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July 12, 2010

Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance.

The title is from the song I've had stuck in my head since last Thursday. I love you, Van Morrison, but please make it stop. I was even singing it in my head last night as I slept, or tried to sleep.

I've been re-reading one of my favorite books, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. He writes nonfiction that reads as smoothly as a novel (my other favorite in this genre is Sebastian Junger, author of another all-time favorite book, The Perfect Storm.) Into Thin Air is a first-person view into the now-infamous Mt. Everest expedition of 1996 where two very well-known mountain guides and many others died in a single day. I'm fascinated with people who climb mountains and I love reading stories about extreme climbing and watching all those documentaries about it, though I myself plan to climb no higher than the top of the stairs here in the apartment to do some laundry. I've watched both seasons of that reality show about people wanting to climb the mountain and just the trek to base camp itself seems daunting. I go through phases where I read a lot of mountain climbing stuff. Is this odd for an avowed couch potato? Maybe it's like armchair traveling?

Last night I read a few chapters before I went to bed. Even though I have read this book twice and already know how it ends, duh, it's still a page-turner. Finally, I put the book down and went to bed and then had a very detailed dream about me, my mom and my dad climbing Mt. Everest. Apparently I am sporty in my subconscious. We made it all the way to camp four and then all the sudden I had to turn around and go back. And in the dream my parents were like, "Ok! See you later!" and I was really mad that they kept going. It was dramatic. Apparently my head is combining all the time I've spent reading about Mt. Everest with all the time I've spent with my family recently and is spitting it out reality-show style in a dream. Freaky. And it was all played over a Van Morrison soundtrack.

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My parents drove their house-on-wheels from Idyllwild to Orange County to be closer to Grandma. I went down last week to visit and on Saturday we were at the nursing home chatting with Grandma, she seemed really good. We got on the topic of traveling -- she and Grandpa traveled all over the world before he passed away -- and I asked her what her favorite travel destination was in all that time.

"Well, I found something to enjoy about every place we visited," she said. And she went on to tell me about some of her favorite places, like seeing the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota.

"You know, Grandma, I've never been there. Or to Mount Rushmore. Or most of the middle," I said. "Sometimes I feel embarrassed that I've seen so many far-off places and I've only seen part of the United States."

"Oh, I think you're doing it just right," said Grandma. "Travel now and see the world while you're young and can stand those long plane rides. Later when you're older you can stay here and see the whole country."

All this time I felt a little guilty for always wanting to go off somewhere else and see the world and in just a five-minute conversation she changed my whole outlook. That's one of the things I've always liked about Grandma. She never really makes excuses or has regrets.

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Like watching paint dry. The progress of glove #2, now at the thumb gusset.

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Finally, finally:



Sobakowa enjoying a little early morning contemplation time.

Posted by laurie at July 12, 2010 10:01 AM