November 4th, 2012

language, voyage

This island isn't big enough for all of us

Friday morning I arrived in Florida for a whirlwind quick trip to celebrate my maternal grandfather's 90th birthday. Over the past few days, various members of our far-flung clan have been gathering, so I've been getting to catch up with relatives that I haven't seen in years. And meet a few new ones - I've got two first cousins once-removed, a 3 year-old and a 15 month-old, who I've never met before.

One of the nice things about being on Amelia Island, Florida the day before the time switch is that I got to get up and go running on the beach as the sun rose, without having to get up stupidly early. Apparently, it is a traditional Navajo practice to go running to greet the rising sun. I can see why - there is something really special about running as the sun comes up. Especially if you can arrange to do it somewhere where you've got a really unobstructed view of the Eastern horizon.

Today has had its share of minor drama: This morning my father ended up in the emergency room of the local hospital with what turned out to be a minor abrasion on his cornea. He has antibiotic eye drops and orders not to read or watch TV for a day or two - he will be fine. This afternoon, my 3 year-old cousin, while riding in a golf cart driven by my granfather, managed to put his foot down hard on the accelerator and crash the cart into my grandfather's garage door, putting a sizeable dent in it.

(I took on the task of distracting the 3 year-old while the other grown-ups hammered the garage door into good enough shape to get it to open. We played chase, wrestled on the floor, pretended to be airplanes, played hide-and-seek, pretended to be dinosaurs, played "let's not hide" (a game of his own invention, which involved me announcing, "Okay, I'm not hiding!" while he laughed), and he "helped me make a movie" (which meant that I chased him around the kitchen while filming him with my iPhone). In total, I think I succeeded in keeping him occupied for 10 minutes. Maybe 15. I absolutely do not endorse the over-medication of small children for ADHD, but I totally understand why it happens.)

Anyway, I've got to get changed and help go set up helium balloons for the party tonight. I shall dutifully report if the combination of my 3 year-old cousin and a room full of helium balloons results in mayhem.