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Amidst the backdrop of current events flooding in the Chicago area seems relatively inconsequential but is the thing affecting my parents the most with basement flooding twice in 8 weeks. Our neighbors yard looked like a pool, I haven’t seen that kind of thing since I lived here in as a kid.  The village seems to be unconcerned that their downspout disconnect program has led to increased flooding of people’s yards and basements.  And probably more insidious but more responsible is the incredible rate of demolition of small footprint houses on decent sized lots to be replaced by large footprint houses thereby effectively reducing the available ground (sponge) to soak up the water. More run-off = more flooded streets, sewers and yards.  Combined this with the effects of global warming/climate change and you have a recipe for flooding.  I bet that the village sees their “best interest” in the dollar signs related to increased taxes from these new homes.  That kind of thinking leads to unintended consequences whose fundamental effects on neighborhoods and individuals should not be ignored.  Does greed really have the upper hand? Or is it just pragmatism?

Besides dealing with flooding, I’m been helping my parents prepare for our trip to Poland which is now in count-down phase.  I’m glad I came four days earlier and have had my daughter as a listening post.  They haven’t traveled outside the US in about ten years, and with diminishing faculties, just getting them packed has proven to be a much bigger job than I expected.  In addition, my dad is exhibiting symptoms of fairly major memory loss – I am not ready to say dementia yet but there’s a level of forgetfulness about everyday things and accompanying anxiety that is very, very suspicious. I’m putting off the inevitable research and conversations in order to stay focused in one day at a time mode as this big trip looms. Luckily I will have my sisters with me.

These days have an odd quality about them, probably because they don’t have a routine the way my days at home days do.  And yet they are filled with small tasks and errands for my parents including fixing meals.  Writing, which I tend to do in the morning at home, get’s shunted off to fit in to odd times of the day.  Much harder to keep to my discipline/practice.  My parents both have more extraverted personalities and prefer talking or background noise to quiet.  This too affects my concentration and the pace of the days.

I’ll be dealing with my own packing, actually reorganizing since the weather in Krakow and southern Poland has turned cooler than I had planned. And then we’re off tomorrow!  I intend to get up a post or two during our travels but that remains to be seen.

Finally, in advance of fall, I’m trying on some things that have come into my life. The sweater is courtesy of my sister and the hat is my mom’s. I may or may not be keeping the hat but thought it was fair game for Judith’s Hat Attack. Much too hot to wear right now though as it feels like a rain forest and another thunderstorm is coming on. But it would be perfect for October.