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Year Three, Day 246: The Pack and the Bowling Alley Queen

This has been the best birthday I can remember!

It began with a hoop workout. Then a church service at Portland Bible Church. Where I was greeted by many friends. Do you remember the show "Cheers"..."sometimes we want to go - where everybody knows your name; and they're always glad you came..."

Yup. It was like that. But without drink people. Just hymns and prayer and bible study and sermon.

I was glad I came!

But I had to leave at the break. I was due to meet my daughter, son-in-law and Baby Grace at Jantzen Beach. Then off to bowling league!

On the bus, I signed into my Coursera app. I am taking an online classical music class through Yale University. For free! I love Coursera. This is my third course. I could pay $50 and receive a certificate, but this is for my own thirst for knowledge, not a degree. I have already found fresh ideas for describing certain concepts - like rhythm - to my students.

I was relaxing, listening to the instructor talk about elements of melody, when my phone rang. It was my daughter. She told me to meet them at Sierra Trading Post. When I got to Jantzen Beach, I was confused. Where was the mall? The food court? The carousel?

All has changed since I'd last been there. It was mostly restaurants and outlet malls. I had no idea where to find Sierra Trading Post. My daughter called and helped me navigate. It was a long trek across the parking lot from the bus stop. I sighed. I told her I was loaded down with bags and an umbrella. Could I wait for them nearby at a restaurant? I was hungry and they could finish whatever it was they were shopping for.

I heard her sigh.

"Mom", she said sternly. "We are shopping for you!"

"Oh," I mumbled. "I don't need anything other than time to read and study tonight before Gracie's bedtime."

Then I felt bad. They wanted to get me a present. How inconsiderate was I?!

"Be right there", I muttered.

Then I asked walked across the seemingly endless expanse of parking lot. It was a lovely day, though. Sunny and warm. I really needed to do something about my commuting bags.

I got there and my daughter greeted me at the door with a lopsided grin and Baby Gracie in her pack.

"Mom", she laughed. "You are so difficult! Wait until you see what we are getting you!"

It is a new, ergonomically sound backpack! It has a special strap that goes around my waist to support my low back, is easy on the shoulders and had many cool compartments!

I love my new pack! And I apologized for whining about the long walk!

From there, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed to the bowling alley.

I was more successful this time. I improved my game. In fact, in one game I made two strikes in a row!!

My secret? I practice this week. With a potato. Mostly just my walking form.

Also, I had a voice in my head
 Nope, I'm not crazy, I think.

I created a sportscaster voice to keep me focused and positive as I walked down the lane.

Something like: "And here is Zita Jefferson, one of our oldest players at 56. But still on top of her game. Notice her concentration as she picks up her ball and gets into position. See her strength and determination determination as she begins her four step walk down the lane. And...
She draws her arm back and let's it fly! What power! She is queen of the bowling alley!"

Cheesy, right? But it worked! Two strikes in a row!

Not perfect. I still had a few gutter balls, but a definite improvement!

I am now at Starbucks. It sounds like Saturday night at the bowling alley here. But it is Sunday night. 8:40 p.m. and packed. Looks like mostly college students. I was ecstatic to find out it stays open until 11 p.m. every night! And less than a mile from my daughter and son-in-law's trailer!

I have figured out my insomnia problem. Night time television and Words with Friends right before bed stimulates my brain and causes my thoughts to race. I spoke with two people today who said the blue light from cell phones is unhealthy as is the tv screen. One man says I should shut off my Wi-Fi at night. Gracie's pediatrician strongly discourages parents from letting their babies view any tv for the first couple of years if life. Detrimental to brain development.

But I can't tell my daughter and son-in-law to turn off the tv when I am there. It is their home. They don't let Gracie look at the screen, I was pleased to find out.

So finding this late night college hangout was a God send! I am here now. Having herbal tea, blogging and listening to a classical music lecture. is good!

Oh, and I have had 52+ friends post Happy Birthday wishes on my page! This warms my heart. Not because I need birthday accolades, presents or attention.

I just want to know I am visible. That I matter.

It took me 56 years to realise that I do.

Talk to you tomorrow!



P.S. Here is today's hoop video. Day 208!


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