Hanging out

Do most people only spend time with friends in the form of doing something together?

Growing up, we would sit on the phone together, talking for hours – or as long as our parents would allow us – or we would go over to one another’s houses with no specific plan in mind, and just sit around together, talking, exploring aspects of life, and then doing whatever struck our fancy within the realm of that house/yard/neighborhood, but mostly house.

We didn’t really arrange anything – we just said to come over, and the other person did.

Nowadays, I can tell if it is adulthood or changing culture, but it feels as though this is no longer an option, or, at least, and acceptable one.

There are people with whom I want to spend more time in my life, and yet it feels as though I must come up with something for us to go do together, not at anyone’s home…

And I kind of feel like this is because, if I invited the person to my home, I would be at extreme risk of sounding like I am sharing an invitation for sex, or something like it, be it male or female I invite over.

Do you ever get that feeling?

I make a really good long-distance friend, in large part because – okay, mostly because I remember to call and I make time for my friends, but also because of this – well, because I can hang out over the phone.

One of my good friends and I regularly call one another to talk while we go on walks, sometimes together and sometimes with only one of us walking… and we just talk about anything and nothing, as though we were walking side-by-side.

My mom and I set the phone on speaker, and then each continue doing whatever we were doing, working on projects at home, or running errands, or whatever…

I love just hanging out with the people in my life, no pretext; just simply a matter of wanting to know what he or she was up to then and for the rest of the day, and does he/she want to hang out for a while (via phone or in person)…

And I’m scared of doing that…

Is that a real concern worth having, or is it all in my head that this isn’t exactly normal behavior with adults these days, just to invite one another over to hang out and do nothing in particular but be around one another voluntarily?

I’m thinking it’s kind of a mix… perhaps only good friends do this, not people of varying degrees of acquaintance… you know what I mean?

Hmm… we’ll see what I manage about this… I’m curious to see what I’ll do and how…

::finger rolls/drumming

Post-a-day 2019

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Wakey-Wakey

Some days, your body just takes over, and, if you’ve been taking really great care of it, it does this responsibly.

Today, I missed three alarms.

I still made it to school on time, but just barely.

You see, for the fifth day in a row, I was scheduled to get up just after 4am this morning.

At that time, I was scheduled to go downstairs and eat my first breakfast, then participate in the first part of the morning meditation that would be happening, starting at 4:30am, and then, with an extra backup alarm to make sure I leave in time, ride my bicycle down the road to the gym for a 5:30-6:30am workout.

I then would return home, shower, eat a second breakfast, now post-workout, and head off, with prompting from my third alarm, to school at about 7:05am.

This, of course, did not happen.

I awakened at 3:15am, in desperate need of a potty break.

I went downstairs and used the bathroom, then came back up to bed, grateful that I had another 45 minutes to sleep, and I passed out again.

I eventually opened my eyes to find some sunlight shining through my skylight curtain, and I panicked.

I jumped up and checked the time: 7:02am.

I threw on my clothes as fast as possible, and rushed downstairs.

I managed a basic breakfast smoothie, did my teeth-cleaning routine and used the bathroom, all in a borderline frenzy that was somehow calm, too – I kept my head about me, but I moved as quickly as I could manage effectively and safely.

Fortunately, the weather was expected to be rainy in the afternoon, so I was already planning to drive my car to work, which is significantly faster than taking my non-highway route with the scooter.

Phew!

I somehow arrived to school, used the bathroom, let the kids into class, swapped out what I’d brought to school with what I’d needed for class from my office, and greeted students before the bell rang for class to begin…

By the grace if God, I suppose… by my name.. πŸ˜› πŸ™‚

And… it was a wonderful day.

Connection

Sometimes, all we need is connection…

A hug…

A common experience…

A shared surprising and true interest…

A shared language…

Sometimes, that is all it takes to soar our spirits up from the depths of the valleys, into comfortable, smooth air.

In my life, anyway, these are the moments where, when I look back on them after the fact, I can glimpse a sort of smile from the God within us all.

Post-a-day 2019

First day of school nightmares

Walking onto campus this morning, I had a sudden concern that I was wearing the wrong clothing – it wasn’t actually our last training/in-service day, but, rather, the first day of school… and that meant that blue jeans were not welcome…

I thought really hard on it for a couple or few seconds, and determined that no, it was not the first day of school – the boys really are just dressed up to come take their photos for their school IDs and the yearbook; that’s why they’re here at all, even.

Phew!

What a relief that was to be clear on…

And it had me recall the idea of the horrible dream of showing up in a terrible outfit, possibly one akin to the Emperor’s New Clothes, or being late, and jus my generally being horribly embarrassed on the first day of school by getting something terribly wrong somehow… and how, as a teacher, that fear-filled dream never real goes away.

I still tend to have a nightmare-ish dream before the first day of school.

Typically, I forget the first day of school, and so show up way late and wearing the wrong clothes and utterly unprepared for classes, somewhat in a dual daze and panic…. this morning was almost the real-life version of that dream… fortunately for me and everyone else, it was not.

I’m curious as to what dreams will come tonight to me… we shall see… (probably, anyway, though we’ve no guarantee I’ll have any or will remember what I have)… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Yearbooks

***Update on the ant bite: My bicep still rocks, but the bite swelled and split open this morning, only to close up, turn green in the middle again, and start swelling again… we’ll see how it looks in the morning, now! (And the coach’s bites did not turn green, he said, but one was hurting a lot.)***

We now return to regular programming.

There is a guy working with me who graduated high school with my youngest brother.

I pulled out the yearbook from their senior year today, and had a brief look through the senior photos.

I enjoyed how much hair this guy and my brother both had in their photos, and how they both have almost none now, and both keep their heads shaved (though my brother uses a razor, and the other guy only seems to buzz it as short as possible).

One thing I noted was that their service work locations seemed almost stereotypical for each of them…. interesting, perhaps.

Something bigger, however, was the other people I found in the yearbook.

I crossed names of people whose faces I knew not, but whose names I knew well from my brother – how fun to put faces to the names, even almost two decades after the fact.

And then I realized that I finally had the opportunity to look up and remember my brother’s best friend’s full name – I forgot his middle name a few years back, and haven’t recalled it since…. I just always thought it was fascinating, because he was the fourth with the name, so he had a “, IV” at the end of his legal name.

And I use the past tense here, because he died at the start of their sophomore year of college.

It was drinking and a bit of drugs at a party, and everyone thought he’d simply fallen asleep, but, of course, he hadn’t… I’ve always remembered most that my brother was invited to that same party, but chose to work on his absurd amount of homework, instead (thank you, UT Architecture program [not for the first time]).

And so J—– died at the party, and my brother spoke at the funeral, at the request of J—-‘s family, and he did a wonderful job.

My mom and I also attended the funeral, along with a lot of people.

After the funeral, since J—- had always said that he wanted to go out with pinwheels and fireworks, we (a handful of select people that happened to include my mom and me) went to an open land area across from a movie theatre, and set off a bunch of little rockets and a few big shebang fireworks (the pinwheels had decorated the casket) – it was a true party and celebration to send off J—- and to say goodbye together.

When I came across his name today, I was delighted – I finally have it(!).

And then I gave his photo a good look.

And it was almost terrifying as an experience, though terrifying just is not quite the right word…

It suddenly occurred to me that this was the first time I’d seen a photo of J— since around the time of the funeral – I’d only had mental visions of him since then.

It was weird to think that, u like my brother and that other guy, J— had not aged from this photo… maybe two years’ worth of aging, but that was little different from the boy who sat in the frame that is in front of me now.

These were posed senior portraits for the yearbook, and so they each are looking directly at the camera…, directly at the viewer of the photograph… J—- was no exception…

And it was spooky, knowing that those eyes, so true and almost penetrating in this photo, were no longer here, no longer existed.

And then, it had me wonder how many people in this book, this yearbook are no longer around?

And that was perhaps even spookier…

I had to move on to other things then, both in terms of productivity and in terms of an emotional desire to step away from the increasing discomfort and potential sadness of what sat before me, visually and mentally, at that moment, and so I closed the book, put it back in its place, and walked away.

I soon had tears in my eyes, and the feeling of hollowness just behind the bottom of my ribs was growing.

Now, hours later and many tasks and conversations later, I feel less afraid, and more aware of the fleeting aspect of life, the circumstances that allow us a promise of a chance at everything, and at a chance of it all going away at any moment, in a moment’s time…

On my way up to the house where I am housesitting tonight, I passed their church, where J—-‘s funeral had been… I think of him every time I pass it (though that doesn’t happen too often), because it’s the only thing I’ve ever attended there…

……

I don’t have anything insightful about this… I just wanted to share…

Post-a-day 2019

Dorks

My brother asked me if I was doing a carry-on bag for our trip.

I told him that I was, and he said that he was hoping/planning to do the same for the whole trip (with an exclamation point at the end!).

That was in text messages.

Talking over the phone a little while later, after our tickets (one set of them, anyway) were booked, we discussed the bags again, and the matter of bringing only a carry-on bag plus a purse.

‘My biggest concern right now is really what watch I’m gonna bring,’ he says to me.

‘I know what watch I’m bringing!’ I counter, and my mom laughs behind me, knowing full well what my brother must have just said, and laughing at him for it (not at my comment alone).

I only currently wear the watch this same brother gave to me several months ago.

It is awesome, and I wear it lovingly and with pride at the company, at my brother for finding and supporting it, and a little at myself for wearing it.

eone Bradley Compass Graphite

My brother knows this, and so does my mother, so we all got my teasing joke of a comment, and, once I told my brother that Mom was laughing, we all laughed at his dilemma.

My brother has an entire collection of watches, each one different from the rest, and all of them stellar quality and style…, and I would guess that they add up to around a hundred thousand dollars altogether…

He typically travels with three watches as a minimum – a casual chic, a sport, and a work watch that doubles as formal.

Sometimes, I believe, he brings something like seven, when it’s a longer trip, and he’ll have varied activities in which to participate and events to attend.

I always bring my one watch, and simply remove it whenever I do sport.

(The moment this company comes out with a sports-safe version of their watches, however, I am totally likely to have two watches, and quite suddenly so…. until that time, however, I have just the one.)

We absolutely love my brother’s love of watches, and I laud him for and value his efforts in creating watches with an awesome private watch company that has begun to make watches for him and to use him and his sports to create advertising for their watches…. frankly, he has done what we all dream to do, by turning a dorky passion into something that not only allows him to pursue his passion but to be encouraged in it and to be paid through it, all while always having a wonderful time with it all.

I am proud to share blood with him, and I love having fun with him around his love of watches (and many other things, too, actually).

At the end of our call, I ask him how the boating went with his friends earlier.

He tells me that he took some pictures, and so he’ll send me something.

After a few moments of flipping through photos, he sends me a wrist shot of the watch his buddy temporarily swapped him for two of his watches…

Seriously, brother?… You went boating, and you took pictures, and the only photo that actually comes out of it all is one of your wrist and a watch, where you really can’t tell that you’re out on a boat in the first place?

But, for him, of course it is. πŸ˜›

And, to be fair, when I saw the photo, while my secondary comment and thought related to the aforementioned concept, my first thought and comment were immediate: “His Carbotech!”

I knew exactly what watch it was, and even I was excited that my brother was getting to wear this watch… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Rules

There is a school zone that has been illuminated on my way home from school (which is work) every afternoon so far this week.

The school is clearly not in session, because there is no one visible on the campus, but I also know that schools are just not yet in session again for the year.

However, the flashing lights flash, making the speed limit 20 miles per hour.

And everyone except for me ignores it.

Fortunately, there aren’t too many cars at the time I’m heading home, so they avoid me easily enough.

I on my Vespa putz alone at 20mph, while everyone zips by at their standard 38-40mph (the regular speed limit is 35mph)…

I follow the rules.

Plus, I really would like to steer clear of anything but good things, when it comes to driving and safety.

But yeah… that’s a bit annoying and troublesome, how people handle the school zone…. also that it isn’t turned off while the school is clearly still on break…

Anyway…

Post-a-day 2019