Sydney 1

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Saturday.

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Wonder Woman finds a friend.

Sydney.  Randwick is the suburb our cousin, Steph, lives in and is our first home base here.  I was admittedly pretty grumpy in awakening. Jet lag is the probable culprit. I woke up too early sure that I had under packed abommitably.  When Steph picked us up the previous morning, the outside was freezing and this second morning was cold enough for Julia to put on all her warm clothes at same time.   Just as I had read and been advised, the daywarmed up, we stripped off layers and I dug out sunglasses.  After breakfast, I wanted to walk and Steph took us to Coogee Beach. We have many Australian beaches in out travel plans but the first sight of the Pacific was magnificent!  Sun, blue skies and waters, white caps, jagged mock outcropinngs, white sand and many people reveling in the lovely day.  Julia couldn’t wait to be on the beach today although we resisted taking shoes off and letting the waves run over our toes.  We were still cold and the wind whipped our hair.  There were a number of swimmers, all without wetsuits which encouraged the belief that we too would be in the water soon. Continue reading

leave taking

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Dallas airport.  Departure.  Madison to Dallas.  Easy flight.  Easy day actually.  Errands and small closing ups.  Yesterday’s packing left little difficult to do.  Julia had a problem when the bead kit she wanted to bring just didn’t fit anywhere.  Lots of reasons why it was a bad idea to bring a bead kit on vacation—the least of which is that she probably will not have time to touch it, but I was willing to entertain the request if I could get it in.  We are going to winter which while not harsh demands a few more warm things.  At first I wondered why the Alaska packing had space to spare but then I remembered we borrowed a larger bag. It worked for the cruise because we were not carrying bags around.  This trip we are carrying.  Rolling really.  The rolling bags and back packs are packed tighter than I prefer and  no beads.  Julia got stuck on this great deprivation (in her eyes) for a long time.  Australia was going to be awful and boring. She does know how to taunt me.  I am grateful that a late afternoon hard rain that we had to run through to reach the car washed the preseveration away.  A short run, we were drenched to the bone, enough complaining about such wetness to bring on giggles. Continue reading

the calm before

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“How quiet, how quiet the chamber is . . .”

A line from one of my favorite songs (“Is Anybody There?”) in one of my favorite musicals (1776).  It is running over and over in my head, the voice I hear is, of course, William Daniels, the original John Adams.  

We leave for Sydney tomorrow evening.  I have a list, albeit short, to accomplish and two therapy appointments today.  If I finish what needs to be finished before the middle of the day, we could see a movie tonight but I am not depending on that extravagance. Continue reading

heaven in brooklyn

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Julia with our dear friends from Italy.

“And live like this is heaven on earth.”

Second morning waking up in Carolina’s apartment in brooklyn.  And for many reasons and no reason at all, I am very happy.  My dear friend whose living body is no longer on this plane, whose mind slowly faded for longer than Julia has been home, taken care of always by a dear husband, D.  We are staying with D and I take in the home as Carolina’s. We talk of partner death, our experiences as different as they could possibly be. And we are left the same. Continue reading

quiet

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E5A05415-9239-4230-AA79-BC1EF0ADF90FQuiet.

Not much of that the last two weeks.  The city is tearing up my street, both streets on my corner.  The crew port-o-potty adorns my terrace garden bed. From 6:45 a.am to 6:00 p.m., 6 days a week—scrapers scrape, diggers dig and hit stuff in the ground, pounders, earth movers, buriers of huge pieces of metal and all of it beeps mercilessly when they back up.  I complained to whoever listened and grumped to myself often for days. Then I stopped insisting that my daily round remain the same and got out of the house as much as possible.  After awhile the persistence to hold fast to my daily round and the desire to escape as much as possible settled into some middle space—I stopped complaining and reclaimed the house when I needed it, mindful of my tolerance.  I needed to open windows and turn on fans and welcome (almost) the road dust.  I started greeting the crew outside my windows and they’ve been helpful making some space for me to get my car out of the driveway and out of my street.  I am on the verge of baking them muffins. Continue reading

soloing

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DSC_9073West High School Choir concert last night.  Julia had a solo in the Freshman Choir’s rendition of Sia’s Rainbow.

There is backstory.

Julia has choir class every day.  We, the indomitable Anthony Cao and I, worked very intentionally helping Julia with appropriate choir behavior, that is, standing still, watching him and singing, not talking.  Julia and I have done a standing meditation since November to find out what her body does when it is still and lots of reminders (and lots of praise) for the other points.   Continue reading

self-pity

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9DD6D52A-8C94-4DDF-BC20-243AFE0DDD5D“Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.”
                         ~Joan Didion

With a very big sigh of relief, I count another mother’s day over.  My feelings about the holiday remain the same as they were four years ago and I am still not proud of them.  Of course, I am not proud. The feelings are still all about self-pity.  Which is ugly and such a damm nuisance. 

When I first read Joan Didion’s “The year of magical thinking,” I did not understand those first  lines quoted above.  I rather shamefacedly admit that I didn’t understand them for a very long time.  What was so bad about some very well deserved self-pity? Continue reading

coming of age

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AE0CBD2F-5AED-4BE1-BC55-3651153B147EIt is spring!  Tulip are on parade.  I’ve changed to capris and flip-flops. Around town the Redbud trees are in bloom.  They are my favorite spring trees. I “saw” them for the first time as I drove from Bloomington to Indianapolis for my first post-law school job which (as a classmates reminds me on Facebook today) was 26 years ago.  I planted a Redbud in my Indianapolis garden and though there is no room to plant one now, I eagerly await their blooming every year.   Continue reading

dystopian gardening 

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7822C7DC-92EE-42E4-86EC-B71B7E2D7C69Has no one else noticed?  There are very few daffodils blooming.  This unnerving phenomenon is particularly apparent in my garden.  I have planted shit loads of daffs and narcissus over the years and I anticipate enough blooms to cut  several dozen inside. “A host of golden daffodils.”  This year’s crop, front and back garden is a handful, maybe 7. No, not even 7.  My next neighbor usually has a drift on the side of her house facing my side door.  It is a micro climate that blooms in full glory at least a week before mine.  This year, she has less than a dozen. Continue reading