Good Morning Ted and Jody:
All seemed well with Nancy yesterday; however, I am keeping my fingers crossed so as not to break the luck for her.
Yesterday morning I went in for a massage. I left a bit later than usual as there was a fairly thick fog at the house. That usually portends little or no images lying about. However, I was wrong. There were images as close as the road—so I picked them up and did not put them back (the fog was lifting).
By the time I got to Longview, it was completely gone and the remainder of the day made a liar out of me for complaining about all the rain we get—just another boring bright sunny day. Although in my defense, Portland had close to a record year for rain (they were just over the past record by a fraction of an inch) and we are close to Portland When I pulled in to have a quick breakfast before the massage and was doing my testing and insulin in the car, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a sparrow trying to get into a roof drainage pipe. It couldn’t get in as there was another bird already in the pipe. I tried to get a shot of the bird trying to get in, but all I could do was capture the poor bird, dejected, with the bird in the pipe looking down on it.Now I can come up with several story lines about finding a new home, with running water, to no, you are not coming in until you clean off your muddy feet.
Between taking photographs, messing with them, writing today’s episode of Agent Amanda’s story, shopping and the like, I largely wasted yesterday. But, I did get a massage. That means I had a good long conversation with my friend Juli. So, that made both my body and mind feel much better.
Stay, happy, warm, healthy and obey the speed limit (even when on foot).
Warmest regards, Ed
42 Edith Gunderson At Work
Fiction in 1411 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Special Agent Fleishman appeared outside of the door to Child Protective Services. He opened the door, entered, and said “Good Morning Millie. Is Ms. Gunderson in?”
Millie looked up from the mass of paperwork on her desk and said, “Well, I see you are finally learning how to enter a room without frightening a soul out of her wits. Ms. Gunderson is in court. She should be back in an hour or so.”
“Which court and when did she go?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Family Court, about 30 minutes ago” Replied Millie.
“I’ll try to catch her before she goes. Later Millie,” Special Agent Fleishman said as he went back into the hallway.
Millie had a puzzled look on her face when the Special Agent left. When realization finally hit, she got up and went into Edith Gunderson’s office and made a beeline for the third drawer in the filing cabinet
Special Agent Fleishman pivoted and appeared 33 minutes earlier, just before Edith Gunderson came out of the reception area for Child Protective Services. Edith was looking back over her shoulder saying “And I should only be an hour and a half, Millie.” Almost running into Special Agent Fleishman, she said “Excuse me. I have got to start watching where I am going.” Then looking up she said with a smile, OR you have to stop just popping in.”
“Off to testify this morning?” Special Agent Fleishman asked.
“Yes,” replied Edith Gunderson. “It is a sad case in which neither parent appears fit to rise a tulip, much less of three-year-old boy. But the law on the books says one of them has to.”
“I have a similar case. Mind if I tag along and see how it is handled?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“OK, but no popping, I mean pivoting out of court,” said Edith Gunderson.
“Promise neither popping nor pivoting,” replied Special Agent Fleishman. “The case I have involves Alice Beaverton AKA Sylvia Chu, her alcoholic ex-husband, and their daughter, Jessica Ann.”
“So you found them?” asked Edith Gunderson.
Not exactly, Alice returned with a plausible explanation of where she was. While you and I know she has been operating as Sylvia Chu here and now, the court there will need a lot of information about how to handle that. Indeed, I told the Judge that I knew someone in the early 21st Century that could probably lend a hand on what the options and procedures might be.”
Edith Gunderson looked at him questioningly and then turned her index finger toward herself and said “Moi?”
Special Agent Fleishman nodded yes.
Edith pointed to the papers he has tucked under his arms, “I presume those are the relevant files?
Special Agent Fleishman again nodded yes.
Edith Gunderson reached for the papers and Special Agent Fleishman said with a broad smile, “After your case, what say you to a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows over which to reviews these files.
“You have a deal,” replied Edith Gunderson.
They had reached the Family Court and entered. The Bailiff approached them and said, “Ms. Gunderson, the Judge tried to reach you but were on your way up here and Millie said your cell phone was charging. The case has changed dramatically the man in the case killed his ex-wife. Her body was discovered when he turned himself in.”
Edith Gunderson put her hand to her mouth. “That poor little boy. There are no other relatives. Let’s hope for a quick adoption. Has the judge notified the adoption agencies?”
“Yes, Mam,” replied the bailiff. “He did that while I tried to head you off.”
Thank you, Benny,” replied Edith Gunderson. “Given the length of time that little boy has been in limbo and not seen either parent, I recommend not telling him until a child psychologist is present and handles it. Preferably one who has worked with him. Tell the judge that for me, would you Benny?”
“Yes, Mam,” said Benny hurrying toward the judge’s chambers.
Edith turned to Special Agent Fleishman and said, “Now I need a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. I was going to recommend the father not . . .
Special Agent Fleishman pivoted the two of them out of the empty courtroom.
Special Agent Fleishman and Edith Gunderson appeared outside the café across the street from the police station in the late 26th Century. Edith Gunderson was talking “be allowed access to the boy as I suspect he has violent tendencies.” Looking around she said, “I don’t believe I have ever been here before.”
Special Agent Fleishman laughed, and said, “If you have, I guarantee it has been remodeled many times since you were last here.”
“You mean?” asked Edith.
Special Agent Fleishman nodded and said, “I wanted to get your opinion on the hot chocolate with marshmallows they serve here.”
They took seats and Edith picked up the menu, turned it over and opened it and turned it from side to side and then asked, “How do you know what anything costs?
“Touch an item and it will tell you,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.
Edith touched ‘hot chocolate with marshmallows” and the menu said, “4 credits, 3 without the marshmallow”
She turned to Special Agent Fleishman and asked “Is that expensive or cheap.”
“You tell me. On a basic monthly credit allotment, you could have 500 of them,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.
“I don’t know, “replied Edith Gunderson, “I never thought in those terms.” She appeared to be doing mental calculations and then said, “Expensive compared to what I am used to. On my salary, I could have 2,000 of them a month in my time.” Then she chuckled, “Of course I would be homeless, weigh 600 pounds and be toothless. But enough order a couple of cups and let me see the files on Alice, AKA Sylvia, and Jessica Ann”
Special Agent Fleishman picked up his menu and said “Two hot chocolates with marshmallows.”
The menu responded, “Yes, right away, two hot chocolates with marshmallows.”
Edith looked up from her perusal of the files and asked, “Who did you just talk to?”
“The menu,” said Special Agent Fleishman pointing to it.
“Are the cups of hot chocolate going to come out of the menu too?” asked Edith.
Special Agent Fleishman laughed and said, “No, but probably because no one had thought of that yet.”
Edith bent back to her reading. She did not see the cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows arrive and did not pick up her cup. Special Agent Fleishman, watched her read while sipping his cup and he said, “I personally think this is as good as the place you first introduced me to the beverage.” He smiled and realized that what was going on around Edith Gunderson was just that, going on around her.
Finally, she looked up. Reached for her cup and tasted it. “Cold, we get it hot in my time.”
Special Agent Fleishman picked up the menu and ordered another cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Edit looked at him with puzzlement showing in her eyes and face “You finished the first one already? Of course, if it is cold you would have.” At that point a waiter bot delivered the cup that Special Agent Fleishman ordered and Edith said, “So that’s how they are served.”
Without a word, Special Agent Fleishman took Edith’s cold cup and pushed the fresh one towards her.
Edith waved the cup under her nose and tentatively took a sip and exclaimed, “Now that is more like it. Hot enough to . . .well hot enough to burn one’s mouth.” Using a spoon, she took a bit of the liquid and blew gently on it before sipping it from the spoon. Nodding her head in approval and putting on a serious face she said, “Excellent. They got their chocolate from Madagascar and their marshmallows from the Swiss.”
“How do you know all of that from just one sip?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
Edith Gunderson was chuckling inside. One could see her body shake. Then when she spoke out loud Special Agent Fleishman could barely make out the words from the laughter when she said, “I made it all up.” And, she continued to chuckle.
Special Agent Fleishman said, “Back to business. What do you think about custody for Jessica Ann?”
Edith said, “I do have an opinion; but, I would like to see Jessica Ann interact with each parent first.”