Waking up to silence and soft sunshine, just the ticking of a clock, a bird singing outside the window, instead of the buzzing of an alarm clock slicing through a dream, waking me to a bedroom still cloaked with night...that's why I love Saturday mornings like this...the ones when I have nothing planned but trying to catch up on...EVERYTHING.
That's the glitch...it's impossible to start a day off slow and relaxing like I have...sleeping-in, sipping coffee on the deck with the critters, making muffins, heading off to Istanbul with Rick Steves (a fascinating place - I want to go there some day for real. Rick Steves has the best job!)...and expect to get much of anything else done. Or at least more than one of those things that have been snowballing on a list for awhile, like cleaning house, income tax, and FAFSA (see, I'm not even mentioning screenplays.)
Last night I was full of energy, though, for some reason. On a roll. I completed several loads of laundry, cleaned off my desk and paid bills, and even got caught up on the last two Lost episodes. (The problem with having to wait two weeks to watch them, though, is there is so much going on - everything is changing, from time to relationships, that I started off feeling lost. I don't expect to have all of my questions answered, though, so I still enjoy the perpetual mystery of it all.)
As with all weeks lately, this was a week of sorrow and celebrations. It seemed like every day I heard of the sudden deaths of people I, or someone I knew, was somehow connected to, both friends and family. It was a little...overwhelming. Not exactly the right word, but I can't think of another way to describe it. There was Marla. Also, my mother heard of the death of her childhood best friend...two men my dad used to work with were killed in a plane crash...a man at our church died...and two distant cousins.
One of the cousins was a young man named Kenneth Curb. He didn't live far from me, was just a little bit younger than me, and yet I'm not sure if I ever met him. Perhaps at one of the family reunions, but there were so many unfamiliar faces there every year, it was hard to keep up with them. This morning his aunt sent me an article that was written about him; after reading it, I'm proud to say I was related to him, even a teeny bit (through the great-great grandfather I'm writing about), and I regret that I didn't know him. He was one of those guys that really uses the time he's given on this earth - he accomplished a lot in his 44 years. The good thing is his community had a chance to recognize it and honor him a couple of years ago. You can read the article here.
Another person that inspires me, that I DO know (but don't get to see often enough) is my friend Cheryl, who celebrated a birthday yesterday. She is truly one-of-a kind...she's hard to describe because she has so many different sides to her. She is "What you see is what you get!" - down to earth, honest, upfront, outspoken. She is a gifted artist. She is brave, persistent, resilient, determined, bold and brazen, tough as nails when she has to be, but also one of the most sensitive, caring, affectionate women I've ever met. She is a hugger, a smoocher, a faith-filled ageless native-Austinite Earth Mother with the trust and innocence of a child.
She also has had the worst luck of any person I know (and that's saying a lot!) but never lets anything keep her down long - she stays positive, prays constantly, maintains the faith of a saint, and always remembers to "Praise God" when things work out.
I miss her - up until a couple of years ago, we got together almost every week with the other Lago women, but life has gotten in the way lately...everyone has scattered farther, gotten busy on different time schedules. I miss them all, but I'm trying to have Cheryl's faith that life will settle down a bit and we'll all eventually be able to spend time together again.
In the meantime, my birthday hug will have to wait and my wishes merely travel via email, phone, and blog. Happy Birthday, Cheryl!!
(here are pictures from her birthday celebration last year and our annual trip to Port Aransas)