2003: Into Exile
Ron and Cyndi, bless their hearts, did their very best to palliate the psychic damage we’d undergone. Kind neighbors helped them collect us at the Amtrak station; we’d had to
A durable team: Eleanor and Hepzibah,
parked at the Florence Mill
leave our Otto with the Olsens in Arlington, and Ron went shopping (a very favorite activity, chez lui) for a replacement vehicle. We didn’t mean to distress him by buying the first one he proposed, but we’ve been grateful to have our Eleanor: a 2000 Honda Accord LX, somewhere between beige and gold.
Named, as if you hadn’t guessed, after 26th-great-grandma Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Recently invested in an old-time British radio series called “Cavalcade of Kings.” Can’t seem to find out who produced it. Most educational, anyhow. Surprised, though, to note that the series paints a very negative picture of the “infamous” Eleanor, blaming her for a lot of the jerky behavior of her son, Grandpa King John
As I write, ten years later, she’s racked up a remarkably trouble-free 220,000 miles, and we’re planning to drive her, yet again, to Keokuk in a couple of weeks. With, again, Hepzibah perched on her trailer-hitch.

For the few months we’d spend in Salt Lake, the Ralstons proposed that we insinuate ourselves into their congregation, the Hawthorne Ward, rather than participating in the ward that included our piece of Redondo Avenue. We agreed, seeing no real point in building a lot of short-term relationships, while we had good ones ready-made only a few blocks away.
To introduce us to the neighbors, Cyndi and Ron invited a bunch of them over, one Sunday evening, shortly after our arrival. Lindsay, not yet four, came toddling out into their student-style living-room, chock-a-block full of adults, many of them strangers to her. You’d expect one of her age to dissolve into tears and retreat to her own turf. Not our Lindsay, though. She approached the biggest, malest, strangest adult (who has since joined the Utah Highway Patrol) and declared, “I’m not really a Ralston, you know.” He knew perfectly well that she was, but he played along: “Oh, really?” “No, I’m just here to help Ron with his smoking problem!”
The 2003 index page tabulates links to the events of 2003. Given our state of emotional convalescence, it’s a shorter list than for the preceding couple of years.
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