luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
One hundred years ago TODAY, a couple of Lithuanian immigrants in Gardner, Massachusetts, welcomed their first child: a boy of fair skin and hair who resembled his mother. They named him Anthony, later nicknamed "Tony." He grew up active and strong and took technical courses in high school, but his parents died when he was a teenager, so he went to work in the factories.

Tony volunteered for the service right after Pearl Harbor, so the Army Air Corps sent him to Scott Field in Illinois for training in radio operation, navigation, and airplane mechanics. He was sent to India on "the Hump" route of the China-Burma-India Theater of WWII. After the war, he met a woman at a dance, and they married and built a small house together. After many years of trying, they had a daughter of whom he was always proud. He once told her that the day she graduated from college would be the happiest day of his life.

Sadly, Tony -- my father -- died the year after I graduated from college (the first time around). But at least he got to see that. It's true that I've spent more years of my life without him than with him. But at least I spent my important growing-up years with both parents in my life.

And his spirit is with me whenever I'm doing something he would have enjoyed, whether it's dancing, marveling over the latest technology, or looking up at a plane in the sky.

Happy 100th Birthday, Dad. Laba naktis....
luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
In case you may be wondering why I find August 29th a day to be endured rather than enjoyed ... today is the 35th anniversary of my father's death. For those of you who haven't been around me long enough to know the full story, and/or those of you who don't want to touch LiveJournal with a ten-meter pole, I'll put the original LJ entry from Aug. 29, 2003, under a cut.

The sad story here... )

And here's another way I think about my Dad, even today. Heck, you can read more of my past writings by clicking on the "dad" tag on whichever journal you're reading this on.

As far as the rest of today ... it's been a quiet, rainy day, with not much to do except plug away at my freelance writing and keep tabs on the Harvey flooding situation in the Houston area.
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
For those who were wondering about Expo 67, 50 years ago this month....

My family drove up from Massachusetts to Montreal. By this time, the family car would have been a 1965 Dodge Polara, sort of an off-white eggshell color. I have no idea which roads we took, but the trip seemed to take all day, and we got to Montreal in the late afternoon. My mother tried to teach me a bit of French; I was fascinated that the red stop signs said "Arrêt" and the exit signs said "Sortie." Since I had been reading everything I could find in advance of Expo 67 -- and even though I was only 7 1/2, that was a lot! -- I could recognize the huge geodesic dome of the U.S. pavilion off in the distance, but my Dad could not figure out how to get any closer to it. I remember saying, "Daddy, I think you missed the sortie."

We pulled over to the side of the highway and Dad pored over the map. A car pulled up behind us and a man got out and walked up to our car. He asked us whether we had any hotel reservations, and when my parents said no, he said, "You aren't going to find any." He introduced himself as a Mr. Dalton, pulled out his government ID and said that he was a Quebec government official and he and his wife were letting tourists stay in their home. So we followed him to his house, which had a facade made of randomly shaped blocks of white stone. The house seemed magnificent to me, especially because the street was also named Dalton. I have no idea how much my parents paid for us to stay in their spare bedroom, breakfast included.

We spent two or three days at the Expo. I remember HUGE crowds everywhere. At one point my mother and I waited 45 minutes in line to use the ladies' room. Forty-five minutes' wait to PEE!!!! I remember going up the escalator in the U.S. pavilion, which was said to be the longest escalator in the world. (I suspect the ones now at the Wheaton Metro station are longer.) I remember turning up my nose at the tuna-fish sandwiches my mother had packed for me in a cooler; I wanted fresh French fries, while my parents had a "buffalo burger." A parade for the 20-millionth visitor to the exposition passed by us.

I remember riding on an antique carousel in the amusement-park section, La Ronde. I was terrified, because instead of the vertical pole right in front of the saddle, the only place for me to hang on was a tiny little T-shaped handle to the right of the horse's mane. I remember spending my carefully saved-up allowance on an Expo 67 tote bag and a little flag with the "Man and His World" logo. I remember that I'd fall asleep in the back seat of the car on the way back to Mr. Dalton's house, but I would wake up when the car stopped at a gas station or something and my mother (whose grandparents were all born in the St. Lawrence River valley) would be translating directions for my father, who didn't speak a word of French, couldn't read the signs and kept getting lost.

On the last afternoon we were there, my mother declared that her feet hurt and parked herself on a spot of grass in the shade of a tree. My Dad took me to La Ronde, where we rode the Gyrotron, which I'd read about, probably in Life magazine. (An image of its exterior is here.) It was the first time I'd been on a ride with little moving cars that never quite stopped, even though this is quite normal now in the big theme parks. The first building was filled with a space motif, and it was my first encounter with black light -- I laughed at how my white ankle socks and the white parts of Dad's print shirt glowed eerily. Then the moving car took us back outside and down into the bowels of a fake volcano, where we were "eaten" by a big red monster at the end. I'm not sure what the combination of the two scenarios was supposed to convey, but I was thrilled anyway.

I wanted to take my mother on the Gyrotron, but wouldn't you know it -- that night there was a huge thunderstorm and the La Ronde rides closed early for safety reasons. We spent the evening sitting under the roof of a food-vending booth, with my mother talking in French to one of the workers there. The next morning we checked out of Mr. Dalton's house and headed home.

In late July 1983, as my mother and I were approaching the first anniversary of my father's death, she and I took a short trip to Montreal to see the actual city. We stayed at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel -- I didn't yet know it had been the site of the famous John and Yoko "bed-in" -- and saw lots of neat stuff. I insisted on checking out the Expo property again. From a distance we could see the skeleton of the geodesic dome. The Gyrotron had vanished from La Ronde, but I did go on a loop-the-loop roller coaster, just to satisfy myself.
luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
On January 12, 1997, the New England Patriots won a playoff game. I know this because I had to plan the calling hours at the funeral around this.

My mother used to say, "Don't bother having a wake for me when I go." And she went on about the expense of it all. Finally I told her, "Well, gee, Mom, what if **I** want to have people come and comfort me at the hour of my greatest need? Funeral rituals are for the living!" After that, she didn't rant about the calling hours as much.

So, when I came to make the arrangements for Mom the way she had done for Dad ... I realized that everyone was 15 years older than when Dad passed, and some people might have given up night driving along the way, and it gets dark early in January. And then the funeral director gently suggested that the playoff game started at 4 p.m. and would go till at least 7 and no one would want to be at the funeral home during that.

Thus, instead of the tradition 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. hours, I just had the wake from 1 to 4 p.m. Then my relatives trooped over to my childhood home and we all watched the Patriots together. Not like my heart was in it or anything like that.

Oh NO.

Aug. 31st, 2016 10:14 pm
luscious_purple: Baby blasting milk carton with death-ray vision (death-ray baby)
Don't worry, I'm perfectly fine. Even got my driver's license renewed today, which would have been my father's 99th birthday. (99!)

BUT ... today the weather forecast changed, and what had been the prospect of a perfectly sunny and clear Labor Day weekend was replaced by the prospect of having a tropical storm roar over the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday evening -- right when Storvik is hosting Battle on the Bay. (It's our turn to host this SCA event; in odd-numbered years, the Barony of Lochmere runs it.)

Longtime readers of this journal may recall the vicious June 2012 storm that resulted in the cancellation of that year's Storvik Novice Tourney. That was NOT a happy weekend. One of our fencers took refuge under the permanent pavilion just before a tree crashed down on top of her tent. She's convinced that she would have been killed if she'd stayed in her tent. Other tents were destroyed or damaged, and the access road was blocked with downed trees and wires.

I have been hoping that I could camp at the event (Friday and Saturday nights) because I'm helping out with troll (entrance gate; where we collect the money) and the Battle on the Bay site is a 45-minute drive from my home. However, I really don't want to bring home wet canvas. I did that after the spring SCA "garb wars" event on the Eastern Shore, when it rained all weekend, and spreading out the tent to dry in the living room was a giant PITA. (And that one I *had* to camp at because of the distance.) I guess I'll just keep an eye on the weather forecasts. I happen to know that the National Weather Service runs another one of its giant "operational" supercomputer models every six hours.
luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
First off: Today is the 34th anniversary of my father's death. Coincidentally, at the time of Dad's death, my parents had been married for 34 years (and about seven weeks). So, about seven weeks from now, I'll have a sense of how long my parents' marriage lasted.

Gene Wilder has died at age 83. Mostly I remember him as Willy Wonka.

Tall Dancer called me again tonight. I guess this is becoming more of a weekly check-in thing. This time around I avoided talking about job searching and mostly prattled on about dancing, eating the endless leftover cole slaw from the epic party, my weekend plans, and so forth. He is always more reticent about his personal life than I am with mine -- the whole pseudo-counselor thing, I guess. But he did say he is going camping at an outdoor "relaxacon" over the coming holiday weekend. Up with friends from Kentucky and Tennessee. I think he did the same thing over last Labor Day weekend, too.

Happy find at a local Little Free Library: I snagged a copy of the Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton that inspired the Broadway musical Hamilton. Given my financial state, I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of seeing the actual production, but at least I can enjoy the book.
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
I think I've caught up with everybody from the friending meme, so it's about time that I started explaining myself to my new friends (and this may be a refresher course for longtime friends as well).

I'm Patty, Pat, or Patricia (not Trish). Born and raised in Massachusetts, I still identify with that state, even though I have lived in Maryland for 23 years now. I am simultaneously an only child and the youngest of at least five -- my mother had a whole string of miscarriages before I came along. When I was growing up, I thought *everyone* waited 11 years after their wedding to become parents. Ha ha ha. So, yeah, my parents were "old" parents. In fact, today would have been my mother's 96th birthday.

So, yeah, I've been "on my own" since my mother died when I was 37. My father died shortly before my 23rd birthday. At least he got to see me graduate from college ... the first time around.

I have bachelor's degrees in both journalism and physics (different universities, different decades) and a master's degree in astronomy. Didn't get to my doctorate; the master's degree is worth about as much as a postage stamp in the job market. I did a lot of writing for trade magazines you've never heard of. For the past five years I've been freelancing, which means that I still write for some of those obscure publications, but for far less money. Sometimes I get really depressed and wonder why the hell I bothered to be the first in my family to go to college.

Anyhow, as you may have noticed from looking at my tags, I've been in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) almost as long as I've been on LJ. (See this for an explanation if you're unfamiliar.) Sometimes I wish I had joined the SCA much earlier in my life -- who knows what my life might look like by now -- but one can't turn the clock back. I just might as well make the best of whatever life I've got left.

Some other dramatis personae in this journal:

* Julia -- my beautiful gray and white cat. She came to live with me on July 14, 2009. (Don't worry, I love dogs too, I just don't have one in my life at the moment.)

* The boy toy -- this guy who has been living here in my condo (without a job) for some years now. I tend not to call him my boyfriend. More like the Doctor Who companion. I have no plans to marry him. People think I should throw him out, but I worry that I will be incapacitated with loneliness.

* Tall Dancer -- An unattached male SCAdian who lives 650 miles away. He was invited to our barony to teach some dances back in January and I ended up getting a wicked bad crush on him. Various things happened online. I guess we're just friends now. I have been unable to convince him to go to War of the Wings, a fairly large SCA event that is roughly equidistant from the two of us. But I'm going there anyway.

* R. -- A platonic male friend of mine for 30-plus years. Lives in northern Virginia. Politically conservative, so I try not to bring up the subject of politics. Huge LOTR fan. He has many, um, quirks, but he is part of a small group of friends who helped pull me out of a dark place when I was in my 20s, thus earning my lifelong thanks.

* T.H. -- A friend who has invited me to her house for Thanksgiving for many, many years. I mean, when I first started going, her nephew was in middle school, and he's now in his mid-20s. By now I know her entire family.

* Maugorn and Patches, CZ and Alex/Phoenix -- people I know both in real life and in LJ.

Other people to be explained when necessary.

Another fairly recent introductory post.

I think that's it for now. Feel free to ask questions.

Hiya, Dad!

Aug. 31st, 2015 10:42 pm
luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
Happy 98th Birthday! Oh, wait ... you didn't get to be anywhere near that old. If you could come back to Earth today the way you were when you died, you'd be just nine years older than I am. I have some friends older than that, or in your approximate age group, at least. You might like them.

Anyway, so much to catch up on. Once again, your birthday falls during a time when your favorite New England Patriots are defending Super Bowl champions!!! How 'bout THAT!! You never even got to see them play in the Super Bowl once when you were alive, never mind win it!! Of course, the Pats have now become the huge dynasty team that fans of all the other NFL teams like to rag on. Oh, well....

And the Red Sox have won the World Series THREE TIMES in recent years!!! Can you believe THAT!! The only time THAT happened during your lifetime, you were in diapers, just past your first birthday, so of course you missed all the excitement!

So many things have changed. Remember how you like to browse at Radio Shack while Mom and I shopped for female clothes? About a year ago, just about all the Radio Shack stores vanished! Yup, no more! Sears and Kmart are just a shadow of their former selves too, due to crummy management. Of course, there are a lot of cellphone stores where some of the Radio Shacks used to be. What's a cellphone? Oh, yeah, it's a phone that you can carry around in your pocket, and you can talk to anyone anywhere whenever you want to! You don't have to be the president of the United States or some other big shot to have your own mobile phone!

Speaking of radio, the kind of music you liked to listen to on Sunday afternoons -- what I always called "dentist-office music" -- isn't really played on the radio anymore. But, don't worry, I could hook you up with all sorts of mellow "easy listening" stuff, or maybe even the Big Band sounds of the Swing Era, through my Spotify app.

What's an app? Oh, yeah ... it's a little thing you run on your smartphone, and it connects you directly to the Internet without a browser. What are all of those things? What the hell am I talking about?? *deep breath* My, I really do have a lot to explain about how the world has changed since 1982. Never mind the fall of the Soviet Union and the independence of your parents' homeland....

Just leaving you with this thought: Your nephew Tim is now older than you ever got a chance to be. Today, his grandson began the fourth grade.

As always with love,
Your little Patoodle
luscious_purple: Boston STRONG! (Boston Strong)
I hope all the fathers and father-figures on my list-of-friends had a wonderful Father's Day!

I can't help thinking about Mike M., the college friend who died last December just before Christmas. By all accounts, he was a great Dad to his two sons, who are now teenagers. They lost him way too soon.

And, of course, I always wish I could have one more day with my own Dad. For the past 24 hours or so I have had a photo of him as my profile photo on Facebook. Just because.
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
Yep, once again we have reached the anniversary of my father's death. Now it's been 32 years since he walked the face of the Earth.

However, instead of dwelling on his death, I'd like to imagine seeing him again. Granted, if he had been alive all this time he would be two days short of his 97th birthday. But in my mind he will always be 64.

Dad died long before I had any notion of joining the SCA or even doing other remotely "fannish" things. Also, he did not seem particularly interested in history other than World War II history, and I doubt he knew much about the Middle Ages. However, he was a welder by trade, and he knew enough carpentry to build his own house. So he would be able to appreciate many of the handcrafted items we use in the SCA. His service in the China-Burma-India theater of World War II -- he was based in India -- greatly increased his tolerance for summer heat and humidity, compared with most people who lived their entire lives in Massachusetts.

So, if I were to take Dad to Pennsic for a day, I'd get him dressed in a pair of floppy pants if he wanted to go shirtless, or I'd get him a knee-length men's tunic that he could wear over his swim trunks or shorts if he wanted to. I'd put a straw hat on his head -- or wrap it in a turban -- and we'd go exploring the merchant area. I'd show Dad all the armor and medieval furniture for sale. I'd point out the workmanship and I'm sure he would want to talk to the craftspeople about how they made that stuff.

Then we could go to the battlefield and I'd show him what people REALLY do with all that metal stuff. It's not quite like watching football or baseball, but he would probably pick up on the excitement. In time, perhaps he would learn enough about the function of armor to make himself useful on the sidelines by doing some quick on-the-spot armor repairs. Or he would be a great waterbearer, as long as he remembered to drink enough water himself.

Later on I'd introduce Dad to Baron Rorik and other cribbage-playing friends for some good, relaxing card games and some cool drinks. Since Dad was always a volunteer bartender at the Lithuanian club -- and at home I think he took more pleasure in mixing fancy concoctions for guests than actually consuming them -- I'm sure he would love to try some of the meads, beers, ales, cysers, and other goodies that SCAdians brew up. He might not ever want to drink a Schaefer again!

Finally, since Dad would choose 1970s-style variety shows over the cop dramas that Mom liked, he probably would like to spend his evenings listening to the bards around the campfire. Or maybe dancing in the Pennsic dance tent -- the steps would be unlike the foxtrot and polka of his youth, but I bet he would learn quickly. Mosquitoes would not be a problem -- he always said that they didn't like to bite him.

Ah, if I could only spend a day with my Dad the way I am now...
luscious_purple: The middle class is too big to fail! (middle class)
A woman’s home is her castle.

When I think of “home,” I don’t think of the condo I bought nearly 15 years ago. I dream of the perfect little house.

Two bedrooms, one bath, six closets. A basement, half finished, and an attic with a real fixed staircase. A garage just big enough for a whale of an American-made car.

Shiny varnished woodwork. Maple trees to shade the roof. A backyard hill made for sledding.

My father and mother built that house. One evening, as a thirtysomething man trying to start a family with his wife, my father sketched out the design of the house on a crinkly sheet of tissue paper. The initial sketch became more detailed as he took a ruler and pencil and measured out the walls and doorways just as he had been taught in his high school mechanical-drawing class. Then he and my mother bought a half-acre of land and got the foundation dug. All summer long, the two of them worked 10 hours a day at their factory jobs, grabbed a sandwich for supper, set up a couple of clamp lights, and hammered away until midnight.

My parents brought me home to that house as a newborn. Growing up, I knew every closet by name (front-hall closet, work-clothes closet) as well as by the sound of its door and by its contents (the squeaky canister vacuum cleaner, the musty scent of worn sweaters and pants). The medicine cabinet made a prolonged metallic squeak as my father opened and closed it when he got up at night to take some aspirin. The sheets on the backyard clothesline almost blinded me with their cleanliness in the sunshine.

One evening at the dinner table when I was about seven years old, my mother announced, “We don’t have to pay the rent anymore.” I didn’t know anything about veterans’ mortgages at the time, but I garnered the sense that we had planted deep roots and I would always be able to build cardboard-box houses in the cellar and roll down the back hill with the grass slap-slapping me in the face until the world spun weirdly.

Time passed, and one Sunday morning my father dropped dead in the bathroom he had built, and some years later my mother went into the hospital and never came out. I bought a condo near the big city where I’d always wanted to work and sold the little house in the small town to a single mother who had been born at the hospital near my condo.

My life puttered on until the economy crashed around me. Now I am old and hard to employ, and I worry constantly about paying the mortgage. I know I could not have foreseen the Great Recession and its lasting impact, but some days I bitterly regret not keeping my parents’ house free and clear. At night I close my eyes and still dream about the perfect home, built by my parents’ hands, with hopes and love.

2014-03-31 17.15.18
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
What 2014 might look like, according to Isaac Asimov in 1964.

I saw Asimov once. It was in the 1980s at a small SF con in NYC. I had gone on this road trip simply because my friend Bill R., who used to sell posters and stuff at cons, was vending his wares at this one. I remember his bristly mutton-chops, of course.

Ah, and next year makes the 50th anniversary of the New York World's Fair. My parents did not take me to it, because all their friends warned them that it would be a horrible place to take a small child. So they left me with an older family friend named Bernie, who took good care of me. But my parents missed me terribly and vowed never to go on vacation without me again.

Funny thing is: even though my parents came home with a bagful of World's Fair souvenirs for me, for years afterward I thought my parents had been delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention (which actually happened six or seven weeks *after* my parents' NYC trip). I think I was well into my teens before I figured out the truth. I don't think my parents lied to me ... I think I just conflated events in my head somehow.

Speaking of my parents ... it's always hard to get up on August 29th.
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
Sixty-five years ago this morning, the granddaughter of French Canadian immigrants and the son of Lithuanian immigrants got married ... and they eventually became my parents.

Ten years ago today, I started a LiveJournal. Wow, it's been quite the ride. I was following a new friend onto LJ. Since then I've made lots of new friends, reconnected with an old friend from my Massachusetts days (by literally recognizing her face in an icon in the "fortysomething" community), got involved in the SCA (on the suggestion of said new friend, who proposed that I get involved in Markland, except I couldn't figure out how to do that), made even MORE new friends. Never mind gaining and losing a couple of jobs along the way, although at least I got to go to Hawaii for free. :-)

Yep, I've had quite a few adventures in the past decade, and LJ has been heavily intertwined in most all of them. Since LJ has had its issues over time, and now seems to be a shadow of its former self, I started this mirror account at DW a few years back. I suppose I should start using LJ Book to back the whole darned thing up just in case the Russian overlords pull the plug. Hey, we've seen other 'net ecosystems go away: GreatestJournal, Geocities, Posterous....

I wonder where the next decade will take me? And how will I chronicle it?
luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
Whew, between the Baltimore Lithuanian Festival on Saturday and the Maryland Faerie Festival today, I have been on the go a lot this weekend!! Now that I'm sitting down at the computer, I want to go curl up and sleep ... when I still need to do some of my freelance writing.

But first: This Mother's Day I thought I would honor my paternal grandmother, the one I never got to meet. I posted this photo of her on Facebook.

IMG_0700 grandmother

Here is the sum total of what I know of her:

She was born somewhere in what is now Lithuania. She came to the United States sometime before 1917, perhaps in 1911.

Her first name was Nellie. Her maiden surname began with a B. (I have seen at least three radically different spellings of it.)

She had two sons, and the older one (my Dad) looked more like her than the younger one.

In 1931, she took an "advanced beginner" class in English.

In January 1934, she died of pneumonia. She was either 42 years old (according to city death records) or 45 to 46 (according to the cemetery gravestone).

That's it. That is all I know. I have no idea whether she was a good cook, whether she liked to sew or knit, whether she sang songs to her sons or read them stories or whether she could read at all. I never asked my Dad what kind of a mother she was. But I am her granddaughter just the same.
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
... was the Pearl Harbor attack.

Just trying to imagine what the impact of the news was like. I know that my Dad volunteered for the military about one month later, instead of waiting for a draft notice.
luscious_purple: Snagged on LJ (great news)
First of all, we got the rest of our power back in the wee hours -- was it early Tuesday, maybe? Everything seems to blur together -- all these disasters!

The important thing about the week was that the transmission shop in Old Town Bowie did NOT lose power, or at least the electricity was on by Monday morning. That enabled the workers to finish my car by Tuesday afternoon! On Wednesday morning Maugorn kindly drove me to the bank (which was along the way) and then to the transmission shop, where I handed over my cash and retrieved my pretty purple baby (yes, my Pontiac will always be "my baby," even though she's 15 years old). The front desk in the transmission shop had a basket of small Kit Kat bars for the taking, so I made sure Maugorn got one too.

Since then I've had a couple of occasions to accelerate my purple Pontiac up to highway speed, and the transmission is transmitting power nice and smoothly. So, yay, I've got my wheels back! And I can take myself to Atlantian 30-Year! *happy dance*

A big THANK YOU to all who made it happen, too!

In other words, between all the hurricane-related disruptions, my freelance articles, and general life, I did not post that we just passed the anniversaries of my father's death and birth. For those of you who are new around here, my Dad's birthday was August 31, and he died on August 29. You can look up those dates in my journal archives (more so on LJ than DW) to see what I've written about him in the past. I certainly have been thinking of him these last few days.

Actually ... yesterday (Dad's birthday) brought me over to our Local Friendly Space Agency to interview three scientists (for an article I'm writing, not for a job). I got another tour of the Chambers of (Instrument) Torture, where spacecraft get shaken violently, blasted with 150 dB of sound, freeze-dried, baked in vacuum, and whirled on an eyeball-popping centrifuge, all in preparation for liftoff. Although all these tests are designed for non-living things, I can't help thinking that the torturers of the Inquisition would have loved to get their hands on them....
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
I have to start by mentioning that I'm watching the ESPN Sunday night baseball game, Red Sox versus Yanks at Fenway. Bottom of the third and the Sox are threatening to score. Hope they do -- this is the rubber game of the series, and the season has not been kind so far to the 1-7 Sox.

Anyhow ... on Saturday I went to Lochmere's Night on the Town event at the Elks camp in Annapolis. I hadn't pre-registered because the boy toy had been wanting to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival, but when the weather forecast was cloudy and cool and possibly damp, he declined. I didn't get there too early -- indeed, I had to dodge a HUGE traffic backup on the Beltway and take the back roads to U.S. Route 50. So lunch was technically sold out by the time I arrived; I had to wait till mid-afternoon and then snag some leftover food.

Fortunately, I was just planning to have a relax-an-event anyway. While awaiting the opportunity to nosh, I sat in on a medieval-pinwheel-making class taught by Mistress Sigrid, and I made my own lil' pinwheel from wood and parchment paper. (I'll probably give it to Eleanor the Naked Baby or any other small children who come visiting at our Pennsic encampment.) I browsed the baronial yard sale known as "Lochmart," I chatted with some of my fellow heralds, and during evening court I worked on the practice tablet-weaving band that has been sitting around the house for a while now. (Actually, I straightened out the cards so that they were all going the same way, and I practiced just the plain old "two turns forward, two turns back" shtick. But even weaving without a pattern can be tricky if you keep getting distracted as I do/did.)

Of course feast was sold out too, so I just came home and noshed on some satisfying leftovers for supper. I do love to feast, but it's probably just as well I saved $9.

Today was mostly cloudy too, even though previous forecasts had said "sunny." *sigh* So I slept kind of late and missed the service again, and then I dawdled and was late for the Wicca 101 class. So I learned something about grounding and centering, but I missed the part about casting a circle. Darn.

Then the boy toy settled in for some laundry and cleaning, and I was OK until I came across a bag that had a lot of stuff from 1981 in it. I could tell it was from 1981 because of the dates on the letters from my parents. Mom wrote most of the letters and signed them "Mom and Dad," but a couple of times, my father wrote a separate message and slipped it in the envelope, and those notes were signed "Daddy." I didn't cry, but I got all sad and thoughtful. Having two parents ... that was such a long time ago now.

(For those of you who don't already know: my Dad died the year after I graduated from college, and my mother died 14 years ago. So this is not a divorce thing.)

Some homemade chicken soup and a great Josh Beckett pitching performance, though, and I'm doing better now.

September 2017

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