|Norma Jean, Fia, me, Markee|
It's been my habit to stay with my brother and my only sister-in-law Phyllis whenever I come to town. It started decades ago and now has become my home away from home, taking the place in my heart that my mother's home inhabited while she was alive. It never mattered where she lived; wherever it was, it was home. Now that she has been gone for almost twenty years I realize I've transferred my affections to this place, wherever Phyllis and Buz live.
Mama died in March of the year she would have turned seventy (in July). I marked the day when I realized I had lived to be older than either of my parents, and this coming Saturday I will make it to the magic birthday. It has been remarked on by most of my siblings, so it is not a small or insignificant moment in our family history. We have also discussed our absent parents, whose characteristics are quite present in us, all with slightly different flavors. As we age we are beginning to take on certain attributes more prominently that we once associated with our parents.
There have been moments of strain when we have all been together, which is inevitable I suppose, but the hurtful comments never feel right. I've been the recipient as well as the giver of them, and for my siblings who might be reading this, I wish to say that whatever rough waters we have navigated this week, you are my family and you matter to me. I love every one of you with my whole heart and am grateful beyond words for the time we have had together this week.
To mark the occasion of Fia's fiftieth and my seventieth, we have received presents from our family as well as given ourselves a couple of things to mark the event. Fia decided to give herself a tattoo on her birthday that will be with her to help her remember to walk with God.
|"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."|
Years ago (I just realized it's been almost two decades) I attended Bikram Yoga classes, which are also conducted in a very hot room. This version is called Sumits Yoga and incorporates both Bikram and Vinyasa style yoga along with music! Never before had I ever attended any sort of yoga class that had music as part of the experience. It was... different, but this morning I am feeling quite good and not nearly as stiff and sore as I thought I would be. I think I might start attending the Bikram Yoga classes in Bellingham now and then, as it was a reminder of how wonderful it feels to sweat like that, while bending in ways I couldn't possibly achieve otherwise.
For my own self-administered present, I am now the proud owner of an iPhone! It seems that every single member of my family owns or has access to one, and I was the only one of us with an old-style flip phone. I figured that if I was going to take the plunge to a smartphone, I might as well do it while I have people around who know how to use it. It turns out, though, that it's very much like my iPad, with almost all the same configurations AND a phone.
There is at least one thing I have to learn to use efficiently: Siri, the voice software that comes with the phone. I had seen the advertisements with John Malkovich carrying on a "conversation" with his phone, and now I've done it myself! With Buz's help, I "introduced" myself to my phone and asked her to call me DJan. I spoke into the phone and said, "call me DJan," and she responded, "Okay. I will call you DJan. It has a nice ring to it." I am quite pleased with the phone, and yesterday I talked to Norma Jean and sent her a photo at the same time! Having multiple functionalities available at the same time is also something I will also need to get accustomed to having.
Well, it's that time again, early in the morning with my partner still asleep but not next to me, as he is back home in Bellingham. I sit here in bed composing before sunrise with a cup of coffee next to me in my home away from home. The Texas sunrise will be sunny and bright, and I'll appreciate it while I'm here. But I miss my partner and look forward to seeing him soon. Until next week, be well and take care of yourself.