Sunday, February 25, 2018


I didn't bring my camera to the beach, because, you know, you just want to not have to worry about that. The ocean was about the same temp as the apartment pool, around 72. We all got in and walked the beach. Jellyfish were washed up in the quieter stretches of beach. Fascinating creatures.

Pat and I went to the movie Annihilation while H and E went to an organ recital last night.

Sunday I went to church with the kids. My second time there. We're really just chillin'.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Day 4

Two entire days left here in sunny Gainesville. The distinguishing feature of Gville is the Spanish moss draping most all of the trees, and the gators of course. We have already seen many of the most famous Gators including loud Dennis who shouts angrily at passers by in the UF crosswalks, poor Ivy who is a 'business associate' of Dick Butkus, and the Friday afternoon dancing  Krishnas on campus.

We got a little lazy and a little pink yesterday at the pool, then met Hannah downtown for dinner. I am glad to say our Illinois flu bug has passed out of our systems.

On to the main event, the Gainesville Orchestra with Eli sitting in on La Mer movement 3, where five trumpets were needed. He had a stunning three note solo! The program theme Majesty of the Sea included Eli on Rapture, a contemporary piece, selections from West Side Story (?) and Pirates of the Carribean overture. They performed to a full house in the concert hall at Santa Fe College. Pretty imptressive. Afterwards we went backstage to meet Dr. Randolph Lee, Eli's trumpet professor. 

And just for Betsy, there was yet another Musical Chris Vick Doppleganger on second violin.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Nothing like waking at 3:22 when you don't have to be up until 6 or it anticipation, excitement, or just old vanilla insomnia. Maybe we will make an earlier departure for Florida than we thought.

Getting right with myself means leaving work behind, being grateful for all I have, and apparently stocking up on decongestant and Kleenex. Here's hoping we leave our colds and our worries behind and enjoy a week away from cold, frozen Illinois. 

Hello You Two

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

All I can say is, I wish you were here. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bucket List

In honor of Adam's life, I am hereby declaring my intention to fulfill my Bucket List. First things first: come up with a new and better name for bucket list. How about Dream Execution? Nah, sounds like I might be wanting to kill someone. Fantasy Rendering? Too kinky. Passion Inventory? This is not a business proposition. Joy Manifesto? Ted Kazinski anyone? Now I am attracting the attention of the FBI. Jiminy Christmas, let's just start over...

I'm just going to go with the working title: Zesty Index of Life Wishes to Complete Before I Die. Nothing to do with crackers, though.

So last week I knocked a couple of items off...I spent 60 minutes in a sensory deprivation isolation tank. Lest this sound too scary, these are also known as Relaxation Floats. You actually pay money to float in a closed pod of body temperature salt water. It is supposed to be sterile, sound proof and lightless. I found only the last component to be completely true.

I took a friend who happens to be a germophobe, so I can attest that the "perfectly clean" claim is questionable at best. You see, there are supposed to be two hours between one hour floats, plenty of time to filter and replace the water, right? But when we arrived, someone had fallen asleep in one of the tanks and was just getting out, and we were told the proprietor would have it ready in just a few minutes. Hmmm, no way were they replacing that water before we climbed in. I gallantly volunteered to use that tank, so that my friend could at least pretend like the other tank had been genuinely cleaned and filtered. It actually didn't bother me that much once I got in and had other issues to contend with.

The pods each have the option to keep the light on and meditation style music playing. I turned the music off almost immediately as wanted the full deprivation experience. Problem there was this location was on a busy city street and I could hear or maybe feel when heavier vehicles were passing by. Not really too distracting though, and only occasional.

The light is initially a pretty iridescent soft blue that makes your body look pretty amazing. Of course, you're in there by yourself so who really cares? I shut the light off too and it was truly pitch black. I couldn't tell if my eyes were open or closed.

Two things initially grabbed my attention and those were that I forgot to dry my face off before getting in as Molly suggested, and I forgot to put ointment on a small blister on my foot, and 1000 pounds of Epsom salt is pretty stingy to even small open wounds. After letting those thoughts go and consciously attempting meditation, I began to worry about haggling over the price when we got out- the posted signs in the spa didn't match what the internet said, so I worried there would be a debate. I worked that out of my head, using my masterful skills, telling myself this is all part of the process. I felt my shoulders and neck not cooperating with the relaxation, and I later realized I forgot another tip Molly gave us: to raise our arms above our head. That might have helped. Eventually I began to feel like I was submerged in a jelly mold. So I began swaying ever so slightly. This was a pretty cool feeling.

Towards the end of the hour, the humidity in the tank was feeling pretty heavy to my breathing. I had the faint thought I might be literally using up all the oxygen. But I didn't want to stir so much as it would take to open the door, so I just settled into that as well. Before I was necessarily ready, the soft light and music gently came on, and I got ready to exit, pleased that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I was absolutely thrilled that we were charged $10 less than we expected due to being referred by another customer. All in all, it was an interesting experience, but I am not dying to repeat it.

This is not me, but gives you an idea what the process looks like.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Feb. whatever

The days have really been flaking off since the anniversary of Adam's death, 2/2/18. A week goes so fast anymore. I always start the day off feeling great, and by the end of the day, somewhat like a walking zombie. A shower or a walk or ride at the Y usually helps.

I have to admit, I've been counting down the days now to our Florida trip and we are down to 11.

A little over one year ago, I was on this beautiful beach in Destin. This year the destination is Gainesville, which has no beach. No beats the heck out of Macomb. We are lucky that it worked out so that we are going to be able to see Eli play with the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra. Whatever else happens is icing on the cake.

This was my sand castle tribute to Adam on the beach last year, when I came back to check on it a day later.  He loved his sand castles.

My sweet daughter in law posted this on February 2:

I'll never forget seeing "Alice Through the Looking Glass" just a few months after Adam departed from us 2/2/16. Alan Rickman had also passed away recently, and his voice inhabited a butterfly at the start of the film... very poignant. When I think about Adam now, I remember what the Mad Hatter says to Alice at the end... "In the gardens of memory, in the palace of dreams, that is where you and I will meet."
Alan Rickman said "if only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust." I agree with him.

Some of Adam's friends posted pictures, memories and thoughts of him. It meant the world to me, and made the day a bit sweeter. 

Friday, February 02, 2018

February 2

I have been grieving more in the days and weeks leading up until today, making this day feel pretty okay. I have gotten several messages, cards, and texts, and it is nice to be remembered, and that Adam is remembered. Some wonderful Facebook posts; social media has the power to do good!

I took a casserole and some treats to a co-worker whose grandson died (age 3) on Monday. I don't know her well, but it definitely affected me, being so close to Adam's. I know how much it meant to me when people did anything really, but having plenty of comfort food available was really nice.

On Wednesday evening I attended a free Big Band concert in town. Most of the members were WIU faculty and students, and some talented community members thrown in. They played jazz standards from the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey "chart" (don't I sound fancy?). John Cooper, director of Jazz Studies and trumpeter, was the conductor. He also wrote a composition they played. He introduced it like this:

This piece is about the inevitability of
life, and sometimes you don't get
to say good-bye. So if you're missing someone 
tonight, this is for you.

It seemed really personal to him, but I'm not sure who he had did feel uncanny that I happened to be present, and it was so close to Adam's death date, and gosh it was a pretty number. I couldn't help the tears running down my face through the whole thing. It started with a piano solo, and John featured himself on trumpet. 

I had a really good workout in Spin class this morning. Thank you, buddy. However, as I was sitting in the stylist's chair no more than an hour later, I started to feel a head cold coming on, and my bones are slowly starting to ache, even in my hands.