This week, we had to endure the installation of a new heating and air-conditioning system.  The system being jettisoned was thirty years-old, which we understand is about twice as long as current HVAC systems are projected to last.

The ‘endure’ part was many-fronted, or at least ‘several-fronted’.  Aside from having to part with ten thousand dollars, it was my turn to be the ‘man’, which is to say, communicate and generally interact with the installation ‘team’.

Whereas I have never been characterized as a complete sissy, at least to my face, taking on the ‘man’ role is always — how to say — taxing.  To be absolutely fair to myself, just ‘taxing-ish’, okay?

A couple of weeks ago, Stephen and I traveled to the mountains of far north Georgia, to spend a couple of days with an old friend who, with his late husband had escaped there from Atlanta.  When I grew up forty miles from Atlanta in the Fifties and into the Sixties, the city was still quaint by today’s standards and ‘conceivable’.  Now it’s a mess.

Quizzing our friend round and about concerning his wellbeing this past year in widowhood, we were reassured.  Interestingly, while we had already been educated to the fact that there is an extensive gay presence in the region, he told us that his social scene is relatively heterosexual.

While his consorting with ‘those people’ was initially shocking to me, he pointed out that within the fabric of this set were the polyamorous and the naturist.  I can say no more…

The days while we were visiting had been projected to be the ‘peak’ leaf-wise of Autumn glory.  Nope.  While there were gorgeous vistas aplenty, and crisp, chilly weather, no riot-of-color.

Though compensations for no Vermont-postcard leafage were not required, we did meet a very attractive and very courtly blacksmith while visiting a craft school in the region.

Wouldn’t you agree that ‘courtly’ always takes ‘attractive’ to a different level?