Not too long after returning from Wiscon I traveled back to Wisconsin for my mother's funeral (technically a memorial service, I suppose, as there was no casket). It went very well -- over 125 people attended, and there was more laughter than tears during the service. It's clear she touched a lot of lives. I learned a few things about her that I'd never known, or had forgotten, including that she wrote a play about the last days of Spinoza that was given a reading by the Milwaukee Rep.
My aunt (Mom's younger sister) told a story about visiting my mother when I was two years old. Apparently I was not being very cooperative in eating my dinner, and Mom gently upended the bowl of spaghetti on my head. As I sat stunned, Mom commented to her sister "I've always wanted to do that."
After the funeral all of the relatives (me, Dad, my aunt and uncle, and great-aunt Millie), plus family friend and cookbook author Alamelu Vairavan, visited the spectacular Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum, which I'd not visited before. While we were there we saw the Blue Angels practicing for the following weekend's air show, which utterly delighted tiny Aunt Millie.
Since the funeral I've been dealing with occasional bouts of free-floating grief, especially during the scene in Toy Story 3 where Andy's mother says she wishes she could be his mom forever. (Excellent movie, though.) I've been generally low in energy and unfocused, but part of this could be the amount of travel we've been doing and the gray and chilly weather we've been having. But today's weather has been gorgeous and I'm working to improve my mood by tackling my daunting to-do list. For example, this blog post.
Last weekend we took the train to Seattle. The excuse for the trip was that I was presenting my Mars talk to the Washington Aerospace Scholars (high school juniors interested in science, technology, engineering and math), but we took the opportunity to stay at a hotel in Pioneer Square and play Seattle tourist. In addition to visiting the Concorde, Air Force One, and the Curiosity mars rover at the Museum of Flight, we took a ghost walk of Pike Place Market and a "coffee crawl;" it was cool to see the back sides of some things and get a little bit of education about Seattle history and coffee. We also had a delightful dinner with marykaykare and excellent dim sum with a large group of fan friends. I also finished writing a creepy story on the train. It was over too quickly, but we'll be back in a couple of weeks (July 9-11) for a Clarion West party and another Mars talk to a different group of Washington Aerospace Scholars.
Next week we're heading to Chicago for the annual gay square dance convention. Whee!