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While I have completed the year-long journey of this 365 Days Until Love blog, I have not put an end to the blogging.  My latest musings, mostly about my developing writing career, and other fun related stuff, are scribbled on Scrivere, which appropriately translates to “to write” in Italian.

I just relaunched my website!   This will help me to stay in touch with my readers and announce news, like my next book launch – but I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself.

My first book, Basking, a self-published chapbook of poems, will be accessible on the new site, along with my newest collection of poems, Consequences (to be published this spring).  Plus, I have just started writing my memoir, Love Grows in the Backyard: One Woman’s 365-Day Search for Everything at Home in the Northwest, based on this blog.  As soon as that’s published, I’ll put out the announcement.  In the meantime, I will include my latest prose, poetry and freelance work on the new site. 

Thank you for your interest in my writing and please stop by my new website:

weather-vain1      lj-logo1

Blessings,
Leah

November 25

I’ve had readers ask me why I haven’t written Day 365.  It didn’t begin as intentional – I didn’t mean to skip the last day.  I wasn’t ignoring it.  In a way, I wasn’t thinking about it at all.  But then I realized the obligation of writing a daily blog was a kind of practice in meditation – I have been focusing on writing like I focus on meditative breathing; and since I am a beginner at meditation – liable for straying from focus – I would make it a practice to return to the breath, so to speak, to get back on track.  It has been quite a commitment to open myself up to this discovery, or discoveries, that I have hoped would bring me to a higher level of consciousness and enlightenment.

When I realized the analogy of meditation, while it’s equally important to commit to meditation on a daily basis, I also realized that to a Buddhist, days melt together into an infinite stretch.  What is time, anyway?  It’s a measurement man had created for himself – really for farming purposes.  I’m not suggesting there’s no purpose or ceremony in an individual day, but, rather, each day is like a wave on an ocean.  We don’t always look out to the sea and see every single wave that rises, crests and falls.  But those waves are out there, they matter, they keep the rhythm of the ocean alive, they are constant and they follow a larger source and rhythm that we don’t even see.  Most of us don’t even feel it, which is sad.  But, I do.  Feel the source (not see every wave!).  And, thus, are my days – 344, 362, 365, whatever.  It doesn’t really matter.  My journey began long before the blog and my evolution continues to excelerate well past that missed day.

I was going to go back and write it, but when I was collecting the written entries to work this blog into a book project I’m hoping to get published, I realized I had accidentally skipped a day.  So, I’m actually two days short.

But, kind reader, don’t be dismayed that I have skipped or missed two days.  I am not dismayed, myself.  Those blanks, too, have served their purpose in my story.

If there must be some kind of closure to the 365 Days Until Love blog, however, let it be this…

Jane Goodall once wrote:
I have found that to love and to be loved is the most empowering and exhilirating of all human emotions.

And that applies to love in all of its manifestations.

John Denver wrote a song (perfomed with opera’s legendary tenor Placido Domingo) called Perhaps Love.  I write the lyrics below (without permission):

(Placido Domingo)
Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don’t know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

(John Denver)

(Placido Domingo)
Oh, Love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel

(John Denver)
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel

(Placido Domingo)
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don’t know

(John starts joined by Placido)
Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

(Placido Domingo)
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go

(John Denver)
And some say love is everything
Some say they don’t know

(John starts joined by Placido)
Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

When Denver wrote the song he was thinking about all the ways he experienced love.  He thought about what all people must think of love, and the song came to him effortlessly.  A turning point for him, as an artist and musician, happened when he listened to Domingo sing the song with him in a live concert.  Denver was deeply impressed by the way Domingo sang his lyrics, which, thus, changed the way Denver sang his own songs from there on.  He had said, “when Placido sang the word steel, you felt steel.  When he sang the word cloud, you felt a cloud.”

And that is how I consider my work, now, moving forward, as an artist and as a humble woman – daughter, sister, friend, lover – to say what I mean and mean what I say, to feel and express myself deeply and fully, and to have strength in my love and loving.  And this I mean for love in all of its beautiful manifestations.

Blessings.

L.A.J.

 

Monday, September 15

This evening, after work, I drove over to my friend Carolyn’s house in Dundee. I spent a little time hanging out with her adorable children. At around 7:00, we headed over to her neighbor Maggie’s house, a few blocks away.  When we arrived, we signed up for what brought this evening gathering together – a birth chart reading party. 

I was last to go, so while the other ladies took their turns meeting with the medium, I sipped on some wine, engaged in some great conversation with a small group of nice women, and I snacked on some veggies and chips and salsa.  While we were hanging out, someone noticed a great, big harvest moon.  It was huge and a brilliant amber color.  It was beautiful.  Eventually, it was my turn.

I pulled out my little notepad and pen and listened intently as my birth chart was interpreted.  Now, it’s not like I frequent an astrologer.  I don’t even look up my sign in the daily paper.  But I’m not a skeptic, either.  I believe that we are connected to everything – the moon, the stars, the trees…  I believe in the Cosmos, and I believe it’s all divinely created.  That said, I was open to the connectedness the universe offers to help us understand our personality traits, the patterns in our lives, and our soul-driven purpose.

That said, here are my notes on what the astrologer said: 

First, I am a pure Capricorn, not born on any cusp, and I entered this world on January, 9 at 3:35 p.m. in Havre de Grace, Maryland, in the middle of a snow blizzard. 

I was born in the House of Capricorn and my sun is in Mercury – I’m not all too sure if I’m getting the latter details correct, but all that means I am driven by Mercury and, therefore, my strength is in communication, speaking and writing.  As for the ideal career, I need to eventually work toward being a ‘free agent’, working independently where I have great freedom.  With my sun in Capricorn, I am energized in things that allow me to work independently, solitary, and I needed to take on the next challenge, always looking for the next mountain to climb.

My moon is in Leo, which is all about creativity and play.  It’s how I get emotionally nurtured.  I need to give myself plenty of play time, I must set time aside for it, but I also benefit from spontaneous play, as well.

My rising sun is in Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury – a planet that shows up again.  This emphasizes my innate ability to teach, to share my wisdom and “sageness”, as well as writing and speaking.  I engage socially as a speaker, I can talk about any topic.  I am not an expert in one discipline, but rather, I know a little about a lot of things, which means I can talk to anyone and have engaging conversation with anyone.  This also means I am very curious and have a deep curiosity to learn.  I need a great deal of intellectual stimulus.

She also mentioned something about Sagitarius, which is about taking risks.  She went back to partnership, and that I need to start taking leaps of faith in partnership.  She told me I needed to have optimism, that I had been cynical or have felt perhaps “I don’t need one” when it comes to a relationship.  She said I need to put an end to that cynicism and open up to possibilities.  I wasn’t sure about this one, because I really do like my solitude.  But, I listened and decided it couldn’t hurt to at least be open to something different than what I have been accustomed to.

She then looked very serious and changed the subject.  She said in a couple of years I would go through a phase of Pluto square, which represents a time of change.  She said I have been moving toward this great change for some time now, so it won’t be a big shocker when it happens.  It has been a gradual progression, with the momentum toward this change already underway.  She said that what I have been doing, career wise, will be affected in the next 2-3 years.  This Pluto square phase should peak in 3-4 years, opening up to a highly creative cycle and I’ll need to let go of the old ways of doing things.

When the reading was over, I joined the remaining party guests.  I shared some aspects of my reading.  We all looked out the window in awe.  The moon was blood red.  It was eerie.  I had never seen the moon turn red, not even during a lunar eclipse.  I was a little nervous walking back home with Carolyn in the quiet, dark streets with a spooky, huge red moon.  It reminded me of a mythical omen, like something from the Seventh Seal.  Later, I discovered it had everything to do with atmospheric particles and dust, and forest fires. 

To me, this also signfied change.  A no-brainer, as the moon is inherently connected to change.  But, irrespective of whether or not it’s a change of season, change in politics, change in social order, or change in the global climate – it felt like a real sign.  And I’ve been feeling this, really intuiting this for quite some time.  It’s a powerful tide of hopeful energy. 

I’m not just sensing this in the form of a charismatic political leader of the moment, as crushes and infatuations with political celebrities of the moment will soon fade.  The seemingly immortal become mortalized soon enough.  And the political climate will return to status quo, once the excitement of icon seeking (a.k.a. this election) is finally over.  This idea and hope for political change is a fleeting, fickle fancy, as much a passing trend as carrying miniaturized dogs in little designer handbag carriers or wearing ridiculously oversized furry Australian boots.  Everything hot now is green, organic, sustainable, or about change. Real change. Right?

When I got home, I meditated.  I closed my eyes, burned some Sweetgrass incense, and took in some deep, purposeful breaths.  I felt centered.  And I felt the roundness of coming full circle.  I hadn’t meditated in months, but since have learned there are all kinds of meditation, and I didn’t have to limit myself to the clear-minded, free-from-thought-stillness that Tibetan Buddhism meditation required.  Instead, I focused on my breath and allowed my mind to wander…

I thought about the birth chart reading from this evening.  It has been clear to me that I needed to take risks in love, to trust more and allow myself to be optimistic.  Part of the challege was to get over the cynicism or craved solitude that’s been a part of my being for so long, perhaps over many lifetimes.  This is both refreshing and terrifying.  My solitude has been a source of my strength, a source that has energized me.  The notion that I need to start taking risks changes everything.  And the idea of a creative direction taking hold for me in the next couple of years is quite exciting.

Further, reflecting on the week, my diet has been better.  I haven’t been eating out as much (less change of gluten contamination).  Plus, I’ve started taking a really good probiotic for better digestive health.  Aside from some seasonal allergy symptoms, I have been feeling pretty good.   I haven’t morphed into a totally different person since I first began this blog a year ago.  But, I have come to know love better, and thus, I have become better acquainted with myself.  I couldn’t really predict what I would get out of this, exactly.  But I liked this idea of coming full circle.  It’s validating and it’s comforting.

As I took in my final meditative breaths, full of languid purpose, I allowed my newfound awareness of this plight toward change to lead my mindfulness.  I decided to let this grow in the center of my being, like a soft tendril unfolding, opening, sprouting, like my brightest chakra giving me strength, focus and light. 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 14

Sunday.  The day of rest.  I wondered if God had partied all night on Saturday, super psyched about the hard work He had put into his productive week of creating the universe, celebrating with all the angels and celestial beings in their most glorious revelry?  Perhaps He needed to sleep in on Sunday, eat some greasy food from the Heavenly Diner and then stretch out on His holy sofa to watch His beautiful earth turn and His treasured stars shimmer all day.  Perhaps that’s when He decided it was good.

I didn’t overindulge last night.  And yet I woke up feeling so groggy, like I had been fire dancing, myself.  But, as it was, my seasonal allergies were knocking me down.  I had been taking homeopathic outdoor allergy tablets all day.  They helped, somewhat.  Only, when I got home I needed something more potent.  So, I took a Tylenol night time allergery capsule, which knocked me out.

Thus, I woke up feeling like a mess.  I actually woke up and fell back asleep several times between 6:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.   When I finally decided to rise and shine,  my sinuses ached.  I felt like crap.  I made myself an egg and cheese omelet with brown rice bread toast.  I had a cup of green tea and a small glass of orange juice.  I then stretched a little.

The Redskins game was at 1:00 p.m., or at least that’s what I had scribbled down.  Just after noon, I pulled on my jeans, a burgundy Billabong t-shirt, and pulled my Redskins ball cap on, with my long hair cascading down each shoulder.  I took out the trash and drove toward I-5.  On my way, I called my parents who were watching the Skins game.  I told my mom I was on my way to a sports pub downtown to watch the game.  But, she bursted my bubble, telling me the game had about three minutes left.  At least Washington was winning.  So, I turned around.

I went back inside, on a perfectly beautiful day, and planted myself on my sofa.  I watched part of the Seahawks game until I took a nap.  Then, I watched the end of a pretty bad Patrick Swayze movie called The Last Dance.  It wasn’t good.  But, there were some haunting scenes that showed gorgeous, hypnotically inspiring dance.  Patrick should probably be most proud of this movie, as he filmed this with his real-life wife, Lisa. 

To be continued…

Saturday, September 13

Today was the day of an annual harvest party hosted by my friends in McMinnville.   As part of the annual festivities, they roast a pig, they hire a local bluegrass band, Jackstraw, and all of the invitees bring wine to share.  This is also an opportunity to welcome the harvest interns – crew members coming from as far as California, New Zealand and Burgundy.

I got there around 7:00 p.m. and there were already a ton of people there.  It was exciting.  There are so many good, cool people in the Oregon wine industry.  I grabbed a glass and headed toward the back porch that’s designed like the inside of a barn.  I poured a glass of pink bubbly.  The table was lined with wine bottles.

Eventually, I made my way to the food line and grabbed a plate.  I knew I was going to risk gluten contamination.  Still, I was as careful as I could be.  I didn’t even go near the dessert table.  So, I took a deep breath and sipped on a small pour of white Bordeaux while we moved toward the food.  I chatted with our winemaker and one of his colleaguesm, also in line.  Once it was my turn at the table, I selected succulent pork, farm fresh cole slaw and a hearty side of black bean rice.

After I ate, and while Jackstraw began sereneding the crowd, I met some of my gal pals under a tree filled with white lights for a photo.  Sadly, you can’t see all the twinkly lights in these shots.

The band was pretty amazing.  After a few sets, the next entertainment for the evening began.  A troupe of fire dancers did a wild and mesmerizing performance in the middle of the street, which was closed off for an entire block.

     

     

 

The fire dancers finished performing just after 11:30 or so.  I was tired.  I had a sleeping bag in my car and the option to crash there, but I was ready to go home.  I didn’t drink very much and felt like the responsible party-goer.  So, I got in my car and drove home.

And, I reflected a little.  There was something magical in the air.  We were getting ready for harvest.  Very soon, the grapes would start getting picked and would be pressed into juice, along with the skins and seeds, and would then ferment into wine.  We could count on this every year.  I liked the steadiness of agriculture, of seasons changing, of vines that would grow such beautiful grapes.  I loved the potential for greatness and the risk of imperfection.  The latter, the idea of risk, had been something channeling and, perhaps, challenging me. 

Which is, it seems, a great seque to love.  It’s not the easy circumstances in life that force us to grow.  Rather, it is the chance for disappointment and disaster that really challenges us to grow.  I’ve heard that love is gentle, love is kind.  But I have never known that to be true.  Rather, it is filled with uncertainties, challenges, questions – often rough and unkind.  So why do it, why bother with love? 

I’ve learned that risks in life are necessary for personal growth.  Okay, that might sound very “new age book store” material.  But, it is true.  When we work at love, when we muddle through the sometimes mucky side of love, when we are forced to open it up like a dissected heart, to look within, to really examine what we see, good or bad, we become better versions of ourselves – the versions that have had the courage to dig into those unpleasant corners or to bravely face the beautiful parts that were always there, all along.  When we take the risk to open up and welcome in love, we are most deserving. 

I had been spending years running away from romantic love.  Call it fear, which is fare blame, but, mostly, it hadn’t occurred to me that I should be in a relationship or in love.  Instead, I kept on my path.  I dared to learn about who I was, what I’m all about, and why I have been placed here on this earth.  I have been seeking, in many ways, to identify and understand my gifts, and to learn how to use them to make this world a better place.  It’s a theme that has run through this blog, even.  Meantime, I had been protecting myself and preventing my potential for for growth. 

When I got through most of this blog entry, I took in my own risk assessment and settled that I had been coasting along on the safety bus.  Thankfully, I am ready to take a step off.  I am ready and willing to take some risks.

 

Day 361: Gratitude

Friday, September 12

Moving along with more love…  I’m feeling indulgent.  There are all kinds of examples of love that can really surprise you, examples that show you a different kind or side of love, or even yourself.

Take for instance my change in plans this evening.  Initially, I was going to meet the girls for a game of tennis and then dinner and a movie.  But, for different reasons, changes in plans opened up my evening. 

I got home, changed and then drove over to the driving range.  I hit a large bucket of balls and I was having a blast.  I was hitting each club consistently well as I worked through the drills I picked up when I took a series of refresher lessons at Triology Golf Club when I lived in Redmond, Washington last summer.  I loved my teacher – a pro who was originally from Oklahoma.  For our last lesson, he went out on the course with me to play four holes.  It’s not very often that I get to go out and play with a pro.  He had me hitting like an LPGA pro.  I kept telling him I wanted him to be my caddy/coach, and I’d start entering some tournaments.  He made me feel that confident in my game.  And it’s not that I can’t feel confident without him, but I really did rely on his expertise to coach me into taking the right kinds of shots.

So, I was having a nice practice session.  The weather was perfect.  The cute guy I had met at the driving range on Sunday was there, practicing his game, as well.  He happened to mention his girlfriend was driving out cross country to move in with him.  That wasn’t a surprise.   I wasn’t even disappointed.  I’m not exactly sitting around waiting for my prince to show up with a seven iron in his hand and a bucket of balls.  I’m busy playing my own game, thank you very much. 

And the point about my love relevation this evening wasn’t about meeting another golfer at the driving range.  Rather, I was having an awesome evening playing my own game.  When I left, I called my parents to share my gratitude for the series of refresher lessons they paid for last summer.  I wanted to let my dad know how much better my swing is, and how much better I hit the ball.  I wanted him to know how grateful I was for everything he and my mom have ever done to make my life better.  And that’s a long list.

After we got off the phone, I pulled into Pacific Breeze.  I ordered a pot of tea and the seafood and pork rice noodle soup.  It was delicious.  As I ate my dinner, I overheard the table next to mine.  Two couples, presumably in their late 80’s, were enjoying dinner while one of the gentleman was pouring the remainder of a bottle of white wine in his friends’ glasses, then his wife’s, then his own as he joked about who was going to be the designated driver.

I wasn’t eavesdropping, but because of the way the tables were set up, my ear was right in their space, and I overheard the man talking about his time serving our country in WW2.  He had been stationed in Japan.  And my ear dropped out of the conversation, but I managed to hear some sound bites about Washington, DC, visiting the war memorials, their respect for Senator Bob Dole, and then their appreciation of Tom Brokow for all of his work toward recognizing the WW2 generation.

Just before they left, I had to say something.  I am my mother’s daughter, after all, and when I am moved by someone or something, I have to share my feelings.  I am a sap, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Anyway, I talked to them briefly about my Great Uncle Jimmy, who, when stationed in Italy, met his sweetheart, my Great Aunt Carmella, who, back in the 1950’s won a Sofia Loren look-alike contest, and how a few years ago, when the WW2 Memorial was unveiled in Washington, DC, I got to accompany them to a ceremony that was just for the men and women who served in the war.  I told them how I treasured that day, how it meant so much to me to get to experience that memorial with my Great Uncle Jimmy.   As I relayed the story to these strangers, I got a little choked up.  In part, I felt like an idiot, but on the other hand, I could see they understood what I was feeling.  And that was gratitude.  I smiled at them and told them they were truly part of the Greatest Generation.

Before we parted, I also mentioned my father, and proceeded to get teary-eyed again.  I told them how he was stationed at the Pentagon, which is why I grew up in the Washington, DC area.  I told them about his rank and how he served in Vietnam, and what an honorable man he is.  They were tickled, I think, that a young woman would even bother to connect with them on something like the military and those who bravely, dutifully and honorably served our country.

On my way home, I called my parents again.  Thankfully, they were still up.  I got choked up all over again when I shared the story of my dinner conversation this evening.  My mom put my dad on the phone and I lost it.  I know it sounds crazy.  But I am so proud of my dad for serving our country.  He is the epitome of honor, respect, dignity, courage, and the true grit American hard-work-ethic.  He doesn’t give up.  He stands for what he believes in, and he is such a good person.  He is kind and fair.  Reasonable.  And a shining emblem of brilliant-smart.  He graduated magnum-cum-laude from the University of Oregon back in the 1950’s, working three jobs to put himself through college.  My father is a kind of stoic, quiet Scandinavian man.  He doesn’t say much, but when he does, people listen.  In one word, he’s my hero. 

It’s easy to forget sometimes how wonderful our loved ones are.  Or, it’s easy to take them for granted.  I have always felt blessed for having such a solid, good family.  It is everything to me.  And while I have spent much of my time on this blog contemplating all kinds of loves, truly, my greatest love is for my parents.  I know that no one on this planet will ever love me the way my parents love me.  I have never questioned or doubted that love.  It has been my true birthright.  Their love for me is my strength, my happiness and my one true thing. 

As they grow older, I often worry.  I live clear across the country from them, which was a painfully hard decision to have to make.  I never imagined I would ever live more than a couple of miles away from them.  And here I am, in my father’s home state of Oregon, while they’re still in my home state of Virginia, and I do my best to talk with them once or twice a day – maybe more.  We’re on a Verizon family plan, thank goodness.  I pray for them daily.  I always think of them and wonder what they’re up to, so then I call…again.  We talk so much, that it sometimes give the impression of nearness.  And it’s a relief to feel like we’re not so far apart.  I get to take in the laughs, the tears and the usual rapport of what’s going on with this cousin or that neighbor.  They perpetuate that feeling of home for me.  And then I get a little homesick.  I can’t help it.

I am in awe of their unconditional love and support – it’s never wavering, it’s never exhausted, and it keeps pumping like the strongest, biggest heart humanly possible.  And I know I am not alone.  I know I not far from home.  And I know I am not unloved.  It is the greatest gift I will ever know.

Day 360: Anniversary

Thursday, September 11

Love.  Perhaps not the first word that comes to mind on this day, a Memorial to America’s most devastating tragedy.  When I think back to seven years ago, I remember waking up to a morning that was glorious in Washington, DC – there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was illuminating.  I lived in an apartment with my sister in Pentagon City, in northern Virginia.  At the time, I worked for a quaint wine shop in Dupont Circle.  I got up, got ready for work and just after 9:30 a.m., or so, I was on the metro headed for L’Enfant Plaza, where I switched trains from the yellow line to the red line, leading to the Dupont Circle station.  Only, just as we left the Pentagon station, just as we emerged from below ground to cross a bridge over the Potomac, in a sudden flash a bust of fire plummeted into a side of the Pentagon, thrusting a black plume of smoke into the unblemished sky.  My first thought was that we were getting bombed.  It was utter pandemonium on the metro, and in a flash, we were back underground, nearing the L’Enfant Plaza station.   

To make a long, horrific day short, I was stranded in DC overnight.  It was and remains to be a day of horror.  I was stranded and feared we hadn’t seen the worst.  A sleepless night kept me frightened about what might happen next – biochemical warfare?  Bombs?  More kamikaze airplanes falling from the sky?  If it was a perfect sky that day, it was a perfect patchwork of glittering stars that night.  And it was quiet, except for the occasional helicopter pounding through the night.  We listened carefully to the silence, wondering if the sound of airplanes would cut through with sonic booms and possible explosion.

But, back to love.  My parents celebrated their 42nd Anniversary today.  How inconvenient to have a birthday, an anniversary, or any other happy occassion on such a dark, sad day.  That was true for them in 2001.  And perhaps in 2002, as well.  But, since 9-11 became synonymous with a cowardly terrorist act on the Twin Towers and in our nation’s Capitol, my mom and dad have quietly celebrated their marriage without diminishing their respect for the nation.  But, then again, they really celebrate their love and commitment to one another every day. 

It amazes me how they have managed to treat each other with such honor and respect for nearly a half century.  A reminder to me and my siblings about what it means to have a good marriage.  It’s kind of bittersweet for me, because their marriage has been the benchmark for what I expect out of a potential marriage for myself.  I want no less – to find a partner who loves, honors and respects me, who holds his tongue before lashing out before it’s too late to take unkind words back, who feeds my dreams and my soul, who stands strong by my side with an open hand reaching out to mine.  This is the example they have given me.  And it has proven to be a challenge to find and keep the right partner to share my life with – but I’m still grateful that theirs has been that shining example that continues to give me hope.  I’d be so lucky to have a marriage like that.

Okay.  Here’s a photo of my parents on their honeymoon.  They married in Pennsylvania, in my mom’s hometown in the Lehigh Valley, and then headed across country.  Here, they visited my dad’s family in Eugene, Oregon.  My Uncle Ken and Aunt Kathie were married exactly one week before them, on September 4th, 1966. 

 

Pictured on my grandparent’s front steps, Eugene, OR, clockwise from left: (back) my dad, Kurt, my mom, Marie, dad’s brother Uncle Ken (front) dad’s sister Aunt Irene and Ken’s wife, Aunt Kathie 

This photo is of my mom and dad on the Oregon Coast, still on their honeymoon, with my Great Uncle Johnny.  They were clam digging.

And, finally, this photo totally deserves another run.  This is dedicated to my mom and pop – married on September 11, 1966.  Here – they’ve been married five years, still two kids in love.  God bless them!


Okay, so that’s how you go from 9-11 to love.

As for my day.  Well, it was a good one.  Lot of self lovin’ going on, lot of positive energy.  And a lot of big winning.  I went to my friend Lota’s house to play poker.  We started off with a nice spread of bountiful seasonal goodness – a Caprese salad, a garden vegetable salad and I made my Pico de Gallo with three different heirloom tomatoes.  Then we cleared the table and began playing poker.  I hadn’t played in years.  It was so much fun.

And, one of the players brought Red Bridge gluten-free beer.  I had a bottle and began losing on five card draw, seven card stud, and then my luck turned for the better with a fun game called Aces Duces, which I kept calling AC/DC.  I won several pots and took home $10-15 dollars in quarters.  We all had so much fun we decided to do this semi-regularly.

 

Bottle of Red Bridge gluten-free beer with some of my winnings…

And, to end a note on love…well, like poker, it’s a gamble.  Okay, that’s pretty bad.  But, if it were true, and if it were anything like last night, then that would make me a winner at love.  And that’s cool with me.