Sunday, December 2, 2012

What a long strange November . . .

Harrisonburg is wonderfully hospitable as Doug and Nancy showed us the sites.  Who knew the theater was alive and well and western Virginia?  We managed to attend three plays in two weeks.  First a modern play in Harrisonburg - Love Song - was a treat and a glimpse of what we were in for in Virginia.  Next we venture down to Staunton,VA (pronounced Stanton for all you non-locals) to the Blackfriars theater and two  Shakespeare plays - Two Gentlemen of Verona and King John.  Both excellent and presented in Globe Theater style with no theatrical lighting.  An unexpected high point was the cast doing an acoustical version of the Rolling Stones classic Gimme Shelter.  Life is full of surprises.
An extra pleasure was a visit from Matt, a graduate school friend I have not seen is 20 years or so, who came up from Richmond.  Amazing how you can pick up a 20 year old conversation as if no time had passed.
Finally, after ten days or so of great political discussion, walks through the countryside, and almost constant munching, we are off for the drive up to Basking Ridge, New Jersey and our Diamond Way Buddhist Retreat.

550 people showed up from all over the world to participate in the Phowa course. I can't begin to describe the length and breadth of this here, but if you are interested check out Diamond Way.
I'm not sure how sitting on a cushion for eight hours a day can make one so hungry, but it does.  Fortunately there was ample fabulous food and an endless stream of wonderful friends to share an amazing five days of teaching and meditation.

After the course in New Jersey we make our way to Boston to visit another long time friend which I have also not seen in 20 years (is there a theme developing here?).  Dave, my old business partner from Massachusetts lives in Boston and has recently restored the 1955 GMC pickup we used in our building business 30 years ago.  (Ouch, that sounds really old)  Anyway, more late nights of catching up over bottles of old scotch made for a great visit.  Boston is really an interesting place if you ignore the traffic.  Spent a day at the Public Library - a magnificent building built in 1895.  Sad that we don't put this kind of attention and spirit into our modern public buildings anymore.

And now for something completely different . . .

After an all to short visit we are on a plane to Denver - then a car into the mountains for Jo Ann's niece's wedding.  The C Lazy U ranch outside Granby, CO is the setting for a marvelous time and a special occasion for Alyssa and Drew.  I must admit, when I heard we were going to an OUTSIDE wedding in the mountains in December in Colorado I was a bit suspect, but all turned out beautifully.  Once again in a short two weeks we were forced to consume too much delicious food and drink.  I'm not sure how we managed it  but we persevered.  Life can be challenging at times - fortunately, we are up to the task.

I also had a chance to get back to my non-existent cowboy roots.  One of the benefits of going to a wedding at a  ranch in Colorado is that they have horses - lots of horses.  And, you can actually ride them.  Well, you can sit on their backs while they move.  That's pretty close to riding but I won't flatter myself to say that I pulled off any Roy Rogers moves here.  I was especially pleased when the wrangler took one look at me and decided that I should ride "Mungo".  Mungo is part draft horse and at least a foot taller than every other horse in the herd.  Needless to say, my mount and I cut a striking figure against the Colorado landscape.

Of course Jo Ann actually did look like a total natural astride "Molly" and she galloped off into the sunset.

More about the month of December soon . . .

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