Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Opening up all around

My parents came to visit for the weekend just before my mom's birthday on April 28. It was such a blast. I don't think I can stress quite enough how awesome my parents are. Truly, they are gems and I am honored to be their progeny.

My parents arrived at around 4 p.m. that Saturday, and already my mom drew her camera and was snapping picture after picture. One or two shots of our oleander bush, maybe a couple of shots of little knicknacks sitting about. Even a shot of the little photos that sit inside the etagere just above the toilet.

Now you know where I get my affinity for photography.

But it was great to have them here. I'm always making the journey to see them down in the piney woods area north of Houston, but I've only had the privilege of hosting them once before. It's a rare treat to have them as guests.

Rain was in the forecast for the entire weekend. Lucky for us, when we needed dry skies we had them, when we didn't, we enjoyed the indoors.

Mom and Dad had an agenda of their own. They wanted to go to Louie's, Mom wanted to go to the Dallas Arboretum, They both wanted to go to REI and the Dallas Harley-Davidson Shop. We granted all their wishes.

Louie's is crowded anytime, but especially on a Saturday night. It's at the tail-end of what's become a very trendy hipster-laden hotspot, although Louie's still has some serious divey charm. The pizza was awesome. Dad loved the joint.

The next morning, Mom and I headed out for the Arboretum. Tons of beautiful flowers. It was likely as close to Valhalla as you can get in this lifetime.

My mother, the shutterbug

Mom enjoyed getting a few shots of the pretty flowers.

Petunia Bed

Fuschia Foxgloves

Larkspur 2

I did, too. (See most of them here)

After that we headed over to REI to pick out a few things, namely Dave's birthday gift: a new sleeping bag. Now we don't have to share on camping trips!!!

Oh, how I love REI. I could hang out in that spot FOREVER.

From there, we went to Highland Park Cafeteria. It's actually right by our house in the Casa Linda Shopping Center. The fried chicken is amazing. I never eat fried chicken, so every time we go there I get my fix of real, crispy, southern-fried chicken. Yum!

We were stuffed, so we headed home and settled in. We read some and goofed around. Dave and Dad watched baseball and then the evening crept up on us. Dave had to go to work the next day, so we had a nightcap (Dad brought a bottle of 18-year-old Glenlivet) and made haste to bed.

The next morning my parents and I had a leisurely breakfast and plenty of coffee. We read the newspaper and talked a lot and then we went to the Dallas Harley-Davidson Shop, where we drooled over the beautiful motorcycles and awesome leather jackets.

I made a half-promise-half-wish to myself there: If I try hard enough and get a good enough job, then I'll take the rider course and maybe even buy a motorcycle. I just have to land in a good situation first.

And then my parents got on the interstate and headed back toward Houston.

All weekend I was really hoping that my orchid, one that I'd nursed back to health from neglect and near-death, would open so that my mom could see it. The stem was heavy with buds, but not a one was open. It killed me. I wanted her to see them.

Yesterday it finally happened.


And since that weekend, we've been rained on every day. The clouds have opened up and poured day after day. The orchid has opened up to the possibility of new life, and yet, every day that passes without a job offer or even so much as an interview seems to ratchet closed the trap door through which I fell after losing my job. That tension in my shoulder I had almost every day at work with the newspaper is coming back, and it no longer feels like benign job pressure. It's like fear and worry manifesting, cinching the gap between my ear and my shoulder.

I just have to keep trying, and I have to know that this is hard for everyone, not just me. I have to be patient. I have to relax.

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