Whoever Said ‘You Can’t Miss What You Don’t Have’ Is Outta Their Minds

Wednesday, November 07, 2012             5:21 PM

Claire’s dad, John Erling Anderson, PhD, CSF, a great person of great kindness, intelligence, and wit, has finally passed on—Parkinson’s disease is as terrible a thing as there is. Our sadness for his passing is leavened with relief that his illness can no longer reach him. He is survived by his wife, Karin, his son, Mark, his daughters Lynn, Kristin and Claire, his eight grandchildren, and his two great-grandchildren.

He was an experimentalist and inventor, responsible for hundreds of Union Carbide’s patents in the field of industrial combustion. One of his greater inventions involved replacing or retrofitting air-fed furnaces with a pure oxygen feed, allowing greater temperatures, and quality and precision of burn. At least that’s what I think he told me.

As in-laws go, I have loved John and Karin—they were the nicest parents I’d ever met when I first visited their old family house on S. Pine St, Katonah and have remained my favorite ‘old people’ friends (seems funny to say that at 56).  I intend to get ‘Nana’ (Karin) on social media so we can keep in contact—it’s surprising how little we connect, seeing as how their Heritage Hills condo is barely more than a mile away.

There was a brief, private service before the cremation. Spencer joined us and Lynn’s and Kristin’s tribes—Mark came down from Cleveland and Nicholas came from the city. For a few days, we hardly noticed our power was still out…

At last! Our electricity wasn’t just some strange dream of paradise—it really exists. Claire is pleased with developments—she has been watching the thermostat. It was at 37 and now our valiant furnace has raised the ambient to 41! It’s funny how the little things matter.

Things I am suddenly thankful for: candles, matches, batteries, flashlights, down sleeping bags, fast food, coffee to go, sunlight (excellent for reading), a wife, who thought to fill the bathtub the night of the storm, a daughter who brought me mcgriddle and lecafe—while still healing from her emergency appendectomy, a son who is everything we could ever hope he would be, a post-surgical dog who kept us smiling (especially with that big, white plastic neck-cone thing and her geometrical-shaved patches of naked dog-skin).

I’m kinda sore about freezing my butt off for a week and change—especially because I missed the Election Returns TV coverage last night. But the important thing is—my hero, Barry Two-Times, is still on the job for another 4—thank you, Ummurickuh, I knew you wouldn’t let a fellow down. Sucks we didn’t get the house—6 billion bucks and 18 months later: same old same old. Maybe there’s something wrong with that—but I ain’t no expert.

Wow! I just looked at my Outlook emails : 238 Unread, 381 Junk Mail—I knew it was gonna be something crazy like that. Still, I’ll be surprised if more than 3 or 4 are from actual people I know, trying to communicate with me—not just me and everyone else on the sender’s emailing list.

Xmas at the Anderson’s – 2004

I was able to get a coupla recordings out of my camcorder, mid-black-out, before the recharge light shut me down, but it’s gonna take time—I posted “Here Comes Sandy” before the hurricane hit, but I had another one, “The Calm Before” that is still waiting for processing—plus the two I’m planning on calling “Powers Out” and “Powers Still Out” (original, right?) and I guess I’ll be playing a “Powers Restored” tomorrow morning, when the piano keys have had a chance to thaw. But that’s all theoretical—first we have to wait and see about tonight’s snowstorm. (What the NYSE&G lineman give, the Precipitation may snatch right back again!) Maybe I should succumb, and get a generator like all my neighbors have….

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