Saturday, March 11, 2006

Still in San Diego

I checked the weather in preparation of returning home. Guess what the weatherman predicts for the northern Sierra's every day in the ten day forecast (except Monday)? Yep. Snow. So we're gonna leave tomorrow morning in hopes of making that hole in the storms even if it slides a bit forward or backwards on the calendar.

Speaking of storms, we had a doozy of one yesterday and into last night. Snow even, but up in the mountains east of us, where I am not, but I can relate to it because I used to live up there. Here by the ocean it was rain - mostly off and on in heavy bursts. Last night I woke up to a terrible crashing sound. Thunder. So close I was sure something nearby had been hit. It rumbled on for what seemed forever. I thought it was loud enough to wake the dead. It didn't even wake up the rest of the family. After that I lay semi-awake and enjoyed the sound of the wind, and the flash and rumble of the storm, until I realized that there was the potential for one of those tall waving eucalyptus trees to come crashing down on the roof. Then I went under the covers and feel back asleep.

The initial doctor visits are over for Joe and Lisa has the weekend off work. So whew, no freeways today unless we want to use them. Some cast people are gonna come to the house - they make house calls!? - and make a new cast for Joe's back that he can actually use. He can't sit in the one he has now, so he doesn't use it. Joe was mad at me (not really mad. Mad as in "Thanks a LOT mom, now I can't use the computer. You just did that so you could have it to yourself!") because I asked the doctor yesterday all sorts of specific questions about what he should do and shouldn't do. And he shouldn't be up and about like he was.

Today will be more of a visiting day than a helping day. A nice way to end the trip. I offered to take Lisa anywhere she wanted to go today, as a treat for the caregiver. Shopping? Lunch? Summer's Past? (an herb farm we both love) Art Museum? (she grimaced at this one as if I'd offered her canned spinach) She just wanted to relax at home. But she didn't want to relax at hom with the boys watching car shows all morning, which is what they had planned. Then I suggested Rosie's, a local quilt shop she wanted to visit. She grinned and nodded yes. So later we'll go off and do a girl thing for a little bit.

Oh, can't forget to mention. Guess what I did last night? I went to a Country Western Music Concert. Lisa had tickets and of course Joe couldn't go. I overheard Joe and Lisa whispering - "I'm just not gonna go" - "she doesn't like that kind of music" - "just ask her" So although I had been up since 5 am (Yes, Five O'Clock in the Morning - ME - Morning - Same sentence), we went to downtown San Diego and rocked out.... er, C&W'ed out?.... all night long. It was a fund raiser for St. Jude's Hospital, four musicians. I liked three of the four. Actually I liked all four but one was so loud it hurt my ears and I couldn't really enjoy him. Two of them I even recognized a few of their songs. So I guess they're big names, if I've heard them on the radio even though I don't even listen to C&W these days. Don't get me wrong, I like it. Some. I used to listen to it all the time, but since 9-11 there's been so much "I love my country right or wrong - these colors don't run - weepy mom, country, and apple pie - cra...choices, I can't handle it. I've switched over to the alternative rock station. Give me my good ol' rebel music to keep my sanity. "Don't wanna be an American Idiot!" Ahhh, soothe my frazzled political nerves with some good ol fashioned war protest rock and roll. But heck, I'm very good at "When in Rome....", so it was fun. Wish I hadn't been so tired, I woulda danced. Everyone else was drinking, and it was dark, so no one would have noticed me.

It's been quite an experience being in and about all the military these last few days. It's like visiting a different culture, a different country. All that structure and rules and uniforms. It's so far the other end of the spectrum from how I live my life. I guess that's why there's no Artist First Class or Major Quilter in the military. And uniforms. I've always hated uniforms. Even uniforms that aren't uniforms - like when everyone else started to wear cowboy stuff in the 80's (remember Urban Cowboy? John Travolta? Hey small Laume trivia, the woman who played "the other woman"? I graduated high school with her) I had to wear a uniform in one year of Catholic school. Hated it. I always feel sorry for waiters and waitresses who have to wear those silly polyester uniforms. Ugh. Strangely, my kids loved their uniforms - Girl Scout uniforms, football uniforms, 4-H uniforms. I guess we're all doomed to have our children distinguish themselves from their parents by doing something different. Damn, maybe I should have been a Republican all these years.

At the Navy Hospital yesterday morning, suddenly there was this music. Everyone turned to the ..... I think it was the southwest, musta been where the flag was going up..... and stopped. Uniformed and non-uniformed. Like something out of a scene in The Truman Show or a surreal stage number. Spooky. Joe explained, it was "Colors". Happens twice a day, raising the flag, lowering it. They went through some bugle thing, then the National Anthem, then several military theme songs - I recognized Anchors Away and I think one was the Marine one. Then more bugling and everyone just went on their way. It was odd. But y'know, I bet we all have odd things we do every day and to someone from another culture, they'd see the oddness, where we take it so much for granted that we don't even notice it.

Last night at the concert we all stood up and sang God Bless America. Which was fun. That might surprise some, that I'd find that fun. Since I'm against that sort of thing at school, don't approve of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. (I think we should change it to "under Canada") But that's because I strongly believe in the separation of church and state. But at a private concert, one no is required to go to unless they choose to? Yeah, bring it on. It was fun. Sad too, in that I bet most young people don't even KNOW how to sing the old patriotic songs anymore.

One thing I really like about this military culture. I have to tell you, I really really like it. Everyone is Polite. With a capital P. Doors are opened. People step aside. Address me as "Ma'am." Ask me if I wanted to go first, walk this way, use that machine, stand in this line? Sad really, that it's so atypical in the general culture that I would notice it in the military culture. That the general public has forgotten how to be polite. That we have to have it drilled or trained into us. Because I sure don't see it as a regular part of our culture - do you? Not that it's disappeared completely. There are people who are kind and polite every day in one way or another - letting one into traffic, opening a door. I have trained my boys to do that sort of thing. And I do it myself for others. But for everyone who DOES have manners, there are far more people who just sail through a door and let it slam in your face behind them. Or cut you off in traffic completely oblivious to the fact that anyone else even exists! Yep, we could learn something from the military on that one. Courtesy makes the world a better place. There's a hefty dose of irony in that combination, eh?


Blogger :-D eirdre said...

Travel safe!

6:41 AM  
Blogger Lilymane said...

I always loved 'Colors' on base. I thought it was so unlikely and zen that all these busy, little, ant-like people would STOP and be still and reverent (or at least quiet) twice a day. I hope you have a safe trip back home.

12:11 PM  

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