Robert and FriendRobert might have been a juvenile delinquent way back when, but he grew out of it. He's a teddy bear now who gives really good hugs. He always has something funny to say, which is probably the main reason Becky loves him. He's better at making fun of people, and setting people up to be made fun of, than anybody I've ever known. If you take yourself too seriously, you better stay away from Robert.

He has expectations for quick success at things and is given to moodiness and depression if he doesn't get it. It's caused some trouble between him and Becky, but more and more they're working through it and Becky's getting really good at talking him out of it. He's also getting good at being talked out of it, which counts for a lot.

Robert and CyRobert has a dog, Cy, an aging Chihuahua who really is a sweet little fellow. Cy only wants you to love him as much as you love the cat. He barks when somebody comes to the door, but will shut right up if you tell him to. He also steals the cat food whenever he can, like any good dog. He has seizures, but nobody worries much about it. Cy always recovers, but you have to get him outside quick while he's coming out of it so he won't embarrass himself by making a mess, which is something he'd certainly rather not do.

Listening to Robert speak, I'm struck by his Ogden, Utah accent and intonation. He sounds very much like Robert Kaiser, my first husband, who was also from Ogden. I'm surprised to find out there's such a thing as an Ogden accent. It's slightly nasal, with syllables clipped in a lilting sort of way.

Rain lampRobert arrived at Becky's straight from Roy or Clearfield or some such desolate place west of Ogden with a load of massive Mormon furniture, including the obligatory rain lamp. These things were all the rage in Utah in the late 1960s and early 70s. Oil drips down monofilament line into a basin under the fake foliage and is recirculated back to the top.

I always figured they turn into a grimy mess over time, so I never had one, but they are kind of fascinating in a screen-saver sort of way.