What a great Cinqo de Mayo I’ve just had. My friend Barb had stayed over last night (you might have read the comment she made from my own computer – sorry if that was confusing) so we’d stayed up a bit late talking and dreaming and smiling. I’d planned to start the day early by heading to the Y for an aquafit class at 7 a.m. (haven’t been for a while), but I decided not to go in favour of having coffee and a morning visit with Barb. First take care of the spirit right?
Barb and I headed to our cars together around 8:45; she off to an appointment and me off to pick up my Mom. Mom (her name is Rose Horowitz and she’s a wonderful, smart, funny, loving, charming woman … everyone says so … just ask her friends Elly and Henrietta – two more great women – if you don’t believe me ) goes to Tuesday morning lectures at the Bernard Betel Centre – a learning and wellness centre committed to maximizing the quality of life for seniors in the community and reflecting Jewish values. With our dear Ellen away visiting her family in the Philippines (and struggling through a typhoon I’m afraid; we wish her family all well and look forward to her safe return) I had offered to take her place (or try to) and go with Mom today. So, since David and I will be off tomorrow night and then won’t see her for 10 days, we planned to spend the whole day together. And what a great day it was.
The lecture we were heading for (a retired University professor of media was the lecturer; he seemed quite well-known and well-loved by the audience) was about how the Obama presidency will affect Canada. The room was full of white hair; beautiful shades that made the light dance across the tops of the heads of the audience – with a little slip/slide now and again when it had to dance across a bare, slippery slope) . This hair was this beautiful glowing colour without benefit of foil or foul-smelling pudding-like stuff that gets brushed onto the hair. As the song says: it made me feel so young.
Okay, so it’s true … a percentage of them were indeed napping through much of the talk … but I was horrified to find myself so tired that I had to resort to simultaneously following the lecture and playing Solitaire on my phone to keep my eyelids from locking together in sublime slumber (by the way, I’ve given the Solitaire-playing some thought; more about that in a week or so). They asked some sharp questions. Then there was the guy who pronounced – as if this isn’t what the past 10 minutes of lecture had been about – that the key was getting the banks under control. Good idea.
From there we drove off in search of the factory that makes the kind of shoes Mom was wearing that day (had to read the name from the inside of the shoe before heading out). She had directions to within a couple of blocks and then we relied on …. ta da!!! Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No … it was SUPERDAVID. He looked it up online for us as we drove around and directed us right to the entrance within minutes. Mom walked out with … count with me now … one – two – three – four pairs of shoes. She bought more shoes today than I did a few weeks ago. With no signs at all of guilt.
What a wonderful role model she is; sometimes you just have to do something that’s taking care of yourself (like buying comfortable shoes that are also beautiful) and having fun too.
We stopped and had some lunch at United Dairy Bakers, did a little grocery shopping, and went back to my place to prepare dinner. First I had to do a little work on the workshops for forum in Ottawa that I’ll be doing two days after we return from our New York/Philly jaunt (more about that in the next posting).
I taught a student – a really sweet and funny guy – who’s working hard but not finding learning how to chant Haftorah such an easy thing. He’d forgotten his cassette tape and tape player which meant I’d had to scramble around the house looking for a tape player (no problem; knew just where it was) and a blank cassette tape (couldn’t find one until I finally, as a last resort, checked near the CD player and found one lounging in the shadows. After he left I was worried about missing a few lessons with him while we’re away. He’s making progress and I didn’t want him to backslide.
We had dinner (by this time Motti and a friend of his had joined us) and then …. and then … and then an amazing thing happened.
I asked Motti if he’d be willing to sub-teach for me next Monday so that Eli would still have a practice session that would be really reinforcing. He agreed. Then we decided I’d give him the same music I’d given the student so that he could review it and know it before Monday. Garage Band! Motti’d found it the first time he sat down to take the iMac (we’ve always been PC folks; now we have some of each) for a test drive (ooops, maybe car-related allusions aren’t such a great idea these days). He’d been playing with it when he came over to visit and had made some really great music. He does this at his place too.
And then he showed me how to “lay a track” (and I did), burn the track on a CD (and I did; twice), and then he told me about a friend of his (and sent me the contact info) who would teach me how to save tracks so that I can upload them to the music equivalent of Shutterfly (you store your tracks there and others can access them there). Hey!!! I’m going to move myself towards being able to do it this way by September. How cool is that!
After everyone’d gone home and the kitchen was clean David and I retreated upstairs to relax a little, and I coached him along as he packed for our 10 days “on the road”.
I’ve got a lovely day ahead of me tomorrow. A brisk hour’s walk early in the morning with my sweetie, coffee/bagel/relax a bit, finish material that needs to be emailed to Ottawa so they can make copies, help a couple of grad students navigate their respective ways forward, have coffee late-morning with a wonderful young woman I used to work with at the Ministry (she’s left since then; I’m sure there’s a great story here), straighten desk and water plants, pack, have a nap, teach a student, pack up the car, have a quick dinner and then … we’ll be on the road again.
LITTLE WORD AT THE END: If you’re reading this then we’ve already left on our road trip … maybe it was only yesterday, maybe it was some time ago.