Where are you?

Today, I met with my mom, aunt, and cousins in Galveston.  I was driving there from my aunt’s house, which is east of Houston (toward Louisiana), and so was scheduled to ride the Bolivar Ferry across to the island (not normally the case, because there’s a bridge to Galveston Island from Houston).  My mom and I usually ride the ferry whenever we go to Galveston, so she scheduled herself to ride the ferry over to meet me as I was first arriving to it.  That way, we could ride it together, if only the one direction.

And so, we kept in touch via phone, so that my mom knew about when to get over to the ferry.  When I was not too close yet, we spoke.  When I was getting somewhat close, we spoke, and my mom headed to the ferry.  But, there was no parking, so we spoke again, so that she could tell me that she was not on foot but in a vehicle.  Okay.

And then I sent her a message (via the handy dandy Siri) to let her know that I was two miles from the ferry landing.  She then called me to tell me that she was about to disembark from the ferry.  Okay.

She calls me a minute later, asking, “Are you about to pass me right now?”

I look up, and see no cars parked to the side of the road.  I glance left, and see her driving in the opposite direction and I am driving, in the line of cars that has clearly just disembarked from the ferry.  Just as I say, “Yes,” I see her face in her vehicle and she seems to look right at me, too.  She gives something like an Okay, and hangs up.

I continue on the road toward the ferry.  Within a minute, I’m stopped in line behind a car, waiting for the ferry.  I see my mom’s vehicle driving up, and am somewhat surprised at how quickly she managed to turn around and get back to the ferry.  She pulls up right behind me and stops in the line of vehicles.

At this point, it it clear that we will not make it onto this ferry, and so will have to wait about twenty minutes for the next.  Since it is cold out, I grab my scarf and put it on.  As I am reaching for my sweater in the passenger seat, I answer my phone with a not-actually-annoyed-but-playing-at-it, “What?”  I look up at my mom in the rearview mirror as I answer the phone, and I see her calling me.

She responds, “Where are you?”

For a moment, I am stunned and cannot speak.  Then, I begin to laugh and I tell her, “Right in Front.  Of.  You.”

I see her looking more carefully at the truck (I’m in the truck), and then we both are laughing, barely able to speak.

I don’t even know what we said after that, but the call ended somewhat quickly, and I went and joined her in her vehicle to listen to Canadian French country western music together.

We joked about it throughout the day as a family, because that was just too good to let alone.

Moms.  Gotta love them.

 

Also, she bought me this stellar ring today.  It has diamonds and everything, and looks totally old fashioned (but clean!) and also totally like an engagement ring (but that wasn’t why I got it).  And it probably would have been an engagement ring if it hadn’t ended up in this particular shop (and I hadn’t gotten it).  I got it, because I just loved the ring, and it made my heart go doki-doki when I put it on after it was cleaned.  I was planning to buy it myself, but then my mom just bought it for me.  So we marveled at it in the sunlight together afterward, and laughed at how people were going to think me engaged now, because I just had to show it off to the world, it was that pretty.  Anyway… that’s all for now.  😛

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Post-a-day 2018

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Christmas Music and Photos at the Beach

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This afternoon, I headed down to Galveston to visit my cousin.  We had discussed meeting at Dickens on the Strand, but I didn’t have a costume, and I was too far behind schedule for that really to work.  However, we could still hang out when she finished at the little festival.  Plus, I felt that I could really use some time in Galveston, and preferably some time on the beach.

I arrived about two hours before sunset, and as much time before my cousin would be finishing, so I headed straight for the beach.  We made these advent calendars for one another, with a tea for each day, as well as a quote/bible verse and a sort of task for the day.  My tea yesterday was spectacular, but today’s flavor was not to my liking.  However, the task for today was fabulous.  It read, “Learn a Christmas song on a string instrument”.  And so, seeing as I had a phone for the research and a ukulele in my trunk, instead of reading my book, I headed down to the sunny sand to play some ukulele.

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While playing, people passed by, going about their business.  Some just walking in light jackets, others exercising with the dog, and one family had three little boys sprinting into the edge of the water, playing.  After a while, it started getting quite cool, thanks to the wind and the setting sun.  My fingers began to struggle against stiffness.  As I paused to warm them (I think that’s what it was, anyway), I glanced out to my left.  The rising moon was spectacular.  I had noticed it big and sneaky a while before, hiding behind the haze so close to Earth’s surface, but now it was beginning to glow.

And what was just under the now-glowing moon, but the three frolicking boys, looking quite adorable.  The scene was set, and I had to take a photo.

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Unfortunately, they were just far enough away that I needed to zoom, if I wanted to have the photo focus on what I was naturally focusing…, and the zoom is not so great on a phone.

So, I made another essay, and went for a different perspective.  To get it to be perfectly straight, I would have had to get down on my belly and align it, and that just felt a little too conspicuous.

Nonetheless, after I took the photos, I really enjoyed them.  I knew that I would have loved for someone to take an awesome shot of me and then actually give it to me.  So, I checked out the parents to see if they seemed at all of similar minds to mine.

And they did.  They looked young and open to things.  They even were taking photos of the kids and of themselves on their own phones, so they were likely to understand the value of a good photo.  Or, a neat one, anyway.

I figured I might as well go for it, so I set my stuff carefully to the side, and stood on up.  I approached them comfortably and confidently and in my best ‘I am a sane person, please don’t freak out,’ manner.  They gave me odd looks when I mentioned how this might be a bit odd, – wouldn’t you, if a stranger walked up and started saying something like that? – but their brows cleared and they were all about it, when I showed them the photos I’d taken.  The mom asked me if I could send them to her, if she gave me her number.*  Of course, of course… And so, I sent them to her, and she was incredibly grateful.  They had been seeing about doing a Christmas card, using their beach photos they were taking then, so they completely understood fun and neat photos, and they were not at all weirded out.  phew

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And so, I went back to my ukulele for a little bit longer, until the sun was almost hidden, and the wind was too chilly, and I headed back to the car and over to my cousin’s house to wait for her there.

As I ast on the beach, and then again after I was back in my car, I contemplated the experience of being on a beach.  I hadn’t gone into the water, and I hadn’t even touched the sand, really – just to wipe off the bottom of my bag afterward.  What was beautiful and almost magical about it, though, was the wind and the air and salt, the feeling of it all on my skin, and the view.  I love the feeling of my hair after time at the beach (not to touch, but the feeling from within), that salty, windblown feeling.  I had that today, and it was truly refreshing.  And it had me wonder, if I didn’t want to give a brief time living there.  I at least need to go down there, just to hang around the wind and the ocean more often than I have done lately.  At least once a month, if not once a week or every two weeks… that would be brilliant…

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got to share for now.  Sweet dreams, world (and good afternoon and evening to the other side of it)!

 

*I chuckled inside at this when she asked.  Let’s be real, why else would I have been showing her the photos?  ‘No, you can’t have them.  I just wanted to show you these awesome photos I took of your children, and then leave you to wonder if there’s something wrong with me.’

 

Post-a-day 2017

Diving boards and rains

I never appreciated rain so much as when I was a lifeguard.  I enjoyed that I was wonderfully trained and fit, both mentally and physically, and I liked the honor of the job, as well as the decent pay and good tan. However, I felt like a bit of a nervous wreck when it came down to it.  If there were only a handful of people at a pool, it was all right – it felt like just a normal day at a pool.  When there were several people, a party, even, I was okay, actually.  The only time I was actually a nervous wreck, now that I really think about it, was when we were waiting for people to show up.  When the pool was empty, my imagination worked my anxiety to the roof and beyond.  Even before I arrived for a shift, I would be a mess inside, somewhat terrified of what might come at my next shift.  I knew I didn’t have near the likelihood of beach lifeguards of having to save someone or having to treat a swimmer with any First Aid skills (or dealing with a shark), but it only comforted so much to know that the chances were merely lower than likely, as opposed to being near zero.

Somehow, I made it through that summer, though.  I never did go back to lifeguarding, riding on the excuse that the company for which I had worked had closed, and so all of my credentials and paperwork disappeared with their closing (ignoring the fact that the owners of the company were parents of a friend and schoolmate).

Speaking of that friend and schoolmate, we only really became friends after that summer, but we were in band together before then, and so were loose acquaintances.  We had our first one-on-one that summer, lifeguarding.  He was all about making money, and so he showed up to lifeguard what seemed like every time somebody had to cancel on a shift.  We only worked together once, but I remember it clearly still. Well, I remember most of it clearly, anyway.

No one showed up to swim that day. (This is the part where I’m unclear.  There might have been one or two  small groups who did show up eventually, but it was only a short while, and somewhere near the middle or end of the day.).  It sprinkled some during the day, warding off swimmers.  We, however, did do some swimming of our own.
It was during this swimming that Inwas confronted with a fear of mine: diving boards.  I really am uncertain as to how the fear developed, but it did somehow.  When I was little, I would run and/or jump off of any diving board around, even the long, tall ones at public pools.  But by this time, high school, I was terrified of a board that had too much spring.  Most public pool diving boards would go down a good couple or even few feet when an adult sprang from them.  And my faith in the boards not breaking, as well as the jumpers not slipping, was low.  This applied to anyone as the jumper, even myself, and even the most advanced diver.  I think I was just panicked that the board would break off, and smack the jumper in the head, knocking out him/her, and resulting in serious injury.  I once attempted a cartwheel off a home diving board at the neighbors’ house, and I ended up grabbing on to the end of the board, and falling legs first into the water, scratching my stomach on the board as I held tight to it with my hands (think of jumping out of a pool in reverse, and scratching your stomach on the side as you do it).  But that never had anything to do with the spring of the board; that one was rather solid and non-springy.  Plus, I kept using boards for years after that specific incident, though I was aware of potential danger from there on out.

Anyway, on that particular day, working together, this fellow lifeguard and school mate convinced me to jump off the diving board.  It took me a while, and I was really reasoning with him against doing it, even as I stood atop it, but I eventually did it.  I might even have done it multiple times, actually.  All I remember about that part was that I finally did jump off, and I was okay about it.  

And, I believe, I have been ever since.  I still have to go check how much bounce awaits me before I actually do whatever jump I do, but I can do it, and I don’t feel like I am going insane each time.

Post-a-day 2017

beach day

Today, my first full day back in the USA, we went to the beach.  I had planned to spend some time by and in the pool in my mom’s backyard, so as to acclimate myself to this time zone, using the sunlight on my skin as the main helper.  But, when I went downstairs to find food to heal my headache, my mom suggested the beach.  Obviously, the answer was yes.

My cousin, who lives in Galveston, walked down to meet us at the beach with her pup.  I had a wonderful time just hanging out with her and my mom and the dog.  We walked, we swam, we boogie boarded, we tossed a stick for the dog, and we, above all, chatted.  We didn’t talk about much, which is something that I noticed much earlier on today, but we did talk.  It were as though we were all really close, and we saw one another all the time, that we didn’t have much anything important to discuss.  It was like we were just hanging out for our regular hangout time… which  we don’t actually have, but hopefully you get the point.

We had a wonderful lunch afterward, and then my mom and I headed home to grab the rest of my stuff, and to head out to check my new bicycle’s height, before going to my friend’s house (where I’ll be staying for about six weeks).  My friend and her husband were super stellar when we arrived this afternoon, and they have been just wonderful so far since then.  I think I’m gonna like it here.

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Post-a-day 2017

While everything is perfect

In this book I’m currently reading – okay, it’s an audiobook, and I’m listening to it, but you get the point – was a comment by the narrating character that rather struck me the other day.  She was talking about some date she’d had (or something like a date, anyway), and, though it seemed there was potential for another activity of some sort next, she had decided to leave.  She said, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

At first, I felt as though she was simply setting herself up for missing out by not going and for delusion by thinking that dates (or more of whatever it was) needed to be always perfect.  And then I considered my immediate responses, and discovered that I disagreed with both of them.

When I really began to consider her comment, it gave way to what felt like brilliance.  Yesterday, I was at a goodbye beach party.  There had been an option to rsvp for an overnight stay after the official party, and I had initially declined this option.  I wanted to sleep in my own bed, and several other factors helped me pick that easily.  However, once at the party, I found that I didn’t want to leave so soon.  I began exploring the logistics of staying the night, and found that there was possibility of enough space for my joining the party.

As I recalled my book’s character’s words, however, I began to think in a different manner.  Yes, I am loving spending time with everyone right now.  If I left now, I would be leaving while everything is perfect.  If I stay the night, what will happen?  And I instantly saw the probable, almost certain future of the situation.  I would stay, thinking I’d have enough energy to manage the night, and then eventually would hit a wall, want to sleep, not be able to get to sleep because of the partying people, get annoyed at the overly drunk partiers, and have a miserable end to the party.  Whom was I kidding here?  I would rather leave while everything is perfect, than stay until I’m furiously agitated and starting to hate the people I was currently loving.

And so I left a short while later, had a wonderful time riding home-ish (same train, different stops) with the group of girls who were leaving at that time, chatting and joking and having an overall wonderful time together (as I already mentioned).

And the party as a whole ended perfectly for me.  It was just plain cool to have had the party go so well.
Tonight, after another beach day with a different friend, we had planned to go to this awesome salsa party, with this Grammy-winning DJ and various salsa performances and live music for social dancing – it’s a big deal party celebrating the anniversary of some club, essentially.  And it was only like 20 bucks to attend, which is way cheap for such a thing here in Tokyo.

When we arrived back to my friend’s place, and I had showered from the beach, I began to consider that line again.  Could I “leave” while everything is perfect?  Could I just go to bed now and not go, and be happy with that?  The answer was a resounding “Yes.”  I had been exhausted all day already, and am far behind on sleep for this past week – I want sleep.  I love dancing, and I love cool opportunities like this, especially to attend with friends.  And the risk was incredibly high that I would grow to exhausted, smoking would be too intense for me in the club, music would be too loud for my already existent headache, and I would be crying (possibly literally) to go home and drink a bunch of cool water and just go to sleep.

So, I stayed home, and it was perfect.  Now, I am off to some much-needed and much-wanted sleep.  Goodnight, World.  I’ll see you when my head feels great again in the late AM.

Long story-ish short: I think it is a very valuable phrase, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

Post-a-day 2017

Salty Hair

I love the feeling of my hair after a good day at the beach.  Running my fingers through it, slightly course and thick yet smooth, feels almost like running my hands trough tall grass, grabbing hold of a chunk with a bit of dirt, and then swirling it around, feeling its sharp-edged softness.  Kind of weird idea, I suppose, but it’s what seems to suit best as an analogy right now.

The salty, sandy thickness, supplemented by the warm (or hot) sun exposure, sings of satisfaction in the day’s accomplishments.  Today was a good day, I can feel it saying.  Today was a very good day.  And it always has been when my hair is like that.

My skin is slightly sticky, sand keeps appearing in little patches anywhere on my body, and my hair is sunbathed and thick.  Today was a beach day, and it was a wonderful one.  Today was a wonderful day.

Post-a-day 2017