Wednesday, May 6, was another day when I looked forward to driving Donald home from his dialysis session. We got to talking about his wonderful neighbors and the best way to get home on the back roads. At other times, I’ll take Beatrice to her cardiologist or LeeAnn to her eye doctor (she has macular degeneration). We got to talking about friends, getting older, all sorts of things. Sometimes it’s just listening on my part and that’s fine with me.
It’s amazing how upbeat and pleasant these seniors are: lively in conversation, sometimes quiet, pointing out the flowers coloring the hills or the baby goats that have just been born. Rapture in the moment! There’s a lot for me to learn here; I’m just a mere 77, you see, and I take it all in, mixing it thoroughly with the rest of my day.
The Call-A-Ride program in Medford always needs volunteer drivers to serve the large senior population living in Ashland and I’ve found the few hours a week extremely rewarding (well worth my time). I’m pleased to be a part of that program and I thank my mother for being an excellent example of being in service to the community.
A not unusual day
My Wednesday, May 6, was a long, good day, which began at 6 a.m. and continued into early Thursday. Highlights were breakfast at the Breadboard with a houseguest I’ve known for over 50 years and enrollment in a research walking project which may benefit patients with Parkinson’s.
I’ve followed others from our community in the program and look forward to striding out in Ashland. I enjoyed time at Baxter’s gym and reviewed my “Arsenic and Old Lace” script prior to our pay-what-you-can performance at Camelot.
I was relieved to learn that dear long-standing friends from L.A. got into the theater and enjoyed the show. After a two-day break I was happy to be back with the cast and crew and audience. Home again, I spent a little time with David Letterman’s wind-down to retirement and turned out the lights.
A not unusual day for me in Ashland.
What I did on May 6:
8 a.m. Wednesday — Arise. Shower. Breakfast.
8:45 a.m. — Deliver Ashland At Home (AAH) member to her hair appointment.
10:10 a.m. — Back home to transport wife and visiting cousins to OSF coffee in the Thomas Theatre.
10:30 a.m. — Stay for first part of coffee interview.
10:50 a.m. — Leave coffee interview early to retrieve AAH member. Take her back home.
11:10 a.m. — Return to Thomas to pick up wife and cousins. Stop off to purchase bagels for tomorrow’s farewell breakfast.
11:30 a.m. — Drive to Medford for gifts from Harry & David’s for people back home.
12:15 p.m. — Return to Ashland via Talent to pick up “Arsenic and Old Lace” playbill. Check ad for AAH.
12:30 p.m. — Return home. Check email. Short nap. Visiting cousins are off to a matinee performance.
2 p.m. — Organize photos for surprise photo book for Mom.
5:30 p.m. — Off to our last supper with visiting cousins at Pasta Piatti before their last curtain call prior to leaving tomorrow.
8 p.m. — Read and score two plays for the Ashland New Plays Festival.
11 p.m. — Cousins arrive home exhilarated by the performance they saw and proceed to regale us with all the details of their theatrical experience.
12:30 a.m. Thursday — Turn in at long last, somewhat weary, but content nevertheless that another day in Ashland has ended successfully for two recent arrivals entertaining relatives from back home — taxi service, smiles and fun. NEXT?
From t’ai chi to Wild Goose
Today, May 6, I got to do much of what I love to do in life. After getting up, checking email, having breakfast and checking in with my wife, I biked from the Railroad District to Lithia Park where I teach t'ai chi. I teach mainly private lessons in the area of the band shell.
Today was a crisp spring day, a little chilly with plenty of sun breaks, blue sky and beautiful ever-changing cloud formations. I taught four lessons, all of which were enjoyable and hopefully helpful to my students in their quest for better balance, health and agility.
I biked to the Co-op, picked up some grocery items and then went home for lunch. After another quick email check, I went to bed. I sleep twice a day, from about 4 or 5 a.m. until 9 or 10 a.m. and then again for a few hours in the late afternoon.
I slept for three hours and then biked with my wife to the Wild Goose Cafe & Bar where I hosted my regular "First Wednesday Themed Open Mike." May's theme was "Love Gone Wrong," so poems, stories and songs, originals or covers that had anything to do with this theme were good to go. As host, I started the night off with a few of my own songs as well as a few covers.
Then for the rest of the evening I worked the sound board and introduced each person who signed up for the open mike. It was a really nice mix of spoken word, songs and stories, a great community event at the friendliest bar in town. My wife left a bit early, getting a ride with her bike in a friend's car. I finished up the night and biked home.
Then I spent the wee hours, catching up on emails, watching videos and handling some of the logistics of living a creative life. It was a good day. I got to bike, teach in a beautiful park, spend time with my wife, play and sing some songs, host a community event that I dearly love, stay in touch with the virtual world, and take care of some business. All of which was in alignment with my mission in life: To practice, teach and live "t'ai chi," as fully and deeply as possible, without using force.