Week 151 February 18, 2017

Another week has flown by, spent mainly in Castro Valley. Between storms we had a lovely, few sunny days, even more appreciated for the rain. As I drove around parts of the San Francisco bay area, I was awed again by luscious green hills all around, and golden sunsets reflected in the waters. But as I was driving I could not snap any photos.
We enjoyed a memorable afternoon and evening with dear, sweet friends and three of their delightful eight granddaughters, in San Jose. The sisters, ranging in age from 8 to 13 were curious about our travels, and it was fun to reminisce with them with the aid of our friends’ globe. Where was my camera after I snapped a photo of their gaily decorated mailbox? Non so – I do not know, in Italian. We stayed overnight in their guest room and had one more treasured opportunity to catch up with our friends over breakfast before we headed off to Sunday worship service.
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Loren and I so enjoyed seeing many of our friends from our Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sunnyvale. Throughout the service to fellowship afterwards, we learned about some of what we have missed over nearly three years of being away from our home spiritual community. Afterwards we enjoyed a leisurely lunch with our close friend and choir director, then we visited with a longtime friend whose 87 year old husband had died while we were away. But again, my camera?!
Loren and I also enjoyed taking his Mom for coffee at Cafe Rumi one day. She appreciates every opportunity to be out of the house, where she is also quite comfortable but spends most of her time. The cafe screen periodically scrolled photos with quotes of the ancient Persian poet and Sufi mystic, Rumi. This one is my favorite: “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love, it will not lead you astray.” We subsequently took Loren’s Mom to the library, another place she enjoys, to check out a couple of books.
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I hope you too had a lovely Valentine’s Day this week. Loren treated me out for sushi the night before to beat the crowds, then surprised me with a bottle of champagne the next morning. I enjoyed it with him by skipping on taking a Bikram yoga class – my usual time to practice, and went later in the day.
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Three more memorable evenings were had this week. The first was with Loren’s Mom, sister, cousins and their friends, we had a fun celebration of Valentine’s Day at the Italian Colombo Club in Oakland, California.
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The dining hall was gaily decorated for the event. Loren’s Mom remembers various special times here with family during her childhood.
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She handed us money beforehand to purchase raffle tickets at the door, and, true to her prediction, our purchased tickets afforded us to be big drawing winners that evening!
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Another memorable evening was spent in good conversation with special neighbors at one of their homes for dinner in San Jose. Fortunately one of them thought of using his camera to record the evening, then I was able to ensure that he too was in a photo. Thank you dear friends!
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Beforehand, Loren and I had looked over our yard from the sidewalk, and I was tickled to notice how the small maple sapling which his sister had given us before we left home is thriving at about two to three times its former size.
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I have to comment too this week on how wonderful it has been to be back in the hot yoga room on a nearly daily basis for a little over a month now. My practice continues to improve given all that I learned in Teacher Training in 2014, and from a variety of senior teachers as we have traveled. It feels so good to stretch and rebuild my muscles, move and soothe my joints, notice healing sweat on my clearer and smoother skin, apply light tourniquet pressure and release to various areas of my body through the postures, and, build focus and concentration with the teacher’s meditative dialog. At the end of class many teachers say, “Namaste,” leaving us in Savasana with lights turned low. Translated it means, “The Spirit within me honors the Spirit within you.” I wish everyone could have similar regular reparative routines for body and mind. I end this with that wish.
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