February 14 2016

Valentine’s Day 2016! A day for love and gratitude. Those of us who have a spouse or dear companion in life are so fortunate.

When I got up this Sunday morning after sleeping rather late as I usually do on Sundays, I found that Leo had placed a package of heart-shaped chocolates with a Happy Valentine’s Day note at my place on the dining room table. Sweet, and sweet!

We sat around the house throughout the morning, talking and reading. We have subscriptions to both the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, so there’s plenty of new stuff to read, on Sundays especially.

This morning, it was cold and overcast here in Chicago. In late morning, it started snowing, and it has been snowing lightly ever since. A high of 22 degrees Fahrenheit, and a low of 17 degrees indicated on the internet.

We drove over to University Church and found a parking place immediately; – it is so much easier to park so close to campus on weekends than on weekdays when all of the university and medical center employees have taken over the parking spaces. John Houck was right outside the church, and waved to us as we parked. He has sold his house in Hyde Park and he and his wife have moved to his wife’s house in Skokie, in the northern suburbs, but he comes back to Hyde Park to attend the services at University Church, and after the services he conducted a couples’ therapy session with us.

During the couples therapy session, John gave me a bit of encouragement to consider getting back into doing or at least thinking about some physics, of which I have done vanishingly little since I retired. I conducted my graduate work as an experimentalist,  but that was back before such extensive use of computers in research, and my work was all applied in later years, and now I have no access to facilities, and no equipment available. I do follow new developments to a limited extent (although not much beyond the level of popular science) mostly by attending physics colloquia and seminars and reading. Hearing about and reading about and discussing the new results on the direct detection of gravitational waves has been a big thrill. BTW, Leo’s cousin, Bruce Allen, who is managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, is one of the physicists who was working on the experiment.

Tonight, Leo fixed us dinner by combining some Aidells smoked chicken sausages with roasted garlic and gruyere cheese that I had brought home a few days ago with some leftover cooked asparagus and cooked carrots from yesterday and sauteed them together, and it turned out really delicious.

“Make us heirs of all eternity” – Shakespeare , The Two Gentlemen of Verona




Published by

Caroline Herzenberg

I'm an old grad from the University of Chicago. Born in New Jersey in 1932 (Wow! That long ago!), grew up in Oklahoma, undergraduate at MIT, University of Chicago PhD physics 1958. Various academic and research positions. I've been retired from Argonne National Laboratory for over a decade now. I haven't been engaged in any recent professional work in physics, but have been exploring other interests during retirement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *