Last week, I started taking a French class.
I’ve always wanted to learn French. A thousand years ago, I went to college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I transferred there as a sophomore and didn’t have the option of preregistering for classes beforehand.
During the normal registration period, I signed up for the classes I needed. If one was unavailable, I had to start over and rebuild my schedule from scratch, trying to fit the classes together like a Tetris puzzle. I’d already done this twice, which meant running around the entire campus, from department to department, getting approval for admittance.
Last week, on the first anniversary of my son’s death, I took a little trip.
I flew to Kansas City to visit friends. They showed me warm hospitality and took me on a tour of a place that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, Unity Village.
I haven’t written out a formal bucket list, but if I had done it, “Visit Unity Village” would have been on it. Their gardens, labyrinth, and nature trails offer tranquility. Their five chapels offer peace. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be on that day.
My son, Phillip, took this photo when he visited me in New York, back in 2009.
Today marks the first anniversary of his death. Over the past year, I’ve discovered many things about grief and about how awkward giving and receiving condolences can be.
People offer condolences and I reply, “Thank you.” People ask how I’m doing and I answer, “Fine.” Then, there’s that hush because…where do you go from there? Do I just carry on and start talking about the weather? A class I’m taking? My grandkids? Oops, I’ll never have any grandkids. So many taboo subjects now. Touchy, delicate subjects where there used to be none.
Guess where I spent last weekend.
In case you don’t recognize the location, I was in beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That’s a photo of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
I was in Milwaukee to attend the Women in Travel Summit, #WiTS17, produced by She’s Wanderful. I’ve attended various conferences over the years, but none that amazed me like this one.
Years ago, the first time I lived in Albuquerque, I took a class and learned how to make pysanky*, Ukrainian Easter eggs.
This was back in the days before Hobby Lobby. I’d noticed a small craft store on San Mateo, between the wig shop and the scuba shop, or maybe the craft shop used to be where the scuba shop is now.
Anyway, that was a long time ago and the shop is long gone now, but they held unusual classes, such as the Ukrainian egg decoration. I signed up.
Have you ever dreamed the same thing over and over again?
Many of my dreams include houses. I used to dream repeatedly about a two-story house with a center staircase. Though I haven’t dreamed about it lately, it’s still very vivid in my mind and I wonder if it actually exists somewhere.
I’ve also had this dream before, the one about mail. The setting is usually different, but the result is the same.
A few weeks ago, I joined a new (to me) group called She’s Wanderful.
She’s Wanderful is an “international membership community of independent, adventurous, globally minded women who travel,” says their website. Ding! Ticks every box for me.
They have chapters, events, and trips. Far as I can tell, I’m the only person in New Mexico who has signed up, so at the moment, there are no regular events or meetings near me, but I have signed up to be a Wanderful hostess.
With the upcoming ban on using laptops and tablets on flights to the US from 56 routes, I’ve heard many laments and questions about how to pass the time on long flights.
In a online group, I saw the question posed, “What do I do with my 4-year old on our 12-hour flight?”
Keeping young children busy on a long flight is a real challenge for parents. Back in the Dark Ages, pre-computer days, when I used to fly with Phillip, I always went shopping ahead of time. In the carry-on, I packed his favorite snacks, books both familiar and new, and a special grab bag of never-before-seen (or played with) items that I’d bought especially for the trip. Little items picked up at the dollar store could entertain my hyperactive child for a long time.
Adulting is so tedious. And I find myself with so many “adult” things on my To-Do list.
There’s paying the car insurance that is due on March 12. Thanks to an encounter with a motorcyclist that was driving in the bicycle lane, my auto insurance is now $300/year more expensive than last year.
It wasn’t even my fault. How did I know that he was going to try to dash around me in the bike lane just as I was attempting to make a right-hand turn out of a traffic jam?
Last week, I left Albuquerque to visit Texas and Oklahoma.
Instead of driving from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City, I had decided to fly to Dallas, rent a car, and go from there.
I spent one night in Dallas, where I met up with an old friend or, as we agreed sounded better, a friend I’ve known for a long time. We worked together years ago when I’d first graduated from college. She treated me to dinner and we enjoyed gabbing, catching up for several hours.