I had a very light jacket, sunblock and a hat blocking out the sun on my walk today, and I am on the hunt for shaved ice. Yesterday I made and bottled simple syrup to have on hand for lemonade, limeade, tea, etc. I almost can not believe that I had a coat on last weekend in the cold, cold rain, but I should be glad it was not snow because that has happened in June in the Pacific Northwest.
Sometimes I wish I could call my Dad up and ask him about stuff going on in my life. He was a very good person to go to for advice. He was very smart. He told me so many things that I have carried with me all of these years. About working hard. About the friends I chose. About managing money. We did not always get along, I think because we are both very strong willed people. I just wish I could call him up now, but I can not. As sad as I am, I guess I am thankful that I have something to miss, even though it really hurts.
A lot of things have happened since May. My father died in May and I am still processing the loss. I got the opportunity to see him and talk to him and thank him for everything he did for me and my siblings so I am grateful for that. Every holiday since then has not been the same and his birthday was particularly difficult. I am being honest about my feelings and taking time away when I need to. I think part of that has come as a result of the process of coping with all of the things that have been happening since the pandemic.
I guess it is safe to start writing again, now that I am completely sure that Spring is here. It was touch and go there for a few weeks. This year, one of the flowers I have really enjoyed seeing bloom around my neighborhood has been the Magnolia. This seems ironic to me as Magnolia are associated with the South (the Magnolia is the state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi) and I live in Washington State, which is one of the most un-Southern places I have experienced in my life.
When I was a kid growing up in the South, Magnolia were everywhere at this time of the year. They helped me to get through a particularly rough year of middle school. No matter what, I could look at them and feel better because they were so beautiful and strong. Even though life was not perfect back then, it was much simpler back then, even before I figure in all of the chaos brought about by the pandemic and all of the adjustments I have had to make in its aftermath. I am still hopeful, though, just like the kid I was then, that everything will be alright.