Along with the slower pace of January, it seems I've become a slacking blogger. At first we (along with the rest of the country) were having (for Southern California) some incredibly chilly weather. And then last week, the skies cleared, the sun rose high in the sky, and we were at 80 degrees all week. Our son Andrew came for a long weekend visit, partly because we hadn't seen him in about 6 months, and partly because he needed a break from freezing cold Utah. We had fun taking him to walk along the beach, to eat at his favorite Mexican restaurant, and to a movie. Amazingly enough, he likes hanging out with us oldie oldsters, although after dinner he liked to hole up and watch movies, so L and I were free to do what we wanted in the evenings.
I honestly have nothing incredible to report. Life has been no ball of fire around here, that's for sure. L and I were in a quandary about what to do about our bike riding of late. So cold at night, it just wasn't fun to put 3 layers of clothing on just to go out and ride, sweat a little because of all the layers, and then get cold anyway because of it. We solved our hot debate this weekend: we bought a stationary bike.
It's a little different workout from our regular bikes. As you can see, the handles go back and forth like an elliptical machine. Because you're inside, it really makes me sweat. TMI? Maybe, buts it's always an issue with me because I am a horrific head sweater - just like a kid. That's another reason I love our regular bikes so much - because you're out in the fresh air that blows against your face and makes you cool again. Anyway, this little bike is just the thing. Because of the arm action it makes your core a little stronger. Hopefully. I know my lower back is a little sore as I'm adjusting, but I think it's going to be a good thing. I finish my work, turn on Ellen, and pedal away for 30 minutes. I will work up to more, I promise. I'm encouraged that we've found a good solution to the winter doldrums and it's accompanying less activity.
Other than that, my friends, I've started driving my dad to his one day a week work on Wednesdays. The chemotherapy is making him so tired, and it's a long drive, yet it's good for his moral to continue to go in once a week, run reports, and then go with my brother for a huge lunch. He and my mom drive to my house, I come out and jump into the driver's seat of the Cadillac, and off we go to Corona and Larry's Thunderbird and Mustang Parts. (No, my dad is not Larry - he bought the biz from Larry) Then my mom and I come back to my house and spend the day, thus saving her the horrible fate of spending the day at Larry's. Picture greasy parts and a business full of car guys and you've got it. During my years there, I kept wanting to make it the nice and attractive, but car guys will have none of that. It was good I moved on when I did. But I digress... At the end of the work day, my brother brings Dad back to my house, and he and mom can go home after I feed them dinner. So far, we've only done it once. This week, my dad had a little emergency that landed him in the ER until 3am, and he wasn't up to working the next day. Good thing, because I was so worried that I didn't sleep, and woke up with a huge headache which lasted ALL DAY. So there were 3 of us on Wednesday that were worth nothing.
Besides being interfering and bossy with my parents, I've also been a royal pain to my aunt who lives nearby. She is in kind of rough shape. Depression and advancing age, combined with taking poor care of herself for the past 30 years has taken a toll on her. She falls. A lot. I can see what she needs: complete physical workup, possible physical therapy, once a week session with a therapist for the depression, having someone monitor her meds and help her shower for at least the next month until we have a better handle on what's going on. Encouragement to get out of her room and see some sunshine. But will she agree to any of this? Of course not. So we argue and have the same debates every time I see her, which is several times a week. It's a little wearing, and I did get a little angry with her the other night when she was particularly belligerent. But I love her and want her to be happy and healthy. But I can see I need to change my tactics and be a little less commandeering. Give her more time to chew on new ideas before insisting on them. Not my strong suit, that's for sure. But I did want a year of chances to serve, didn't I? A year of growth? Yes. And that's exactly what I'm getting, so far.
And so, because the past week has been a little worrisome and turbulent, I've avoided blogging. I shouldn't have, because this is exactly what I needed. Put on my iTunes and just let it all out. I put it on "shuffle" mode and it alternates between Fun pounding out "Some Nights" and Ludovico Einaudi's moody and ethereal piano beauties. With a little Lady Gaga and Colbie Caillat, and Vienna Teng thrown in for good measure. For some reason I love listening to music I love, but having no idea what is going to come next. Will it be something to make me want to get up and dance, or something that makes my heart peaceful? Sometimes it's both.
My daughter sent me this old picture of Mia running across the sand to meet the approaching waves, hair flying in the light of the setting sun. It fills me with that indescribable feeling of summertime - when you're excited, but you don't know what for. When just seeing the ocean waves pulls you towards them with hands outstretched and eyes closed, and the smell of salty air filling your nose. Today Katie and I looked online at a vacation destination in the Bahamas with real longing. They had a cove where you could swim with dolphins. That's on my bucket list. But it could just as easily be Hawaii or Puerto Rico or Cape Cod. I just want sun shining on waves that tumble in to kiss my toes hello. Soon. Soon...