|A very special picture to me... my "kids" being kids after spending time contemplatively reflecting on AIDS at the AIDS interfaith chapel (inside Grace Chapel, seen in the background)|
Let' see... what has the blog world missed.
Two weeks ago, Vinny and Marc were in the parade with our church. They had a really adorable little "Peace" themed float, which is so appropriate for our church. My sister and I took the girls and went to watch. Later that evening, we met up with our extended family at an Embassy Suites for a family reunion. With their managers reception in the evening, there is no better place for a family reunion. It was great to see everyone. This is something that has been happening annually for a few years, but Marc and I just joined for the first time last year. Little by little, I am starting to get to know my dad's uncles and cousins, whom I didn't really grow up knowing, so getting to know them now is kind of special. Some of his cousins are even teachers, so it has been fun to chat with all of them.
Last weekend, I took my drama students to San Francisco. This was an interesting trip in that the primary purpose was to study a culture so close, yet so far from our own. These students are so used to their conservative, homogenous, Mexican immigrant community, sometimes they don't realize what is just a few hours away.
|Art abounds at the SF LGBT Center|
I can see why people put money and time into creating and maintaining this place. Being able to have a place of beauty, tranquility -- somewhere that is so pleasant to be at -- brings healing. I think it truly had to be a grove, a place teeming with life. In the midst of all these living plants, the running water, you can feel the life. Because AIDS meant death, in so many ways, including an inability to produce healthy children, the amount of life here is exactly what an AIDS memorial needed to be.
|The Outdoor Labyrinth - Similar to the indoor one, only larger|
I want to build a labyrinth in my yard. Would that be weird?
Overall, the trip to San Francisco was a success. Students bonded with people they may not have otherwise bonded with. They made memories to last a life time. They got a taste of... something different. (Literally and figuratively. I took them to an all organic restaurant. Some loved it. Some hated it... but at least they tried it).
Returning from this trip was hard. I don't know why it took SO much out of me, but it did. I found myself unwillingly falling asleep before 10:00 every night last week. I was just... DRAINED.
|Tranquility - National AIDS Memorial Grove|
I mean, the icing on the cake is truly this... approximately 6 months ago, a dear friend gave me some boxes containing the entire collection of her son's childhood reading. What a glorious gift. Boys are typically reluctant readers, and she seems to have spent considerable time making sure her son (and now mine) had a high interest book flood.
|Thanks Barb & Mark!|