Saturday, January 4, 2014


After a rainstorm a couple of days ago, I wandered back down to the old citrus grove near my dad's house. There were several bluebirds flitting about. Bluebirds always seem to be a cheery symbol, especially in old songs like "Over the Rainbow" and "Bluebird of Happiness." I'm not sure my state of mind here can be described as exactly happy, but still, it was nice to see them.

Yesterday I went with my stepmother and nephew to see "Saving Mr. Banks," about Walt Disney's efforts to acquire the rights to "Mary Poppins" from her creator, P.L. Travers. I really enjoyed it. I've read criticism of Tom Hanks for his portrayal of Disney, but I thought he did a pretty good job, and I enjoyed the photos and clips at the very end, where the real Travers is seen and heard conversing with the "Mary Poppins" movie writers. Overall I'd recommend it.

We went through more of Dad's belongings yesterday. He's a retired math professor, and he has a box of old notes and draft journal articles that he and my stepmother seem intent on recycling. I asked him whether it has any scholarly value -- should we give it to the university where he worked, for example? But he says no. The articles themselves have been published, so I suppose they're publicly available -- but still, I hate to just toss all that stuff, even though it's incomprehensible to me. I'm leaving it up to them.

Like his boxes of ancient greeting cards and paper route receipts, the math notes are interesting in that Dad chose to save them all these years. You learn a lot about a person's attachments, what they love, when you see what they pack up and store away.


  1. Beautiful birds. Looks like that old grove is suffering from greening. Ah, the poor Florida citrus industry.
    I thought the movie was fine too. And Hanks did a terrific job of being the character of Disney.
    It may be part of your dad's journey (and how I hate that word in this regard) to let go of things. You play your part by listening to the stories, honoring them. This can't be easy.
    But it's important.

  2. So interesting! And poignant to think of recycling the evidence of his hard work.

    Also interesting that you are not a keeper of many things.

    Thinking of you with a lot of love.

  3. I'm amazed at how you write lightly of such heavy things -- or that didn't sound like what I meant -- your words are precise and effortless but they carry such weight.

  4. I pack and store away everything. What does that say about me?