Field of Science

Fish and visitors smell in three days.

As usual Ben Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanac, 1736) knew what he was talking about.

Whew! The Phactor is so happy to be back to the dull, monotonous routine of his colorless life. Entertaining family, visitors, and friends is very fatiguing, and just so you don’t think me an antisocial curmudgeon, let me qualify this by saying, when in large numbers, like over 100!
It sounds so reasonable, so sane. Your roommate wants a garden party for her birthday. Who could object? But just as you must sweep the floor and make the beds before visitors arrive, for a garden party you also must cut the lawn, tidy up the gardens, nuke many weeds, plant some plants, and hope for good weather. Unfortunately this is no small matter especially when one has no parlor maids or gardeners to do your bidding.

Family and friends came from all over, and since the birthday girl did not know so many of her siblings and other relatives would be coming, it was a big, happy surprise. And it was a glorious evening what with the garden looking so charming, the exceedingly fine blue grass band, the quite excellent food and catering, and the endless supply of wine and the quite finite supply of beer (who can predict?). Was it worth all the effort? Well, yes! Just as you are never the same age again, you only have so many chances to get together with all the people you like.

And in case a putative family member happens upon this, and thinks this all sounds too familiar, the Phactor must remind people one of the reasons for writing an anonymous blog is to keep people guessing. Oh, but don’t think I don’t care. Let me count the ways I love my relatives: far away, from a distance, at arm’s length, out of state, out of control, out on parole, out of the country, out in space, in another dimension, over there, overseas, over the hill and dale, asleep, and in my dreams.

The Phactor should be ready for another one of these parties in just about a decade. Mark your calendars.

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