The first week of September was going to be bridgeless anyway – we were going to motor over to visit my youngest brother in Michigan – but everything got blown off course when one of our beloved cats – Tosh – suddenly lost the use of his hind legs and, two days later at the emergency animal clinic, we had no choice but to put him down.
Grieving deeply and having canceled my partners for the week, I stayed away from the tables except for a dismal pair of short games – low 40 percenters – with Wednesday partner Celine Murray, who’d forgotten we weren’t going to play. (Since then, Airport Bridge Club manager Bill Finkelstein has abandoned his experiment at running two 18- to 20-board games every day but Sunday. I’d been looking forward to it as a master point bonanza, but many people just didn’t get the hang of it and complaints were abundant.)
Finally, on Friday, I ventured over to Canada to play in St. Catharines with Selina Volpatti (whose husband of 50-odd years passed on just a month ago – and, jeez, here I’m so bent out of shape about a cat). We improved upon our previous week’s effort – 50.26% was good for third in the B strat North-South and 0.26 of a master point in a 15½ table game.
Partnerless on Saturday, I nevertheless returned to the Airport Bridge Club. Paired with Paula Salamone for a series of hands that encouraged and mostly rewarded exuberant bidding – slam bid and made in our first round – we finished first in B North-South with a 54.17% score. This being a month of double points at the club, it was good for 1.02 master points. I’m still bereaved, but things are starting to look brighter.