There is something about going back to the place that you used to belong. Walking through the doors of the church that I went to as a teenager, the church that held my mother's funeral was like a homecoming, in a way. I was a bit surprised by the nearly audible 'click' in my own soul as I sat through the service. It just felt like a comfortable fit, and there is something about hearing 'Olde English' that is soothing to my ears.
On Sunday, I went back once more, not to the same church, but to another Episcopal church. They use the Elizabethan English during Lent, and I listened intently. A woman came in with her daughter, and I was surprised to see that she was a member of my former church, active when I was a teenager. She was considered elderly when I was a teenager. Now she looks older but certainly not so much as the 40 years gone by would have indicated. She is still dressed very stylishly, her hair carefully done. She is thinner though, and her eyes vacant. She did not remember me, and when I greeted her by name it frightened her a little, I think, that I knew her name, but that she could not remember mine.
It was a nice morning in church, and I was glad to be there. The other members were anxious to make my acquaintance and to tell me about their church. They wanted me to join them for coffee, but I did not. Not that day. I guess that I am a little mistrustful. I have felt strongly about belonging before. First impressions are not to be trusted. There is plenty of time to ease into where I belong.
I went to the gym. I've gotten used to the other people in the gym. There are some who are very fit. There are others (like me) who go along with their heads down, their eyes focused on their list, carrying their disinfectant bottles with them as they move from machine to machine. Out of respect, I do not try to make conversation unless they seem open to it. I do not look at them for overly long periods of time, aware of how uncomfortable it makes ME to be studied.
Well. I didn't. Until Sunday. Oh my gosh.
In a gym, there is going to be grunting and clanging, huffing and puffing, red sweaty faces, people intent on their workout as the Lumineers sing 'Ho Hey', but this one fellow was a shocker. He'd heft weight, grunting and groaning, and then drop it clanging. He'd twirl around with his head thrown back, or drop to a bench, on his back with his eyes closed. Once he was face down on the floor, moaning, only to leap up and and seize the weights once again.
I couldn't help watching him, first from the corner of my eye, and then finally giving up to stare in unabashed amazement. By the time that he was face down on the floor, I was pausing in my own workout, wondering if this was one of those medical emergencies one hears about. But no...he was up again, and grunting at his weights.
I've been attending to my own workouts. I have lost my 'muffin top', which is kind of cool. I have upped almost all weights and/or reps, except for my quad and hamstrings. For some reason those two machines kill me. I've managed to up the reps, but no other progress noted. My cardio workouts are daily, and I like them.
William was two years old yesterday. We did not see him, but we had him for the weekend. He is an altogether wonderful child. The thing that I love is that when he gets tired, he climbs into my lap. I wrap him in an afghan and talk to him, and he locks gaze with me, intent on the words, sometimes talking back, other times just gracing me with a small and sleepy smile.
He loves balloons, and I buy the big balloons from the dollar store. He went to retrieve the one from his previous visit, and the stretched out material gave a little sigh, and the balloon just collapsed in on itself. There was no pop...just that sigh. He looked dismayed, and he said, "Oh, NO!" in a little voice. He tried to blow on it. When that did not help, he began to cry, loudly and unceasingly, in the manner of little children.
When I picked up the broken balloon and headed for the kitchen, he followed me wailing still, and I said, "William, would you like another balloon? Grandma always has balloons..." and when I pulled the balloon from the drawer, his wailing stopped immediately, and there was a big smile and an joyous " 'Nudder balloon!"
For that one moment, I was the best grandma EVER.