I was awake before the birds again this morning. Coughed myself awake, actually. Not the bone-jarring coughs of April and May. But enough to inspire stifled giggles: cough toot cough toot cough toot cough OK I'm up. Downstairs. Glass of juice. Cheese stick. Upstairs. Round of knitting. Catch up on the Yarn Harlot's world. And now here I am. About ready for a second round of sleep, because today is going to be a long one.
Back home in Texas the parade is about to start. A bunch of my friends will be gathering along the streets of downtown Arlington. I haven't gone since I moved to Fort Worth and then Garland. So, six years at least. My favorite part of parades when I was a kid was the floats. But for the past 20 years it's been the high school marching bands. *Love* drumlines. Love them.
Hard to believe it's been 20 years since we left the Hill Country with our tails between our legs. So much has happened. Four marriages. Two divorces. Surgeries. Births. Miscarriages. Deaths. Poverty. Love. Hope. Healing. Hard work. Repentance. Laughter. Self-discipline. Education. Persistence.
I spent some time sifting through old family photos yesterday. I look so much like my great-aunt Maria (pronounced maRYEuh). The Germanic bone structure. The fierce intelligence shining in our eyes. The "do not start with me" set of our jaws. Two tough cookies, born and bred for hard times. There is one portrait of her with her husband at a very great age. Her eyes have softened, and she is almost grinning. As if she has outlasted almost everything life could throw at her.
She was born in the 1850's and was gone decades before I got here. I did her temple work over 20 years ago. I did not feel any particular witness that she had accepted it, although the children's father did, and I took his word for it. But the spirit of my ancestors is very strong, here in my sister's house. And yesterday I felt that connection. I am feeling it again as I write.
Love lives here.