I got up and had some coffee and read the news feeds. I opened the window in my office and let the breeze in as the rain stopped. I put on the latest Iron & Wine album and listened as I though about stuff.
I headed out at about 10 to take a walk along the creek. It was still cloudy, but no more rain. There weren't any turtles out, but plenty of egrets and blackbirds.
A California scrub jay, who stopped to pose for me.
After the walk I went over to the local hardware store, an holdout against the big box stores that have taken over. I like this store--it's small, and there are always plenty of people to pose questions to. I was looking for some wooden poles for my pole beans, but they didn't have any. That's the downside to a small store. I didn't feel like going to the big box store, so I deferred until today.
I went to the bank and got a couple big bills to put in cards for two of my nieces who just graduated high school. There was a big party at my sister-in-law's house in the evening, and I went.
It was a typical Filipino event. My Nanay told me it started at 6, so I arrived at 6:45, so as to observe Filipino time, but it actually started at 7, so I was the first one there. I visited with everyone and got caught up on all the family doings. Two of my nieces are moving to Arizona, independently of each other. One for optometry school, and the other for reasons I didn't catch. My nephew who loves photography played around with my camera and took the above shot. He's halfway through a biomedical engineering degree and thinking about med school.
Nanay wants me to come over and visit this coming week. She wants me to find out where her cemetery plot is. I know where it is--just a few steps from where Arlina is interred. I took them there not too long after Arlina passed, and we picked out the spot. I guess she's planning ahead. I'll go over on Wednesday and find out what she's thinking about.
It's always good to see everyone, but I always feel a certain reluctance whenever I am invited to come to a family event, and I don't always go. After I got home, I sat and thought about what it would have been like if Arlina was still alive, and how different my life would be. I had a hard time picturing it, probably because I am no longer the person I was. My life changed in fundamental ways after she died.
I think about that path that was closed to me sometimes. It doesn't cause me pain, but there is an element of sadness that I feel if I dwell on it. Mostly, though, I am happy with my life as it is, so it balances out. I'm grateful for both the happiness and the sadness, and everything that falls in between the two.