Not going to look it in the mouth…

“There’s a delivery for you!”

“Ummm… i don’t think i ordered anything….”

Tim has been delivering mail in my building for nearly all of the 30+ years i’ve been working there. He had the right name, and the right office, but i absolutely had no idea what could be in the small box he put in my hand.

“It’s from Amazon? i have that stuff sent home… Someone must have made a mistake, or sent me something?”

Tim stuck around to find out if he would need to re-deliver, or return, the box. i cut open the tape, and pulled out a wrapped gift.

“Well, someone sent you a present! Guess the mystery is solved!”

“Not entirely… i have no idea who would send me a gift at work!”

He started to move on to his next stop, but at this point was just as curious as i was regarding the contents of the mysterious gift box.

“Stick around! Let’s get to the bottom of this!”

Reading the Amazon gift tag, i quickly determined the source…

“Dear Daisyfae,

Hope this note holder comes handy when you need it. Thank you very much for your reference. I cannot begin to thank you enough.

From, Wei”

A few weeks earlier, i had received a request for a reference letter… A young scientist, fairly recently earning his PhD, was working through the arduous process to establish permanent residency in the U.S. It helps to have professional references included in the package.

If i know the work of an individual, i can often pull together a pretty good reference letter. It’s a small thing, and generally doesn’t take me a tremendous amount of time. i was familiar with Wei’s research area, and his work, and managed to knock out a good letter in about fifteen minutes.

Explaining this quickly to Tim, i unwrapped the paper around the box.

“i have no idea what this is… Don’t leave yet, Tim! i might need a witness!”

We both cracked up laughing as i pulled the note holder from the box. It was absolutely adorable!

the most beautiful gift ever“Bulldogs? How perfect! And Wei doesn’t even know me all that well…”

It is one of the most beautiful gifts i’ve ever received…

The Perfect Day

The dog was dying.  His owner decided to give his pet a perfect day.  i’d read this sweet story of how one man prepared for the loss of a beloved companion a few years ago.

Since then, i’ve given this some thought, and have planned to do something similar for my old pup, Mr. Pickles.  Rather than wait, i’ve thrown in elements of ‘perfect days’ for my dog as we go about the business of living – why give him just one?  Three weeks ago on a hot June day, Studley and i decided Mr. P needed to go out for ice cream…

He loved it…

Mr. P gets ice cream

Having a dinner of Mexican food and killer margaritas with my children, Studley, and his daughter, we discussed the elements of Mr. Pickles perfect day.  Discussing all the things he loves, we tried to lay out the things he most loves… Cheese.  Chasing a ball.  Chasing the cat*.  Naps.  Splashing in water.  Riding in the jeep.  Eating his own turds.**

i was interrupted during dinner by a call from my niece, DQ.  Mom had been admitted to the hospital earlier this week with fluid in her lungs.  Stepping out to take the call, i got some fairly grim news.  The lung cancer is probably back, and not treatable.  Mom was feeling rotten, also battling a staph infection in her blood.  We made plans to meet with a counselor from hospice.

Returning to the table, i kept the news to myself for a bit – not wanting to take a steaming shit on a really good time.  i filled my children in on the news from The Park when we got home.

The Boy:  Maybe it’s time to craft a Perfect Day for Granny…

daisyfae:  i’ve already done a bit of that… but yeah, we could do more!

In January, i brought Mom to visit when my sister, T and her partner came to town for a long weekend.  We spoiled Mom with attention, and food and entertainment.  Not to mention blessed quiet, which is in short supply in her current living arrangements.

Last May, i had her up for another fun-filled weekend!  Cooked steaks on the grill on a Friday night, then went to a local women’s league luncheon the next day, where she was showered with attention amidst a great deal of silliness.  Putting on two ridiculous Derby hats that i’d crafted, we went to a bourbon tasting – where she enjoyed a perfect mint julep.  Sunday morning, we brought her to the horse show, where she got to see her “baby” compete in the arena with all the other kids…

The prognosis for Mom isn’t great, but it seems the cancer is slow moving.  She’ll need more in-home skilled nursing care in the future.  But she’s not quite dead yet, and finding ways to give her elements of “The Perfect Day” is deeply embedded in my brain.

Derby Day

 * The Boy thought it would be most fun if we tape the cats back legs together, allowing Mr. Pickles a better chance to “play”.  Although Huey is a team player, i’m not sure i’ll go that far…

** Nope.  Not gonna happen.

You can go home again…

The Boy is home for a couple of weeks. We are awaiting the arrival of The Girl tonight. They haven’t seen each other in about two years, so it’s good that the schedules for their holidays partially aligned, and they will spend a few days together under my roof.

The first few days with The Boy have been entertaining. A few snippets from his return.

~~~~~~

Fortunately my fleet is now operational. There will be a full week with both spawn under roof, and they will likely both want to go in different directions. i also have a pesky day job, and will need to be somewhere else. We had to craft a plan of attack for vehicular assignments…

daisyfae: The Girl hasn’t driven a car in two years. She’s going to have the Civic. That was her car, she’s comfortable driving it, and probably the safest option. i’m going to have to get you checked out on the Jeep.

The Boy: I could just drive the Jag.

daisyfae: Ummm…. No. Let’s get you checked out on the Jeep. You’ll have to be gentle – new transmission isn’t really broken in yet.

So i took him out in the neighborhood for a practice run. He knows how to drive a standard transmission, but it’s not the same as driving the Jeep. Sure, he’s now qualified to drive a variety of military vehicles, HMMVs, troop carriers and the like…. But not my Jeep.

He hopped in, as excited as the day he got to drive the lawn tractor for the first time. For the first time? i got in the right seat. No one else drives my Jeep. Just hasn’t happened. A few scoots around the neighborhood, and some test runs in the cemetery to practice stops, tight turns, and hills. He chirped the tires, damn near ran us into a maintenance shed, but got the hang of it pretty quickly. i turned him loose. He was ready to solo.

i was a fucking wreck after he tooled down the street – off to the skate park to play skateboards.

Going on about my business, i went on with my plans for the evening. Happy to see the Jeep safely home when i returned. Checked in with him the next morning…

The Boy: It was really fun, but that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to drive.

daisyfae: You can do it, but just be careful. You know how i feel about that one…

The Boy: Yeah, it was a helluva lot easier to drive after you got out.

~~~~~~

This morning, we were sorting logistics for retrieving The Girl from the airport.

The Boy: I figure we can pick her up in the Jag, no?

daisyfae: No. She’ll have luggage, and probably want the front seat, which means you get shoe-horned in the back.

The Boy: Whatever. I’m good with any means of transportation.

daisyfae: No smoking in the Jag, either.

The Boy: Obviously! I’m not dumb!

daisyfae: Just making sure. You have always had a bit of ‘law scholar’ in you – and if not expressly prohibited…

The Boy: I do have a degree in Drunkard Pro Se Law from the University of Phoenix.

together we win

He is physically fit – working out is a critical part of his job. He was pretty solid when i saw him at his graduation in March, but he’s stronger now. When Studley showed up at my place to say ‘hello’…

The Boy: My boobs are pecs now! Want to feel them?

Studley: No, not really. I prefer boobs to pecs, but thanks anyway.

Un-fucking Myself – 2nd Quarter Update

A very busy summer is underway.  There’s no grass growing under my feet, or any other part of my body, for that matter…

Time for the second quarterly report regarding my on-going quest to un-fuck myself (my battle cry from January). In April, i reported my progress after the first quarter of the year, and am dutifully reporting the latest update as the second quarter comes to a close.

The good news?  i’ve stayed with the fitness quest.  As of today, i’ve lost a total of 25 pounds since January.  Had hoped to see 30 pounds vaporized, but i’m good with what i’ve done so far.  Would like to double that for the year-end report…  Many happy miles on the bicycle, regular gym habits, and an accountability buddy have been critical.

Not such a good report on the ‘de-cluttering’.  Wanted to see another three or four trips to the thrift store, and a few more full-dumpsters during the quarter, but that was not to be….  Many hours on the bicycle, when i should have been excavating, perhaps….

During the month of June, the mechanical shit in my world was breaking as fast as i could fix it — and i was fixing it like a motherfucking ninja!  Mostly, the category of “things with wheels” was vexing — having an abundance of ‘wheeled’ things, it goes with the turf, but damned if it wasn’t aggravating.

Jeep was stonecolddead, and i couldn’t get it to hold charge, so it went sailing away on a flatbed at the beginning of the month.  The day it returned?  The Jag overheated when i got to work the next day.  i poked around and identified that problem as a slow leak in the coolant resovoir, and topped it off during my lunch hour.

Glorious weather on the next day got me on the motorcycle – which led me to the next headache:  Weirdness and overheating as i got the bike home that night.

Decided that rather than put myself at the mercy of the Motorcycle Repair Mafia, i was going to dig in myself — and i did.  Drained, flushed and filled coolant, replaced a thermostat, and did an oil change.  The service manual and a bunch of crazy old coots who post repair videos on youtube were my best friends for a few days.  For extra support, i joined an online forum – and promptly realized that i had, in fact, repaired something that wasn’t broken*.  But it did it myself, damn it… and the bike is operational.

Not so much the Jeep…  Two weeks of joy, and then the transmission took a massive, and noisy shit, the following Friday night.  Executed a nationwide search, and within two days i was able to buy a rebuilt transmission, have it shipped to my repair shop, and have them perform the transplant.  As of today, it is back in my stable.

kardashian headaches

To be sure, i know that these are truly first world problems.  Problems i bring upon myself through the choice to operate a fleet of aging vehicles.  i could be rational and functional, and sell the entire lot, buy myself a nice, dependable new sedan, and avoid the headaches.

Not gonna happen.

The upside?  My mechanical confidence is strong.  i’m ready for what lies ahead.  Rolling into the third quarter of the year, i will press on with the fitness goals – always easier to keep moving in the summer.  The de-cluttering will get an assist, as The Girl will be coming to visit, and i’m going to put her to work going through her abandoned belongings!  She’s been living abroad for 3 years.  If she doesn’t want it, she is going to give it away.

Plenty of other adventures ahead… and a project or two that shall be revisited.  Life is good.  It can all turn in a heartbeat, so i’m going to enjoy the ride while it lasts.  Onward!  Speed ball to the finish line!

~~~~~~~~~~~

*Suzuki VX800 is a weird beast.  Combination of air and water cooling, there is an on-board fan that kicks on in slow traffic, or long idle.  i did not know that.  When the fan kicked on for the first time, i assumed overheating.  The coolant needed a flush anyway…

 

 

 

 

Arrivederci Roma

The kid with the tangled mane of hair sprawled across the worn gray carpet in the living room  She’d spent hours working the music box mechanism.  Winding up the platform, where the wooden boy, arm raised confidently, strode toward the train.

get on the train kid

She played a game.  Trying to wind up the music box just enough so that as it slowed, it would end on the final strains of the tune.  Sometimes cheating a little, pushing in the metal button to stop the music at the right place.

Forty five years later, the kid still has hard to manage hair.  She still doesn’t care much what it looks like most of the time.  She was back in that same living room yesterday, bringing her mother home from an appointment with the cardiologist…

Mom is doing ok as she approaches her 86th birthday.  The lung cancer has apparently been radiated into submission.  A pacemaker keeps her heart ticking along.  She moves slowly, with the assistance of a cane.  Usually out of breath, the cardiologist ran another EKG, and ordered some blood work to check for anemia.  Checked her pulse oxygen, which was a reasonable 93% using the finger cuff.

“I’m just so tired.  Sometimes I just think my heart is going to quit.”

Mom has been working through her estate plans.  She is not confused about what she wants to happen when she dies, and has taken the advice of her attorney to get things sorted.  We’d just returned from another visit to the bank to address some of these issues

Going into Mom’s apartment, she brought me to the dresser where she keeps her important papers.  She was showing me where she keeps stock certificates, and other assorted documents.

i was surprised to see the little guy on the music box, still chasing that train…

At the first strains of the tune, i was right back on that worn gray carpet.  A little dusty, it still worked perfectly…

“Your Dad gave me that years ago…”

“i know, Mom.  i remember this well…”  Still able to wind it up just so… Still able to use the metal button to bring the music to a halt at just the right place…

“Do you want it?  Put your name on the bottom of it.  Or just take it home now…”

“No.  i can’t do that…  You still have it out!  It looks perfect right here…”

“Well, you better mark it if you want it because if you don’t it might disappear after i’m gone…”

We had discussed this over lunch.  It is entirely within the realm of the plausible that anything that could potentially be of monetary value will vaporize as soon as she dies.  “The perils of benefactors, the blessings of parasites.”

i left it there, but the melody has been stuck in my head ever since.  Thinking about my father.  Thinking about the man that devoted his life to caring for her, and her children.  Leaving behind friends and family in the northeast, and starting over in his new role…

arrevederci roma

Get on that train, kid.  Don’t look back…

Odometer Reading

18,994 days.

My heart has beaten approximately 1,899,540,442 times in total.

i have taken approximately 417,523,886 breaths in total.

The moon has orbited the earth 695 times since i was born.

30,592,757,589 miles – the distance i have traveled as the Earth revolves around the Sun.

My finger hovered over the ‘submit’ button, but i’d already missed the deadline to apply for early retirement, at least for the current offering.  “Once you submit your retirement application, it is irrevocable.”

Perhaps it’s a good thing i missed the deadline this time.  Perhaps i’m not quite ready yet.

The job i have is amazing.  i’ve returned to my wheelhouse – science and technology program management.  Getting ideas from “proof of concept” into the realm of “prototype”. Serving as translator between scientists and customers . A necessary function, and i’m good at it.

But i keep thinking about those heartbeats…  Those breaths…  Those miles….

Not a milestone birthday, but today i start my 53rd year on Earth.  At best i have 25-30 years left.  During a good portion of those years, i will run into more physical limitations. Within the next ten years the motorcycle will certainly have to go, horseback riding will cease, and adventure travel may start to include the occasional comfy cruise…

My chances to hike into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate decrease with each passing year.

i spent the evening doing motorcycle maintenance.  Changing out a dead thermostat on the ’91 Suzuki.  Coolant flush.  Oil change.  And thinking through the future.. Not so much “What’s next?”, but “When?”

Zen and The Art of...

And wondering… “How many heartbeats do i have left?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Calculations extracted from this page.    Highly recommend running your own numbers…

Those memories come back to haunt me…

“I’ve got two extra tickets to see Bruce Springsteen tomorrow. Do you want them?”

Although i’m getting older, there are times when my reflexes still respond quickly – and i snatched those tickets up in a nanosecond.

Mr. Springsteen provided the soundtrack for my high school years, as well as the words that rattled around in my head through my transition from ‘lost girl’ to ‘over-achieving engineering student’ and on into my reincarnation as ‘wife/mother’.   If it hadn’t been for one line in “Thunder Road”, i might never have found the glimmer of hope that allowed me to begin that transition.

“ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY! When can i pick them up?”

Managed to snag the tickets on my lunch hour, and make the quick turn around after work to cover the 60 miles between here and there. i drove like a maniac efficiently, we found a decent parking spot, and had enough time to pregame with a flask of whiskey in the car before heading into the arena. Just us, and 15,000 fans, navigating wickets and stairways to get to our seats in the rafters. Even though we were in the nose bleed seats, we had a great view of the stage.

No opening act. The show started at 7:45pm, and Mr. Springsteen and the E Street Band played for three and a half hours without a break. He worked through the set – seeming to gain energy and intensity with each song.

Four decades worth of material at his disposal, it wasn’t a surprise that he dug back in the archives for a few. “Badlands”…

“You’ve got to live it every day….. Let the broken hearts stand as the price you’ve gotta pay…”

Words written as a young man. Belted with the same intensity he had as a skinny street punk. Now in his 60’s, that line is just as powerful. Maybe more so…

2014

It was a surprise when i heard the band start up the intro to “The River”. Not one of his pop hits, but the title track to the album that ushered me into the first significant transition in my life. i looked at Studley. “Holy shit! The last time i saw him live was on tour for ‘The River’. That album. THIS song! Jesus… that was in 1980.”

The man sitting next to Studley leaned forward “I know! It was over 30 years ago! I remember it like it just happened! It was only yesterday…”

Mr. Springsteen began to sing…

“I come from down in the valley, where mister, when you’re young… They bring you up to do like your daddy done…”

“Maybe not yesterday,” i said to the distinguished-looking gentlemen to our left. “But just a few weeks ago…”

The man and i were both tripping back in time. Transported by an audio memory…. Feeling the song as we had at 18 years old.

“You look like you could have just left school… like you’re still there.”

As he said that, i caught a brief glimpse of a boy with feathered hair, black concert t-shirt hanging from the skinny shoulders that would fit him better at 50… Made me wonder if he was seeing the dumpy lost-girl with stringy hair, acne and plastic framed glasses as big as her forehead….

“Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true? Or is it something worse?”

Bruce_Springsteen_-_The_River

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* The first photo was taken by my friend during the concert.  He had much better seats – which is why he offered up the extra tickets…

Many Rooms

While diving in Cozumel a few years ago, we had a spicy, expert dive master on our boat. Lorena was knowledgeable and fun, but took no shit from divers on board – safety first. She was also beautiful. This led to a few friendly inquiries from the single gentlemen in our group. “Married? Got a boyfriend?”

She smiled sweetly and said “The heart has many rooms. Why limit yourself to only one?”

As i continue excavations, clearing the space necessary to accommodate my collection of motorized companions, her message hits home.

Spring has arrived, so i’ve had a few turns driving the Jag. It is lust. Pure, heart-pounding, seat-wetting lust. She has also had her first visit to the shop for a new thermostat assembly. For optimal performance, she demands 91 octane gasoline – the champagne of the petrol pumps. There is no confusion in my mind: she is going to cost me money, give me headaches, and be incredibly high maintenance. But when i hear the throaty growl of 300 horsepower as i accelerate through a tight turn, i get such an intense rush!  She is my mistress.

Another annual milestone rolled by in March – the Ceremonial Removal of the Jeep Top. When we are together, we are seamlessly connected and operate as one. Scuffed and rusty in spots, she will never be a comfortable ride. Driving the Jeep is a meditative experience, even as the leaf springs bounce me hard enough to bruise my kidneys. During the heat of summer, sitting on the smoldering vinyl and feeling sweat roll into the crack of my butt, i will grudgingly admit it is not the most comfortable vehicle i could drive. Getting caught topless in a cloudburst isn’t always a good thing.  After the sun sets, and we are sailing along a country road, stars overhead, wind in my hair… The scent of lilacs hits me in the face on a summer night… All that is forgotten. i’ve jokingly told my children to “Start digging a hole – i’m going to be buried with her.” She is my soul mate.

With these two taking up much of my garage space, i had to get creative to find a spot for the motorcycle, so he sits angled in the corner in front of the Jeep. He is going to hurt me. He’s too big, bad and rough for me, but i can’t help myself. His power scares me.  Even though i use protection, he is capable of causing extreme damage to my body. He also makes me feel wild and untethered. i know better. i’ve had a lot of Physics, and it isn’t going to end well. Nothing but trouble, that motorcycle. He is the bad boy.

polyamory

With the acquisition of the Jag, i had to move my daily driver outside. The 2005 Honda Civic – the car i inherited from my daughter – doesn’t complain about the eviction. During a ridiculously cold winter, he started every single time i turned the key. He is cluttered with the daily shrapnel from my life – my gym bag, expired drug store coupons, CDs, used Kleenex and about a dozen cloth bags that i use for shopping. He’s my go-to for taking Mom to her medical appointments – the seat isn’t too high, or too low, so it’s easy for her to get in and out. He takes me to work. He takes me shopping. He doesn’t complain when i don’t shave. He is my husband.

My heart, indeed, has many rooms. i could use just a bit more space in the garage…

H is for Husband

Quarterly Update: Un-fucking Myself

In December, i set forth to un-fuck a few aspects of my life.  Nothing huge, just a few necessary course corrections.  It’s going well…

Finger Un-fucking:  After a referral by my general practitioner to a hand surgeon, i was dreading the complications of a surgical “slice and dice”.  Fortunately, this particular surgeon is not a meat cowboy, and wisely prescribed a bit of physical therapy.  Not ruptured tendons, but shredded ligaments.  The resulting scar tissue was keeping my finger curled up like a claw.  Three weeks of PT, and significant improvements had been achieved by mid-February. i continue to sleep in a splint, do my finger exercises, and occasionally wear the spring-loaded torture device prescribed by my therapist.  95% recovered, without spilling blood. Although i will continue therapy on my own,  i consider my finger officially un-fucked.

Check!

Space Un-fucking: January saw me tearing through boxes in the garage and storage room.  Many of them full of shrapnel moved into the new place in 2008 by my daughter – she had been preparing for her studies in Beirut as we prepared to move from our previous home.  This led to many boxes of “un-sorted shit”.  Much of that shit has now been sorted.  The trash disposed of, treasures re-packed and safely stored – and dozens of bags and boxes taken to the local thrift store for recycling.  Not only tackling her stuff, i got through much of my own.  Two Jeep-loads* cleared in January.  February and March have been full of entertaining distractions, but i plan to get back to this in April.  My goal is at least one Jeep-load per month removed from my home – trash, or thrift store, i will continue to reduce my footprint in the homestead.

Progress?  Check!  An on-going battle, though…

Body Un-fucking:  It hasn’t been fun, but it’s working.  As of this morning, down 15 pounds since the end of December.  Picked up a regular gym habit, wearing (and using) my fitbit for accountability, and making changes in my food habits – to include portion control, calorie counting, and ‘just saying no’ to the things that will slow down progress.  i feel better, have more energy, and have noticed looser clothing.  Granted, this is my ‘fat’ wardrobe, but being able to take off a pair of jeans without unbuttoning them feels good – especially when they were a bit snug a few months ago.

Having Studley as my ‘accountability buddy’ has been essential — he’s down 35 pounds, and has already approached his goal for the year.  i am both delighted and annoyed by this… He promises to remain my accountability buddy, and workout buddy.

Hmmm…. i guess that makes him my “un-fuck” buddy…

Whatever…

So there’s the score card for the first three months.  Not bad.  There’s another thing that’s been dogging me that i’m going to add for the upcoming quarter.  A project that stalled due to a vexing technical challenge – the holidays got in the way, too.

A year ago, i tackled a ridiculous project.  Tearing down a broken upright piano at the theater, i carted it home piece by piece, and re-assembled it in my basement.  It is going to become something else – a Frankenstein piece for my party palace.  When i hit a serious hurdle in November, i parked the project, with hopes of getting back to it in January.

But i didn’t.

So now, i shall un-fuck my MacGyver project, and get back to work. Leaving such things unfinished is simply not how i like to roll.

gutted piano

There will be another quarterly update at the end of June.  It is my intention to have hauled at least three more Jeep-loads of ‘stuff’ out of my home.  It is my intention to be at least 15 pounds lighter than i am today.  It is my intention to have overcome my technical roadblock, and be well on my way to completing the piano conversion.

———-

* “Jeep-load” is an acceptable volumetric unit of measure in these parts.  For conversion purposes, “10 Jeep-loads” = “1 Shit-load”.

 

 

Dance on, little sister….

If you didn’t know that there was a Puerto Rican restaurant in the worn building tucked between a highway and a tired strip mall in a working class neighborhood, you’d drive right by.

Most days, Antojitos does a steady business for lunch and dinner.  One Saturday night a month, they close to host a private party – reservations only.  Fabulous buffet dinner for $20.  Since it’s a private party?  Bring your own drinks.

The magic starts when the music begins.  Members of a regional salsa band consider it a ‘jam’.  They have friends, and other musicians drop in whenever possible.  Sometimes a small subset of the band gets going.  Other nights?  The small storefront is packed solid with a full horn section, percussion, keyboard and guitars.

At some point during the evening, you are no longer in a nearly invisible restaurant in a smallish town in the Midwest – you forget all that.  You’re in Old San Juan, or some cheerful dive in Central America, or in Little Havana….

Last weekend, i joined friends to celebrate a birthday at Antojitos.  Some had been to “Salsa Night” before, but for a few it was a first time.  It was a good night to be baptized.  Full horn section in the house, with guest artists from a local high school jazz band. My guitar teacher, and her husband, were there as well.  Almost two dozen musicians!

The place was packed!  Our group of 20 crammed two tables at the front of the restaurant.  Another 50 people were packed in – tables so close together we were nearly sitting on top of each other!

Getting our fill of the amazing food at the buffet, our attention turned to a matter of tremendous importance — making room for a dance floor!  We helped tear down two large tables, and rearrange to clear some space in the middle of the room.

The music started.  The magic happened.  Couples hopped up to dance.  Young children joined on percussion instruments.  Joy, laughter, music!  All ages in the house – including multi-generational families.

And so it went… music, dance, drinks, laughter.

By midnight, the crowd had thinned out a bit, but the dancers had kicked up the energy to fill the space.  Returning from the restroom, i was stopped by a young girl.  Maybe 10 years old…

“I like the way you dance.”

Confident and direct, this was completely unexpected!  i mentioned that she seemed to be pretty good on the percussion instruments, too!  i thanked her, and returned to the dance floor.

As the band kicked into the last song of the night, i was standing by a wall, deciding if i had one more in me.  My young friend stepped up, took my hand and led me out to the floor.  The kid had salsa moves!  Executing steps and turns with confidence and grace, she threw it down – and i had to work to keep up!

dance li'l sister

This was taken earlier in the night, but that’s my girl in the light blue shirt.  She’s got it goin’ on…