Fireflies and Fireworks

I had a late night last night, hence may failure to write my usual morning blog post. Given the diaristic nature of my posts lately, that’s not a significant loss, except to me and my reliance on my blog to later jump-start uncooperative memories. Yet it still feels funny, as if my day is forever incomplete, if I don’t write at a little something. Hell, even posting a recipe is better than leaving an empty screen that screams for my fingers to give it at least a moderate amount of meaning. So here I am, late in the day, attempting to breathe some life into a blank, dying page striving for one final opportunity to revive itself by taking a breath. If I fail to revive the poor beast, I’ll end in mid-sentence and slink away in shame, having allowed a blog that never did anyone any harm to perish for lack of attention.


Last night, my IC and I visited the beautiful home of my IC’s friend and the woman’s husband. Their home has arguably the very best view of any in the village; enormous west-facing windows reveal a vast panorama of pastures, hills, distant mountains, and a sky as big as the ones I recall from my times in south and west Texas. In the pastures far below, herds of cattle wandered in search of food and water. The edges of the pastures were clearly defined by heavy forestland consisting of mixed pine and hardwood. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful except in paintings. Even the clouds above the distant horizon were lovely; pink and orange and white wisps and billows competing for prominence in the dimming sky late in the day.

Just before sunset, and after a wonderful dinner of smoked ribs, cole slaw, corn, potato salad (made by my very own IC), we cleared the table to play a game called Wingspan. I will readily admit that I am not much of a game player; I am a fan of neither card games nor board games nor games in which one rolls the dice, though I will acknowledge that I have played several games I’ve enjoyed over the years. Last night’s game involving cards, dice, a board, multiple game pieces, and enormously convoluted rules made even more maddening by a focus on the habitat, diet, and egg production of abstruse sets of birds. The game is made even more offensive by the incorporation of economics involving the capitalistic exchange of marketable bird-related “goods” for desired assets. Despite the fact that our hosts were nice, pleasant, intelligent, and cordial, I believe them to be several levels more advanced than humans, which leads to only one conclusion: they are aliens whose understanding of monstrously convoluted games is useful to them in measuring the relative mental deficiencies of earthlings. Yet their house was filled with beautiful artwork, no doubt a tactic for deluding guests into thinking they are normal human beings. Obviously, based on their deep understanding of and apparent love of Wingspan, that cannot be the case. Other than that, though, they seem harmless and, in fact, pretty nice people to be around.

After the sun set, we went outside and were treated to a magnificent fireworks show over Lake Balboa, about four miles away. Though we were distant, the exploding fireworks were fully and completely visible. I suspect our seats were among the best in the Village. We could even hear the sounds and feel the concussions of the explosions. And, while we were watching the fireworks display, the sky west of us was filled with lightning bugs (AKA fireflies), seeming to light their glowing green bodies in time to the fireworks.  All in all, it was a nice night. But I did not get to bed until VERY late (for me), which led to sleeping in and, then later, napping. So, only now am I writing this blog post.


In half an hour, we are going next door to have dinner with neighbors, who invited us over for a dinner of snow crabs. Having experienced such a dinner put on by these wonderful people once before, I know we are in for a treat.  That having been said, I am beginning to feel the pressure of social gatherings. I am, deep in my heart, an introvert. I need time to decompress between heavy socializing. I can feel the need to turn inward; it’s growing thicker and heavier and more pronounced by the hour. Fortunately, tomorrow and Wednesday my calendar suggests I can do just that; I will be able to spend time alone with my IC, just talking or simply playing word games or reading or just resting in one another’s presence. That relaxation is exactly what I need.


Yesterday’s church experience was a delight; just getting to see so many people I haven’t seen in a very long time—and the chance to hug and be hugged by them—was wonderful. I did not get a chance to hug all of the people I wanted to hug. I suppose that may happen on Sundays to come. As much as I loved having free Sundays, getting back into a pleasurable Sunday morning routine will be welcome.


Crab and wine beckon, so I’ll end this late-in-the-day diatribe. I hope it was worth waiting for, if you bothered to read it. I know I didn’t; so, if there are typos, blame my failure on opting not to ask for a proofer to take a look before I post it.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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