Sometimes you have trips with very well defined and choreographed itineraries, where you know what is/should be happening down to some overly detailed level of detail.
This week has not been one of those, it’s been more of going with the flow.
And that’s ok.
A planned trip to visit friends in Monterey was built around an invitation to co-present some new Amazing Stories in San Jose but the session took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and did not happen, so now I have a new presentation’s worth of materials sitting in the wings (and thanks to people like Silvia for tossing me even newer and more Amazing ones).
You see, my friends, who must be about the most gracious and welcoming in terms of opening up their home, befriended a family who was here for a wedding, and some of the bride’s family had been camped at their place for almost two weeks. John volunteered himself, his son, and now me, to be part of the “A/V” crew, setting up a sound system for the ceremony and shooting some candid photos during the rehearsal and the main event.
Heck, the closest I came to bringing formal wear was long pants (jeans). And cowboy boots. I had to borrow a belt.
What seemed remarkable, and honestly should not seem so, was how equally gracious this family was in welcoming someone they did not know to such a pivotal family extravaganza. And these was no ordinary family, or maybe in some ways it was- I came away with something enriched in terms of what a modern American family could be.
From what I could count and map mentally, both sets of parents on each side had been remarried, so there were at least parental units (you really did need a program and maybe a John Madden diagram to chart them)… and they all got long- not just in the way ex-spouses might tolerate each other, but in a genuine, down to earth, honest manner. And what an ethnic stew- there were strands of Korean, Caucasian, Japanese, Hispanic, and probably more I could only guess at. It really meant nothing.
And also reassuring, in this world where I mingle with a lot of new people on a daily basis in the somewhat removed online world, here was a chance to socialize in the ordinary face to face manner (though most people had mobiles out and in use at various times- and fortunately not updating facebook status not at the I Do moment).
Had this trip not happened, I would not have had some great conversations with a talented musician who is also a self employed programmer, and gave some great insight into a city in the middle of the country I would have never before had much interest in even knowing about.
And yes, as someone on the dissolved end of one marriage, I aimed to to keep my own cynicism in check, especially for a day when the hopes are at the high plane all hopes should be (and should live forever). Just because many marriages don’t make it the 50+ years my parents had, does not preclude this very one from being on that path. Many do, but it’s just not really news.
Without our high hopes and dreams what would we be? Or where would we dream of going?
So despite the fact I did not “get much work done” on my weekdays here, and I did take advantage of any of the available attractions here, I cannot think of a better way to have spent the last few days, just going with the flow of unexpected activities.
Just going with the flow has been more than ok.