SoCS: You’re leaving when?

I am almost ready to go to Hawai’i for five weeks. On second thought, that is almost entirely untrue.

In fairness,  I have been making preparations, beyond the obligatory travel arrangements. I’ve just been making them for other people – helping T move to Albany for the summer to start an exciting internship with the NYS DEC, getting things as squared away as possible with the elders, making plans for the spirituality group I facilitate to carry on without me, etc.

What I haven’t done yet are things like packing and making arrangements for the mail to be held and printing itineraries and copying important documents and emails into the cloud so that I can access them when I am 5,000 miles from my desktop.

So, now It’s crunch time and I have three days.

Ready, set, go!
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This post is part of Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt this week is: “almost.”  Come join us!  Find out how here:  http://lindaghill.com/2015/05/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-3015/

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Mother’s Day

Last year on Mother’s Day, I was with my husband B in Honolulu with both daughters E and T and son-in-law L.  You can read about it here and here.

This year, B and I will be having Mother’s Day brunch with both of our moms and my dad in the dining room at the senior community where they all live. I am especially grateful to be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with with my mom and mother-in-law this year because the past year has been rough for both of them health-wise but they are both much improved and able to enjoy the day, which is oddly summery for mid-May.

Meanwhile, E and T are on an adventure together in New York City. They converged there on Friday, E from Honolulu HI and T from Syracuse NY, and are staying with my sister. E is attending Japan Day in Central Park because six members from jpop phenomenon AKB48 will be performing. E’s master thesis is about the fandom, especially the online fans outside of Japan, so this is a great opportunity for her to make connections and conduct interviews for her research. T has just finished her semester in her master’s program and came down to help her sister for the weekend. It is also their only chance to get together this summer because T will be doing an internship assisting with botany studies in New York State parks. (Way to go, T!)

I’m so happy that they will have this special long weekend together. Their bond with each other is one of the true joys of being their mother.  While B and I won’t get to see them together, we will get time to see them separately. T will get a couple of weeks at home before her internship begins and we just made reservations to go to Hawai’i in June to see E while L is in London working on his dissertation research.

The generations of our family illustrate that being a mom is forever!

SoCS: field trip

My daugher T was scheduled to go to Dominica for ten days to do field work with her tropical ecology class. They were scheduled to leave Syracuse early Thursday morning to fly to Newark, the first of four legs to get them to the island. Because of the storm hitting the coast, the flight was cancelled Wednesday evening. The professors told them to stay tuned and the travel agents went to work to try to rebook. Unfortunately, the earliest that they could re-book the group was Wednesday, so the trip had to be cancelled. It was a major bummer, given that they spent the first half of the semester learning about the ecology there and prepping for the trip, including things like getting immunized for typhoid fever.

The silver lining for us is that T is now home for spring break. It’s nice for us and for her grandparents, who have been battling various maladies this winter.

And we are sure that T won’t contract typhus…

This post is part of Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays. This week’s prompt is “go.”  Join us! Visit this link for rules:  http://lindaghill.com/2015/03/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-715/

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Darkness

We flew into Hilo last night, picked up our rental car, and drove to our home for the next two nights, Volcano Guest House, which is not far from the entrance to Volcanoes National Park. We are staying in “The Upstairs” of the main house, which is a conversion of the bedrooms of the now-grown children of the house into a two-bedroom mini-apartment.

The house where we are staying and the cottages and other outbuildings are built to be as self-sustaining as possible, with solar hot water heating (with electrical back-up for rainy days or heavy use), rain water catchment, and wood stoves, with electric space heaters and extra blankets and electric mattress pads for chilly nights.

One of the accoutrements is a (hand-cranked) flashlight. That seemed a bit curious, but last night we understood why it is necessary.

Last night, we experienced the most darkness we had seen since the flood in September 2011 left us with no electricity for several days. Given that our bodies aren’t adjusted to Hawai’i Standard Time yet, we awoke about 2 AM, which constitutes sleeping in until 8 on Eastern Daylight Time, to total darkness. Because it is raining, there was no moonlight or starlight. There are no streetlights and the Volcano Guest House buildings are carved into the rain forest with as small a footprint as possible.

Coincidentally, I have read been reading/hearing a lot about darkness lately. The darkness near here that makes the Mauna Kea observatory one of the finest in the world. The threat to the Kopernik Observatory in our hometown from the light pollution of gas wellpads and flaring right across the border in PA. The Dark Skies initiative that reserves certain places to retain as much of their natural darkness as possible. The imagery of the light coming into the darkness at Easter Vigil services. A cover article in a recent Time magazine on Barbara Brown Taylor and the spiritual lessons of darkness.

Enveloped in the darkness, we were able to get back to sleep, awaking with the still-rainy dawn to the songs of unfamiliar birds.