Mississippi Moments

Saturday, September 30, 2006

When I rise up
let me rise up joyful
like a bird
When I fall
let me fall without regret
like a leaf.---Wendell Berry

It's Saturday and I am enjoying my second cup of plain old-fashioned coffee in a cup that depicts wind, water, and a tree. Talk about simple pleasures. I also stink of rosemary on the outside and sweat and workout on the inside. I gave the rosemary next to the driveway a sideburn trim because I keep hitting it in the predawn darkness when I go to workout in the mornings. The neighbor's cedar-thing on the other side of our shared driveway isn't faring too well either, but they know I am perceptually challenged in my comings and goings.

It has been a full week, and I am enjoying the low, golden moon in the night of stars. Full moon next Saturday, the 7th.
Went out to Duvall last night for another Mercy Corps fundraiser family ceilidh. It was the best yet! I just enjoy the people coming out from the Wilderness School-they have an openness, an energy, a joy about them that resonate well with me. There were also a bunch of enthusiastic kids, jumping right in, dancing non-stop for over an hour! All ages of folks and it was full. I will mail off the donations today. The musicians played with heart and energy--thank you to all for a great evening! And then the beautiful drive home under that moon with Mary J.
This dear sweet Sister-Friend shared the evening with me. We enjoyed our drive out, full of sharings, wonderings, and learnings about 4-ness, living in the glorious, messy NOW, and how to be such an empath in the world without buckling under the weight of this gift/bane/way of being or accessing the "2" drive to rescue. I love being understood. This is a 4-thing, too. We feel like we never belong anywhere, not even in our own heads, hearts, and bodies...and when someone else "gets' it, it seems like a miracle. I have a wish and a prayer though around 4-ness...I want to meet and have a sincere discussion with a 4 who is in a longterm, WORKING, HEALTHY relationship/partnership/marriage. What is that like? How does that work? What do you do/think/pray/surrender/release/dance to make this happen? For me, I don't believe that this is for me in this lifetime. Dating, maybe. Partnership, no. I have the habits of being too selfish, self-absorbed, co-dependant, stubborn, dominant, and into 4-generated fantasy-reality.
Yesterday, I took the day off work to help Jean, Laura, and Mike pack the moving truck. The goddess-sends of the day were Jamie and Laura McG from Bookgroup. They totally rock! Hard workers, fun-to-be-around, knew their stuff about moving, packing, and loading. IT was a painful thing to be around, though. Jean and Laura are at an impasse and not at peace about this move. It was terribly hard on both of them and the tension was gnaw-able. Mike just went from place to place, keeping track of his Beloveds and his stuff. He had more visitors during the day than anyone. I left in the afternoon to prepare for the ceilidh but the packing was still going on. I pray that they had a safe drive over to Newport. I'll wait for word today or I will call.
Dancing went well this week. The lessons were flowing, the targets clear and the children responsive. I just enjoy being with my sisters! Julie smiled at me this week! She is such a joy and a heart for me. I admire her so much and I know so little about her. I can, without words, perceive her courage, her authenticity, her fierce spirit, her depth, her joy, her delight...and by watching, I see how and what she gives in Life-currency to the tween/teen dancers. I also love the flow of how things generally work with the "sisters" just in the dance room itself---I could be full of old dancing socks, but I observe how between the three of us, the cool-down/goal setting for the week is winding down, the parents are being attended to in the hall, and the warm-up/get ready for the next class are all in process simultaneously. That is a Celtic spiral of life and intuitive
work. Ansd then there is dear Rowan bringing it down and real for "auntie".
School was better this week-not great, but improving. Accreditation has been placed on an additional year-rotation so there is more time to prepare and work collaboratively. Perfect. Perfect! We have been given (my team-teachers and I) a release day to work together to create our report card template and other planning essentials that we didn't get to before the year started. Okay, then...I have a hope in my heart today that wasn't there before and may not be there tomorrow. Idon't care. It's here right now and it's real.
O God, who art Peace Everlasting, pour Thy Sweet Peace into our souls, so that everything discordant may utterly vanish, and all that makes for peace, be sweet for us forever. --Galasian.
Mary J. and I are off today to go watch the Red Tent Tribal Dancers, go to a quilt show, and have lunch. A lovely way to spend a Saturday. I anticipate a nap and a movie with popcorn, too!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It was like taking a field trip to Joseph's wood shop, I'm telling you! 29 intent, avidly focused, "Ora y Labora" energy-thing happening in the classroom for the last two days and only a few holes in the desks (because the teacher forgot to inform the students that they should work on the floor.-oops)They are learning and tomorrow, I will assess to see exactly what it is that they have learned. Still putting in the long, long, long hours, but we had a team meeting today with admin, and things are shifting. We get to have a release day and then some to work together on our report card template, our standards, our curriculum plan and our conferencing piece with the parents. We are moving from Team "Harmony" to Team "Hag" to Team "Hormone". We have thus begun to call ourselves "Team H' and are beginning our level meetings with "Hi. My name is____ and I drink too much because of my job." And then we clap and suck on the caffeine source.

It's autumn out there! The misty mornings enveloped in golden purples and reds--I can rename autumn-the fall, the cooling-time, the burgeon-time, the sunshine-kisser, the afternoon-luller, the laughter-keeper, the camping-beckoner, the peace-hours, the hope-time, the hunting-time, the pray-time, the wait-time, the breathe-time. We are moving into my favorite season. Little things are making the difference and the peace.

The latest word is that I'm not forgotten by my social worker and things are still moving as far as they are concerned. Until the next check-in.

Tonight was a big 'dinner-scrum" at Azteca in Mountlake Terrace. Just about everyone to celebrate three amazing human beings-Sara, BDR #6, and David Clayton-18 years old! Wow! It was a lovely way to reconnect, and difficult for some members. We all have stuff on our plates and I think it takes courage to show up when things are tense. I also think it takes courage to NOT show up if that is being true to yourself. I have chosen that many times and still do. It's about listening and trusting.
Time for HP#3 and some sleep. Tomorrow is school, dance, and move couch and then, see Jean and Laura and Mike in their home for the last time before moving day. There is no way to avoid it. "Hi. My name is EMR and I drink too much because my family of Choice are all moving away or leaving the planet"...dare I mention, it's Folgers?!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I took my Best Friend's ashes to the ocean this weekend and to the Field. This is the prayer from the Prayers of Healing book from the day of her passing:
God, make me brave for life: oh, braver than this.
Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
God, make me brave for life, much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
God, make me brave, life brings such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright
That out of dark comes light.

Little Feather and Will and I spent good "Circle time" sharing and being together. Little Feather went with me down to the beach near Twin Harbors--a beautiful day, windy, with seagulls, and families...just the kind of day that Fiona loved...me too. Sadie only loved it because she was with us and she liked to chase Fiona who was chasing the seagulls, the sandpipers, and the waves.
The kittens were about this weekend at the Field. We went down at twilight to mix Fiona's ashes into the soil near where Sadie is buried in the garden. The kittens' latest obsession is catching snakes and bringing them into the house. They got three in one morning this morning. I had the same dream as always--longing for my own dogs, looking for them, calling them, being polite while other people introduced me to their beloved dogs..and me not caring really..and me knowing I can never have mine back again in this life in the way we were a pack together. Just a what is.

Will taught me to use a table saw today with just a few mishaps. It was a lot like learning to shoot. Relaxation, focus, breathing, awareness, fluidity, and gentleness were all a part of the picture. A couple of mishaps and with a cooperative effort and some very patient instruction, 90+ pieces of spruce are ready with 6lbs of nails and 30 hammers for the sacred art project for the 3rd and 4th graders. I still like sawing the old-fashioned way in the backyard, but this was ideal. The timberframe is really coming along.
I also went to the SOLO parenting support group this afternoon. We learned about nutrition for children. A nice group of women. It makes what's to come a bit more real but for the present I have sort of given up...there is another mom-to-be who is going through another agency for Vietnam and her paperwork is there just waiting to be authenticated. She is planning to travel in April. I will observe her process closely and learn. The fact of it really is that I am sick of observing other folks...I just want to dive in. I met another mom who lives in Ballard. Her son is darling, 2 years old, and full of beans! He is African-American and the wait time is about 4-6 months for that program...hmmm. Got a handle on a great local daycare in North Ballard. I also heard stories tonight about ruts, exhaustion, mistakes, end-of-ropes, failed support networks---bring it on! And a puppy. I want it all.

Friday, September 22, 2006

It's been a very long day.
Ignoring something doesn't make it go away.
Igoring something doesn't make what and who you want to come back,come back.
Working long and hard doesn't make it go away.
Working long and hard doesn't make what and who you want to come back, come back.
Breathing helps. Breathing hurts.
Beer helps. Cheese enchilada helps.
Knowing and Believing You are Enough and then some...this helps.
I play by by own rules. They are the right ones for me--as long as I understand the consequences and accept them...or at least, deal.
Fridays are always hard. I've never liked Fridays. Tuesdays are another thing. I really like Tuesdays.
Bath. Bed. These I really like.

I just really want to scream at the stars and let all the hurt out.
"The summer yields to the autumn winds blowing
while the cool burns the leaves golden red
We harvest fields we planted once knowing
Grains of Truth would soon come to a head
Mystery Healer, I feel your hand above my brow,
Into your Love, I bow."----by Chris Van Cleaves

It's nearly the autumnal equinox. For me, this is one of the times to mark the change, the shift, the energy turnings.
I made a decision yesterday. I'm not going to go for that sweet cabin up north. Going to stay right here and put down some roots-although I do love the loft, the RV parking, the dining room spot off the kitchen, the two bathrooms and the washer/dryer in its own little room in the back. I don't want to live in a cul-de-sac-without my sister and her family. I could live in any cul-de-sac type spot, in any generic type neighborhood (Oops-been there done that-San Diego, Montgomery AL). I'll know when it's time, I trust. I just need to be aware and stop putting up pictures of what my Heart wants on the prayer wall in my kitchen before I'm fully awake in the morning. That's what it is. Sometimes, I cut up L.L. Bean catalogues and magazines from the ferry that have pictures of cabins, and voila-the Universe says-oh, here you go...I'm going to put up puppy pictures and see what happens. There are already sweet child pictures. Say, maybe I'll cut out some of the male model pics and see what happens--Naw, not really interested right now. THe sweaters are nice though, and that was one of the problems the last time. His mom was a knitter and I might have fallen for what was on the outside before I really knew what was on the inside...okay, okay, I will stop deluding myself. After all this is MY blog, and the truth hurts. I "created" the "reality" of who was on the inside of that package and only acknowledged or let slip in those parts that contributed to my reality of him. There was also the joint-dance of acting/saying/trying to be the role that the other one thought the other was "supposed" to be, wanted you to be...the bottom line, it wasn't Real...although some special, intimate, not for here parts were very real and were a marriage.
I let myself sleep in this morning. My knees are hurting today. Too much working out. And I made a good decision not to head to the Field until tomorrow.I'm still toast after work and the long drive, while it would be relaxing, I would not be particularly safe. I want to enjoy the drive out to the country.
Another woman I know is having a biopsy for a lump in her breast. Please pray. Another one was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. She started getting dizzy, and whomp! There it is. She is an amazing woman and harpist and I don't understand any of this.
My energy is coming back. I may actually make a pie this year. I also found a recipe for apple catsup. That sounds more like it to me. Neil used to make it. It was loverly! I want that in my life.
I don't understand so much. I am not patient. I am not quiet-hearted. I am who I y'am. My Heart hurts for my little sister. She is an amazing, precious, wondrous woman. She is waking up to Herself. Ouch and Welcome, Dear One! Take your place in the Circle for Who you are is Holy Ground and where You walk/cry/dance/laugh/play kickball is Holy Ground! You are Loved.
It is less than a week for Jean and Laura and Mike. The migraine-spots lessened as soon as I slumped and surrendered and said to myself, I can't change this. There is nothing I can do about it. It sucks and it doesn't. It just is. I love them so dearly and pray that there will be more peace, any peace in this transition. Moose in your front yard, falcons in your sky, quiet in your day to pray/rest/heal--this awaits them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Learned some more things this week:
1. Some people are always just good to be around--Kathleen is one of them. Mary J. is another. We went to a baby shower for our dear friends, Mike and Julie, and it was a pleasant time. And lots of cute baby stuff and some interesting women to boot.
The drives over and back were full of enjoyable conversation.
2. I can't get off the 4 roller coaster, so I have decided to DRIVE IT! We'll see what happens.
3. Things are challenging at work, but not impossible yet.
4. I went to a life-style change/nutrition class tonight-first of 6. Didn't learn anything I didn't already know, except it will be nice to reconnect with common sense and food with some other interesting women. Can't believe this though-they want/expect us to give up coffee and alcohol for the first week. Not gonna happen for me. I'll cut back, but I don't want that kind of detox. I like my addictions.
5. Brigie needs some more pretty vases. I see some Waterford in her future.
6. Few things in this Life are as nurturing as having tea and pie with good friends, running into the people you really wanted to see, and finding out that you have enough hot water for more than one bath a day if you need it.
7. Old Burien has some cute shops. I still hate shopping but I like to look through windows.
8. Walking around the neighborhood with a teacup of mellow chard, traipsing past gardens replete with yellows, oranges, browns, maroons, and greens, and not feeling quite so naked as before...it was a good place to be. Felt alright.

I'll be taking Fiona's ashes (some of them) down to the Field this weekend to put with Sadie's in the big garden and then go out to the ocean near Grayland to offer some more to the wind and waves and seagulls...this house still smells all wrong. I don't have the heart to hang more Christmas lights yet, but I did burn some veggie bacon on purpose the other day just to make the scent linger...problem is, that was four days ago...sigh...:)
I met a Havanese (dog) today. Cute as a button, Named Bocce. Great with kids, but no grace-not like Shelties.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Okay--a couple of A-HA! moments this a.m.
1. Quiet time, solace, and a place to hold that space--be careful what you ask for..you know the rest. SO that's what I have here. All these years, when married and with life, dogs, school, my own schooling, dance, music, pubs, etc...and I would sigh and complain that I never had any time for myself. Take a look, EMR at what's coming down the path or better yet, waiting for you to get there, and there won't be these restful possibilities..BUT WAIT, you have it NOW...But Lord, I really meant I wanted the "red" one and not the "green" one..or something like that...maybe I should just try, THANKS.

2. In order for a house to feel lived in, guess what--SOMEONE HAS TO LIVE IN IT! Two by four moment! I think I'll try this.
3. Being a 4 is not much fun sometimes--these emotional rollercoasters can make you throw up and get turned around. I'm stepping off now.
4. I'm really good at getting the tarp on the RV to cover it and I love how it makes me smile to think of all the places that little home on wheels has carried me and my Beloveds to enjoy and explore...and there's more to come.
5. I'm late for work--yikes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"..can we ever stop loving those who opened us to ourselves...can we ever express the depth of gratitude in those precious hours my heart exploded and out walked someone new. She played upon the golden sunbeams and sang rhapsodies that will forever feed her days."---Cindy Ruda, "The Flavor of Yesterday"
Thank you, Jean and Laura, and Mike, for time to connect today, to listen, to share, to grieve and to be open to the whispers and glimmers of hope, restoration, new life, abundance. I can't taste it yet, but I can sense it, and it's Real for all of us. Just like the little sister in the window at dance who was banging on the door and wanted to come in and join her sister and the others. We can almost touch the door and then we start the banging! Mike, you can bark, you beautiful old boy-dog!
I enjoyed most of the day despite the headache and tears. All of the lessons went well and the writing workshop class (the part I was at) and then dance. I am looking for a new book to read--something to distract, something intriguing, something not sad or scary or stupid or romantic or heavy or too religious. I don't know where to look . Mayhaps, some Dear One could recommend something.
Friday there is going to be a bonfire--one way or t'other. If the city of Seattle says that Golden Gardens is off limits, then I am hauling out the backyard burner and the remnants of the old deck that have been drying for over a year, and we are going to see some prayers go up in smoke! I just wish I could find my set of Pop's old overalls, the ones held together with duc-tape that Mom saw and took to "fix"...I wonder if I got them back. Not to burn, to shuffle, putter,and poke at the fire in!
Some precious beings came to stay at Fair Isle tonight--a bear named Julius, an old but ready to love doll named Baby, and a Tony the Tiger. We (the angel on my shoulder and me) are starting to find special places for these treasures...it makes what's coming almost Real...time to sleep and wonder if there are any clean underwear for tomorrow. I am not doing laundry until the weekend...
"Jardinero, today darkness arrives early, unfolding memories from shadows, filling your mouth with the dust of too many losses, deaths still unspoken. These are the unbroken silences that find refuge in our throats--choking. Yet, born at these cross-roads, yours is a calling of lovers lost and of the cyclic, song of our fugitive faith: Turning around, Turning around-alone in the garden, waiting, while your army of sunflowers bow in sleep, unmoved by the shadow of Dona Sebastiana's death dance, you lie awake..." Estevan Rael Y Galvez ("Turning Around").
I can't seem to stop the tears, the impending migraine, or the cold sores. There is another Good-bye door to be stood at and I am there, screaming at the door-NOO, NOT NOW, NOT AGAIN...and they are only moving to Newport, to join community, to step onto a path of prayer, loved labor, rest, maybe I will call it-Shekinah-the feminine Hebrew word for the glory of God. I am going to miss the way things have been with my Star-Sisters and Mike and Sally. It's Dear Ones, going to a different place where I am not going. And if I could go somewhere right now, I wouldn't know where to go except to where Fiona and Sadie are but if I go there, then I won't be where I need to be to meet, love, and grow with the Little One who is coming...and Newport ain't it for me either, so I'll just cry and write until these thoughts are here and not so heavy on my heart and head...Calling it anything doesn't help. I know this, too, will pass, but I don't just want things to "pass", to get better, to get different. So I am learning to just be with it. Okay, it sucks for awhile...I have chosen, worked HARD on the inner and outer, lost and gained, BEEN, and am being in this NOW-which to a 4 IS THE THING. Others who read this might just say-Get over it. Get on with your life. Buck up. Quit winge-ing. They can say whatever they want, and for this 4, those aren't even the questions. I Know my Question and I Know my Choice. I also Know my Faith. Things will be different, maybe not better, but I am choosing to stay in the Here, in the Sacred Now, to Live, to remember, to Love, to Cry, to Dance, to Play Harp, to Laugh, to Learn, to Be Pissed and then get over it, to Teach, to Write, to Connect, to Play, to Create, to Heal, to Walk, to Scamper, to Breathe, to Help, and to Hold...and to enjoy wine, rosaries with cats, and to know when to lay off the wine. I am calling all this going on "hard and good". Dance starts today with Sara and Rowan. I don't complain much about it (except the commute up to HNA) but I really love teaching the dancing. I love seeing Sara and Rowan and Brenin and Julie. It nourishes me like certain kinds of books, coffee in the morning, mists, and herons' calling and flying.
This week, I made the choice to look at real photos and see up close for the first time all the stuff around 9/11. I didn't know..really. Maybe not the best choice---I can't believe it and I know I am feeling the shock of it. I'm not going into detail about why I didn't know. I just didn't make the choice to see and learn about it in detail until Sunday and Monay of this week. I am choosing to grieve this now and to continue to pray and act for peace. I also support our military and what "we" do to keep these crazies from killing and hurting more people. What I can't fathom are the secret prisons and the blatant crap against the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I also know too much and see this history/herstory just repeating itself wondering when we are going to let our Indigo genes speak and lead so we don't have to muck down and muck into the mistakes again. We can do better. We can do different. We can and we must for the kids coming up. I want them to remember the amazing swoop of the15 foot sunflowers that are growing near the parish office and the pumpkins that are vying for room on the walkway near the Big Toy--not the image of towers crashing and people screaming. And too, I want to remember and honor those who are lost here and in other places of violence. This is the difficulty of being an empath and a 4 who can "see stuff". I can feel it. too, and in spots of grief, the filters are off. I have to make a change on that and learn about those filters. She laughs wryly as she writes. ANd why I don't want te sleep...it's all about the dreams. Neil isn't coming home and there won't be his warm body next to mine in bed, supporting, sharing, leaning on when I'm tired from work or life...and these are my dreams lately...longing really. And there aren't my doglets here to play and laugh with. I beleive that in order to survive the winter and these times, that another dog needs to be here ..And I don't give a crap about the Jungian perspective on these...on lighter notes, just as real as the inner, life at school is going well and it is hard. The adjustments continue all around. The intensity, energy, clarity, and strength of these 3/4th graders are in your face. They don't draw energy from the teacher like the little ones-they dare you to match theirs and to see it and dance WITH them as they look at it themselves. They require you to honor their place and truth in a direct, clear way. It is different and I am loving and hating this dance, too.It's a lot of work being part of a team. Speaking of team, I better go shower and clear the tears off before I go the faculty meeting before school. And one other thing. I haven't heard anything from the adoption agency in awhile and the latest newsletter came yesterday with upbeat news about everything except NOT ONE WORD about Vietnam or the fact that they have shut off and shut down the singles trying to adopt from China. I cry for that, too...Much love awaits this day..

Thursday, September 07, 2006

All Done! Remember when we had one of the little ones (who are now bigger ones with adult lives and their own little ones) in the highchair in the kitchen and they would be finished with the mush with cheerios...and we would throw up our hands and screech in a singsong kind of way, "ALL DONE!"...I just did that...felt good...all finished with Back to School/Curriculum Night.
The Charlie's Angels thing went out the window--no guns, fake or otherwise, on school property. Our presentation was well received ( or so we think)and now we can get about the real art and science of teaching and learning instead of the PR part. I came home to a quiet house that still carries the scent of the predawn woodstove fire. I received the most delightful email from Shannon about Kellen's wanting the Star Wars auntie to come and babysit. I imagine he thinks I live in the white cabin at Point No Point because I was always in the lawn chair with my coffee right outside of it everytime he went by...I am delighted by that, too. The Force is with us, and I have had another Wish come true. One nephew down, one niece down-12 other beloveds to go. It is my Wish and Intent to create a meaningful relationship with each one of them because up till now, I have not met the standard...and it goes beyond them just knowing my name or knowing I am the weird one who wears a hat...Scott's weird and wears a hat, too.( Sorry, Scott, couldn't help that one.)...I came away tonight remembering words from Micah 5:8...live justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with Thy God."...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What a day! Managed to get through the first half-day with the new mix of 3/4 students and we accomplished some, organized some, tested the boundaries some, and enjoyed an introductory lesson of heiroglyphics--something new to all of us! Give them clay and it's about the same as shaving cream--you have their attention, interest, motivation, and enthusiasm...I just wish I could get my hands on a hippogryph!
We celebrated Mass as a faculty and enjoyed a fine luncheon. Team Harmony (my team teachers et moi) met after the food--not a great idea--as we spent the first ten minutes trying to decide if we were going to go as our version of Charlie's Angels for Back to School Night on Thursday or begin our presentation to the parents with our rendition of "We are Harmony"--think Sisters Sledge and disco-We-r-family...We did get down to discussing students, needs, our pet peeves, accommodations, and emergency "recovery" options...puttered around and didn't care too much...things still seem weird...rented Harry Potter 2 and 3. Fell asleeep during 2, started 3, had a snack, and am heading to bed. I signed up for a Nutrition class for women of a certain age. It's 5 weeks and just the basics. I hoping it will be way different than Overeaters Anonymous. I just want to go and hear someone else describe balance and food and how that works in the real world. I am without a doubt the healthiest I have ever been since giving my knees a break, teaching dance in a different, less jarring manner, paying attention to the impact carbs have on my moods, energy, and system, and finding ways to sweat just a bit but intensely 5-6 days a week without kiling myself or trying to "lose weight"...I just like the clearheadedness of it all and the fact that I intend to be around with energy to chase my 3 year old with all the other twenty somethings...

Magic happened today...no, I did not get a new puppy, but something wondrous just the same. I got a call from a parent of one of my students from 1991 in San Diego. I only had this beautiful little girl for one year, but the connection and impact from both ends were profound. This mom had saved my number from at least 10 years ago and was calling to let me know how thankful they were for the impact and influence I had on their only child. She just graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in physics and is going on for her graduate degree in the same field. Apparently, they can still hear and see the connection from being around me as a teacher. There was a lot of love in that call. I am grateful. Magic happens...it really does.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Point No Point...that IS the point!
I made it...after working into the afternoon on Saturday. It was slog-city...don't know why this year was particularly difficult...well, actually, I do. Grief makes everything MUD. At the Point, I enjoyed being embraced as soon as I came through the gate...and kicking Mary J. out of "my spot" next to the G & G Surridge's cabin. I had fun praying my version of the Rosary on the way up, because it was hard to go there without Fiona and Sadie, and I shucked corn on the ferry. Some things are so right with this world--like learning that my nephew, Kellen Michael-superhero in StarWars underwear-knows just as much about Star Wars I as I do...and I even had him joining me in long tracts of dialogues from obscure scenes, characters, and droids! He is only 5! It is genetic-I am convinced, just like the tendency to save bread tabs and popcan tabs. Long naps, a longer walk in the early misty morning, heron sightings, conversations with my father, hanging near my mother, coffee and friends, Brenin walking around the Point with me on Saturday night to celebrate Fiona by giving some of her ashes to the Point No Point sound where she loved to run and swim, drinking port and sharing stories to sweeten the memories and the crush in my chest...there was no or little drama ( I would have sensed it even if I wasn't part of it)...we missed Colleen and Brigid, Mark and julie too, very much and included them in our conversations, observations, and general butting-ins. I miss the memories of Matt and Kymm and their darling brood. Aidan may never know the pleasure of catching crabs with Joey or reading the comics by flashlight with Ashley Grace...or the general romp in and out of tents and the big RV. I brought a Mississippi delicacy up to the Point and very few folks shared in my Koolaid pickles. The brave souls were Mary J, Andy, Dawna, Mehrdad, Uncle Ron, and Ariana. We talked Mom out of it. I didn't want to ruin her palate for the next 48 hours. The evening fires were great. Meaghan brought all the makings for s'mores and popcorn. There was a driftwood gathering bonding experience. There was improv harp music under the stars and songs from the under 5 crowd that no one could understand...there were enough dogs for distraction. It was a good weekend. The ride home was uneventful. Mary J and I had a nice visit in line while waiting for the ferry. Apparently, the obsession is spreading. My neighbor, Tom, across the street, bought a bucket of bolts RV just like mine for his upcoming adventure across the US of A. Only differences--it's one year older, 2 feet longer, has bunk beds in the back, and is painted blue and turquoise swipes on the hood and sides. Spiffy--welcome to the neighborhood! Tomorrow is the first day with the students---Boy, am I ready to be back in that saddle!