Sometimes, it all just seems to come together. The weather, the people, the events, and the travel all line up in perfect harmony. Life feels good.
I awoke without needing the alarm. My favorite gym clothes were clean. The soaker hose was still attached to the connecting hose so watering the un-irrigated, newly planted Texas ebony tree was simply a matter of turning the faucet to the right. It was nice to get to the gym without stones in my shoes and cactus prickers in my hands.
There was a parking space right in front of the door. My favorite greeter was behind the desk and Amster and the Littlest Little One arrived right on time. The LLO gave me a warm and mushy kiss on my neck, leaving lots of pink lipstick to prove that she'd been there. Her hug, filled with excitement and love, was balm to my soul.
We worked our legs, doing squats and quad curls and calf raises while we caught up on our lives. Blending two families involves lots of negotiating, therapy and the re-evaluation of some hard-won truths. Creating competent children takes a village and a school district and friends as well as all the parental and grand-parental units; it helps if most of them are operating from the same playbook. Since Amster and I know that our way is always the correct way, we are shameless in our disparagement of those who are on a different page. It's nice to have company who agrees with you.
I was gifted three school photos and another pink kiss and then it was off to Costco and the grocery store and then home with Hershey's Kisses and Kit Kats and Smart Water and Diet Coke. I was tempted by the Droid display, but Big Cuter has assigned himself the task of re-phoning his parents so I merely gazed as I pushed the cart by. I found hearing aid batteries and shelled walnuts and was next in line at the check-out. Things were definitely going my way.
TBG came home to unpack the heavy items from my car; lifting them from the shelf to the cart to the trunk to the garage floor was the most that I could manage. I had that thought and then I stopped myself in mid-self-pity: two months ago I wasn't able to lift them at all. I have to stop concentrating on the can't parts of my life.
My playmate's UU* meeting ended early (apparently something of a rarity for those talky liberals) so I raced to meet her at the Dairy Queen. Blizzard (she) and strawberry milkshake (I) in hands, we drove The Schnozz to the Pasqua Yaqui reservation south of town where their outdoor amphitheater was hosting the Desert Bluegrass Association's Annual Festival. There weren't more than 200 of us there; with room for several thousand we had our choice of seats and spaciousness. I knew it was going to be a good day when we both opted for the front row.
To our right were an older-than-we couple with a shiny red motorized scooter that seemed to serve each of them quite well. Had the UU's talked longer I'd have had more time to gather my gear and my camera would have been in my hands instead of on my desk. Alas, you'll have to envision them toodling off to the rest room or the soda vendor, the one remaining watching closely until the vehicle and passenger were out of sight. To our left was an even older gentleman who moved not a muscle until our program fell at his feet and, in one graceful gesture, he bent and retrieved and returned and sat still once again.
My UU playmate, newer to Tucson than I, was struck by how old this crowd is. I hadn't really noticed. I'm becoming a real Tucsonan; I was looking at the varieties of cowboy boots walking rather than the age of the wearers. We sat for 4 hours as Steve Smith & Hard Road, Blue Highway, Kickin Grass Band, Crucial County and the Titan Valley Warheads strummed and picked and fiddled... oh, my, did they fiddle.... and sang the old songs and many new songs and mostly we were just boppin' along, clapping or tapping or swaying.
The breeze was soft and the temperatures were in the 80's. The amphitheatre is covered and the wooden seats have arm rests. Mr. K's Barbeque was the main food vendor, and the smell of smoking meat wafted over the crowd when supplies needed replenishing. The performers were locals (there are - or were - Titan missiles just outside of town) and Kentuckians and New Jersey-ites and they were all very grateful to be part of the fun. When Kickin Grass sang My Grandfather's Clock I could hear the Cuters in the back seat of the car in Chicago, chanting along as the clock stopped...... never to toll again.... when the Old Man died.
A grandmotherly vendor said "I know you" in that tone of voice that lets me know that I'm in for a hug and a teary smile. Fifteen minutes later we were all best friends, her son, the youth pastor, and his wife promising to come up to Tucson for the anniversary events in January. Walking away, my UU playmate asked if that kind of thing happened often. Hearing "Every day" she just shook her head. My reality is often very different from that of the unperforated; I tend to forget that.
I bought a CD and we found The Schnozz in its second spot right in front of the door of the day and I listened to tales of life in central Mexico as the mountains turned pink and purple and the traffic moved smoothly over newly paved road.
It was an absolutely wonderful day.
*Alison commented below that UU was a new term to her. It's shorthand for Unitarian Universalist, a religious group which, according to my playmate, is full of people with lots to say. Thanks for keeping me honest, Alison!