Sunday, July 27, 2014

Birthdays and travels

Yesterday morning, with very mixed feelings, I drove away from the Vihara for the last time -- last time for this journey, anyway. I'm sure I'll be back. With that, my almost three months of happy, volunteer service to these three wonderful women came to a close and I re-entered what most of us consider to be the 'real' world.

Dave and Karen, at cake cutting.

Last night, I went to my old friend Dave's birthday party in Healdsburg. As he said when he introduced me to folks when I arrived, we've been friends for almost half a century, since somewhere around 1970. And he's right! Today I'm in Napa at a wonderfully comfortable and quiet private residence, with my next-oldest friends, from about 1979. I'm still catching up on sleep and rest, because once I 'let go' of my sense of responsibility on Friday and turned it over to the incoming helper, I had a huge tension release that is still continuing.

Saw some folks I've known for awhile last night, some I've only met once or twice and briefly at that, many I'd never met. But there were 5 pickers (guitar players) there and one fellow who toodled along with his flute at times, and that made for a wonderful jam session that was way too short for my taste. I could have had it go on for a long time.

Dave has an eclectic group of friends whose most common denominator is that they love him, because he truly is a great guy. Most of us go way back with Dave -- even though I don't know many of them because I left the city and the business (advertising) so had only occasional social contact with anybody but Dave. All interesting, good people.

Dave and his friend Alan

When I attended the last party, 5 years ago, I didn't stay long because I was tired from the drive from Oregon. I met Alan, and no doubt his wife, then, but it wasn't until the next day that I learned more about him. He's a photographer who wasn't able to use a camera for a long time because he couldn't see through the tiny viewfinders that most of the old film cameras had. Then he developed Parkinsons, and couldn't hold the camera steady. Then, along came digital cameras and he could see the screens and while he couldn't hold the camera steady, his work took off at a new angle that is simply amazing! You can read his story, and see he current (and other) work, here. It's worth the visit!

Sunset hues start to color the skies
I was hoping for a second set of music, and Dave had hinted that might happen, but not long after the birthday cake folks started fading away with the day. I was glad to have been there and heard the first one. At least, I heard part of it. I was on the deck, didn't know it was happening until I walked back inside for some reason. Still, I got enough to be happy. So -- Happy 70, Dave. See ya at 75!

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