What a rich and fun weekend we've had. Bob had a half day at workshops on Friday (no kids) and got to come home early enough for us to have mole enchilladas at a favorite local place and walk under the setting moon at McKinney Falls. It was romantic going to both of those places in one night, places we went to early in our time dating and have been to throughout our years together. I remember the immigrant from Mexico who started the restaurant - how he used to walk from table to table talking about the food and how he said he would want the meal I usually order, Tres Marias - three enchiladas with three sauces, ranchero, verde and mole, to be his last meal. I wonder if it was. He's been dead two or three years now and it pleases me that his kids run the restaurant as he did, same feel and same delicious food. Anybody in Austin, I'm talking about Las Palomas, out toward West Lake.
When Bob and have more time together like we did this weekend it is so much fun that I start to hope he can get a teaching job in Austin - but then I read and hear about overcrowded classrooms, lack of administrative support, actual administrative obstructionism, extreme rigidity and all sorts of problems in other schools and I don't like the thought of Bob leaving a truly supportive and appreciative school for the unkinown just to save us some money and make our lifestyle easier. He gets help he needs and he also gets the chance to try new projects like his chess and computer clubs. He is teaching solid math background to kids who don't have it and, because of who he is and how hard he works, teaching it better than most other teachers could. He's giving back in a unique way - his way - always a dream of his to be able to do that in a job, and this year it seems to have come true. I think his staying in Corpus continues to make sense for us even though he keeps less of his pay check and we have times apart. It wouldn't work for me twelve months a year, but with the sumers and long breaks it is working.
It was also a weekend of mixed spiritual experiences. Being the Jewish grandmother of Catholic grandchildren makes for fascinating diversity. Saturday morning Ruth, Chris and I went to a really refreshing Shabbat service in the home of one of the members of the Reconstructionist Jewish community we've been visiting. It felt good sitting on pillows in an octaganonal sun porch made of windows looking out over old trees and creek, singing with a dozen other people who just wanted to be at peace, right then, right there. We had pot luck lunch after and all three of us felt comfortable and happy. We'll see how this exploration of a new community continues, but right now we like it. Sunday morning, in the odd admixture of my life, I took my grandchildren to Catholic religious education. KK (and I) were worried about having another encounter with the crazy talking man who bothered us last week. We did not see him today and I ejoyed Danny's class's tour of the church by a priest whose hobby is religious architecture. I didn't know that in Catholic churches there is an arched structure covering the tabernacle alter which is based on the chuppa used at Jewish weddings to symbolise the overarching presence of God. That connection felt nice to me standing in a g roup of good Catholics. Sometimes I feel like I'm being dishonest because I don't wear a sign saying "very liberal, not so traditional Jewish grandmother of sweet Catholic children"
Saturday night was a bittersweet. Most of our extended family attended a birthday (Bill) and welcome home from the hospital (Marie) party for our dear friends for almost thirty years. The party was lovely, very casual, four generations of friends enjoying a lovely deck on a cool fall evening. It was sweet watching a new bunch of children blossom. The sad part was that Marie started feeling sick during the later part of the evening and is back in the hospital now with no sense of why. Kind of scary. I hate medical uncertainty.
Sunday afternoon KK and I enjoyed a Ballet Austin performance which included the third act of "Sleeping Beauty". I'd forgotten how fun and fantastic that act is, with the fairy tale characters including Puss in Boots and Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf dancing in celebration of Aurora's mariage to her prince. Its the fiftieth anniversary year for our city's ballet company, and it is one which gives KK great instruction and all of us much pleasure as audience members. I realised watching that KK has already reached a skill level in ballet where, if she continues to study and stays uninjured, she could have a career in the corps de ballet of a mediumsized company. Whetehr she would ever be a principal dancer, its too early to tell, but the basics are there - exciting to see.
While KK and I were at the ballet, Bob took the boys to the childrens' museum where Danny played host (the kid is so social - great at including people) at a new exhibit in which he ant others were able to dress up as chipmunks and play in a tree. Of all the little chipmunks only Zachary did not flee the fierce eagle portrayed by Grandpa Bob - a characteristic of little Zach. Family truism is "Zachary knows no fear". We wory sometimes that he will hurl himself headlong into some menace with irremediable result, but his determination and tenacity will probably serve him well.
Today Zach and I are eating lunch and are about to bake ghost shaped cupcakes - in little foil tins - for Halloween tomorrow.