My aunt died on Monday. I am sad, and I guess experiencing the usual range of feelings about such things. There's a fascinating and massive set of psychological and logistical complications running through everything; I'm picking up a lot of what people are feeling, and the connections between them, both positive and negative; and I wonder if this isn't why I like spending a lot of time alone recently.

We drove an hour away to spend some time near the other side of the family, my father's--my uncle and his family still live in the small town where they all grew up. Theirs is a full house at the moment: nine people, a puppy, and an indeterminate number of cats, with what looks like about four sibling kittens. The kittens are cute, as kittens should be, but not terribly bright: I noted that one of them didn't bother moving when the door squished it, and my cousin said they don't get out of the way for much of anything, and it's very easy and kind of fun to close the refrigerator door on their tails.

It's not the heat, it's the humidity. Although I'm not crazy about the heat, either. Twenty-six years later, I still don't like summer. The smell of rain made me tear up, though.

When I got off the plane in Buffalo, one of the computerized signs by a gate in the airport read:

Welcome National Golf
Course Builders and
11th Armored Div.
Which I found to be a wonderfully surreal welcome.

I saw an ad for Darien Lake, a small amusement park where my aunt had taken me and my brother a long time ago. It's now owned by Six Flags, apparently, along with the amusement park near where I grew up.

Life Is, in the best possible sense.