I’ve been giving astronomy talks and presentations here in Oregon since I moved here last year. This plus so many other activities have allowed me to make connections with lots of wonderful people here.
Last week I finished teaching the last course at the community college here. It was a 2 hour talk about the up coming eclipse. The head of the college introduced me by saying that once the community here found out I was an astronomer that everyone has been taking full advantage of me! In the room were the fire chief, a talk radio host, news paper editor, city manager and a couple of other community leaders that have already had me at their meetings or on the radio or news paper! They all had a good giggle! Oh, and also the head of our Coronado Shores club where I live – they had me give 2 talks already as well.
I’m finally able to take it easy. Except that I’m putting together what I need for the eclipse. I bought a Nikon camera, telescope interfaces and accessories and software to automate both the telescope and the camera. I’ve been out during the day with all the equipment testing out the setup. My goal is to setup at the beach cabana here with the camera/telescope/computer and have a large screen monitor so everyone can watch at once (and not have to look through the telescope). It’s coming along. There are a few more pieces I need – just waiting for my next paycheck…
Oh – reminds me – I found this awesome astronomy dress – call ‘MoonStruck’. It’s a maxi, dark with stars/moon/nebulas! The last talk I gave (at the community college) I wore my star dress (knee length, glows in the dark …). This will be a nice complement! Got to do something unique for these talks – hate to wear the same thing everywhere …. (!!).
The biggest accomplishment for me was getting the final mortgage taken care of on the house here. I now have a reverse mortgage so I am covered for the rest of my life. There are no payments (I have to keep insurance and taxes up to day) and I can draw out the excess equity when I need (the equity earns >6% interest if I leave it in). I’m not sure why – but this was a ‘huge’ relief for me. I think I have a greater need for security than I realize…
Oh, you should see all the little things I’ve placed around the house and the garden. In anticipation of the grandkids visiting, I’ve created little nooks out and around – some with little faeries, some with glowing colored stones, artwork and wind blown things – all match into the landscape so that one has to look for them and hopefully be delighted when found! (Ok, grandkids was only an excuse …!!) I remember Aunt Mae and her house in upper Michigan. She had so many special places around her house. Also, Lisa (and I) would create these intimate nooks in SecondLife. These were very peaceful places to visit (as an avatar) and held meaning and beauty. I have preserved all of those and go there often. I am finding that my time in the virtual worlds have allowed me to find and cultivate more of my spirit than I had thought. And now, I’m able to actualize these – not because I’m duplicating anything, but because this is me. If anything that last statement is hindsight – it’s realizing after the fact that ‘oh, we did this in SL…’.
I’ve been out and about on beaches, mountains tops, kayaking lakes and hiking out cliff edges … Also posted pictures of sea lions and birds right from my deck here. I am sooo glad I chose this location. It really encompasses so many of the things my soul/spirit needs! The people here are awesome. I go to a woman’s breakfast, then we have a woman’s coffee and then there is a dine out. This is in addition to picnics and potlucks.
I have a number of good friends now as well. I meet my new good friends on Wends and Thurs mornings for “Life between Lives” and “Socrates Cafe”. We go out after for lunch which usually winds up taking 5 hours! I have a friend in Corvallis that will call me and we’ll get together for hiking or kayaking and another friend that will get together with me to go see plays and events at the Newport cultural center. There are a couple of people up in Portland and also in Seattle that have been twisting my arm to come up and stay with them. The neighbors on both sides of me are single women, and we will get together at each others house or go to events together. So, I’m plugged in, it’s keeping me quite busy – ha, no time left for work!!
Oh, but the grief. Yes … It’s so very strange, there are times when I feel Lisa so so close, within me, and I feel comfort and bliss with her walking with me. Then there are times when loss completely overcomes me and I’ll lay in bed crying for hours. It’s been more of the former and less of the latter lately. But the roller coaster continues. I’ll never know. Sometimes things trigger it – other times those same triggers are actually comforting as I am so very grateful to have spent these years with Lisa. I just never know what a trigger might do to me.