I thought I would write about the last two days together, since they we similiar.
On Saturday, I danced along my usual morning routine. I woke about 5:30 AM and went out for a morning walk when the eastern sky was a pale blue. It was a beautiful California morning covered with the fog that is typical of this time of year here in San Jose. The highlight of the walk was as I circled near Starbird Park I heard the sound of geese calling as they flew through the fog. It was their classic call and response as they formed up to move on. I visited my usual chat haunt and had an hour or two of good conversation as I drank coffee and listened to music (Warren Zevon).
From there, I went up to the Pleasanton Highland Games (Pleasanton is in the north bay, up east of Oakland). It is about an hours drive. I went with my friends Pierre and Helen and my nephew Tom. It was a good time - the whether was hot, but not pounding heat we have encountered there before so that really made the whole experience completely enjoyable. We ate a variety of foods, bangers, sheppies, corn dogs, gyros and washed them down with beer, lemonade, and cold water.
My favorite parts of the Games this year were the music (Tempest, The Browne Sisters with George Cavanaugh, Alex Keaton), the pipe bands (something about the sound of a bagpipe that is very stirring), and just the overall weather and company. We left about 5:00 PM and made the drive back home. I took a nice splash through the swimming pool, ate dinner (a burrito - seems to have been a convenience food day), played online a little and then curled up with a book (still reading "The Good Fairies of New York - I excepted a paragraph from it in an earlier entry).
I got an excellent night sleep and this morning woke up at my usual time, took a walk, and then came in and curled back up with my book until 8:00 AM or so. That was an excellent way to spend a lazy late summer morning. I came online and went to chat - and then the phone rang.
My aunt Marie, who lives in Rapid City, SD was severely burned in an accident in her home. They currently suspect that she was asleep in bed when a lamp shorted out and caught the bed and her night clothes on fire. One of her grandchildren was staying with her and was woken when she cried out and was able to summon EMS quickly.
She was treated at the local hospitaland then flown to a burn specialty unit in Greeley, Colorado where she remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma. The burns cover a significant part of the left side of her body, arm, neck and face. Her prognosis is "wait and see". Aunt Marie is in her late seventies and was in frail health prior to the accident, so the prognosis is not good. Her immediate family (kids and grandkids, my mom and step dad) have all been to visit her and spend time with her. So, the whole thing is a waiting game at this place. After talking with my Mom I took another walk to recenter. They are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Recentered, I went ahead with my plans to go downtown in San Jose to the San Jose Art & Talent Festival (a big three day festival in downtown San Jose). I drove over to Campbell and took the light rail to downtown San Jose to avoid the parking snarls (and fees) in downtown. I missed the parking lot turn so had to circle around Campbell (the Campbell Farmers Market had the main street blocked off), which meant - I missed the train by a minute (it was pulling out as I pulled in). It was a perfectly good excuse to walk downtown Campbell, get a tall cup of black coffee, and watch the people at the Farmers Market, then walk back to the train station.
The ride downtown from Campbell is on only about fifteen minutes on the light rail, so it was a quick hop. I was on the same train as Jim and Valerie (Helen's parents), but a different car so we did not even realize it until we met at the festival. It was a great day in San Jose - the sun was shining brightly, the sky was blue, and there was a cool breeze that made the festival very nice. We had lunch at Askew (a restaurant that does skewered food) and then wandered the festival looking at the arts and crafts, people watching, listening to live music on three different stages, and sitting in the shade and just...enjoying the day. I caught the train home about 5:00 PM, had a simple dinner of pasta alfredo, and have settled in for the evening.
All in all, incidents and accidents aside, it has been a very good weekend so far. One more day to go and I am looking forward to that as well. I have not yet decided if I am going to go out and do something tomorrow, but I may, especially with the great weather that we have been having. Seems an absolute shame to waste it. On the news of course,Gustav is bearing down on the gulf coast. Best wishes to my friends in the region and I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.