Sunday, March 16, 2014

Greatitudes

Our next-to-last week in Tucson was a good one.

Sunday - we went to the "4th Street potluck". About 50 people there. I only knew four of them. Apparently our street is quite long! I've recently learned how to have a conversation with a stranger I'm sharing a dinner table with. You ask them about themselves, and then you listen! I'm grateful to have learned how to do this, finally.

Monday - Our last session of "Reimagining God." This year's new activity has been such a gift! I'm finding long-held questions being answered and feeling very comfortable in my own spiritual search.

Tuesday - line dancing. Two dances for 45 minutes. Such good exercise. 

And in the afternoon, a massage. We've treated ourselves every week since we got here. There's a Massage Envy in Tucson we especially like - including getting the employee rate. 

Wednesday - Art sat in a vendor booth for four hours selling our book. We figure we have sold 25 books since we got to Arizona in December. It always surprises me when people ask to buy a copy. I wonder why that is? I'm looking forward to hearing from someone what they thought about the book. Is anyone reading it? 

And in the afternoon, I walked out of the current events discussion group for the first time. There was a substitute facilitator who used the occasion to pontificate on his own very conservative views about climate change, and another conservative person picked up the topic and said some unkind things involving "wacko people from Seattle". I thought, well, no, I don't have to listen. It felt good to comment with my feet!

Thursday - Our last session of Great Decisions, a foreign affairs discussion group. I was a new facilitator this year, and the enthusiasm of group members was encouraging. Almost everyone plans to attend again next year. They've decided they want to limit the amount of a time a person can talk when it's their turn, and they want to discipline themselves to stay on topic. This group jelled really well and I learned a LOT about foreign affairs. 

And then, in the evening, our last session with a covenant group at the local Unitarian church. The topic was hope - not a word often used in our daily lives.

Friday - In the evening we met my ex-husband John's sister Patty's daughter Bridget (24) and her fiance Gilbert at a Tucson restaurant. This young woman was not even born when John and I divorced, but I've met her a couple of times and had a good conversation with her her at an Oregon funeral (John's brother Paul, Bridget's uncle) in November. Good food (enormous T-bones their specialty), campy cowboy entertainment and a shoot-out show afterwards. As usual, the two women talked and the men listened. What is that about?

Saturday - An extra handbells practice to prepare for our Sunday concert. I thought I got the last few spots worked out.

And in the afternoon we took desserts from resort folks to the Salvation Army in Tucson. Along with a dozen other people, we put 90 desserts on plates, set out silverware and napkins. As people came in, I took 90 plates from Christine, each with a bowl of chili, added a piece of cornbread, and handed it to Hannah to add cheese and avocado. We fed women with small children, women alone, and men. Most of these people sleep in the facility and leave for the day in the morning. Some receive job training and coaching. I was pooped by the time we got home, but what a cool thing! First time for me, to feed the hungry. 

Sunday - another handbell practice and then our concert. I couldn't believe how many mistakes I made!  So did others. Our director, Bette, said no one in the audience would have noticed. The beginning handbells group played first. Their music was simpler than ours, but I didn't hear a single mistake. Good to remind myself to be humble.

I thought off and on this week about buying the place we're renting. It's our second winter renting, and we'll be signing a contract this week for next year, assuming the place doesn't get sold. We're considering offering to buy it in September for a lower price than the owners are asking.

Blessed are the 55+ folks, for they may be free from the obligation to work.
Blessed are the volunteers, for they share themselves with others.
Blessed are the new friends, for they listen and want to be heard.
Blessed are the opportunities to serve, for they remind me to be grateful!

9 comments:

Weekend-Windup said...

You had a wonderful week! Have a nice day!

DJan said...

A massage every week? Wonderful! I go once every three weeks and it's the bare minimum. What a fine week's events you shared, Linda. I can see why you like it there so much. Thanks for sharing it with me. :-)

Out on the prairie said...

A hard to leave lifestyle, I admire your passion.

Tom Sightings said...

Certainly sounds like you've made the most of Tucson. And what great advice: "I've recently learned how to have a conversation with a stranger I'm sharing a dinner table with. You ask them about themselves, and then you listen!"

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

A great post. You have such a nice life there. And I love your advice about conversing with a stranger. I still have trouble remembering that sometimes.

Linda Reeder said...

Wackos from Seattle, huh. Thanks for talking with your feet!
You have created a wonderful community for yourself, but then that seems to be something you are very skilled at.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

You not only go there in the winter you get involved and make the most of it. Good for you!

Dee said...

Dear Linda, you are such a dynamo. I am always amazed at how much you do and you seldom seem to tire. You keep stretching your heart and your mind to new vistas. That's so wonderful. I admire you. Peace.

Retired English Teacher said...

I loved this: It felt good to comment with my feet.

I wonder what your life would have been like if you had not gone south for winter. I know you would have been busy. That is just you, but it would have been so different if you had not had this experience. What if Art had experienced his heart episode in WA? What if you had not been where you are doing what you are doing? I think this Arizona living in the winter is perfect for you.