Pieces again

Been a crazy week, and I'm just unwinding. Fighting depression over several different things, but it *has* been a good week. Wrote and sent a coaching newsletter last week about how to deal with emotions, seems I need to re-read and "release, react, and respond" to a few things. Hm.

Glad it's friday. I've had more good talks with girlfriends in the last week than I've had in ages. I went to Chicago last weekend to see family and friends, and as I was trying to surprise David, I didn't mention it here or in my newsletter, though I almost forgot and commented on it. The surprise was a smashing success :) and we spent a delightful afternoon at the Botanic Gardens which I love. I got to visit my favorite bonsai section quite by accident, and I am so in love with those things. I'm not sure why, it's the tiny perfect strength of them I guess, a world in a pot.

The 4 days in Chicago were perfect really ... My mom and sister met me at the airport ... Merf and left her family at home to come up and escape with me for a couple days. Dad/Mom were delighted I think to have just 'the girls' home and be able to carry on conversations and scrabble games and whatnot without the interruptions of lots of small boys. It felt like I was 16 again, and resisted the temptation to start a fight in the backseat just for fun. We had an all-you-can-eat seafood dinner on Friday night at Dad's favorite restaurant in the world at the moment, Port Edward. I haven't had much seafood lately, which I love, and came home positively stuffed.

Saturday morning, after trying to sleep in but not succeeding much due to hunger pangs, we discussed over breakfast what to do with the morning. Merf and I were in thrift-shop mode, and I suggested garage saleing on a whim. Dad bit on the idea, and a rather hilarous 2 hours ensued. Dad *does not shop*. Period. Ever for any reason, other than the rare exception for Mom's birthday. He may have bought a tool or two at a garage sale over the years, but it's not his thing. I think he would have folded laundry if we'd suggested it, just to have the time together. So garage saleing it was. He drove, Merf/I watched for signs, and Mom tried to steer him in the direction of the spots listed in the paper. I don't think we walked away from a single place without something, including a cool folding easel for Michael and most of Douglas' summer clothes. (Penny pinching aside, I hate paying $30 for a pair of kids jeans that they'll wear 4x and get filthy ... just doesn't make sense to me at this age!) The crowning moment for me was when Dad got so caught up in the 'game' that he picked up a faux fir pillow with a bear on the front, and tried to convince mom to get it for the living room to go with their new llama-skin rug that hangs on the wall. She demurred, despite the tantalizing $2.50 price tag, and Dad looked just a wee bit disappointed. Truly astonishing to me, and more fun than I could have imagined. I think we all came home pleased for one reason or another.

That afternoon, Mom and I and 3 other ladies from meeting went to hear a concert by the barbershop chorus that Michael sang with the year we lived in Chicago. Good to see old faces, aged by another 3 years ... and heard old voices with delightful harmony. I tried to find my favorite Rotten Kid character backstage afterwards, but couldn't track him down anywhere. One quartet that sang, a bunch of college boys from St Louis, had such an incredibly loud tenor that mom had to plug her ears an mine were ringing ... the energy of 'younguns' spilling right over the top. I actually preferred the more mellow ones that had slightly softer voices, sounding like they'd been singing together since they were toddlers. There was a very brief but crazy thunderstorm during the performance, and I almost left to go out and be in it, such is my craving for thunderstorms. I think I used them a bit for emotional release, something about what they do to the ozone and the air and the pressure changes and the loud random noises ... perhaps they're actually a great form of therapy for me :)

I fit in long talks with many old friends, all free of spouses and kids and families, and loved every relaxing minute of it. Kara and I topped off our evening with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which neither of us knew much about but was at a good time. Although the first half hour had me wondering if it was a bit on the juvenile side, it was a perfect thing to see with a friend who'd gone thru some of the teenage years with me, and it hit on a number of really relevant issues by the end of it. Can't say it's a must see for all, but it was perfect for us that evening.

Work calls again, and that's enough of a blab for now. More to come ...