Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June doings

It's not for lack of subjects or opinions that I haven't posted since early this month. I have plenty to say, as those who know me well will attest, and sometimes I'm sure they wish I'd shut up.

I participated in a mystery dinner theater mid month to benefit our county's branding project -- a fund raiser for a professional marketing and branding guru to create campaigns that highlight our county's biggest assets -- among them are wine and olives.

It was an experience. I've done this before, about five years ago, and it's fairly corny -- lots of scantily clad women (excluding me, I might add), chase scenes, cat fights, raunchy humor, and a thin plot. The crowd loved it. It was a sellout both nights. And it involved a fair bit of rehearsal that last week, and a lot of willingness to adapt and change. It wasn't a particularly artistic experience and I sure didn't 'stretch' my acting -- I mean, I can play overbearing and bitchy blindfolded with both hands tied behind my back -- but the cast members are wonderful and I loved nurturing those relationships. That was the payoff for me.

On top of that  I'd waited until the 11th hour to finish the 45-hour required real estate coursework to renew my license for another four years, not that I really plan on using it. But it took a lot of work to get it and you never know... so I was studying and taking online tests during the early part of the month as well. It's done. I could indeed sell real estate again in California, under a licensed broker. 

And then there was a memorial service for a woman we met only a few times but are good friends with her partner and wanted to support him. It was an amazing service and I only hope that when my time comes that people are as loving and generous with their tributes as we heard at this service.

One thing in particular made me wish I'd known her better. Her spiritual path was very important to her and she'd studied in India, worked with practitioners from various spiritual paths, and her service was held in a Christian church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. She was completely comfortable incorporating ALL of these practices into her own spiritual belief system and embraced all of them -- I love that, and found that to be eye-opening, especially since there were so many others there who seemed to feel the same way. The service was a mashup of  Eastern chants, Christian ritual, music from all of them, and poetry. Many were dancing at the end as a trio sang "The Great Storm"; my leaky face dripped tears because it was so perfect, such a joyous acknowledgement of who this woman was, of who we all can be.

There is no doubt that her children and our friend will miss her terribly, and there were moments of grief that just tore at your heart, but it was a great sending-off and ended with a reception and chocolate cake -- her wishes, since she was known for her desserts and homemade bread. She was only 65 and died of cancer -- a fairly prolonged death, hard on her and those who loved her.

Then this last Saturday, we recorded Tony's first radio theater script for New Radio Theater. His is an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, and a number of wonderful north state actors came together to interpret it. We were cast as the great cobra Nag and his wife Nagaina, and had a great time hissing evilly. This is Tony's first script and he was just delighted that it was accepted and recorded for play later in July. I'll put the date and time as soon as I know for sure. It was quite a red-letter day for him, and I was very proud of him and the end result. He's now at work on an original script.

And earlier in the month we had a lovely picnic with our now three-year-old grandson, his brothers and sister, and our daughter V in a park area near their home. Gabe took to the plasmacar that we gave him without any instruction and rode it all over the adjacent parking lot, as did the other kids and even his momma! It was a fun afternoon, a little piece of normalcy and celebration within a lot of busy-ness and turmoil. 

That's the 'doing' stuff for this month. There has been more 'being' stuff going on too, some of which I'm still pondering and trying to figure out. Not all of it has been especially fun -- including the ongoing state of the economy and turmoil over the budget, and with that, Medicare and Social Security, topics which at our age loom quite large in our priorities. Change is afoot for our children again, and we have become pretty good at holding our opinions and tongues close, although it is an uneasy compromise at times.

And the month which began in rain and cool weather also draws to a close with more rain and cool temperatures today (although we'll be up to 100 this weekend again) -- unusual weather for these parts, welcome though it was. Friday will bring a new month with new beginnings and who knows what endings we may find.

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