Monday, March 12, 2018

It is what it is

"I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine."

I’ve been good.

No more impulse buying. Resisting temptation, one bead, one dress, one pair of shoes at a time.

I resisted a good deal on some glass, which I regretted when someone else didn’t resist it. But realistically, I have plenty of glass to play with. Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean I should buy it.

We’ve had a nice, busy week. We went to a Cowboy Junkies concert on Sunday in downtown Charlotte, the first time we’ve done anything downtown since we scoped out the city so many moons ago.

I’ve long loved the music of Margo Timmmins and her band of brothers. Literally, two of her brothers, guitarist Michael and drummer Peter, formed the group in 1986, along with Margo, and bassist Alan Anton. Multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird, has toured and recorded with the band since their second album, recorded in 1987.

I’d never seen them in concert before, and I haven’t completely kept up with their music. So even though they only played two "new" (not yet released) songs, I didn't know some of the playlist. The concert was still wonderful.

I asked Neil if he enjoyed it, because it's not really his kind of music. He said, he always likes seeing live performances. I'll take that as a yes. (No pun intended, but Yes is Neil's all-time favorite group.)

I've always been drawn by Margo's haunting, melodic voice, and despite less than stellar acoustics, she did not disappoint. She was also charming, talking a little bit between numbers. It's astonishing to think that for more than half my life, for most of my working career and the whole time that I was raising kids to adulthood, the band has been doing what they do, writing music, recording albums, and traveling the world to step out on stages and make their magic.

The set before the show.
There are always flowers and tea for Margo.
A quick, blurry shot at the beginning of the second set.
Non-flash photos were allowed, but my plus-size phone is objet non grata
I've been a little obsessed with the Cowboy Junkies since the show. shuffling the albums I own on iTunes, downloading some new ones, and listening to all the other songs I missed on YouTube.

This past week, I've done the usual, made beads, walked on the treadmill, binged on Acorn TV shows. We've also been getting ready for a visit from my kids and their crew. They arrive on Sunday and depart Thursday.

Getting ready mostly entailed shopping for a massive amount of groceries and sketching out a rough plan for meals and activities.

It will be nice to have a break from the torch and from Facebook to a degree, although I'll probably check in and post pictures.

I have a trunk show that starts a couple of days after they leave and I've ordered a new light box, so I'm hoping to both have new beads to show and better photos.

I'll have dedicated time to do it, as Neil leaves the day that the kids leave, for a softball tournament in Myrtle Beach.

Neil has joined a traveling team, and I have mixed feelings about it. They play one or two weekend tournaments per month, from now until I don't know when.

He'd like to have me join him on these jaunts, but I'm reluctant to commit. I don't have a lot of interest in hanging out at the fields for hours while they play or wait between games. Nor do I especially want to chill at wherever we stay, unless it's a nice resort and not a Best Western or La Quinta. And I can't say I have much enthusiasm for exploring a city on my own. I'm just happier to be at home.

But I'm still thinking about it, maybe going just once to see how I do. Neil reminds me that he'll have some time off, evenings probably. The tournament after Myrtle Beach is Virginia Beach in April, and I'm more likely to go then because the weekend after, Neil is going to Houston for five days.

Again, I could have gone with, and I think he wants me to go, or at least feels guilty going without me. But again, it would be mostly about him. He wants to see his friends, his former work buddies. I usually go along, but they usually spend a lot of time talking about people who I don't know and office politics that I don't care about. I didn't have a very good time on the last trip, except for the one brunch I planned with my own friends. But I just don't have as many friends that I want to see as Neil does. And I don't feel the need to see them again this soon.

And I don't feel especially welcome or wanted at Laurie's house, where we'd stay. Laurie puts on a good act for me, but I'm still chapped about how she whined to her dad about me behind my back after the last time we were there. No matter what I say or do, it's never the right thing, and I can't be bothered to weigh every word and gesture. I have no bad intent, I come in peace, but she will always find something to misinterpret or find fault with. I just don't need that.

OK, I admit that maybe I am being hypersensitive. Age-old hurt from another time. Neil says she is almost as hard on her own mother. Still, I'd rather meet on neutral ground somewhere, and I can't avoid having her visit here, but I don't have to go there. It's too bad, but it is what it is.

Right now I'm not sure if I'm ever going back to Houston. I know I had a bad reaction once, when Neil suggested that I could go to Dallas or Austin to see my kids while he visited his kids. I said I didn't want to split up that way. And anyway, if we're going to different places, why go at the same time? It makes more sense for one of us to stay here with the cats.

We also once talked about making the circuit when we went back to Texas, but we didn't consider that everyone works during the week, so it doesn't make sense to go from place to place when the weekends are really the only time to spend with the kids. Plus I have a hard time with long trips. Four or five nights is ideal. A week or ten days is a stretch, worthwhile for something like our trip to Hawaii, but for most trips, shorter is better for me.

Face it, I'm a stick in the mud with separation issues. I like my own bed.

I'm not perfect. I never said I was.

He searched for those wings that he knew
That this angel should have at her back
And although he can't find them
He really don't mind
Because he knows they'll grow back

And he reached for that halo that he knows
That she had when she first caught his eye
Although his hand came back empty
He's really not worried
'cause he knows it still shines

I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine

I search all the time on the ground
For our shadows cast side by side
Just to remind me that I haven't gone crazy
That you exist and are mine

And I know that your skin is as warm and as real
As that smile in your eyes
But I have to keep touching and smelling
And tasting for fear it's all lies

I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine

Last night I awoke from the deepest of sleeps
With your voice in my head
And I could tell by your breathing
That you were still sleeping
I repeated those words that you had said

I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine.

(Michael Edward Timmins)

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