I just spent nine days in Sayulita, Mexico, at the lovely compound of a friend from the Seattle area. I don't even have to tell you how nice it was; I'm sure you're already picturing blue skies and sea, adobe buildings of bright whites and rich colors, afternoons where you can be perfectly warm in a wet swimsuit out of the damaging rays of the sun, fish tacos and shrimp tostadas and Mexican beer and margaritas.
For me, being part of a family was another pleasure. Cooking together, playing Bananagrams and Mexican Train and Hearts, one night watching the DVD of Temple Grandin, which, by the way, was terrific.
What worried me a little was what coming home would be like, here in the bleak midwinter of Seattle. As I write, at 4:45 pm, it's already dark; it wasn't light this morning here until 8 (can that be right?).
But as I got off my bus last night and walked home in the light drizzle and the darkness, I was happy. True, there was no one at home to say "welcome back," but my house said it.
I had lots to look forward to, coming home. I taught my kindergartners today, and tonight I go dancing. Cuban lunch tomorrow at a friend's house, after I go to the market for cookie baking supplies, and stop at the library, where Richard Ford's latest novel, Canada, has come in for me, as well as Season One of Friday Night Lights (I stumbled upon Season Four, and am eager to see the whole series). More dancing tomorrow night, church Sunday and another dance and a party that night. No time to feel lonely.
Being gone until this late in the overextended American Christmas season means I'm home just in time to start getting excited about the holiday. I've been wrapping presents this afternoon, preparing for mailing, while listening to Christmas music on Pandora. I was trying to figure out how to make a Christmas tree of metal or wood or an old branch, just something to hang some lights and favorite ornaments on, without the big hassle of a real tree for a single lady. Then I figured out I can hang lights across the big opening from my kitchen to my dining room, and hang ornaments on that.
Mary Davies was a happy newspaper columnist in charming Victorian seaport Port Townsend, WA, population 8500. But sixty years old and single for three years after a 25-year marriage, she wasn't finding enough cycling buddies or dancing partners. She fancies herself an intellectual, and wanted more conversation. She looks good in little dance skirts, but more often finds herself in jeans and an apron; is she Big City material? On February 2, 2009, taking a lot of deep breaths, she rented a U-Haul and moved to Seattle. For one year. A trial period. Would she find biking buddies? love? a new church? Can she make the drapes from the old place work in the new? What would she read, and what would she eat?
A year later, on February 2, 2010, Mary decided Seattle was home. She found and bought a vintage condo literally in the backyard of her apartment building, in the Upper Fremont neighborhood she loves. The Seattle story continues....
What I'm Reading
The Great Disruption, Paul Gilding
Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, James Hollis PhD
When We Argued All Night, Alice Mattison
Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan, Max Alexander
Torch, Cheryl Strayed*
A Good Man in Africa, William Boyd
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt*
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