window in the sub

Dear Nathaniel,

I am microwaving pie that Mom bought up in Oak Glen this week on her way home from the orthodontist. As I put it in the microwave, I was full of sadness that I was not in Oak Glen with her. Why did I not go? I was working. I want to see the trees turn. I want to wander slowly through autumnal gift shops. Under the water, you cannot sense the approach of the seasons. Even here it is difficult because, after all, it's California. But I can still sense it. After three seasons in Illinois and one in Scotland, it must be with me for good. Or at least for a while. Because I am all abuzz with eagerness for fall and winter, for turkeys and dried leaves and Santa. I should start cooking again this fall. Fall foods are my favorite. Baked squash dripping with melted butter and brown sugar, pumpkin soup... this year, if I have enough money, I will put together a holiday dinner for my friends. And we will drink Scandinavian mulled wine, which is the most wonderful thing I have ever tasted. But it's really expensive to make from absolute scratch. A million ingredients. And no, I will NOT go to IKEA for a cheap substitute!

Mike has gotten over her flea problem, it seems. Well, not entirely. She still won't go in my room, where the fleas took up happiest of residence in my sheep skin rug. But she was lying on the floor in the living room yesterday, and that is a big deal. I am assuming we told you she has fleas. The doctor gave her this magical oil that gets dripped on her neck and then seeps back up through all her oil glands and kills the fleas off on contact! Very sneaky. But there are still bazillions of them in the carpet, and she has been fearful of the floor ever since. Imagine being afraid of the floor. It makes life very difficult for her. Last night, she almost tried to walk from the recliner (I let her up there because of the fear) to the window sill by walking on the arm of the couch. Which, as you know, is absurdly narrow, being made of rattan or whatever that is. Eventually she gave up and braved the floor for a meerest second. She doesn't mind uncarpeted floors, of course, so she'll travel from the kitchen to mom and dad's room (which IS carpeted, but which has been vacuumed the most due to Mom's paranoia - she feels fleas everywhere - that Mike got over that room first of all) via the bottom of the bookshelf. This might make more sense if you were a little more familiar with the placement of furniture in the house...


Amanda flew off to Guatemala last week. I drove her to the airport before five in the morning, then came straight home and slept through most of the rest of the day before going to work at four and being grumpy till we left sometime after midnight - despite all my napping. It was good to drive her to the airport, though. I felt it was the only really good time I spent with her the whole week she was here. Not entirely... we went to my favorite coffeeshop, Portfolio, and had a feast of delightful foods and she studied Spanish and I wrote the beginnings of a story in my new red journal. But the rest of the time she was here, I was mostly working or in a grumpy mood. These moods must stop. They must have no hold over me!

While I am typing, my apple pie and coffee are getting cold. You are worth it, of course.

It is a hazy day. I can see the islands and some trawlers off the coast (I don't think they're really trawlers. I don't know what trawlers are, but I like the word.) but the sky is grey and the sun has little purchase on the landscape. There is a guy in the front yard laying sod. It's about time - we've had nothing but dirt for over a month. I am pretending that he cannot see me in my nappy hair and bathrobe, staring right back at him. He probably can't see much of me... I hope.

I love you and wish you were here. I really think of you so often lately. I am very glad I have a brother. And I am glad it's you.


note on the text: if any of my readers begin to think themselves superior and exclusive for having such an intimate view of my personal correspondence, temper yourselves with this knowledge: this is an edited version of the original, available only to my brother's eyes and the eyes of whatever people back in Washington are responsible for filtering submariners' email. so there.


  1. ack! i need to finish emailing him!!! i am a loser sister. and your email is so interesting that mine pale in comparison. poo-balls.

  2. it's because i've learned to speak like obama. there's a whole book about it. you can learn too. and i promise that not all my emails are this interesting. by the way, on my way home at midnight tonight, i saw a guy puke out the window of his car. pretty cool.

  3. that's so gross! he puked? do you think he was sick or had too much to drink?
    i don't want to speak like obama. i want to speak like me but more interestingly.

  4. i don't really know. i think he was drunk only because it was midnight, but i could just be prejudiced against very young men who ride in the backs of cars late at night. he could have been genuinely ill. I know his fellow passengers certainly were only a few moments later. here's the dumb thing: he puked out the window, and then rolled the window up. that's the other reason i think he was drunk. 'cause a sober person would know to let some fresh air in!!

  5. obama would certainly know to roll the window down.

  6. enough political talk.
    i think i need to get my picture taken with the buddy statue, too.

  7. obamaobamaobamayomama.... (in three or five or seven years, when i am hung for these stupidities, hung at the neck by obama, you may shake your head and wag your finger and say 'i told you so')

  8. no! i will bring my bow and arrow and cut the rope that hangs you at the last second to save you. then we will run away with the money i have saved in a secret safe deposit box and live happily ever after with all our families on a remote desert island, ala Swiss Family Robinson.

  9. you. are. brilliant. and we will speak in code. and wear sneaky spyglasses.

  10. Gag me, sister talk. The weird part is, I can actually hear your voices as I read all 9 of your comments... and Emily, you really should get your picture taken with the Buddy statue--even I, who live in Colorado, have a picture with the Buddy statue.

  11. if you don't want to hear the sister talk, get out of the comment box. :)

    the tricky thing about the Buddy statue is that it's made of very hard metal. one must take care when hugging to move gingerly. i have given my head a hard knock on more than one occasion. not unsimilar to hugging the actual brother, whose muscles of steel (haha) could harm a mere mortal. o heroical brother!

  12. yeah, naterola is kind of hard to hug. his tallness makes it awkward, too. i always end up doing the side-thing.

  13. Interessanter Beitrag


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