Walking While Driving

A little road trip is always fun.

While being a good goddaughter in upper Ohio, I slipped in some time with the three boys and their loves and then rounded out the travel by presenting a program and mini-workshop on mudcloth close to Chicago. The only problem with doing all that is making sure you have all your directions and times straight, and all the appropriate stuff with you. So I wind up with different suitcases and bags in the car for different days and locations. And hopefully I remember which bag and suitcase is for which day and occasion.

The driving time gave me lots of hours with my books-on-tape. Listened to Random Walk by Lawrence Block. The jacket credits him with all sorts of literary awards and a couple mystery series that I haven’t read yet. Apparently, this novel is an early one of his. It is called a visionary fantasy – had a hippies feel to it as well as a bit of Gandhi, Pope Paul II and Forrest Gump. Interesting. Certainly gave me something to think about.

This week I get to try my hand at power point. I’ve scanned lots of slides – now to put them into some sort of order for a presentation at our local library on Wednesday. I’ve been told it is easy to do…….

A Soul

Sunday, the soul of my godmother’s husband of 64 years left its earthly home.

A gentle man, he was the one who made it possible for me to learn to ride a bicycle. As I was growing up he showered me with an unconditional love different from my father’s – and this while he had his own brood of kids. He accepted and respected my mom’s and godmother’s friendship and was the best supporter and cheerleader outside of immediate family that a young girl could know.

I did not keep up my end of the relationship very well once I hit adulthood, but “Mama” Ruth and Woody stayed true to her commitment of godparent. Lovely and caring people.

I expect she will have a huge hole in her life without him. I expect he misses her, too.

I count it as a great blessing having been included in their lives.

New News!

In the midst of plowing through over 2000 digital pictures from Mali (of which I saved only 1343), we had a grand new arrival today: Jack’s new Baldwin grand piano!

He had been looking for one for a couple years now and came across this beauty while I was gone. Older (1975 I think) and reconditioned, it is absolutly perfect and fills the dining room nicely. Both Jack and the piano have been making beautiful music all day. 🙂

More Mali to come!

New Year

2007 is off to a great start!

I am usually pretty lousy at keeping my financial records up to date, but with the impending trip to Mali, I figured I better get everything in order before I leave so it is ready to go to the accountant when I get back. So, this afternoon I finished entering all the necessary data. Feels good to have that done. All I need to do now is set up an appointment for February.

I’ve started piling for the Mali trip. One of our empty bedrooms really is empty since we used that single bed to make a king-sized bed in the other bedroom. In place of the bed, there are now various piles of necessary ‘stuff’ – like a hat, travel towel, lightweight long pants, flashlight, hand sanitizer, etc. The local group – six of us – is meeting tomorrow to go over lists, ideas, suggestions, etc. to make the packing process go smoothly and to insure there are no “Oh, I forgot!” moments. I’ve warned my love to expect orderly chaos in that room …

Speaking of my love, he surprised me big time with a wonderful Christmas gift: a hot tub! We’ll choose the final product and placement details after the Mali trip, but we’ll be putting it off the current deck, down three feet and sunk into its own decking. I’ve got my towel ready!

Wrapping up Christmas

Whew! Just finished a whirlwind 4+ days of kids and food and music and food and hugs and food and laughter and food and … food … and …

Our three boys and their loves came in for Christmas – we’ve got the ‘relative rotation’ going quite nicely so that each year they all are scheduled to come in together for either Christmas or Thanksgiving. The holiday of the off-year is really quiet, but the at-home holiday is just grand! The boys and their girls are so comfortable with each other it is just so fun to be a part of their banter and horse-play. I know there will be a time when one of them can’t make it, but I really do love their being here.

The music was in the form of our playing (my love) and singing (both of us) for four services during Christmas Eve and Day. ‘Twas lovely, but a lot of work, too, when you count in all the practices and the extra time needed to set-up, take-down and generally be prepared.

The food – well, what can I say? After all, it IS Christmas! 🙂 I did my bit of baking, the Historical Society paid their debt to my love with their annual pile of cookies, two sons brought in huge amounts of cookies and goodies sent graciously from their respective in-laws, and various other relatives and friends and presented themselves at the door with goodies in hand. On top of that, we’ve had huge festive feasts for dinners (with copious leftovers) and great amounts of tasty cheeses to keep any stray hunger pangs at bay.

The hugs and laughter were a common part of it all. We all got silly and loud. And lots of good memories were shared.

The kids are all back in their respective homes, we’ve washed the last of the sheets and remade the beds and found the stray coffee cups. Signs of Christmas are still around with the tree and decorations and a few wrapped gifts under the tree for other family later this week, but it is a lot quieter. Their presence is still felt, even if all their things are gone.