These past two weeks have been so very heavy. People we love are carrying heavy loads and because we love them, we share some of that weight.
Relationships are crumbling all around us.
Some of our friends from when we were newlyweds are getting a divorce. We've watched them have 3 children and now, they will have to work out the dance of custody and state lines. LT and I were in shock for days when we found out. "Those guys? But, they were so rock solid. How did it happen?"
Another friend confided in me her marriage is not going so well. She'd be happy to stay or go.
My heart sank.
I'm involved with another set of friends while they sort out their relationship. The emails, phone calls and personal encounters are heavy. They are good people, maybe just not good together.
AND, on the other side of the crumbling relationships is a story of a friend who is so dear to me. The relationship with her husband is fine, and, he may have cancer, for the third time. The last I heard she was in a waiting room, waiting.
In the middle of all of the shifts going on around me, I am so grateful I can crawl into the shelter of my relationship with LT and grieve for my friends, in safety.
I love living in Maryland. I love that I don't feel like I'm in a BIG CITY. I love that I see fields and farms around. AND I love that I can hop on the metro and in less than an hour, be in DC to attend the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
I'm such a culture, folklife geek. I think my parents did a good job of exposing me to other cultures and the arts. In Pocatello, it's not very easy to do. I mean, c'mon, it's Idaho. It's not known for it's cultural diversity. It's known for potatoes and for the Neo Nazis in the panhandle. (Who, I might add, don't appreciate cultural diversity). My point is, if you wanted to learn about other cultures and countries, you had to make an effort. You had to travel to a larger city with museums or something.
I remember going to the Greek festival one year. The food was awesome.
Anyway, the first year we lived in Texas, I dragged LT to the Texas Folklife Festival to see the dancing and taste the foods. At the time, I was preparing to travel to Brazil with Clog America and I wanted to get a taste of what I was in for on my trip. I loved it!!
Now that O is old enough, I can introduce HER to the coolness of folklife festivals.
So, today, we ventured out of our little world in Odenton and explored other cultures.
It started out pretty hot and poor O was melting and grumpy. Fortunately for us, a storm was on it's way to the Mall and the cool air blowing in made it more comfortable as time went on. Upon our arrival we caught the tail end of a performance of clowns in the Columbian area. That seemed to be our luck for the day. We caught the tail end of almost everything. We made it to the last dance in a rhythm and blues dance workshop. We ran to another tent and made it to the end of a dance in the Columbian section.
I really, REALLY wanted to dance, so we went to our final tent of the day and made it in time for some good dancing. The performance was cut short because the storm had arrived and everyone had to get out of the tents and off of the Mall. It turns out the Mall + Tents = Lightening Alley.
(I'm so glad O was with me because getting out on the dance floor is something LT would NEVER do. Well, he did dance with me once, when we were dating. Anyway, O loves to dance so we had fun with all of the other people on the floor).
It was okay, by then, we were both ready to head home. We ran through the rain to the Metro and sloshed onto the train. When we hit New Carrolton the storm was in a fine fury. We ate popcorn and waited inside for a break in the weather. We'd parked a bit of a walk away so we got kind of wet on our trip. Once we got in the car, the rain picked up again. We drove through a torrential downpour and pulled into our driveway at the tail end of the storm. A perfect way to end our "tail end of luck" day.
On the metro headed to our adventure.
O painted a square on a world map that the Peace Corps will use in one of it's international "classrooms". The volunteer congratulated O on being an official Smithsonian Cartographer.
O gave me the, "are you seriously taking another picture" look.
Proof that we were there.
O looks so tall in this picture. Wow!
I had to bribe O with ice cream to get her to pose with this lady from Kenya.
The beadwork on her head and neck were stunning.
The picture does NOT do it justice.
I also like that you can see Os razzle dazzle shoes in this picture.
O showing off her red tongue.
I had to document the joy of
being easily pleased by the color of your own tongue.