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Jean ColonomosBy Jean Colonomos      May 14, 2021

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“On May 1 the Druids celebrated Beltane. It marked the beginning of summer when cattle were sent out to pasture from their winter confinement. Bonfires were lit to invoke protective powers and cows were moved outside near the flames. In the same protection mode, household fires would be doused then relit from the blaze.” Wikipedia. March 17 The economy: On the phone, my contractor friend dipped into how costs have doubled in home building. “In October 2020, a 2 x 4 of Douglas fir from a Mid- western company cost $3.69. Today that same 2 x 4 costs $6.26. 60% of their workers are gone, supplies are less available and increased shipping costs have doubled in five months.” Some Catholic priests have defied Pope Francis’ order to call same-sex unions a sin. March 27 Hurray, my daughter, Sarah, and eleven-year-old granddaughter, Izzy, are here from Chicago. What a lovely first day getting to know each other after more than a year apart. Fun to shop and eat lunch together outdoors at Brentwood’s “Palmeri.” The food has been upgraded which I mentioned to our cheery Italian waiter. He replied, “No, it is the same as before.” My taste bud’s and my daughter’s disagreed. While meditating, Izzy’s voice came to me, “Nana knows everything.” I now listen closer to myself. Do I come across as absolute? Is this a defense against the unknown? March 29 I snapped photos of my family to stay with me after they leave. April 2 Questions like what will the world look like after the pandemic don’t seem to attach themselves to answers. Sarah and Izzy left this morning; it feels like they’re still here. Cousin, Andy, is now a tenured Associate Professor at USC Roski School of Art and Design!!! April 6 I had a heart-to-heart with Sarah about whether to eventually move to Chicago to be with her, my son-in-law, Lou, and my grandkids. I don’t have many years left and it’s lonely without them. She suggested I rent something for a year and see how it goes. Cecelia Rassey, Nov.29, 1953-Dec. 29, 2020: Like a page torn/ from a Holy Book,//she is gone/ twinkles from the night sky. April 10 Andy and Jay had lunch on my deck this afternoon and we talked about our first jobs. Andy lived in Austin, TX and worked at “Toy Joy,” an alternative toy store from 2006-2011. The woman who owned the store only allowed non-gender specific toys. “There was no blue section and pink section,” so unusual at the time. “Also, there was a ban on guns and swords.” When Andy was going for his PhD, he switched from daytime and became Toy Joy’s night manager. He’d come in at 5 p.m. after classes and managed the store till closing at 1 a.m.. “The store is different now, more geared to nerd culture,” his partner, Jay, says. “They have toy guns and swords now, and they have a new location…there’s even a Toy Joy store in the Austin airport.” At seventeen, I worked at a J.C. Penney-like store on Long Island. Every day I had to dust plaster elves and knick-knacks and sell them; I never made a sale. One day I asked the floor manager if another position opened up, I’d like to be considered. Though it was only a summer job, I lied and said I’d be permanent as my mother was ill and I needed to make more money. The following week I was head of payroll. Big mistake. Lousy at math, I couldn’t make the numbers work. April 12 We mourn the sudden passing of Paul Grzymkowski, a dear and gentlemanly man who will be missed by family, friends, and the Topanga community he so generously supported. Heartfelt condolences to his wife, Joanna Gunst Grzymkowski. April 15 I remember reading one of Lydia Davis’ essays where she wrote about French novelist, Georges Perec. Perec’s father died of untreated wounds in WW II and his mother died in a concentration camp. At seven, his aunt and uncle adopted him. Lydia Davis wrote that in his 300-page novel, “Disparition,” (“Disappearance”), Perec omitted words with the letter “e” to honor those who died. Synergy (3/28/21): Izzy and I were snacking in Malibu. Out of the blue she asked, “If you could get rid of a letter of the alphabet, what letter would it be?” Thinking of George Perec, I said, “I’d leave out the letter “o” for the “o” in Covid-19. Izzy chose the letter “i.” I tune into a British channel covering Prince Philip’s funeral. In this newsfeed, the emphasis is on Princes William and Harry reconciling. Switching back and forth between videos of them walking together and Prince Harry joining the Cambridge Royals, there’s more “togetherness” talk. Hope spills from the mouths of the newscasters that all’s well between brothers. How we long for a happy ending. Epilogue: Ann Buxie: “I might not be all / I was, but I’m becoming / what I’ve never been.”
Jean Colonomos

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