Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It Is Well With My Soul

For the past month, my life has been pure chaos, a new job on the eastern shore, moving, living between two places, two lives, two jobs, school, family and the workings of all. My Handsome Prince and I literally were crossing the Bay Bridge going in opposite directions. I've spent the week days one the western side, going to school, assisting Audrey with things needed for graduation or just her personal crises, finishing out my time at the Y, and fielding a few phone calls for my new job and then heading to the eastern shore to move, unpack, and get acquainted, or hit the ground running for my new job. Now, most is over, and a calm (ok, somewhat calm) has settled. I'm done with the YMCA, other than an email, Exams are over, grades are posted (I still managed to make the Dean's List), we have a prospect on the house (who might be difficult be we want to make it work), and school is almost over for the youngest.

This past weekend was the last performance of the NGCB, a casual performance on the lawn on Saturday and a more formal performance in church on Sunday. When they sang "It is Well with my Soul" I cried (okay I cried through the whole thing) but this is what touched me. Despite my hurt feelings, despite my challenges, despite my fear and excitement, despite the internal fusses I have with certain things and certain people, it is well with my soul.

We went to a lovely, mature, back yard wedding of my sister in law to the man she has been engaged to for 2 years. They have a connection that is evident. It was a beautiful day, a small ceremony with only family, and just perfect. We went to a farewell party in our honor, where it poured buckets, and yet, it did not hold anyone back and we had a grand time. We said goodbye to my niece who left for China for 8 weeks.

Now, I slowly get ready for my week in my other home, my job, alone. I will miss prom and it's primpings. It makes me sad. I have a women's retreat that weekend to which I will play host and manage staff and cook and clean and delegate and run interference.

Yes, it is well with my soul.

And this is just because it makes me happy.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What I See

This is the current view as I sit on my deck. An overgrown butterfyly and hummingbird garden, freshly cut grass, that we will attempt to keep after we leave.

This is what I see:
I see my children, young, flushed, sledding down the hill with Gus following, barking and biting their ankles. I see my friends in the yard, dancing and singing to the NGCB as they play on the patio. I see my children in the hot tub, snow up to the edges with a path shoveled so we could get in. Again, the girls in the hot tub, early in the morning around 5am, watching a meteor shower, amazed. I see the hummingbirds buzzing about my deck and my cone flowers, fussing at each other, I see the families of deer running into the woods. I see my father, glass of wine, talking on the deck. My Mother's 60th birthday party on the deck, friends gathered from near and far. Crab feasts on the patio, My husbands surprise 40th birthday party, being a slave to my garden, a slave to the lawn, ping pong tournament (only one), bonfires galore, prom parties (one still coming), dreams, hopes, frustrations, dogs running, dog graves (and a hamster), card games, dinners, and so much more shared in this home in this yard.

I leave with such mixed feelings. It is time. We are going to a good place, a place we dreamed of in this place, it feels right.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bits and Pieces

With my new job, I get a staff of three students from the Czech republic. I can't wait to meet them. Today I sent them a note regarding music, how I was making them a cd of my favorites and should they be so inclined, I would be estatic to receive the same. One of them loved the idea. I'm not sure of the knowledge of the english language of the other two. How cool is that? Que buena honda? and now I must learn that phrase in Czech.

My youngest daughter graduates at the age of 16. She is so freakin' smart. Here is her Senior Portrait, taken by Fine Portraiture by Michelle in Taneytown MD. I think Michele does an amazing job
In my Algebra class, I sit next to a young girl who was in my class last year. Two young guys sit behind us. All three of these students are younger than my oldest daughter. After class one day, after the 4 of us had contributed to the class, in humor and academics, it occurred to me how did the 4 not quite the norm, a bit obnoxious, studious, fun people all end up in the same area. The rest of our class is quiete reserved. I think there is chemistry that draws us together. We even had a brief conversation on it.
I'm losing my sanity. Between living in two houses, working two jobs, and finishing school, I find myself forgetting basic things, like wearing a bra or brushing my teeth or my notebooks for school. This too shall pass.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

New Orleans Jazz Fest 2009

I think my feet are finally clean. There is a fine line between the dirt and the tan.

It was another year, another experience, this time with my sister and my daughter. No manses accompanied us.
Emma and I arrived early enough in the day to walk the French Quarter, have a bite to eat, see the biggest cockroach alive, get a slushy drink and a shooter at The Big Easy, go to the local LUSH store, and even take a nappy before Rachel arrived.

We decided to go to Jacque Imo's for dinner as we figured the wait would not be long as opposed to the girls we saw on Friday night who had a 2 1/2 hour wait. We were entertained by Reverend Brad aka Grandpa Boogie, who had us hold his stick, walking stick that is, read my aura, which was eerily correct, and told many, many, many stories.It was such difficult work, he had to retreat to his office for a break. Of course we ate too much and it was most delicious.

Thursday, we found out, was a local day for Jazz Fest, adults and schools alike. We started at the Congo Stage with a latin group, Rumba Beuna, where dancing was the norm. We met these girls who could rumba, salsa, and two step with the best.

These two weren't half bad either!

This gentleman was dancing with all the young chicas.

Somebody was passing out stickers that said "Festin' Dawlin'" which we promptly stuck on our bahooties which caused some comotion and some jealousy, for other ladies wanted the same.
We attended a couple improvisational jazz band concerts so Emma could write about them for her jazz class. That was a new one for Rachel and I as we tend to stick to a little groovier, rocking music. Then, of course, my man Anders Osborne, who always rocks my soul. We spent some time at the Gospel Tent, always inspiring,

my turn to dance at the Blues Tent, and ending our Jazz Fest music that day with Ben Harper. As we exited, past the hockers selling water, beer, musicians on the corner, we found the International Special Sacred Shrine for Jon Bon Jovi. There is a facebook page for this also. On Friday, as we left the fest, we tore the photo of JBJ out of our Offbeat magazine, gussied up our lips, and kissed the photo. As we were about two houses away, we started singing at the top of our lungs "Living on a Prayer". Tara, the maker of the shrine, snapped photos, and gushed about our singing and our offering to the shrine.

Pizza and water before going to the new Rock and Bowl for the Zydeco party, where we two stepped and bowled.
Friday was more of the same, with the sun shining brighter, the heat a little hotter, the music a little more rocking. We were at one stage where there was a reunion Rebirth Brass Band and Dirty Dozen Brass Band and we didn't let anyone pass without dancing with us. We even had another couple in on it. We caught the eye of someone from CNN and you can catch us here, just click on the photo of Emma, top center.

We managed to catch some good music, the New Orleans Moonshiners, Esperanza Spaulding, Sugarland, The Iguanas, and my personal favorite for the day - Glenn David Andrews in the Gospel Tent. He was On Fire! We saw him last year at the fest and went to see him again in the evening.
As we left on Friday, after our visit to the ISSS for JBJ, we saw this house, windows wide open to the street, art all over the place, a young man beconing people to come in and see. So we did. We ended up getting a tour of the house, having a beer, and getting a foot massage from a drunk older man (he had to be drunk to touch our filthy feet!). Feeling very wishy washy after our day, we wandered around to the Maple Leaf, but didn't go in, couldn't make a decision about what to do, and all Emma wanted was a burger. McDonalds is not open at Midnight in New Orleans. We went to Arby's in the Quarter, where we saw the second largest cockroach, where Emma ate her burger anyway, and a crowd walked in singing Sublime so of course we chime in, loudly, which surprised and pleased them.
There is nothing like New Orleans. I keep wanting to do another festival but I keep wanting to go back to NOLA, to hear the rocking brass bands, to watch the activities on the streets, to talk to the locals, to smell the flowers, to feel the heat, to view the architecture, to continue to see the progress, to do more, to do different, to do the same. I'll probably go again next year, at the spur of the moment, like I did this year, and again have a good time. Who will be my partner, then?
Oh, and Eric? I missed you.