Between my 70th and 71st birthdays:
– Surprise birthday party orchestrated by my daughter. Amazing because although she had invited people several months before and I saw some of these friends on a weekly basis, no one spilled the beans. Total surprise and such fun–people from out-of-town and out-of-state. Three generations of some.
– My first significant fall as a senior. Not an experience I went looking for but I came out of it in fine shape and it didn’t take Boxie too long to recover. (See blog My 70th Year – Boomsday 2014 ) P. S. I am invited back this year!
– Civil War reenactment in Blountville, TN last October. I enjoyed the history it presented, from the battle to the soldiers’ tents and the campfire kitchens. Reenactors are sticklers for authenticity which made a close up view of the women’s long hooped dresses and the surgeon’s tools all the more fascinating.
Then came the killing of the nine people attending church in Charleston, SC.
My viewpoint is that of a white person born in 1944 in Georgia and growing up in Tennessee with a few years lived in North Carolina. I graduated high school right as segregation began. Beyond school books, I never delved into what the 1860s period of history meant to others.
By attending the reenactment and then reading of the deaths in Charleston in June, I stepped out of my small world, learned some history, and was forced to confront that history in the present.
– I went to a The Edge, a Knoxville gay bar, alone, to see Del Shores perform. Shores came to town right after one of his plays, Sordid Lives, was presented by Theatre Knoxville Downtown.
The play was utterly hilarious, and his show was recommended by a friend who worked with him once. I didn’t hesitate to buy a ticket, thinking others I knew would be going, but that didn’t happen so I ventured out by myself. I didn’t mind going alone; it is better than staying at home.
The material he presented was just plain funny–He read real police reports which you thought had to be made up. A lot of his humor comes from being raised in the south, being the son of a Baptist preacher and being gay.
I came away from the evening, thankful he created a life based on laughter, not violence, and I am ready for the next encounter.
– Going by bus for the Women’s March on Nashville.(see blog My 70th Year – My First Activist March)
– Celebrating with a great wake, the life of a friend who died after a long fight with cancer. There were at least four such parties and I am sure he enjoyed every one of them. No obit and no funeral for him.
– Found myself lying on the floor of Knoxville Soap, Candle and Gifts Shop for an hour, with a large scarf covering my face and body, listening to singing bowls. Very calm atmosphere where you can meditate or sleep. I highly recommend it.
– Started the first of a three-part dream fulfillment: Taking my 15-year-old grandson, Max, on a trip. With the help of a friend’s offer of a place to stay, we headed for a week in Key West, Florida. Priceless. Now to plan something for the other two.
– Then there was going to the Pow Wow, Steam Punk Carnivale, a Kentucky Derby Party, writing KnoxZine articles, staying in touch with friends through Facebook, camping out under the stars, breaking in a new housemate, feeling the love of family.
I am blessed.