Tempus Fugit

In my daily experience there are few time-related mysteries. I don’t need to question where time goes, I know where I spend the precious commodity. But I do believe time flies.

A few of you have very kindly contacted me to find out if I’m still planning to continue blogging. I didn’t at first realize so much time had passed since I last left you with tales from our whale watching experience.

I really hope you enjoyed some of what I was able to share from our wedding trip to Kauai, because I have more to share at some point.

Our son and daughter-in-law have been married six weeks and it’s been that long since we  returned from Kauai, but the festivities continued into this past weekend.

Jay and I were amused to note that January’s island charm, seclusion and beauty stood in dramatic contrast to the boisterous family and friend post-wedding reception at the Ace Hotel, Los Angeles.

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The Ace is definitely a “happening” place. In fact, young people congregate at the rooftop bar in intimidating numbers. I wandered up that way to see for myself, and commented upon returning to the rest of our party that I’m sure the poolside revelers were quite impressed I was getting along so well without my walker! I was more than a little out of my element.

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Other facets of the hotel were very interesting to me. The Ace was built inside the 1927 United Artists Theater building. The decor is starkly urban with few, if any, “soft and plushy” seating areas and the use of concrete and hard surfaces suit the neighborhood environment. The urban modern complements the original vaulted ceilings and detailed plaster and metalwork, also sensitive to its location in Los Angeles’ historic core.

The guest rooms are industrial, modern, functional and spare, but the reception area was warm and beautifully transformed to reflect the couple’s wish to create intimate and personal space. I found the dinner and overall ambiance to be delightful, but that isn’t what I’ll be talking about in years to come.

What most impressed me was the warmth and life brought to the occasion by a gathering of friends and family.  How special it was to see our children’s old friends, now mature professionals, enjoying the occasion along with children of their own. What a hopeful combination of family history and toasts for the future shared among close friends. Each person represented a distinctly unique relationship to the bride and groom.

I suppose it is true that the curtain has come down on this special wedding season, but as we move on to new seasons in our lives I think  the memories that were made during the last several weeks will continue to infuse us with a deep joy.

And I also predict that I will experience a little reclaimed time and energy that might be devoted to contributing more frequently to this blog. I have quite a backlog of story possibilities. Maybe next time you’d like to hear how I experienced the midnight “club scene” at the Ace Hotel?

That was a first! It’s a wonder I still have my hearing. But that’s a story for another time.

I’m glad you didn’t forget about me in my absence, and thank you for stopping by and reminding me how much I enjoy hearing from each of you!

Sticking Close to Island Time

We have been home from our Hawaiian holiday for one week. I am back to work and going through the usual paces, but every now and again I take a mental leap back to the beautiful island of Kauai.

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When the wedding couple came to us last fall stating they wanted their parents and siblings to join them, sharing one big historic farm-house on Hanalei Bay for eight days, I wondered just how that was going to work out. All of us together? Ten adults and four children ages seven, five, three and one? One house you say? Eight days?

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Could we really all step away from our daily roles and responsibilities without too many pretzel-like twists? Or would we simply decide the pretzel-like twists were worth it?

I take my responsibilities very seriously. Maybe a little too seriously, I’m thinking now that I’ve had a delicious dose of island time.

I certainly had an opportunity to catch an unflattering glimpse of my distinctly “NOT Hawaiian” temperament while visiting a Costco not long after arrival. We swooped in to purchase some food and supplies to take back to the house–remember now, ten adults and four children, that’s a lot of supplies–and working from lists we’d prepared from home, we made it through the store with efficiency. That is until we got into the line.

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I felt a surge of impatience with a check-out hiccup. An item didn’t scan properly and instead of just replacing the item with another,  the original was handed to someone else to look up the appropriate scanning codes and issue a whole new label.   This seemed irritatingly inefficient to me. The line grew longer behind me and my party was also waiting on me to get everything to the car. The Costco employees weren’t the least bit flustered and definitely not in a hurry. That was my first reminder that we were not in Los Angeles. Welcome to Island Time.

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And welcome it was.

From the moment we left the airport our drought-tolerant senses were bombarded with the luxury of green. Flowers and foliage familiar to me in Southern California were easily fifty times the size.I have thousands of photos to prove it. Raise your hand if you want to see them ALL…I seriously couldn’t stop myself.

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We’ve previously visited Hawaii, but this was our first time on Kauai and we shared a nearly private beach on Hanalei Bay. It was quite magical. Unless we can travel again as a large pack, I doubt we will personally have this kind of experience again, but saying that something was once in a lifetime is pretty great, too.

I am far from ready to jump back into the pace that I kept prior to our beautiful island experience. And there’s been a wedding that brings me great joy with many happy memories I want to fully savor.

A part of living in Southern California is learning how to stay with the flow of traffic–literally and figuratively– or you’re run over, and the “flow” here is rapid-paced and often aggressive.

It’s hard to go very far without stress in many forms lurking about the perimeter of our lives, but at least for now,  I have refused to meet its eye.

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Whenever I choose I can call back the feeling of refreshment and bring back a little of the island’s warmth, charm and tranquility. That will always help me to breathe lighter.

Mahalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorizing the snapshots of a very special week

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“Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?” ― Pat Conroy

I don’t know what I was thinking. I honestly thought I’d be able to move through the month of January with ordinary rhythms. I don’t know myself as well as I purport.

My son is getting married this week. He and his bride-to-be have ambitiously coordinated events to bring their parents and siblings together in joint activities that have surprised me from the very first mention. He was born with an independent nature and I somehow missed many of the clues that would have prepared me for his desire to closely meld two families.

This hasn’t been hard for me.  We have known the other half of our now larger family, although there were large gaps of time when we didn’t, for more than two decades. I have a photo of the bride and groom that dates back to high school prom night twenty years ago. Sometimes it takes awhile for stars to align.

So back to my belief that I could be fully present for this special time and also share it. I can’t. Or maybe it’s really that I don’t want to. Every now and then I think about the joy of this union and I realize it’s impossible to capture it in photos. And parents take these things in with a special lens that doesn’t translate anyway.

So I don’t know what you’ll see or hear from me this week. I have every intention of sharing details later. But for now, my only awareness is to open up to the experience and be as conscious as possible through each small moment. We don’t get them back.

The big day is Thursday. The only detail I’ll share for now is that there will be sand under our feet. I don’t think he had his mother in mind when he chose a beach wedding, but he is my son after all…he loves the ocean as much as I do.

For this one week, life will not be rushed. No “break neck circuit” for me.

Breathing lighter…Debra