Monday, April 30, 2012

more random musings.....

Still at the beach, enjoying the weather, and the solitude, but wondering how I'd feel if I didn't have a husband and family to go home to. Since I was an only child I am very good at being by myself.  It's a role that I understand and at which I am well practiced.  In fact, I need time alone.   But my friend L, who has never married, makes small comments about her life that makes  me wonder how I would fare if this solitary life was forever.

My father is getting more serious about moving to a senior apartment complex. Another step in life.  It will be a good decision but it is a milestone to admit that you should give up your house.  I'm certain it is a very hard decision for him to make and I hope I can make the move easy for him, if he actually follows through.  First we need to make an appointment with the place so he can get the full perpspective.

Am thinking about how to prepare for the Bermuda cruise we have scheduled with my father.  It is purportedly my birthday present from him, but since I've NEVER gotten a birthday present from him that is preposterous.  He just wants me around to handle all arrangements, luggage, etc - sort of his own private concierge.  (He's done that before.  Just ask me about our Ireland trip!)  My father loves to cruise and has generally gone once year with Maureen.  This year all four of us are going but taking Charlie on the cruise is like taking a two year old. He does not like to swim, sunbathe, read, or attend silly classes.  He is a perpetual motion person who, on the one three-day class reunion cruise we attended practically created a groove in the deck from walking around and around and around to pass the time.  This time we have lots of time at sea so he will be bored to death.  I do not eat at buffets.  They whole idea of the multitude of unwashed hands on the serving utensils, and the serving utensils falling into the food and the hands fishing them out...... Well, you get the picture.   So I will eat every meal in the dining room, not the more casual buffet.  This will really annoy my father who is like having another child and who wants to go to the buffet so he can pick his food and eat strange combinations of things without waiting for service.   I've also been reading on-line forums about cruising and have determined that these cruising people are just strange.  They spend tons of money on excursions such as swimming with dolphins, which is ecologically unsound at best, but obsess over how to save a dollar on their parking fee, or how to score a free while drink on the ship.  They apparently do cost comparisons on the most expensive items on the dinner menu and delight in gorging on a least two entrees.  These are not people that I think I have much in common with.  I promise, however, that I will be charming to my father, will do my best to keep Charlie entertained, and will make pleasant conversation with the inhabitants of this strange netherworld (I feel like I just recited the Girl Scout Law.)  and I'll probably even have a good time.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beach Week Random Update

We've been at the beach for week but I've only actually made it down to the sand three times.  Whenever Charlie is with me it is a busy experience.  One day a trip inland to see an airplane and visit some friends, another day down to Miami to visit his sister who was in a freak car accident on Easter morning - (Note to everyone:  Always make certain your car is in park with the emergency brake on BEFORE you get out of the car.) We'll make another trip down there tomorrow.  Yesterday we visited another airplane, and today he's off flying around. I'm going to tidy around here because we have a guest arriving Sunday and hope to make it to the beach before the thunderstorms arrive this afternoon.

I've also spent some time calling in favors to help G find a job in Ann Arbor. I only have three good contacts in her field but they are all willing to do what they can for her. If she was in staying in DC/Baltimore this would be easy, but in that case she wouldn't need the job because she already has one!

Yesterday I had the strangest experience where someone thought I was apologizing for our family being Cuban.  I was chatting the the wife of the owner of the airplane Charlie was looking at.  She was very nice and had lived in the Washington area, loved sailing and had a son who loved racing sail boats, etc. We were talking about how our children got interested and so passionate about their sport and as an intro to how my son got his first sailboat I said "We are Cuban.." which was the intro to the explanation that Cuban girls have a Quinceaños (think coming out party for 15 year olds) but boys don't get anything so our son talked us into cheap (almost free) sailboat as his quince años gift.  But as soon as I said, "We are Cuban" this woman said, "That's ok."  I had no idea how to react so, after I blinked a couple of times, I just kept talking.  It's surprising how people's hidden prejudices emerge.

My friend with breast cancer has made it through her first round of chemo.  I'm sorry to not be there but people have picked up the slack and have kept her entertained.  Before I left we had found her a great wig and some nice hats and scarves as soon she will begin losing her hair.  I also got her started knitting a baby blanket for her to-be-born-in-September grandchild and she's making good progress. So far only have one visible mistake that I think we can do a bit of embroidery over to hide.  I'll practice my embroidery skills while I'm here as I haven't done any since I was in my 20's.  I do still remember how to do a french knot so we'll see how it goes.....

Thursday, April 05, 2012

I haven't been good at keeping up with my "What I'm Reading" page but last night I finished reading "Private Life" by Jane Smiley.  I'm going to re-read the ending today since when I finished last night I went directly to sleep and now I keep mentally reviewing the ending trying to figure out why I found it so unsettling.  I think I may have found my book selection for my book club, which is something I always agonize over.  I've loved some of Jane Smiley's books and others I was never able to finish.  This one seems much more in the style of "A Thousand Acres" with its perspective on the human relationships.  I recommend this book.

I didn't feel that the New York Times book review got it quite right so here's the review from The Guardian -

Sunday, April 01, 2012

My DD is finishing up her PhD this summer.  Long ago, when asked what she wanted to do when she was an adult she responded, "Go to school.  It's what I do best."  And with the exception of a few years working in her field after her Master's degree, she has managed to go to school.  Now, with the approach of the real working world in front of her she has managed to again find a way to "go to school" as she has landed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan.  It's quite a honor in her field and she is thrilled.  Today, however, I sense a certain reality setting in.  We both know that this is a good move and that everything will work out fine.  Her partner will find a job, and if the first job isn't a good one she'll find another, and they will find an acceptable place to live, and they will sell or rent their current home, and they will start again.   But uprooting their comfortable situation with a cute house, good neighborhood, good friends, and all the knowns, for all of the unknowns of this totally alien place that neither of them has even visited is scary.  I heard her say a number of times "I know it will all be fine."  and she sounded just like me.  But of anyone out there is familiar with Ann Arbor/Detroit and any jobs in the community health and housing field, let me know.  They are going to need all the help they can get.