I used to write a generic letter every other month or so but that was before I started writing a daily blog. But I do have friends who either don’t have a computer or prefer not to tune in and who I still want to keep in touch with. As you know, the generic letter grew out of the annual Christmas letter when it became tedious to write the same old news in card after card and so much easier to write it once and print it out in sufficient numbers to satisfy all – hence generic. And as you also know, we keep writing Christmas cards, however brief, just to assure others that we are still here and hope they are the same.
So here is a generic letter, which will be posted as well as disseminated via e-mail, a mid-year catch-up to a peculiar year, so far. As many of you know, I was 85 in February. After careful consideration I chose to celebrate with two gifts to myself. One was a weeklong theatre tour to London under the care of the Stratford Festival. That was in January and it was divine, not the least of it being the warm, dry, spring-like weather.
The second was a plan for the year, not yet fully executed, the intention being to visit some of my long-time friends who cannot come to me, if I had a party, which I had originally booked for February, my birth month.
Who wants to come to Toronto in February? Even my hale and hearty friends, and I still have a few, do not choose to come here in the shank of winter. So I decided to give myself the gift of friends. You know that expression, “A friend is a gift you give yourself”? That’s what I did, am doing.
In March I flew to Sault Ste. Marie to see Phyllis, a former neighbour from Stratford. At the beginning of May, I flew from Lima, Peru, at the end of my pre-planned cruise, to Vancouver to see two friends, Agnes, in the city, and Virginia, in Gibson’s on Howe Sound. There were three and I had arranged to stay longest with her and go with her to see our friend a ferry ride away. But Jo died just before Easter. You see? Best to see people while we’re still around.
As if that were the only glitch. I had a serious accident the beginning of February, with complications, involving four different courses of antibiotics and four trips to ER to see a Wound Specialist, plus a Community Care nurse who came to change the dressing every other day. He gave me clearance to go on my cruise just two days before the departure date, and I needed a wheelchair for the airports.
Three months of enforced idleness without exercise have taken their toll. I’m taking some physiotherapy now and trying to get back to my pre-fall level of activity. A Fitbit is helping.
In the meantime, I was slowed in my progress on my latest project, a screenplay based on a non-fiction book a friend of mine has written, and with whom I am collaborating. And for various technical reasons I got bogged down in my blogging, just recently back online. So here I am, with a generic letter – and a generic blog.
A summer summary. Warm wishes.