2020

me, on a boat, on a lake, in Wisconsin, in the fall [smiling at Best Beloved as she takes my picture]
I am so old that I remember how odd it was to write 1970 on my school papers instead of 1969.

Half a century ago.

The previous summer I had watched, live, as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

Even earlier: one of my earliest memories was everyone crying about something on the radio. It was November 22, 1963.

When I was born, Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was President of the United States. There have been 11 more since then.

My maternal grandfather was born in a tiny village outside (then) Berlin (the village itself was absorbed by the city long ago.) That was in 1880, 140 years ago.

In 1630 or thereabouts, three brothers named Canfield were well-known businessmen in New Haven Connecticut.

In 1066 a chap with the last name Campfield (he was Belgian so I don’t know where that spelling came from) crossed over from Europe with William the (Soon to Be) Conqueror.

This history lesson (?) brought to you by the numbers “2” and “0” and the letters j, d, and c.


I promise not to make an issue of it, but the new decade doesn’t start until 2021. Decades start with 1, end with 10, rather than starting with 0, ending with 9.


some more late thoughts (a post by the Little One)

Not so little any more, I suppose. Studying for her driver’s license. This was written two years ago. Original at http://fionacanfield.com/2017/12/06/knowledge-in-passing/

once i went to a coffee shop and in one room of that coffee shop was a white piano and a white bench and a marker and people had written stuff all over the piano and the bench with the marker and honestly i thought that was so cool.

i really like that kind of stuff.

i think it’s really neat.

people years from now may never meet you, never know you, never know anything about you, and you can scratch something into a tree or a wall or write it on a chair and someone out there will see that and know you exist.

you know what would be cool

when you’re about to move out of a house, leaving a note somewhere. maybe a letter. or part of a journal. or would that end up getting cleaned out? either way someone would see it.

i like thinking about that kind of stuff. i want to do that kind of stuff. leave notes in cracks and write on trees and just. leave little messages for people who will never even know me.

it sounds like something out of a story. well i’d read that.

someone moving into a new house and finding a journal about the life of whoever lived there before them.

i think that should be a thing people do. leave notes all over the world. maybe it is. maybe not. i guess people don’t really think about that kind of stuff.

not just because i want people to know i exist. i want people to have the experience of finding messages from someone they’ll probably never meet. messages meant just for them.

because that sounds really magical.


On the Eve of My Daughter’s Wedding

Five weeks ago, I was one of the most important people in her life. Now, a near stranger is the most important person in her life, and I’m barely a part of it.

It feels like death. It feels, inside, exactly the way it felt when my father died.

I know that, one month ago, she left, and she’s never coming back. She’ll go away and be part of someone else’s life, and we’ll see her now and then, but she’ll never really be back.

After all the years of stress and frustration and countless hours of worry and talk and tears, someone else gets to have the almost adult we created, and we get an empty hole.

It’s not fair and it hurts, and all anyone else sees is the angry whining selfish old man. Someone is taking one of my most precious possessions, and doesn’t even seem to care how I feel.

I’m scared and sad and lonely. I’m heart-broken over the projects we’ll never finish because she’ll go away and be part of someone else’s life instead of mine.

It’s not anger. It’s pain. That sound in my voice; the look on my face.

That’s my heart breaking.

bride