In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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The Best Chai Tea Ever

I made it through the week.  An entire week of teaching classes and getting back to some sort of normalcy here around the house.  This was after being away for 24 days.  I even made it to the pool to do laps twice and I didn’t feel like I’d taken any time off.  Bonus.  I did wake up one night around 1:30 a.m.  Frank was awake watching TV in the other room.  I remember walking down the hall and saying out loud that I felt like I was walking down my own hallway.  Duh.  I was.  I am glad that a nice, long vacation can mess with ones brain in this way.  Instead of complaining, I shall be thankful.  For sure.

I flew home last Friday only to leave again the following Friday, but only for the weekend.  Thank goodness.  I was just getting adjusted.  We headed to Bolivar, Missouri – Frank, Jordan and I to spend the weekend at a hotel for a family reunion.  I missed this shin dig last year because I was in Florida retrieving my kid.  This reunion of course is for Frank’s family.  We stay at a hotel for two nights.  The only hotel with a pool if I might add.  In Bolivar.  We spend our Saturday at the 4-H building eating and talking and eating some more.

This year the hotel has changed hands.  The previous owners knew all of us.  They had a lobby full of snacks and drinks for next to nothing.  You could microwave a bag of popcorn at midnight and drink a beer by the pool.  Not anymore.  The new owners are Indians.  As in India.  A lot of folks were frustrated because when they checked in, they couldn’t communicate.  Which in turn created an us against them attitude.  I’m sure this poor couple, in their mid 60’s,  felt like they were being squashed every time one of us blew in for a cup of coffee.  That was still free and so were the tiny little donuts.

Saturday morning I practiced yoga on a sidewalk that was sort of out of the way.  I had a nice little view of a garden, full of Indian herbs, beans and other things.  I wondered, did these people practice yoga?  But I would probably never ask.  Enter Frank.  If you know Frank, well, you know that he knows no strangers.  At times I find his friendliness to be a bit annoying actually.  Not this time.  This time I thanked him.

Fast forward to Saturday evening.  It rained a monsoon on that night.  The Indian owners had their vehicle stowed under the guest check in awning and again, some of the folks in our party were a bit peeved.  Me?  I told them I liked the sticker of Ganesha on the hood of their van.  They smiled at me.  Frank started a conversation with the Indian man as we were all enjoying some adult beverages in the lobby.  In the next few minutes Frank had the OK to take their barbeque grill out of the trash out back.  They were throwing it away.  They were regetarians.   This is when Frank asks him to taste this great sweet tea lemonade with vodka in it (Frank wasn’t drinking it, he rarely drinks anything ever) and the Indian guy says no.  He is a vegetarian, he consumes no coffee and no alcohol.  This is when Frank asks him if he practices yoga and he says yes, every morning at 5:30 a.m.  Uh oh.

I get invited to drink tea and practice yoga with the Indian guy and his wife the next morning at 5:30 a.m.  “I unlock the door early for you, OK?”  Don’t worry, it’s only 11:30 p.m. and I’m on my third glass of red wine.  No problem.   I can hardly sleep because I am excited and I’m a bit buzzed at the same time.  What if I don’t wake up in time?  Me?  Unheard of.  But this would be that one time that I would over sleep, I just knew it!   I got up at 4:45 a.m. and showered and seriously scrubbed my dirty feet.  I arrived on time in my pajama pants and the only t-shirt that I brought.  Ironically the only t-shirt that I packed, had an OM symbol on it.  The other tops I had with me were tanks and I wanted to cover my shoulders. 

He greets me as I remove my shoes.  He wore glasses and white, which is the only color I’ve seen him wear since I arrived.  His wife had long, pretty hair loosely tied back and she wore gray.  She also wore a red gem on her forehead.  The space we were in was small.  A tiny room behind the front desk area it was.  In the corner sat a full sized bed, neatly made with lots of blankets folded on it.  On the floor a big blanket was folded in a long rectangle about one foot wide.  This is where we sat.  We sat and were quiet for a few moments and were also interrupted a few times by the ring of the desk bell.  They turned on their television and told me that this is an Indian broadcast station.  Cool.  But the yoga class is not on on Sundays.  Not cool.  Instead a program on Auyervedics is on.  I’m all for that.  We watch some of these programs together which are in Indian and subtitled in English.  Some of them are actually in Indian and then spoken again in English.  We take part in some of the ideas or exercises that they are talking about.  His wife leaves to go put on the tea as he sees to a customer.  It is now 6:30 a.m. 

When she returns she hands me the best cup of Chai Tea I’ve ever had in my lifetime.  I am in heaven.  I ask them about their children, their life here and their life in India.  We talk about yoga, about holistic medicine and about God.  She says more than one time to me, “God is great.  He is called many different things, but there is only one God.”  I like this lady and I want to hug her.  We have some trouble communicating but as we get comfortable the trouble lessens.  We are laughing, we are smiling, we are crossing cultures.  We watch a Satsang and it’s beautiful.  They showed me a couple of traditional and modern Indian music videos as well. 

They offered to fix me breakfast but our group was meeting for food at eight.  Believe me, I’d rather have eaten with these people.  Not to knock our crowd, not at all.  It’s just that after that great cup of chai, I was wanting more.  I left shortly after seven thinking to myself –  I’m in Bolivar.  Missouri.  I just sat on the floor with some authentic Indian people.  I just watched Indian programming with them and drank chai.  In Bolivar. Missouri.  When I turned in our room keys, they smiled so big.  It was nice to see them this way.  They invited me back again and I left there thinking.  It would totally be worth the drive and the loot to head back down on a weekday to practice yoga with them.  Maybe I’ll just do that.

I guess if you really want to go to India and cannot go at the moment.  Perhaps India will come to you. 

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Another Amazing Weekend

This weekend was yet another amazing one.

Starting with Friday afternoon, our son totally kicked butt at the track meet at Parkview.  The day was beautiful, not much wind, no clouds and tons of sunshine!  He ran in three events, and came in second in two and first in one!  Way to go Jordan, you’re awesome!

Saturday morning I found Lauren a bike on Craig’s List.  I drove out South of town to check it out.  It turned out to be a basically brand new bike, for a not so brand new price!  Sold. 

As I left there my cell rang.  It was my sister who was on her way to check out some authentic Indian rugs that she’d found on Craig’s List in Florida.   I’d been wanting a runner for our super long hallway, but they cost too much.  I told her I was in the car and trusted her to make the purchase, she’s got good taste like that!  This lady had 4 rugs and 1 runner for $50 each.  I asked my sister about the quality.  She said, “She was wearing a Sari and spoke broken English, what do you think?”  Sold.  runner4

Saturday afternoon I checked my auctions.  I ran a bunch of yoga clothes on e-bay as I often do and they were doing OK.  I also ran a little 6″ vase, circa Nippon.  It was holding at $20 for a few days, but Saturday, it shot up to $102.  It had an hour left.  I decided not to waste time and watch it end.  Where did I go?  Yoga, of course!  When I returned the auction was over.  Someone really liked that vase as it sold for $350.60.  I wish I had another one, or two, or three……  Sad thing is, it’s probably worth 3 grand or something.  I’d had it a long time.  I like Asian inspired things.  I like bright Asian inspired things and as you can see, it’s pretty muted.  I like Lusterware, it’s shiny!  100_35591

Saturday evening came around and it was time for me to back up everything I cared about so Frank could hook up my new (used) computer!  The computer I have is older and I’ve never had a problem with it,  but it was starting to run really slow.  Too many high end programs.  Too much stuff not enough space.  (Sounds like my house and my internal organs).  Anyways, we spent the evening hooking up, re-installing and copying files over.  It’s really fast now!  I cruised through the yoga community group e-mail awhile ago.  The internet really loads fast too, so I’m excited.  Free computer, yippee!!

Sunday came.  More of the same, computer stuff, etc.  Until my friend  Sylvia (the artist) called.  She had something to bring over.  OK.  I’m home no big deal.  She walks in the door with this.  dr-woo-hoo-ohm

Yep, another beautiful painting framed and ready to go!  This is her new character, Dr. Woo Hoo.  She called this one “At OHM with Dr. Woo Hoo.”  Amazing, absolutely!  Just check out that detail and those colors!   She needed to borrow the other one she’d just given me (Dr. Woo Hoo Cooks) and we hung this one in his place for now.  How lucky am I?  Totally lucky.  I am building her a small website to showcase her art.  The world really needs to see her heartfelt brightness!!

Perhaps the goodness of the weekend was fueled by that yoga class and the power of Dr. Woo Hoo!!  That vase action didn’t hurt either. 

Peace Out.