Friday, September 19, 2008

What a long strange trip it's been

Exactly one year ago today TGF, Wyatt (our canine) and Grace, Gemma, Atticus, and Marcelle (our felines) and I left California, after crazy delays.

For those joining this party late here is the post that started a series of posts chronicling this move. It was a crazy time and I cannot believe a year has cruised by. Not surprisingly I have been having packing(not the good kind ;-) and moving dreams. Mostly I dream that I'm moving to Indiana, I guess even asleep I continue to have problems assimilating that I live in Ohio. Indiana is the last place we slept before arriving so I guess part of me is stuck there refusing to cross the state line. It's funny of course because Indiana is no better or worse or even different from Ohio.

There was no way at that time to know or even have an inkling of all that I have found here in Ohio that is good. Wonderful in fact. Last year around this time I mourned that I would be arriving just past the time to attend A Wool Gathering, though I harbored hopes earlier in the summer that I would make it. Tomorrow I head there sure to run into any number of folks I know. Tomorrow evening is the last of South Park's Porch and Patio parties - a concept I knew nothing about one year ago. It will be the fourth one I've attended this year. Sunday is the knitting group at Night & Day Cafe on Brown Street, which I started in April. Monday starts my third week at Sinclair College taking pilates and middle eastern dance.

What a difference a year makes.

Banned Books Week -A Public Service Announcement

This is important folks. September 27th - October 4th.

I am stunned that Mark Twain is on the list for most frequently challenged author for 2007. How's that for a legacy? Though I confess I have read none of his work, not on purpose it's just I never had to read him in school and never got around to it. He's on my "list" but haven't gotten to it. I am happy to report that I have read other books and authors on various "challenged" list but more by chance than intent:

The Bluest Eye
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The Color Purple
Harry Potter series (well the first four, have to catch up)
Heather Has Two Mommies
The Catcher in the Rye
Go Ask Alice
The Handmaiden's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy (well part of it, by A.N.Roquelaure {Anne Rice})
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
In The Night Kitchen
The Great Gatsby
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Invisible Man (I think I never finished it as it depressed me SO much)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Clockwork Orange
Sons and Lovers
A Separate Peace

Going over the various lists, I clearly have a lot of reading to catch up on.
Look here for more events, details, and book lists.

Read on! Visit your local library, used bookstore, and independent retailer whenever possible!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


As my dear readers might recall I had been working on rebuilding a friendship with someone from Massachusetts. We had been emailing each other for the last few months intermittantly, with the idea that we would see each other when I was in town. In addition to trying to catch up with Michele, I wrote to a number of people ahead of time letting them know when I would be around. Usually I just grab a vehicle if I can and drive around on the chance that someone would be home. While I like having no schedule and being spontaneous, sometimes I wind up feeling very lonely so I tried something new. This meant putting myself out there, something I find very triggering. What if no one writes or calls? What if they do out of obligation? WTF does that mean anyway? Insecure? Moi?

Before camp I finally saw my daughter (unofficial foster, in my life for about 10 years now). We met and talked for about six hours straight. It was wonderful to catch up with her and really hear what's going on (a couple of emails and phone calls just don't cut it). Unfortunately it sounds like her relationship isn't going to last and her plans for schooling are vague; while her plans to have a baby is still strongly in place. I encouraged her to get some education or training before getting pregnant because it is likely she will be doing this alone. Somewhat to TGF's dismay I said I would help her financially if she goes to school. It won't be a lot, which I told her, but I would do what I could to support her goals.

As usual I stayed with Adrienne but due to a lot of craziness did not get to spend a ton of time with her but it was still good to see her and the boys. Because of the craziness I needed to make plans to stay somewhere else when I returned to Northampton from camp. In keeping with my modus operandi I did nothing about this until the bitter end of camp, staying with my pal Spirit and his housemates for two nights. It was a nice taste of my old life, living with a bunch of folks, sharing things, mish mash of furniture, the smells of a hippie house - ah the memories.

While there I spent an afternoon with friends I haven't seen in at least four years! Ann & Donna moved in across the street from my tiny house in Northampton back in 1995 and instantly we became buddies. Back in December 2002 I flew back to Massachusetts from California to attend the birth of their son. I'm pretty sure I saw them one time since then. In the intervening time they adopted a gorgeous little girl who I had only seen photos of for the last 3 years. We had a great afternoon hanging out, seeing their new house, playing with the kids and catching up. It was so sweet, really was. I must stay in better touch.

The next afternoon I finally caught up with Michele and it was so sweet to hear her voice, see her smile. Wow. Her youngest was in the car, he was a year old when I left so he doesn't have much recognition of me. He is imprinted deeply on my soul as he was the first baby I ever held before being cleaned, blood and amniotic fluid smelling sweet, soaking into my hands, dripping on my pants. When we arrived at the house I was last behind them and heard A (the eldest, the fourth birth I attended) called "Where's Dharma!?!?" So sweet. I got a huge hug from her that felt so good. Next up was A2 who has been slow to warm up during other visits. Not this time! A big long hug. OMG I was in heaven.

Later that night A2 asked me if I had children and I said no (too hard to explain Missy). Michele looked at me and whispered yes you do, meaning her kids. My heart just swelled. We stayed up talking after the kids were asleep and it was so nice, much like old times. The next morning she drove me to the airport and again the conversation just flowed. Mostly from her this time which was fine, the evening was a lot of me. When she dropped me off she asked "when's a good time to visit Ohio?". Again, hope rose and I have more faith that we can rebuild our friendship.

In my overall plans to visit the east more often than this once a year crap so I have great hopes of seeing these people and other much more in the future.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In which our heroine tries to catch up

I know, it's been forever and I have had so many things to write about. So let's play a bit of catch up, shall we?

Camp was wonderful. I froze that first Tuesday before camp officially started, seriously! It went down to about 40F degree
s. A tad chilly when one is tenting or in a cabin that has nothing but lumber and bad windows. For the first time I asked for a special exemption of a sort and tented somewhere that was technically off limits. It was so lovely. If I can find the cord that would allow me to download photos from my phone you'll see why I had to have this spot. Sure there was more noise from the bottling plant (did you know they like to back up trucks at 2:30a.m.?) but there were no neighbors, no one (except a chosen few) knew where I was, the view during daylight was gorgeous, plus it was shaded just enough that late afternoon naps were fabulous.

(Finally found the right cord with help from TGF, then struggled to download from phone, but success!) This was taken from inside the tent with my phone before napping in the late afternoon.

I danced more this year than in forever. Almost every night I danced at least a little, most nights a fair amount and several so much that I needed to do a lot of laundry. In addition I danced a lot with people that I never dance, in some cases because I thought I wasn't good enough to dance with them. Also I danced with a more men than usual - Gene B and Gene B (yes there are two of them, weird huh?), Shamou (I so need to buy some of his tunes!) and I waltzed which must have looked quite amusing as he is about two feet taller than me. No I am not exaggerating. John M and I had the best dance, sigh, he is dreamy. I have never danced with Blake because I thought he was outside of my realm with him being most a contact dancer (there are a lot of contact folks at Dance New England), but we had a blast together. Every year I dance with Ken (though I swear we missed each other somehow last year) and it's always so much fun and stretches me. This year was the same sweet, fun, slightly intense experience which took me new places.

I set a new record for hitting the tent: 4:30a.m. Twice that was the time I left the dining hall to head for sleep. Crazy I know but still good.

Other high points beside the dancing, of which there were many (oh but I cannot let it go without saying that Stark spun the most excellent set during the second week that still makes me smile):
- swimming in the lake with Carolyn "Num, num, num" Falk.
- receiving chocolate from my best pal Will
- getting a donut from Jacob, given with a smile
- hearing "shabat shalom" from Adam
- a great community meeting
- watching Spirit dance (yes that's his given name)
- the eyeful of stars that are on display every night
- being joyfully welcomed to the Peace Council committee
- meeting old and new friends
- getting time with baby Mojo
- the "Beach Party" at the waterfront
- excellent food, especially daily fresh baked bread!
- shopping at the store
- getting flowers left on my desk not once but twice!

I am certain I am forgetting a dozen or so other great memories but that gives a taste of why I love this place and the people.

Many more things to catch up on. Hopefully now that I started writing I can continue.