. . . . If people were packed into Delaware standing up, as close as they can fit together, that number of people would be equal to the number of cells in an average human body.
. . . . What else do you want to know about Delaware?
. . . . I'm trying to feel at home but it's not home yet.
. . . . I'm trying to meet people. Some of them will become friends, like you. I'm trying to become part of a community, or seveal communities. I've taken to writing people's names down as I meet them. Today I gathered twelve names.
. . . . At Christ Church they have kneelers, one of which shows two armadillos boarding Noah's Ark. You'd think we were back in Austin.
. . . . After worship today, I turned to the couple behind me, saying I didn't think I had seen them at church before. They said, "Oh, that's probably because we usually teach Sunday School." I then explained that I was having my little joke, that the reason I hadn't seen them before was that this was only the third Sunday I'd been there.
. . . . This friendly couple talked with me all the way to the parish reception and then some. I found out he's a lawyer and she teaches Spanish at the University of Delaware. I was introduced to one of their children. I liked them. Only later did I learn he's head of a state commission.
. . . . I met five other people and talked a good while with each, including another lawyer who teaches Sunday School. Are all male Sunday School teachers here lawyers? I'll let you know.
A R D E N
. . . . Then, this afternoon, I went over to the annual "Arden Book Signing" and met several people. I met the woman who manages the summer Shakespeare play. This summer the play is "As You Like It." I met two women from the Arden Club. I talked a long time to a retired Swiss chemist who came here to work for DuPont. I met a woman who went to grade school here. I met a fellow who teaches the philosophy of Henry George. He's part of the educational arm of the Henry George Foundation, teaching in Philadelphia at the birthplace of Henry George.
. . . . To the east and west of Arden are creeks surrounded by woods. Barbara went walking through them on Saturday. A thin layer of ice had formed patch-work patterns in the still places. In the places where water fell, the foam had frozen. The only snow we've seen was in West Virginia on the drive up here. It was sunny at the time and the flakes were so few that at first we thought we might be driving through a cloud of white flies.
B A R B ' S . N E W . J O B
. . . . Barbara managed to finish her first week at work without being overwhelmed with information. Friday there was a two-hour coffee in her honor during which she met thirty of her fellow employees at the Institute. I don't know if she wrote all their names down or not. Above is a photo of the reading room in the library. Yes, that's a working fireplace.
M Y . A P P E N D E C T O M Y
. . . . As most of you know, just as the movers arrived in Austin on Dec. 29, I was seventy miles north at Scott & White Hospital having my appendix removed. Several generous people took time to visit me in the hospital, including Janne and David, who arrived at the hospital at 7 p.m. and stayed until I was wheeled into recovery at 1 a.m. in the morning. Meanwhile, in Austin, other people came over to help Barbara finish packing. All these people were a blessing to us.
. . . . In the weeks before the operation, I hoped I simply had a bad case of indigestion. It wouldn't go away. I knew if there was something terribly wrong with my guts, I wanted to find out before we left for Delaware. I did find out and our community of friends were there to help. Thanks, all of you. The problem, it turns out, had been going on for months or even years and had to do with a chicken bone. The moral: eat fewer chicken bones.
T H E . M O V E
. . . . I'm healing fine. I was able to do a lot of the driving up here. During the drive we discovered that Bobie, our old, small female feline, is able to yowl for seven hours straight.
. . . . Moving in was a challenge. The huge semi-truck/trailer could not get near the cottage we're renting. But, since there wasn't room in this small house for a lot of our stuff, I rented a 10x20 self-storage unit and the movers drove over there. Then I rented an 18-foot U-Haul truck. Lots of our stuff went into the storage unit and the rest was ferried to our new home in three trips. This was an all-day effort by the husband-and-wife moving team and Barbara. When I complained that I felt useless, that I really wanted to help lift boxes but couldn't, I got no sympathy. So me, I took naps in the cab of the truck. The moral: eat lots of chicken bones; you can sleep while others work.
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Our third week in Delaware
January 23, 2000
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