Michael and I had a short escape along the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. My dear and longtime friend Karen and her husband Octavio generously let us stay at one of their condos. He and I did little more than drink margaritas, swim, eat fish sandwiches, lounge in the hammock and get sun. It was exactly what I needed and I think it suited him as well. If any of the pics are worthwhile, I’ll post them.
We made it a whirlwind trip and I even was able to see my Aunt Betty briefly on Friday morning. It’s been a year since I’ve seen her and she looks about 20 years younger than a lady of 80. After we left Pensacola, we made the short trip to the beach and proceeded to exhale for 2 days. There was a brief, but exciting alligator sighting. To me it’s a normal Florida event, but I think Michael enjoyed seeing one swim on past the condo we were at — it was certainly not excited to see us.
By Sunday we fought off the urge to try and stay another day and made it back to Atlanta in time to watch a very intense match of the World Cup with US almost defeating Portugal. It ended in a tie — but only barely. And today was back to business as usual. Sigh…
Not really good people — April is lovely. In all actuality this has been one of the best so far. However, I am a bit peeved at the moment because I was trying to post some HTML code to this blog and for some reason WordPress has made that difficult now?? Sometimes change makes us look stiff and awkward — like now when I would like everyone to know that internet freedom is at stake and a bunch of other little things. But I can’t do it the simple way, so here— check out this: http://www.fixthecfaa.com/ and see what kind of crazy rules are brewing.
Change can also make you stiff by physically making you stiff. I have been more active than ever and considering my age, I go to sleep at night as stiff as an old oak tree. Still, it’s a good outlet. Another personal change has been me giving up most of my cable options to save money—sadly I think Game of Thrones got lumped into things lost — but I appreciate the extra cash and really don’t need too much this time of year in the way of TV. Oh, and speaking of other change, if I’ve not talked about 750 words before — any of you who are creative types that used to do Morning Pages (a concept fleshed out in The Artist’s Way) should go to 750 words and start purging those mental cobwebs. It’s not a blog but just a space where you can flush out or develop some thoughts and it is secure and private. I use it and though you guys do not see me often here — please know that I’m writing more than I have in a decade and that is a good thing.
Other changes that I should mention are the Upton brothers doing right for the Braves (yes, baseball season is upon us and therefore “I’m busy” should read as code for “I’m watching the Braves”).
So please disregard the title. Turns out that April is doing just fine. Send me word and let me know how it is treating you.
Ahhh July. It is a good month to get things done. I’m still on track (so punny) with my preparations for a hot, hot, hot 5K in August. Realize all too often that my skeletal self is still in denial. However, I’m very happy I’m meeting my body for the first time in 40+ years.Hopefully my body will feel likewise soon.
Beyond that, it’s turning into a busy Summer. I have plans to visit friends and family, work has plans for me to visit other places and then life always has a plan of its own. In short, there is travel ahead of me and behind me. I did, for pleasure, recently return from my first ever trip to Boston. There was a Fenway outing and the Freedom trail and lots of walking that helped with the lots of eating . . . it was a perfect trip. Loved the city, history, baseball and food. Definitely the best Braves loss I’ve ever witnessed. If you’ve never been, please make a point to do it and take some good walking shoes. I may try to put together a photo album of some pics, but am swamped at the moment planning everything on the horizon.
I did, however, take a personal day off and decided to upload a book to my Kindle. After some hasty research that involved Salon, random questions to trusted reading friends and a glance at some Amazon reviews, I selected The Fault in Our Stars. I finished it last night. Yes, it’s so good you cannot put it down. You must devour the beauty and brilliance in one sitting because it’s so heart breaking that you may not be able to pick it back up. They (you know who they are) consider it young adult fiction for some reason. I think because the 2 main characters are 16 & 17. But really, this is a book that everyone except the very young should read. Absolutely gorgeous.
Hope everyone is happy post-Independence Day. And if not happy, hope you are all progressing forward anyway!
Last Friday the Atlanta Braves retired number 47 in honor of Tom Glavine — one of the great pitchers of our (well, my) day. It was a warm and typically humid August night and I was accompanied by the Howard-Barrs. Good time in spite of a long rain delay.
All of that is just the setting for what ended up being a rather upsetting milestone in my life. I’m sitting there, innocent enough with my now lukewarm beer, somewhere behind Heyward. Someone behind me says “ma’am” and I turned around. Let me put that on its own line so you grasp the importance.
I turned around when someone said Ma’am.
Now, I don’t know. Maybe some of you are thinking “it’s nice people are respectful”, but really that’s not the issue. The fact is that I’m at an age where I just automatically respond to Ma’am. To really make matters worse, they weren’t even talking to me.
Ah, maturity. It brings out some of my more immature emotions.
On the drive up to Mentone to celebrate my dad’s 69th birthday, cherry and pear blossoms were blowing across my windshield. All the new green slowly spread up the hills and naturally, again, I had the thought that I live in the most beautiful region in the world. I do.
And, once again, upon entering my parent’s new digs, I had the thought “they are crazy”. I mean that in the best way possible. But mom is cooking on a hot plate, their shower is smaller than mom’s former refrigerator, etc. Still, they look remarkably happy and dad has another project and mom is on the mountain and, well, let’s face it — that’s their bliss and it’s beautiful. Makes the rest of us look like lackluster lumps; but that’s our fault.
I slept the whole night through Saturday. I think that’s the first time I’ve done that this millenium. Feels like an accomplishment. Sunday I woke to the smell of bacon cooking (and everyone should wake to that smell once a month). Mom then went on to prepare beef bourguignon for Easter’s meal (and yes, she did it solely on a small hot plate, with a rusted iron pot and water that took forever to boil). Take that Julia Child’s. Naturally, it was delicious over noodles and with sweet tea. It’s good to be only 2 hours away.
And today, in ten minutes to be exact, the Braves walk out on my favorite stretch of green — Turner Field. Of course, I have to work and will miss their opening game — sigh. It’s good to be Spring though.
For those of you who haven’t heard, Italy won its first World Cup since 1982 last night. Peering over the shoulders of strangers waving flags, sounding air horns, lighting Roman candles and cheering — I was somehow able to see some of the game. There was a huge screen set up at the Rampe, which is below the Piazzale Michelangelo (there was a screen there too). I watched the game with an Italian, an Icelander, a Canadian, an English and a Welsh — a motley international crew. And a couple of thousand Italians. Italians in trees, Italians on garbage bins, Italians on cars, in oleander bushes — everywhere. Most of them with their own flags too. It was clearly a big deal.
And when we won, I was honestly relieved. It would have been depressing to see the energy, belief, and passion diminish. Instead it turned to complete and utter giddy-top-of-the-world joy. We reveled in it for a bit, then climbed up to the Piazzale Michelangelo looking down at the city celebrating. Red, white, green were everywhere. Car lights lined every street. The honking did not stop until 4 this morning. I suspect there will be a baby boom in about 9 months judging from the embracing, dancing, snogging frenzy that was going on (apologies — the English can corrupt a language). I really can’t explain it. (oh, there were more fireworks too!)
After dancing at Santo Spirito, soaked with sweat, I started my meander back loving everything about the night. A stranger shared a smile and floated the flag over my head. I held my fingers out to touch the moment — red, white, green. Must say, I was especially happy with my adopted home.