By Fred Owens
Valentine's Day has already started at our house. We think of it as Valentine's month. I was explaining to Albert, our young housemate, that it is almost never wrong to give her flowers, on any day and for no reason at all.
Cousins. People were entranced by the report from my cousins in Wisconsin -- all Packers fans of course. But there is so much more to tell -- about my Chicago cousins, all Bears fans and lifelong enemies of all Packers fans. I should say right here, that as much as I love my cousins in Wisconsin, when they play the Bears I want the Bears to win. I maintain a hidden shrine to Bears' guiding spirit and former owner George Halas. Always for the Bears I am. I grew up in Wilmette on the north side of Chicago near the waters of Lake Michigan. That's where I'm from.
More News from our Cousins in Chicago. Eileen, Peggy and Peggy's husband Frank are on a tour of the Mideast, riding camels in Jordan, throwing rocks at the Sphinx in Cairo and cruising the Suez Canal. The trip of a lifetime.
Politics. I know you are clamoring for an extended, long-winded essay on current affairs in the world of politics. Sorry to disappoint you, but all I can say or write is this -- Amy! Amy! Amy! Give us a Klo, Klo. Give is a Bu, Bu. Give us a Char, Char. What do you got? Klo-Bu-Char. Klo-Bu-Char. Goooooooooooooo Amy! She's gonna win. She will be our next President and she's all right with me. President Amy. How does that sound?
The Beach. Laurie and I took a walk on the beach this Sunday morning, at Hendry's Beach, right down the road. Good Lord, it is the entire Pacific Ocean starting at our feet and going clear to China. Where do the waves come from? Someday I'm going to sneak down to the beach in the wee hours of the morning to see if they turn off the waves at night when no one is looking. I just think that because it so stupefies me -- that the waves never, ever stop. The sound may go dim, and the waves may dimple down and become small as lake swell, but they never stop. What keeps it going?
This morning we saw small waves and washed up seaweed. We saw sea gulls and pelicans. The tide was up too high for the shorebirds, besides that there was a whole gang of volunteers picking up beach litter. The sky was blue, but we can see inland that the clouds were building over the foothills and we might get rain this afternoon.
Facebook and Twitter. I am multi-tasking. I can actually do that, a little, going back and forth from Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter you can choose your preferred pronouns. I will choose he and him.
My Brother. My older brother by four years, Thomas Joseph Owens, was teaching history at Santee High School in Los Angeles, as he has done for about 30 years. Teaching full time and accumulating over 100 days of unused sick leave, because he likes to keep at it. Teaching every day until a few months ago when they discovered that Tom had two kinds of cancer. Not one spreading to the other, but two different kinds at the same time -- apparently that can happen. Not ever a smoker but Tom has Stage One Lung Cancer. They can cure that one with surgery. They operated and removed the bad part on Friday. It went well and they got it. But then he has the other kind of cancer too, Endo-neuro Cancer, bothering his liver and upper intestine. About to undergo radiation therapy for that.
Retired now, but used to working, he wonders what to do with his time. I suggested cribbage. He and I can play cribbage together and pass the time, perhaps in his front yard in Sierra Madre, where he lives, east of Pasadena.
My daughter says that Tom and I don't talk too much when we're together. Well, we spent 18 years in the same bedroom growing up. Got along pretty well, except when I borrowed his Buddy Holly record and forgot to ask. I don't know what happened to his Bo Diddley record. It wasn't me.
Happy Valentines to all of you,