I can't express how touched I was by all of the lovely messages about my hiatus.
I've spent the past month on the following things:
Moving my mother from NYC after she's spent 63 years of her life there. During 48 of those years she lived in the same apartment building. She still has many, many friends from her building, her block, the neighborhood; during her going away party she had neighbors, long time work friends, shopkeepers from the neighborhood, waiters and waitresses from a favorite neighborhood restaurant, grandchildren of friends.
An eighteen-year-old friend of hers came down from the Bronx, where she's now moved, and brought her homemade cupcakes the day the packers came.
At her last dinner out at her favorite neighborhood restaurant, she received impromptu tulips from a waiter who ran out to get them, a special dessert with a good luck message from the chef/owner and our whole meal on his partner brother.
The folks who worked in my mom's building are amazing. It's this lovely crew of guys we've known for years. One has a son exactly C's age (to the day) - we've compared pics, and our boys, over the years and passed on advice. A doorman in our building is a classically trained musician, was reading about Caravaggio as we left a week ago today, and we've exchanged facebook info, so we can keep in touch - he's going to pass my facebook stuff onto any of the other folks there, who I don't already have "friended". Everyone wants to keep in touch.
Mom's new place is great. The staff are wonderful - friendly, kind and so, so helpful. She's met some new friends and is happy to have a group to have dinner with. She loves seeing her tall, gangly grandson. She's getting used to actually living here in Ann Arbor.
And she still misses her friends all the time, I think.
On another note, I helped run an annual benefit to raise money for my son's high school theater program. It was an insane amount of work, and in the Michigan economy, we managed to clear $2000, but given the hundreds of ours a few of us spent, I'm not sure at this point I feel it was worth it. We have some new ideas for next year, and hopefully we'll have more than the skeleton crew we have this year. Is anyone else finding that it's hard to meet other volunteers these days?
I know we're all busy, but this country was founded on folks helping each other out - I think we need to start really looking at that.
It was also the planning period for where I teach, and believe it or not, my school year is also winding down. My students are checking in constantly with questions about last essays and creative projects, how to do better on tests in prep for the final exam. My classes are set for next year as long as I get the numbers: British Literature, Shakespeare and "Creative Writing 101" - a class for those who might like to write to try things out (everyone else welcome, too, of course).
And I owe some folks a recipe.
Well, this post was much longer than I'd planned. I'll be catching up on both reading and posting slowly - my mother's still very much in transition, I need to really FINISH some writing projects, and life just keeps rolling, rolling, rolling.
What have you all been up to over the past month? I hope it's been a good one.