Friday, January 26, 2007

Another Whack at Mortality

I got married nearly 34 years ago in Logan, Utah, and as a result acquired a mother-in-law of the first rank. Even though the marriage ended many years ago, she and I managed to stay in touch. She let me know that she loved me.

Pearl died earlier this month. I wanted to say here that she'll be missed, but all of us she touched will remember her for her warmth, her love, and for her spectacular quilts. It seems she was always working on the next quilt.

Writing about her death brings me up against my own mortality. Pearl went back to her Heavenly Father. Someone in the family composed a beautiful obituary. I don't think my own obituary is going to read anything like it. I'm not going back to Heavenly Father or the Celestial Kingdom.

Death is a reminder for those of us still living. Life here ends. Sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly. Sometimes it's a mess. Sometimes death is a comfort and a relief. And sometimes death is unrelievedly sad. But life ends, and we go on without. And someday, my life and your life will end, and Pearl's death brought me up against that truth once again.

I loved Pearl, and I honor her memory, her life, and her death. She was and is a wonderful woman, and a life well-lived. She left behind a bustling, growing, family full of life and promise. She left a legacy that will continue for many generations.

I treasure my memories of this woman. I ponder the mystery of her death in the richness of her life.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gay Square Dancing

This year has started off full tilt. Tim and I went off to Atlanta for the Hotlanta Squares "Promenade Down Peachtree, VI" held on Martin Luther King weekend. The Hotlanta Squares know how to do a fly-in. We had lots of dancing and lots of fun there. As a side adventure, Tim and I also went to the High Museum and saw the Morris Louis exhibit. It was quite a show, and the High is quite a museum. On another adventure, we discovered the gay mall in Atlanta. We were driving around, and Tim mentioned the Ainsley Mall as being gay. We checked it out, and sho' 'nuff, it's gay! We were so relieved!

This last weekend, DC Lambda Squares celebrated its 25th anniversary. We don't look that old. We had a wonderful evening with a fabulous dinner, a program full of memories, and some good, old-fashioned square dancing. Now how could you beat that for a Saturday night's entertainment?

Finally, Tim and I got back to John Marshall's club, the Phantom 8s. It's an Advanced club (straight, but open-minded), and John is a great caller. His mind is a little twisted when it come to square dance calls, but that's what we go for. Tim and I are pretty much becoming regulars there because the dancing is so good, and the people are so nice.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Holidays Are Now Over

The holidays are officially over, at least in my house. My dear friend Little Brian (we met on a Men2Men site), called me tonight to wish me well. He asked me what I was doing, and I told him I was finishing up my Christmas cards. Well, those cards are now in the mail, so the holidays are over.

You know, it's really wonderful too, that years after the sex is over, the friendship continues on and on. Lesbians aren't the only ones who remember every one who has passed between the sheets. Gay men can be romantic and nostalgic, too. It's just something we don't like to talk about.

And talking with Brian brought up many happy memories, and a smile across my face. He moved out of town and took a small piece of my heart. I felt like a gay version of a Dolly Parton ballad. It was a summertime affairette, and made the dog days of Washington much more exciting.

He's doing well, raising his family, working hard, being a dad. I'm doing well, thankful from the bottom of my heart for this friendship, and amazed how my chosen family, spread out as it is, enriches my life, fills my being with a special joy and love. I never would have known this except for being gay.

Monday, January 8, 2007

I Think I'll Survive for Now

Although I have lots of aches and pains, I don't get ill very often, but I did this weekend, an acute sinus infection. It started out with scratchiness and a sore throat on Friday evening, and by Saturday morning I felt like warmed over death. Yesterday I felt a little better, and today I feel somewhat human again.

I've been getting sinus infections for over ten years. They are extremely unpleasant, causing headaches, super congestion, ear problems, and general achiness and ickiness. In the early days, the doctor would hit it with an antibiotic: amoxicillin, cipro, augmentum, whatever. But the antibiotics caused their own problems like yeast infections and the like.

I stopped using the antibiotics several years ago. My doctor doesn't like it and tells me that I could get into some serious trouble, and I don't doubt that at all. On the other hand, I've discovered that treating the symptoms of sinus infection are usually sufficient to bring me back to the world of the living, and in just about the same amount of time as the antibiotics.

Use Sudafed during the day for congestion. Use Afrin at night. Take an antihistamine like Claritin, and supplement it throughout the day with Benadryl. Use ibuprofen for headaches. Of course, you should probably do what your doctor tells you to do, like drink lots of liquids. It's been great for my diet, too, because I can hardly stand to eat anything.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Dream on

Dream Girls is one of those movies I've been wanting to see since 1966. I just didn't know it. My brother gave me the Supremes album The Supremes A' Go Go. Let's just say that it rocked Potlatch, Idaho.

So Dream Girls isn't about the Supremes, but it's really about the Supremes. The music in the movie is good, and Jennifer Hudson has the voice. This is a fun film to watch in an afternoon matinee at the Majestic. There will come a time in the movie when sistahs the audience will be 'spressin' themselves. You might be too. And for good reason.

If you grew up with the Supremes or Motown, you really should see this movie.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Technology Update

I'm no noob, but probably pretty close to it. Yesterday, I purchased a Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phone and headset. I can turn on the Bluetooth® in each device, but I can't get the devices to recognize each other. It's a very bad blind date. The phone manual tells me to make a menu selection that isn't on the menu; this is not a good sign.

My continuing guerrilla gadget war means I invest in techno-wizardry that then behaves in obscure and inscrutable ways. The experience is not helped by incorrect and incomplete user documentation, which I am reduced to reading on the Metro. None of this is my idea of a good time. And I look at all of the other people sporting their Bluetooth® devices, and I feel stupid and envious - a curious mix of emotions.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Family Business

I received an email, today, from one of my children. Vernon has added some new features to his family website, so he sent everyone an email. That simple act prompted me to go to the site and look at pictures, read articles, meander a bit through it.

I think I now have fourteen grandchildren, but I'm not completely sure about that. The family had a big wedding over the summer, plus an exciting family reunion, including a tour of a firehouse. The kids are growing up, and so are the grandkids. The oldest grandchild celebrated his seventh birthday this year.

I love these people dearly, and yet we are such strangers to each other. I am thankful that my son sent me an email. I'm deeply touched by it. I'm deeply touched by this mysterious family that sprang from me and from which I now live so far away. The fault of that and the fault line is probably mine. I have a lot of unexamined family business to take care of.