Friday, April 23, 2010

A birthday bash at 85!

I figured we would be half an hour late, but it went beyond that. We, my husband and I, got to the party an hour late. It started at 11 AM and was to end 3:30 PM, so an hour was not bad. The food was buffet style, and there were still plenty left. On our way there, we made a wrong turn and got past our exit on the freeway. We exited after noticing that we reached the next town already, and we looked for familiar street names. We found one, and drove till we got there. The party was well underway, but some tables still have empty chairs left, so we grabbed a couple for us.

The invitation.
(click image to enlarge)

The birthday girl...err...celebrant was my landlady some decades ago. Till now she never forgets to invite me and my husband at her parties. When she turned 80 five years ago, we were there to celebrate with her. It was a casual party with a few friends in attendance. I gave her a 16" x 20" oil painting.

This time, I gave her an 8" x 10" painting I did summer of 2009.

The celebrant dancing with a guest.

Now turning 85 is a bigger milestone. More people were invited and she was dressed to the hilt in a white, lacy embroidered gown. It is amazing that at her age she can still dance a little, though I noticed that she has a bit of a hunch and has a hard time getting on her feet. She has some gray hair; some wrinkles; but all in all she looks fantastic, and very alert. Except for the stiffness of joints she could pass for a 60-year-old.

The celebrant with some guests.

There was a short program that included a toast with a brief biography of the celebrant; introduction of the offspring and their children; her siblings and their spouses and children. This party was given to her by her 3 children. The oldest now in his late forties; the middle, a woman in her forties, married with children; and the youngest in his early forties, married with children, as well. The celebrant's husband and father of the children passed away sometime in the 1970s.

Guests hitting the dance floor.

And, as usual, in any Filipino party there is always dancing. As soon as the music was on everyone was at the floor doing their line dancing, cha-chas, and mambos...except for me. I have forgotten the steps of those dances, and besides my husband has 2 left feet. With a slow dance, he always stepped on my foot. Ouch! So, I'd rather not dance. Why suffer?

When we said good-bye to her youngest, he said, "See you in 5 years." I gave him a thumbs up. It's possible she would still be around by that time.

Would I wish to get to that age? Yes, if I could still boogie and eat without dentures.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Never a dull moment

I was halfway through reading my niece's email when the telephone rang. I picked it up and saw that it was my friend, Jun. "Hello," I greeted her.

"Good morning. How are you?" she greeted me back.

"Good, I'm good. What's going on?"

"Nice day today, huh?" she said. The sun was out and it seems it's going to be warmer than the previous days, where the sun peeked in and out of the clouds and there was a slight breeze.

"Yup, better than yesterday, and the other days. Clear blue sky," I said as I looked out the window.

"Don't you feel like going out?
I don't want to stay home and get fungus on me," she added.

"You mean get moldy," I said.

"Right," she replied.

It's a Tuesday and there's a free flea market about 6 miles from where I live. Since I've been cooped up in the house during those days, I haven't seen nor gone out with Jun and my other friends. We talked on the phone quite often, and she understood why I can't meet with her. I've gone out a lot of times mostly with my husband to do some grocery shopping. She knew that I've passed "that route" already, and figured that this time, as I have alluded to her, that I might be ready to meet her.

"It's a little past 10 o'clock; it's still early. Okay, I'll get dressed then I'll call you."

I have not driven my car for like 6 months and it seems I'm not sure of my confidence to drive again, unless someone is there by me. My husband drove me all those times.

Jun promised to pick me up. I called her as soon as I was ready and she was there in my driveway in no time at all. I jumped on her car and gave her a hug. We haven't seen each other for a while and during those times she has grown her hair long. She usually wears a short hairdo.

We chatted non-stop as she drove, till we got to the flea market. Maybe I'll be lucky this time and find some good stuff. I bought a lot of frames here. Some were used with a couple of nicks, but I retouch those with acrylic paint. Some were never used still wrapped in kraft paper. I bought some canvasses in their original wrappers, oil paints, watercolors and brushes; and the prices are unbelievably low.

This time I got myself a small gold leafed photo frame for a 5" x 7" picture for a measly $0.75!; a pair of gel shoe insoles for $0.50; and a glass tumbler for 0.25, and all in it's original packages. The tumbler will be for my bathroom; time to replace the old beat up plastic one I have. It was not much this day, but going out there was fun and worth the time.

(click image to enlarge)

After our flea market sojourn we headed for lunch at a fast food restaurant. While we ate our fish sandwiches we talked and laughed, talked and laughed, and talked and laughed some more.

Then we drove to a nearby clothes store to shop for some clothes. Jun needed light clothes for her trip to Hawaii this coming week. She found a few she liked, and a nice bejeweled pair of sandals. I bought a cute cotton hat for me; could not find a nice, cheap...err...inexpensive pair of shoes.

On the way home I said to Jun, "My husband isn't home. He's in prison!" Then I laughed. I have never laughed so much for quite a long time.

"Whaaat?" was Jun's surprised question. Then she laughed, as well, realizing it was a joke. "Why you!" she added.

"He's at the polling place; he's the inspector. Today is local election day," I said.

She dropped me off at my house. I thanked her and we said our good-byes. We had fun. There's never a dull moment with Jun.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The road less traveled

It's been a long while. I was on a journey, an uncertain one. The road was dark, desolate, and forbidding; but it was one I have to take. There was no other route. Along the way my life flashed before my eyes; saw myself when I was a young girl till my adulthood. I remember my friends in high school, and wondered where they are now. I reminisced my college days; and thought about my siblings and parents.

My life seemed to have made a screeching halt some 6 months ago, but I moved on determined to pass the dark clouds above my head. I trudged on hoping to reach the end of the lonely road; hoping to see a silver lining behind the dark clouds. And what seemed to take forever finally ended. I was there at the end of the road.

The sun was brightly shining and I basked in it. I felt the warmth on my arms, face and my bare head. What a joy!

I have passed the dark clouds and now there was a clear blue sky. Then it dawned on me that I am not out of the woods yet. I, however, will go on and take it one day at a time... and celebrate.