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I did a first report, but it sounded like one long kvetch, so I'm trying again. At our life stage, memorable events are hospital stays (Mark's two for leg infections and my upcoming one for spiae surgery). These are a damper on walks, swims, chamber music concerts, parties, meetings. Mark's beloved sister-in-law, Doris, died after bitter illness. The dog is gone. The world contracts.

Joris and Lesya stay close to us from their house over the Charles in nearby Waltham. Alaric has bought the house next door to his Lincoln pad and is here often. Kiri comes in from South Deerfield for family events. We are very lucky.

The one recent event that lifted my spirits was the call on the answering machine the day before Christmas eve: "Adeline, I found your wallet on the ground outside Walgreen's!" I hadn't known it was missing, but what a relief. I collected it next morning from the wonderful young woman who had it. She has restored my optimism and my faith in (some) people.

Next year will be better. Meanwhile, I quote from The Silver Swan by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): The silver swan that living had no note, When death approached unlocked her silent throat; Leaning her breast against the reedy shore Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more. Farewell all joys; O death come close mine eyes; More geese than swans now live, mpre fools than wise.

Happy 2004. Adeline

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