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Last month was the first month in ages I didn’t update this site. Life took an unexpected turn.


My sister-in-law, Alice, had been diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago. It was in remission until about two months ago, when it returned with a vengeance. Then, about a month later, she went into hospice. Friday, August 25, I got the call from my brother, Chip, that Alice, his wife of 46 years, was gone. She would have been 81 this September 11.


After I moved to California in 1980, Alice and I became pretty close. With the exception of a four-year stint when they lived in Tucson, Chip and Alice lived about a five-hour drive away, first in Culver City to my south, and later in Arcata, to the north. Christmases, Thanksgivings, and generally one or two other occasions each year would find us together. When Chip and Alice were married in 1977, Alice had two children; Linda was 11, Keith was 8 if memory serves. In 1981, Laura was born.


Alice was always a very good friend. She made me feel welcome at their house. I generally did the visiting since, as a bachelor, it was logistically easier. The three of us took trips together, notably Point Lobos and Monterrey, Vancouver Island in Canada, San Diego, and other perhaps less adventurous but every bit as satisfying, getaways. There were also family gatherings at Keith’s house in Oregon, and Joshua Tree National Park.


Their last visit to my house was just prior to the pandemic, a visit principally to follow up on Alice’s cancer treatments, but we used it as an excuse to spend a couple of days at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. A wonderful time. It was on our return trip that we stopped at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.


Chip and I were like two kids in a candy store, while Alice played the good sport. The most memorable thing about the stop had nothing to do with computers at all, it was catching a news report about COVID-19 being a really big deal, the start of the pandemic. 


So yeah, I came to know Alice very well over the years. Trying to condense my thoughts and feelings about her in this space would be futile. The little gems of wisdom she would share about family life, the fun we’d have playing board games with the others or just the two of us, or even just the sharing of space. As a bachelor, having this family take me in as one of them was precious. Then came the return of Alice’s cancer. It quickly became apparent that it had progressed too far too fast for us to expect a recovery, so she went into hospice. I made the five-hour drive three times in that two-month period, the final one after her passing.

The John Shinnick Web Site


Last Update: September 7, 2023

John Shinnick 3.0: It's All About Me

Daughter Linda had been living with Chip and Alice for many years now, so she was, of course, able to say her goodbyes. I did get to see the surprise visit of Laura, who flew in from Tucson. I didn’t think Alice had that big a smile left in her, but she did. Sadly, Keith was not able to have a last visit – he’d needed emergency quadruple bypass surgery as this was all going down, and couldn’t travel from his home in Washington.


And now Alice is gone, and I will miss her. There will be a memorial service later this month as soon as Keith can travel. I’ll continue heading north more often than I used to. Chip seems to be taking this as well as can be expected, but, well, he’s my bro’. And Linda and Brian (Linda’s son who also lives there) are family too.

~ Quote of the Month ~

There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them - Jim Croce


From his song "Time in a Bottle". No comment needed.


1942 - 2023


As always, blue buttons indicate new content since the prior monthly update. 


09/07/23 - Late update completed.

07/09/23 - Monthly update completed.

06/07/23 - Monthly update completed.

05/07/23 - Monthly update completed.

04/03/23 - Monthly update completed.

03/06/23 - Monthly update completed. Shinn's Cats added,

                 Shinn the Theologian removed. 

02/04/23 - Monthly update completed.

01/08/23 - Monthly update completed.

12/05/22 - Changed pic in Homeowner section. Rewrote Music 


12/04/22 - Monthly update completed.

11/05/22 - Monthly update completed.

10/03/22 - Monthly update completed.

09/09/22 - Book added to Scholar, Pic added to Homeowner.

09/02/22 - Monthly update completed.

08/07/22 - Monthly update completed, 2 stories added.

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