Off the top of my head, I can rattle off lots of advantages of living in Oz. This week I can add another. It is not good being in real-time while Wall Street goes through its manic-depressive extremes.
At home I usualy wake up after the US market has closed, and what's done is done whether it be good or bad. Here, especially when there seems to be a sense of panic about the market, it is too compelling not to take a peek at what's happening. And so for the last three days it's been Ouch! or Whew! or Arrgh! but of course there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. Kind of like watching a train wreck from inside the train, I guess.
Our financial advisor wrote to us and used words like "gloomy", which is not a word that makes you feel real good, but immediately added that the good news is that much of our retirement fund right now is not in shares. Apparently that is the difference between wet and dry cat food if this doesn't sort itself out.
So in the wake of the world having a financial nervous breakdown, there is only one appropriate response - and that is to eat, drink and be merry. The other night we did just that when Sandy and Dave had us over for a barbecue. Peg, Linda and I arrived just in time for cocktails (which I think is whenever we show up), and it was a classic time with this family - great stories, lots of laughs and great food.
This particular meal featured gorgeous grilled veal chops, fresh sweet corn, roasted potatoes and cucumber salad. So good! And the zinfandel washed it all down way too easily.
We sat around after dinner talking and laughing until it got late. OK, it was only 10pm, but you've got to understand that for most of the people at the table this was late. And for LK and me, jet lag was still a factor. But the real giveaway that this night of festivity was over came when we noticed that Peg had put her arm on the table and was resting her head on it.
I know you have to make allowances for 92-year-olds, but we were all pretty sure this was her way of letting us know it was time to go home and to bed, so we bundled ourselves into the car and made the very short drive.
It was during that drive that LK said to her mom, "When I looked at you with your head on the table, I didn't know if you were tired, drunk or dead."
Peg thought for a few seconds. "Well, actually," she said, "that wouldn't be a bad way to go."
We're making the Pittsford-to-Pittsford run tomorrow, from Pittsford New York to Pittsford Vermont. The good news - if we keep the radio off, we can ignore whatever is happening in Wall Street.
It will be great to see the folks again.