A Birthday, Emotional Whiplash, & Andalusia

First, the birthday. My sweet daughter Mary turned 26 today. Here she is when she was much younger, with Lina and Flynn:

Mary in pool

I did get to talk to her a little this evening, and am looking forward to seeing her in person in a couple of weeks.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I am normally a one-event-a-day kind of girl. Sometimes, though, I have no choice but to participate in multiple events in one day, and today was one of those days.

I was up early this morning to take a shower before Lina, Jasper and I left for Dallas at 7:00. Way back in the fall I had signed us up for a field trip to Medieval Times, the restaurant/entertainment show in Dallas. We got there in plenty of time and met up with others from our homeschool group. Medieval Times lets you in the door a full hour before they allow you to actually go to your table. During that time, you are trapped in a large room where they try to sell you all kinds of medieval-themed things. Not a problem for us, but hard for parents with young children!

We were seated in the section that was assigned to cheer for the red knight. Before they got down to the business of jousting and horsemanship though, the cast acted out a series of little morality plays that were clearly aimed at schoolchildren. The plays used the code of chivalry to demonstrate how a “good” person behaves as opposed to someone who is unchivalrous. Some of the topics covered were bullying, gossip, and public humiliation. Very preachy but the message was good!

The show is very entertaining. Everything is scripted but it’s still fun to watch. There was a dressage demonstration by the master of horse on a stunning Andalusian stallion. Fights and jousting with exploding lances! Sparking swords! Handsome knights! A free-flying falcon! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

On the way home, we stopped by an outlet mall so I could pick up a gift I needed to buy. This evening I had two events to go to and they both started at the same time. First I drove to a funeral home to pay my respects to the family of my friend Sarah, who died earlier this week. It was good to see her granddaughter after so many years. The memorial service will be in Sarah’s home state of Alabama, so it was very important to me to be at the viewing today, even though I couldn’t stay long.

There was a weird coincidence at the funeral home. When I asked Sarah’s son about the funeral, he explained that after she is cremated there will be a memorial service for her in her hometown of Andalusia, Alabama. How often does anyone mention Andalusia? Yet this morning we enjoyed the performance of a horse originally bred in Andalusia, Spain, and this evening I learned that my friend Sarah was also from Andalusia–Andalusia, Alabama.

I went straight from the funeral home to a wedding shower for a young couple. The groom has been going to our church throughout his college years and in fact is the longsuffering violinist who plays with me most Sundays. I sure am going to miss him. There was a good turnout at the shower, with lots of their college friends and some of us from church too.

When I left to drive home, though, I found myself in a strange place emotionally. The day started off lighthearted and fun at Medieval Times, only to turn very sad as I said goodbye to my friend Sarah and saw her lifeless body at the funeral home. It was hard to jump from that into being happy for the young couple who are soon to be married, and underneath it all is the looming reality of Lina’s departure. It took me a couple of hours to recover from the emotional whiplash.

Parting Shot:

4-21-17 knights

Knights at Medieval Times

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