Ringing in a new year in what might be considered the most classic, but for me the least characteristic way—on a crowded dance floor gyrating with a throng of strangers in party hats and noise makers to a band playing the ancient music covered by high school bands in the late 60’s (no complaints about the music. It was very delightful). Before the parties heated up, Cheshire and I walked around an upper deck in the cool night air. A few stars were out, we could watch the quiet dark sea and the wake made by our boat. It was my favorite part of the evening, perhaps of the cruise. Minutes before midnight, we joined the throng dancing. Twenty seconds before midnight we began counting down as if this was a novel experience. At midnight, music played, people cheered, hugged and kissed, balloons, streamers and confetti fell from 10 floors above. In a minute, we we stood knee deep in balloons and streamers. It was almost strangely satisfying. It was as I had always imagined. Continue reading
We embarked on Thursday. Our hotel was less than 1.5 miles from the dock and so we arrived by foot, each of us with back pack and pulling our carry on bag. Once again, Autism on the Seas met us at the first check in point and moved us through lines and crowds. There is something wonderfully familiar and comfortable about this cruise. The ship is not configured in the same way but most of the same elements are there, the mental maps are so much easier. Julia and I were at ease much sooner and we were able to clue Cheshire in.
It is great having Cheshire with us. A second person to interact with and boss Julia around, a lovely companion for me to enjoy. Last cruise, julia and I had a wheel chair accessible cabin. We booked late and some of those rooms had been released. Our cabin this time is standard and a lot narrower. We have a window and not a balcony. I miss the ability to be outside immediately and the balcony provides a few extra feet but we manage the tight space well. I do find myself constantly straightening and putting away out stuff. Clutter happens fast.
Sunrise over water- a bay?- in Tampa. Not an extraordinary feat consider how little day light there is this time of year. A hotel on the water, the convention center, cars and trucks dot the visible highways and a lone kayaker paddles across the bay. Something nicely propitious about the sighting. We are in the tourist center, our driver from last night told us. Continue reading
A reminder pops up on my laptop from Calendar: Christmas Eve. Obviously, Apple’s Calendar is not able to look around this house. Yet. Something to be grateful for in a small way.
Facebook reminds me of all those past Christmas Eve postings—parts of cards, pictures in NYC with Cheshire and Julia, silly pictures of Cheshire’s friends here to support her through rough times, pictures of Julia in full Hogwarts regalia in Florida at the Wizarding World during our Christmas with the Mahoney’s (without our favorite Mahoney’s), trees and stockings and kind Santas who listened to Julia’s sometimes incoherent rambling wish lists. One post from December 24, 2010, offers the beginning of what has been seven years of strained celebrations:
Julia and I are bedded down in Brooklyn. We are remaking Christmas. In a few years it will be ours again. Peace and love to my facebook comrades. Hug your partners and parents and friends and kids while they are close.
Three days home and feeling a bit more human. The end of our summer travels were crazy mainly because I fell prey to a nasty flu bug the Tuesday of our Camp Awesum week and spent the rest of the week sleeping as much as I could. We did not get to do some of my favorite things, especially walking the labyrinth, being out on the water in some sort of boat, and doing the night hike. Julia, however, did get to indulge in most of her favorite activities and generally had a good time.
Camp Awesum. Monday morning.
Independence. Julia wants it. I think she is ready for some. The question is always how to arrange it and keep her safe. An opportunity at camp has arisen.
There is coffee in the mornings starting at 6:30, breakfast is not until 8:30. I made it down for coffee at 7:30. Before I left the cabin, I told Julia, mostly asleep, that I would telephone her. Hopefully, she will wake up, get out of bed and start getting dressed.
I called, explained what I wanted and she wanted to meet me by the beach, dressed and ready for breakfast. T minus 15 minutes. Continue reading
After Shyla’s wedding, Julia and I hopped a quick flight to Bangor, Maine, to spend most of a week with madison friends. Stephanie and Hope have a extremely sweet cabin on a lake. There is no electricity and the first night I was a stunned by the dark, but Julia and I soon got used to living in the light and sleeping in the dark. Gas powers the fridge, the stove and the water heater for hot showers. Everything else battery powered and so, needed to be thought about before turning on. We learned a few new games, put a puzzle together in record time, explored a little bit of Maine and ate great food curtesy of Stephanie’s skills and some lovely, simple restaurants. Continue reading
My niece, Shyla, and her long time partner, Ben, married on Saturday, August 5. They have known each other for ten years beating our family record that David and I set knowing each other for six years before we married. It was an intimate wedding at the home she grew up in. Her brother and his wife who now live in that house generously gave their house and lives over to wedding preparations and festivities for a week. Julia, Cheshire and I came in early to help with the setup and decorations.
Julia had her first real manicure and pedicure. Continue reading
Six hours at the Dane County Airport waiting for weather to clear in Newark, New Jersey, to take for a short, direct flight is enough to make anyone a bit of a philosopher. That or go nuts. Because I bought this summer’s tickets with credit card points and used the voucher we got in January, I sprung for flying out of our little, low key facility. Lines are short, seats plentiful but there are fewer food choices and what there is comes with NYC prices.
Julia did all her home work and her puzzle exercises and some extra of each. She worked on coloring a new dragon picture in her art app. If her cello had been here, we would have gotten in a good practice. Now, she is listening to music on her phone and watching videos of kids dancing and singing. She has not even cracked the sketch book or dot to dot book. The kid has learned to wait. She is developing patience. Continue reading