This has been an odd summer, to say the least. I experienced many "surprising" things. Some were big. Some were small. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were significant, and some were incredibly trivial. Here are my top 5.
1) After 8 months of illnesses, we put my dad into a nursing home last month and watched incredible the sadness he and my mom suffered being torn apart. After 58 years of marriage, I cannot imagine what that is like. It was gut wrenching for me, and I doubted my decision many times, so I cannot imagine what it is like for them. My mom has reluctantly agreed to move to the same facility in independent living, however, the "independent" portion is yet to be determined. I did not see this one coming. It hit me like a freight train.
2) I discovered a new book genre I now like because of a favorite author. Jennifer Sturman, one of my favorite mystery writers, recently published another book. But, it was not her regular who-done-it page turner, rather, a young adult mystery with fresh, lively characters and a great twist. Even if you're not a young adult, check out "And Then Everything Unraveled". Great surprise, Jennifer!
3) I took a much-needed reprieve and landed in Santa Monica at the beach for 5 sunny days. I "pooled" with a couple members of James Cameron's ("Titanic", "Aliens") production team. It made for surprising and interesting conversation about the movie biz and his upcoming film, "Avatar".
4) I discovered TV show "Gossip Girl". When I was studying for finals, I needed a stress outlet each night when I could not sleep. Nothing was on the tube! So I rented a few season one discs to try it out. That turned into all of season one, season two and a total addiction to the series. It must be my love of anything New York City (where the show takes place) whether it's meaningful or meaningless.
5) I unexpectedly connected with several people from my past. Some go as far back as grade school (that darn Facebook is addicting!). Some are from my competitive swimming past (amazing how you cross paths later in your adult life). Some are people from a past career that I was never close to -- and never dreamed I'd hear from again.