rages on here as everywhere.  Towns are finally reinstating mask mandates, it’s getting so bad.  People really must have a death wish.

Anyway, we’re still alive here, so that’s something.


TN Closed Out

A lot has happened in a short time.  We met up with our wonderful agent, Tracy, and her son, who drove us to the closing, which went smoothly.  That marked the official ending of our TN chapter.

Then we drove straight back to OH, check in hand, which went straight into our new credit union.  We came out ahead, ironically, due to the pandemic state of affairs.  It’s literally a new lease on life.  Now we can get back to mundane suburban pursuits like ordering much-needed furniture.  We had to leave most of it, and major appliances, behind.

Here are some shots of the Luxbury Inn, which served us well over the years, the drive back toward Cincinnati, the still-shrouded bridge, and entering Ohio once again. I will miss the mountains.



Full Circle: the Closing Journey

We made it to TN on our final round trip for closing on the house and other business.  Mission almost accomplished! We dropped by the old place to visit our nice neighbors one last time, and thank them for all they’ve done to help.  I think they’re getting as fed up with TN as we were, and with good reason.  Who knows, they may decide to move to Ohio, once they visit us next year.

(We also swiped one final load of tomatoes and peppers from our garden!  Hey, it’s “ours” until tomorrow!)

We’re staying at our old familiar Luxbury Inn and Suites, as we did when we were first moving here.  Full circle.  It’s still owned and run by the same lovely Gujerati family, so it’s almost like old friends.  They upgraded us to one of their nice suites, as they often used to do.  It’s a bit updated and redecorated, clean, and has every basic amenity one needs.  And no piles of boxes waiting for furniture we don’t have to store stuff in.

It made me think, for the average American, this would be extremely bare bones and minimalistic, but having lived in India, this would be like the Taj Mahal to many Indians (and much of the world).  It has a functional kitchen with full fridge/freezer and stove, sitting room, two (!) TVs, a bedroom/office desk for me to write this on, comfortable bed, and bath.  And friendly, polite hosts.  What more do you need?  Maybe just a more enlightened state to reside in.

Oh, and a kitty–ours is residing in the garage until we return, where I’m sure she is not amused.  Still better than schlepping her hundreds of miles.  Poor thing, what we’ve put her through!  But it’s almost over.

Not a very appropriate way to spend Rosh haShanah, but as my son says, new beginnings!  Out with the old.  Another chance to start over.

Here are some misty mountain scenes as the sun was just rising in TN, and final approach to Alcoa/Maryville.  (We started out around 3 AM, to avoid the infamous Cincy parking lot.  It worked.)



The Privilege of Simply Surviving

Happy Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, to those who observe it.  L’shanah tovah, to a good year, or at least better than it’s been, a pretty low bar!  The horrors of the past and present years are too many and too brutal to reiterate.  Just ordinary mundane surviving sounds pretty good right now.

I suppose it’s appropriate that our move back to Ohio and closing on the TN house fell right smack in the middle of High Holy Days.  It’s like one more chance to start over in a less medieval place.  We have one final round trip drive down there tomorrow to wrap things up, then that unfortunate chapter is over.

It wasn’t all bad; I got to see my son and grandkids occasionally, before they all migrated to other states themselves.  Once again, we’re all shuffled and scattered across the map.  COVID just threw an additional wrench into the mix, another layer of separation and isolation.

And we’re some of the fortunate ones who could save up and move when the going got tough, unlike victims of Hurricane Ida or refugees from Afghanistan.  Even if they wanted to leave their ancestral homes and families to be strangers in a strange land, they couldn’t plan or afford it.  It puts our predicament in perspective.

Speaking of perspectives, from Misu’s point of view, after recovering from the trauma of moving, this is a wonderland of nooks and crannies and high windowsills to explore.  Here she is overseeing the ‘hood from “her” office.

And speaking of ‘hoods, happily, this is a very “diverse” (for lack of a better word) neighborhood in many ways.  The only demographic not well represented is critters.  I’ll have to remedy that.