Sunday, March 14, 2010

Awesome Day

Why was this day so awesome? Well, for starters, it is Pi Day!!! Yay for 3.14159...etc. forever! As one of the numbers that recurs in the universe, it is pretty special. Bill and I celebrated with a kiss.

I also met with my philosophy group this morning. Bill is such a loving husband, watching Katie for several hours while my brain indulged in absolute playtime. Bill cherishes my mind, and I am lucky that he truly sees every dimension of me, including the need for my mind to absorb itself in meaningful analysis. I love my little group. Gene had Girl Scout cookies for us this morning (it has been years since I've had a tag-along...or whatever they are called now). He is so warm and welcoming, and I love getting to know him at 84 years old. To spend quality time with older people and to benefit from their years of pondering life is really a gift. However, when we are all talking, I tend to forget about all of our ages as our minds become engaged in real ideas. And I love also that they show by example that being in your 70s and 80s can still be a vigorous, robust, thoughtful time. My own grandparents are the same way, especially my Nana. Her mind is still youthful and her body still willing.

Our group was a bit smaller today than it was last month. The focus of today's topics was a bit more political, as we pondered the health care bill, the need for taxes, social contracts, prioritizing the way government spends its money, true intentions of the Founding Fathers, and how we decide how resources are allocated. We examined a thought-experiment about a hypothetical heart transplant, and we wandered into other scarce resources like water. We also talked about the recent changes the Texas state school board has made to its textbooks. Even though several of us are likeminded---or at least, tend toward similar points of view---I do enjoy that most people will play devil's advocate and that we will put opposing points of view up for examination. A couple of the members, in particular, are good about not letting the group make generalizations, and this pushes us all to think more deeply. I love that there is an expectation of me, and of every member, that we are current on all events and that we know our accurate history and that we are able to converse widely across all disciplines. Everyone knows I was an English teacher, but no one there pigeonholes me into just knowing English. We expect each other to be educated in many disciplines. It is so refreshing. So often we subscribe to a myth in our society that we are either "English people" or "science people" or "math people" or whatever---like we can only be one thing. I've heard it a million times. Yet I have known many people, myself and Bill included, who have a true passion for studying everything. Stanford wouldn't let me major in everything, so I had to pick one---and study the rest on my own or by treating myself to a fun class here or there. I love being with my philosophy group, because they seem to value, for themselves, being knowledgeable about a range of subjects---and that is very stimulating to me. I leave the group, like today, with fresh motivation to learn more and to push myself to read up on some of their pet topics. I am reminded of how much I have still to learn, and I love that feeling of chasing knowledge and making it my own. Learning is addicting.

When I came home, Bill and Katie were playing outside, and I joined them for a bit. We had the waterfall running, and the sun felt so beautiful. I debriefed Bill on the meeting, and then I made Katie some lunch. We painted with our watercolors and picked up a bit.

Then she helped me make dinner: tortilla-black bean cassarole. She supervised my chopping, and then helped measure out the ingredients. After I cooked the filling, we worked together to layer the dish. I put some bean mixture down, and she covered it with the tortillas and then sprinkled on the jack cheese. We repeated this step, and she put the finished touches on it. I told her what a perfect little helper she is, and she replied, "I'm a chef!" Very true. I am impressed by what she knows how to do in the kitchen at age two. I love finding tasks for her to do and watching her figure them out.

She loved the dinner, and it was so healthy and yummy: black beans, fresh tomatoes, salsa, onion, green pepper (she tried them, but doesn't care for them), tortillas, cheese, and we even put a dollop of sour cream on top (she liked that, too). She devoured it. Yay for discovering another healthy item that Katie likes! That was one of the best parts of the whole day! She has been getting better and better about trying new foods, and I am especially joyful that we can put this cassarole on our rotation.

So it was a lovely and productive day, and there are many fun activities planned for this week as well----can't wait!