Archive for February, 2013

Love All-ways

Happy day of the heart, if you like to say Happy Valentine’s Day. I have always been lucky in love, not romantically speaking, but at least as far as my family was concerned. There has always been an abundance of love in my life. This year my sister sent me one of the best Valentine’s Day cards and for the past few weeks I have been thinking of what up until now has stood out in my memory as the best Valentine’s gift of my life. The two seem to mirror each other in a way and it seems fitting, as they would each involve my parents who are at the very epicenter of my love.

Up until this year, the best Valentine’s Day gift of my life came when I was a very young girl from my father. It was when I was probably 3 or 4 and when we still had no car in our family. We were poor; we took the bus, walked, and rode bikes a lot. It didn’t stop my parents or any of the extended family from loving me an awful lot. This particular Valentine’s Day my father was working downtown with refugees from Southeast Asia or the elderly and disenfranchised; it all seems to meld into one pot in my memory. My father called my mom and me and said a gift was on its way. Out we went to wait for a mysterious delivery; I wore silver high heels and most likely a party dress (that was back in the days when I refused to wear pants of any kind). I remember happily hopping up and down our steps; singing or humming to myself, anticipation and the joy it brings simmering in my stomach and heart. We waited, we sat, time passed and then a lone yellow taxi drove down our street. We never took taxis in those days, they were too pricey and something I noticed only in my periphery. But then the lone taxi with no one in the back seat slowed down in front of us and then came to a stop. The driver rolled down his window and shouted out “are one of you Ramona or Barbara?” “Yes, yes, yes,” I yelled, “that’s me!” A driver who in my memory could have been a longshoreman labored to get out of the taxi and walked around to open the back door. There in the empty back seat was a boxed up cake with a note that said “Happy Valentine’s Day! I Love You, Pops”. My father had sent us a cake in a taxi; he paid money we never spent on ourselves to send a cake to my mom and me. I felt my heart rise right out of me that day and float like a helium balloon into the sky. The cake I don’t remember much but the taxi and what it symbolized to a young child made an indelible mark.

I have remembered this memory every year in February, I have always held it up as the very example of love, never has it been met in equal parts until this year. Just a few days ago my sister sent me a card, a simple note on stationary but inside was a drawing of a purple heart and a handmade card from a long time ago. My sister is going through some of my mother’s belongings and she came across a valentine my mother gave me 30 odd years ago, perhaps the same year as the cake or the year after. My mother kept it in a box all this time and my sister found it last month and sent it to me just the other day. Somehow a lifetime later and in my mother’s absence a purple water color kept pristine all of these years did the same thing to me as the cake in the back of a taxi, it made my heart balloon open and soar up to the sky.

So whatever you do this Valentine’s Day (or if you choose to do nothing at all) I hope you remember there is a big purple heart for you out there. There is love in our lives every day. It may not look how we imagine it but it is there and sometimes it’s drawn in water color and kept in a box until just the time you need it most.

Love,

Ra

14

02 2013

Orlando To Salt Lake City And Some Photos In Between

And just like that, two-weeks are over; my most recent project for work has ended and life slowly returns. I had a week of work in Orlando, one of my least favorite places to go, followed directly by a week of work in Salt Lake City, somehow extremely foreign and mysterious under 8 inches of snow in one day and then 4 in another. I took a few photos during the weeks.

My trip started with a lovely necklace from India I spontaneously bought at the airport. Gold beads strung on thin strands of string, and it makes me so happy every time I wear it.

I had altogether way too much time in front of my computer doing nothing but charts, e-mail, more charts, more e-mail, followed by more charts, more e-mails. 170 hours of work is a lot.

I left Orlando looking a little something like this.

I arrived in Salt Lake City the same day looking a little like this.

We stayed in the most glorious hotel in Salt Lake City and everyone joked that it felt like we were in Downton Abbey, and it did a little. We saw 2 professional basketball teams in our seven days at the hotel.  As I mentioned it snowed, it snowed, and it continued to snow. It seemed to set a spell on life. Working and walking halls that looked out onto white flurries. Days upon days of a faint dreamy veil outside while inside the work continued.

I spent a week fantasizing, dreaming, and admiring a certain pair of insane shoes only to have them bought for me on a particularly bad workday. Purple with gold tipped toes.

There was more than just work; we played air hockey, pool, and went bowling. Dinner with old friends and new friends.

I took a walk up to the Salt Lake Temple my last morning. No, I am not coming back either converted or married.

And now it’s time for relaxation, for some visits, and to get back to life without being attached at the hip to my computer and phone. Already the Pacific air is in my lungs and the misty fog of Salinas valley mornings and hikes up hills are collecting my time.

Love,

Ra

 

04

02 2013