Well, time just keeps flying by. I returned last Friday from my time visiting Mom and Aunt Phyllis on the farm, and it's almost a week gone. I've been pretty constantly busy, even on my day off. But let me go back a little bit.
The 4 days or so I spent with Mom and Aunt Phyllis were also busy days. I spent much of it making a sizable dent in Mom's packing up of stuff, sorting out things to take to sell at Powell's bookstore and at our yard sale, things to recycle, and things to go to the dump. Also a little bit of help (but not all that much) to Aunt Phyllis as she made sure we were all fed and taken care of. I spent some enjoyable time with Rain and Annemarie (sister-in-law and niece) who were also there working, doing things like weeding and other farm work primarily. Mike and Donna and Brian (Phyllis's son and family) came down Wednesday afternoon to help with various chores, and then my son and family (Nico, Alice, Christopher and Matthew) came down Thursday evening for dinner and general romping on the farm. The boys love the animals, and had a good time. They and I played follow-the-leader for a good while until grandma (that's me) got tired and declared an end to the game.
Rain decided we needed a picture of the four generations, and I'll post it here. I'm the one with my arms around the two boys. My son Nico is the big bald fellow next to and behind me, with his wife Alice on the other side. My mother is the white-haired lady to the side. The bigger boy is Christopher and the smaller one is Matthew.
The boys have improved a great deal -- both are special needs and clearly their parents have continued to work well with them. It's always great to see how any children grow and develop, but somehow we can see the improvement with these kids even more. They are both delightful.
Nico and Alice (and I, for a while) got involved in what looked like a simple puzzle that Christopher found somewhere and brought to us. After a short time, it became clear that this was no simple kid's puzzle, even though the pieces were big and few. It was fiendishly tricky, and the adults labored over it long after the kids (and I) gave up. Alice finally took it home with her, reporting that she was able to solve it there, and that she has written numbers on each piece and where it goes so she never has to go through this again!
I left Friday so I could be back to the Center for a very important event -- the annual Lay Disciple dinner at Oaks Park (amusement park). Not all that many of us showed up, there being 9 at the dinner, and then some left and one arrived later during the rides. We did bumper cars, as is traditional, then go-karts (which I find pretty boring, so I went on the ferris wheel with some others). My favorite is the Screamin' Eagle, which I was only able to persuade one other person to go on with me (once -- and then I rode it three more times on my own). I seem to have a cast iron stomach for that sort of thing, and just enjoy the pure sensation of it all. I rode my bike both there and back, and just generally had a great time.
Saturday morning was Women's Group, and again it was a small group, but we had a great discussion centered on Right Concentration.
Sunday of course was busy, as always, and most everyone in the Center took off to Dharma Camp, which is where they all are this week. It's held every year out at the monastery near Clatskanie. There were 45 campers signed up, and fewer counselors than last year, so I expect they are all having a lively time of it.
On Monday, I took 5 boxes of books to Powell's, and got the munificent sum of $46, bringing back 4 boxes of books they didn't want. I went through all of those again and took some to Goodwill and put some in our yard sale (which will be next weekend, starting a week from tomorrow). Tuesday I went to my storage unit and filled my car with boxes of things to go through, many for the yard sale as well, some that I want to figure out how to keep in my room. I'm still trying to downsize. I managed to find two more boxes of clothes I don't really need, but also kept one box in the storage unit. I probably don't need those either, but can't quite get rid of them yet -- many of them have special sentimental value. Most of those boxes are still in my room waiting for me to go through.
On Monday, my teacher's step-mother died in California. We knew she was dying, and that's why he was in California with his father. The funeral will be tomorrow. Gyokuko has come back from Dharma Camp and I took her to the airport yesterday to fly down to be with them as well. She was back here at the house for 24 hours, and during that time decided we needed to get the newsletter to the printer if at all possible. I started in on it, though it's not precisely my job at that stage and I didn't know how to do everything, and just kept doing the next thing to make it all happen. We did get it to the printer, and it should be ready today or tomorrow. Next step: mailing, and I'm not sure how that's going to happen either. But hopefully we can get it all mailed out by the beginning of next week.
In the mean time, I'm involved with doing publicity for the yard sale, working on financial records for another organization, temple laundry, getting out rental notices, getting updated calendars onto the web site, etc. I'm here alone today, which suits me fine -- allows me to get a lot done at my own pace and in my own way. Zoki will be back before too long, and we will have dinner together -- at this point, we are the only two signed up for dinner. Last night there were 4 of us.
So, anyway, you can see my list for today, and I'd better stop this and make some lunch for myself and get on with it. Hope you are all doing well.