Doctor Patterson gave me sufficient power of attorney to hire a decent defense attorney on his behalf, and they managed to get the case against him dropped with a few terse words. Judge Jeneryk told him that just because, even as a full grown adult and grandfather he still thought 'girls were weird' was no excuse for his behavior. I'm afraid Doctor Patterson manages to hear what he wants to, however.
Still, he's back in his home, and feeling productive. The cleaning service keeps the place tidy, and the groundskeepers come in once a week to make sure all is well. Doctor Patterson makes something of a show of trimming the trees. It helps him feel in control. And in the end, isn't that what we all want? To feel in control?
Gord tells me that Tracey's gearing up for an Independent run if we go to another general, which may be her way of feeling 'in control' over some of the worse parts of Milborough. I don't know how well she'll do in an election -- the parties get pretty fierce in a general -- but if she can manage to raise real Milborough issues in a campaign that'll want to parrot national refrains, that will be more than Ron Harvey's done in a couple of decades. If we actually go to an election, I don't think Elizabeth would mind if we contributed to her campaign. Sometimes, a bit of seed capital can bloom into unexpected things -- Gord and Tracey are proof of that, if anyone is.
Mrs. Patterson is doing surprisingly well at the Centre for Mental Health. Still, it will likely be a significant amount of time before she's ready to be released, and it's unlikely Doctor Patterson will visit her -- I wish I could say that was a bad thing, but right now the Pattersons need to avoid each other more than anything else.
To that end, we're already making our own Thanksgiving plans. My father and stepmother are actually going to travel out here instead of our going back there, and my step-grandparents are talking about coming along as well. That will make it easy for Elizabeth to politely decline any Thanksgiving plans her father may offer. It would be somewhat crazy around here if we tried to do everything in our apartment, so we're actually going to rent one of the medium suites at the Sands by the Sea hotel and have dinner largely catered. Elizabeth's going to cook some things to bring, and Mamere's going to do the same, so we'll have some 'home' touches without trying to cook twelve things at once in our kitchen. Elizabeth seemed a bit amazed that a major holiday meal didn't have to be insane, but she seems enthusiastic about it.
The next hurdle would be Christmas, but Deanna's already had a thought about that. She's been talking to Elizabeth, and suggested that we could travel down to Colorado to have Christmas with them down there. The hurdle would be April, of course -- money is tight all over and it wouldn't be something she could drive -- but Elizabeth and I discussed it and if we get tickets soon we should be able to get her down there as her Christmas present from us. Of course, this is assuming April doesn't already have plans of her own -- she's a self-starter, so we'll have to see. I know the Sobinskis think it's a good idea, so that certainly helps.
Elizabeth and I are doing... well, better. Surprisingly so, really. I think the heavy emotions of the trip back to Milborough ended up being a little cathartic for both of us. We've begun discussing more things together -- and making a few decisions jointly, which I think helps. I know I have a problem with making decisions without warning, and I don't know if I can fully fix it, but giving Elizabeth permission to tell me when I'm doing it helps there. We are also talking more about planning for 'the future.'
Which I suppose gives me some hope that we have one.
I should get going. There's a lot of work to be done, and with my father coming to town later in the month I've got to finish my part of the work on the Caine Accounting account. I've deferred most of it to Frank Day, and he agrees with my assessment... but I have to be ready for an unpleasant conversation with Dad about it. Elizabeth will have Jamie and Françoise well away from us when it happens. We will see, I suppose. It can't be worse than August was.