So these past few weeks were the ones where I was supposed to get my time back. And I was going to be here for you. And then my FIL died, suddenly and unexpectedly. It's been a real blow for the dude since we haven't been to England in two years. On Friday, we'll return for the funeral.
I know I have used this forum as a place to blow off steam when my in-laws visit, so it may seem to longtime readers that there is no love lost between us. But the truth of the matter is that I care very deeply for my in-laws. (It's house guests I don't love.) First and foremost because they helped produce the dude, but also because they are interesting people who are interested in the world around them.
My father-in-law was a classics professor of some renown, and we are getting notes from the world over fondly remembering him. A scholar to the end, an article he wrote recently will be published posthumously. When he found out I had a fear of walking down circular stairs, he made up a word for it using his extensive knowledge of ancient Greek (which he started learning at seven). Unfortunately, I lost the scrap of paper he wrote it on, and it is lost to time. He also knew Latin (which he began studying at nine), and his girlfriend has shared a story of Michael communicating with her Italian MIL in ecclesiastical Latin. That's one of the fabulous things about him; he was always game.
One of my favorite stories about him came from his children when I was putting together a scrapbook for his 70th birthday. My FIL was born profoundly hard of hearing. One summer, the family vacation took place on a canal boat--a trip that zigged as well as zagged. Just after marveling at the "great wide sweep" approaching, Michael ran the boat aground. As people shouted instructions from the shore for unsticking themselves, Michael would shout back, "I can't. We've run aground." The family recalls this vacation vividly with my MIL providing the wonderful detail that their rescue ended up in other people's vacation video footage.
I'm afraid I will be away for at least two more weeks. I miss you all.