Mrs. Linklater thought she was going to Bozeman, MT this weekend. Views of mountains. Smells of horses. Barks of dogs. Dusty roads. Pick up trucks. Her mistake. She's glad she didn't just show up. Looks like it's going to be Bozeman for Thanksgiving. Las Vegas for Christmas. More on Las Vegas later.
Friday night, a perfect night, I was invited to a poetry reading. A friend of mine is a book publisher and invited me. He had to go. I didn't. The book store where it was happening is not too far, so I said okay, why not. But I noticed when I got there that it wasn't just one book of poems they were reading. There would be three books and three readings. Unless it's a poetry slam, the boredom level [for me] goes straight to code red. I also noticed that all the people coming in to the book store looked ancient [right, and I'm not]. Soon I began getting ready to bolt. At about the same time, I noticed the new Ray Charles duets CD for sale. I could pay full price [we weren't anywhere near Tower records], take a leisurely drive and listen to it. Or I could stay for the reading. That took a nano second to decide. I bought the Ray Charles. And went for a drive. A perfect summer evening. Sunroof wide open. A little Ray Charles. The memories of driving the same roads with my lifeguard boyfriend when I was young flooded over me. Memories of listening to Ray came rushing back, too. Yep, I did the right thing. Joined my buddy for dinner later.
Saturday morning I went to a football game at 9:30 AM. Only high school freshman play at that hour. Freshman A and B as a matter of fact. It was at my public school alma mater and they were playing a hated private school rival from down the road. It's kind of funny to have two huge high schools within blocks of each other. The varsity and JV had already lost to them the night before. A friend's son, G, is a super athlete and this was only his second football game ever in his life. A superstar baseball catcher, everybody has been trying to get him to play football since it was clear he had size and speed. But his dad had said no. Something, I still don't know what, changed Dad's mind fairly recently. So I went to game two because G had run for 90 yards and two touchdowns in his debut game. Well, not this time. The private school team was too strong. I got to watch G's team allow two interceptions and a fumble, which led to scores for the other team. They had the nerve to even fake a point after kick, and go for two. I did notice that a kid with a quarterback's number had come in to kick the point after. Wish I'd yelled "watch the fake" because I was sitting near the goal posts. Oh well. Hindsight. [Like they're going to listen to a mom] Score: 18-0. The freshman B team lost too. Ouch. G had a couple of good runs and they've got him at middle linebacker on defense. Bodes well. The good news was we all adjourned for brats and an afternoon of serious porchsitting after the game. That part was fun.
This morning I talked to my daughter who lives in London. She's just back from two weeks in Italy and France. Her English friends have told her she should have taken a third week off. They really take vacation seriously over there. My daughter and her boyfriend went to the Amalfi coast, then spent time in Rome shopping and sightseeing. They saw the Vatican and loved the Pieta, which I actually got to see here in Chicago many years ago. His folks have a summer place in France in wine country [heck the whole country is wine country] so they spent a few days there before going home.
Meanwhile my other [older] daughter has just moved with her fiance to Las Vegas from Jackson Hole, WY. Even though I have a bunch of favorite websites for Las Vegas listed over there to your left, I only put them up because the webmasters are friends. And I think they're funny sites. I've never actually been there. My Lost Wages daughter and her fiance want to have everybody out to Sin City for Christmas. His folks have their winter home there and some of his siblings already live there. A chance for us all to meet before any nuptials, perhaps? Fine by me, since getting people together who live so far apart is not always easy. But it's Las Vegas. I once swore I would never go there. It never occurred to me that my loved ones would migrate there. Cheap plane rides, though. They're still planning to get married in Jackson Hole, however. Looks better on the marriage license. Location, location, location.
Last week, I was invited to join a gathering of other journalers here in the midwest. They decided to meet up today at Mumsy's house near Decatur, IL. After first saying I wouldn't be around -- that whole Bozeman thing -- I emailed back that I could come now that I wasn't going. But I never heard back. I hope you guys are having fun. Whine whine whine whine whine.
Tonight I think I will light up the outdoor fireplace, lie in the hammock and watch the stars. And wonder about my only sister who lives in Ft. Pierce, Florida, one of the towns in the direct path of Frances. My sister is thrice married, a recent widow and former dancer [i.e., stripper] who, as far as I know, still has thirty animals, mostly dogs and cats. And a rickety old house in a questionable neighborhood. I haven't seen her in years. I used to talk to her from time to time on the phone. I even sent her money and Harry and David fruit. She betrayed a confidence, so I have nothing to say to her anymore.
You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your relatives. You can, however, pick whether or not you talk to them.
The pro volleyball tour is at North Avenue Beach this weekend. Misty May, etc. all the medalists. Good times. Naw, I think I'll laze around here.
I feel like summer was over two weeks ago. Like tomorrow is the absolute very last day. It smells different. The sky looks different. The trees are shedding leaves early this year. I feel very melancholy in a "so what's next" kind of way. The only good news is that I don't have to go back to school. Thank you thank you thank you.