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Easter’s not really my thing. It’s nice and all, but as far as holidays celebrating the return of goodness and light are concerned, I prefer the Vernal Equinox. Easter doesn’t do much for me anymore. The egg-dying thing is great, but that’s about it. And though I do love me some Cadbury Mini-Eggs, they are not a holiday in-and-of themselves. I’m just not big on the Easter celebrating the way I was when I was a kid. Maybe in the future it’ll mean a little more.

For Easter this year, Geordie and I didn’t do much. On Saturday, we finally got around to going to the Sherwood Forest Faire, about a two-hour drive from San Antonio. Yes, it’s a Renaissance Faire type event, though it’s more of a Medieval Faire, really. The focal point is the story of Robin Hood, which I know is a big draw. For me, it’s – well, to be blunt, it’s just okay. I can’t say I’m much interested in Robin Hood tales because I’m more interested in historical accuracy. I recently finished a biography of Queen Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine (mother of King Richard the Lion-Hearted and Prince John), and I found that far more fascinating that any of the Robin Hood stories. Maybe because tales of Robin Hood tend to ignore the fact that Queen Eleanor served as Regent of England while Richard was off doing Crusade-y things and that the reason England was so poor during this time was because every spare cent went towards a ransom to release Richard from his captivity in Germany. John may have tried to wrest control away from the men Richard left in control of the country, but he never was much of a threat.

But I digress. The point: Robin Hood doesn’t interest me much. That said, one can ignore his presence at the Sherwood Forest Faire without having to try very hard. Thankfully.

We didn’t go in costume, because frankly, we don’t have anything costume-ish for this kind of thing. Maybe next year. I encouraged Geordie to get a kilt while we were there, but he was put off by the price. Understandable. As with many such events, everything was a little expensive, and the only thing we ended up spending money on was food and entertainment. I’ll have to find some other way to get Geordie into a kilt.

Although we didn’t stay very long (a little over three hours), we had a good time. The day started off a little cloudy, but by afternoon, the sun had come out. One of the reasons we decided to leave was that I could feel myself starting to get a sunburn. It turned out to be not so bad, but only because there was plenty of shade to be had. Again, thankfully.

So, food.

Geordie vs. the Turkey Leg.

Geordie vs. the Turkey Leg.

Geordie just had to get himself a turkey leg. The skin tasted predominately of propane, but once you got down into the meaty bit, it tasted a lot better. I had a few bites; he ate the majority of it. We also got a serving of the most onion-y tasting hummus I have ever eaten. It was pretty gross. The pita served with it was great, very soft and flavorful, but the hummus just ruined everything it touched. Ew. Still hungry, we went in search of other food and eventually found a place that sold crèpes. We had a beef-mushroom combo that was really quite tasty. For dessert, we had thought about getting a sweet crèpe but ended up with some baklava instead. Tasty. Not exactly a good example of food from 1192 A.D., but I suppose you’ve got to do what you can with what you’ve got.

We wandered around quite a bit and observed more than participated. Geordie did try his hand at axe-throwing and failed pretty miserably. Poor guy. He consoled himself with some mead, which was actually quite tasty (don’t worry, I only took a sip, enough to judge that it was more honey than anything else).

We watched the “Third Annual Combat Tournament of Sherwood,” which was had plenty of adult humor to go with its violence. But it was fairly enjoyable, being well-performed and quite amusing.

combattournie

Finally, we enjoyed that manliest of Faire events, the joust. I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s fun to do things just because I’m with Geordie. I’m a very low-key spectator. Geordie is not. Geordie gets actively involved, which is both awesome and adorable. I love it when he enjoys himself. I did enjoy the joust too – a lot of fun to watch, and one can’t help but be impressed by these guys, because this is their job and none of it looks easy. Especially on a hot and sunny day.

Our section cheered for Sir William, in the red and gold.

Our section cheered for Sir William, in the red and gold.

The second pass, in which the opposing knight broke his lance upon Sir William and moved himself into the point lead.

The second pass, in which the opposing knight broke his lance upon Sir William and moved himself into the point lead.

The fourth and final pass, in which Sir William unseated his opponent, thus capturing victory for himself!

The fourth and final pass, in which Sir William unseated his opponent, thus capturing victory for himself!

Compared to Saturday, we spent Sunday pretty quietly, which was fine by us. All in all, it was an enjoyable Easter weekend, and we had no complaints.

So, yeah, that’s it. I’m ending this kind of abruptly, but I don’t really have anything else to say. Happy April, folks!

In defiance of our usually very busy schedule of sitting around and doing nothing on Sunday, Geordie and I went to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo yesterday. We had an enjoyable time, even though we were sitting so high up that I was sure I was going to have a panic attack going up the stairs. I’ve never been terrific with heights, and even after we got to our seats, the last thing I wanted to do was stand up again. We liked the rodeo so much that we certainly wouldn’t mind going back again next year – as long as we get seats that aren’t in the nosebleed section.

rodeo

Geordie had never been to a rodeo before, and I haven’t been to one since I was in middle school, so it was a lot of fun. Also, because it was a Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t too crowded, and driving in and out wasn’t a big deal. Not sure I’d want to do it on a more popular evening, though. This was enough for us.

Honestly, the only thing I didn’t like was the “mutton rustling.” The event involves setting a 4-6 year old kid on the back of a sheep and letting ‘em go. A few of the (older) kids were okay with this, but most of them got planted on their sheep and burst into tears. It made me distinctly uncomfortable, especially since the kid would appear up on the big screen, face twisted in weeping terror, and the audience would go “awww” or just outright laugh. It just creeped me out.

muttonrustling

The rest of it was great though, so we were glad we went.

And because I’ve been trying to be careful about what I eat, we didn’t get much in the way of “fair food.” Honestly, after walking around and taking a look at all the food offerings, we didn’t have much of an appetite anyway. Nothing looked very tempting. Geordie had a hot dog during the rodeo (which I was not tempted to even have a bite of because he slathered it with relish and mustard, neither of which I’m fond of), and he got a chicken-fried steak sandwich as we were leaving. That wasn’t too bad, considering it had a generous helping of lettuce and tomato added to it and not a trace of mayo or butter to be seen. We were tempted by the chicken-fried bacon, but had opted not to get it, until the guy in line after Geordie ordered it and got it before the sandwich arrived. Geordie said, “So that’s the chicken-fried bacon!” And the guy said, “Yup. Here, have a piece.”

So, we got to split a piece of chicken-fried bacon, which was far better than it had any right to be.

chickenfriedbacon

And that was our day at the rodeo! Can’t wait to go again next year.

As I said to Geordie – Texas isn’t so bad, is it?

I think he’s warming up to it.

bullriding

Well, as settled as Geordie and I can be. It’s where we are for now and where we’ll stay for now, and that’s good enough for me. We have a place of our own, and we have a future ahead of us. That’s all I wanted.

And so, we’ve come to San Antonio, Texas, easily the largest city I’ve lived in. It’s not so big when compared to Tokyo, but I never actually lived in Tokyo, so there you go. We don’t live anywhere near the center of San Antonio, and that’s fine by me. The outskirts feel rather like a small town on their own, with all the convenience of a big city and not as much of the hassle. Traffic isn’t terrible, especially for Geordie since we live so close to where he works, and I don’t have to drive hither and yon to get whatever I might need. In this area, the roads are laid out pretty well, so that helps.

Not that I go anywhere very often. We only have the one car still, so we share that as necessary. I go mostly to the grocery store and Barnes & Noble, so I don’t miss the car so much on the days Geordie has it. It’s kind of nice driving him to and from work though. Having that little bit of extra time with him. For the past year, with neither of us working, I’ve gotten used to having him around all the time. Now, as I go through the day without him, I find that I miss him.

But there’s only one thing that’s truly missing from our life here in San Antonio: our daughter. She’s with us always in our hearts and in our minds, but I want – I still want – so much for her to be here with us, to complete our little family. Sitting down for dinner at our kitchen table, I’m always struck by how there’s just enough space for Lauren. I imagine her high chair there, and I imagine her, my dark-haired laughing child, eating with us, simply being with us.

Her birthday is next week. It seems impossible that nearly a year has passed since she left us. How did I make it through this year? How have I survived?

Well, those are easy questions to answer. I would never have made it this far without the love and support of my friends and family. Doesn’t matter how corny that sounds, it’s true. Because of their love for me – and for Lauren – I can deal with the present and hope for the future.

It’ll probably be next year before we begin to try again. I never imagined we would have to wait so long to try, but it’s better this way, for now. We still have to get our insurance straightened out, and then I want to find a good OB/GYN, someone I can feel comfortable with and trust with the next pregnancy. Plus, I’m still carrying about twenty pounds I’d like to get rid of. We could probably be ready by January, but that’s when Lauren was conceived, and I don’t want that. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a pregnancy that has the same time track as Lauren’s. So, we’re aiming to really start trying in early March. That’s still half a year away, so we’ll see how things go. But for now, that’s the plan. And it’s good to know that there will be a time to think about rainbows.

For now, we’re still settling in. We haven’t quite got everything sorted yet. We’re renting a nice little three-bedroom house, which is the most space we’ve ever had together. All the stuff we brought with us from Florida was barely enough to even half-fill a house: two desks and chairs, a double bed, and a rocking chair. And boxes upon boxes of books! Last weekend, we finally went up to IKEA and got a few things that would fit in the car: a dining table and two chairs, two nightstands, two bookcases, and a comfy chair to read in. There’s still plenty we need (a Queen bed, a couch, and at least one more bookcase come to mind!), but we’ll make due for now. It’s our home, and I’m happy with it, because it’s been far too long since we had anything that we could just call “ours.” It’s not perfect, but it’s ours, and I love that we have that.

I love that we have this life together, even with the downs. I love it because it gave us something as wonderful as Lauren, and there is all this hope and promise that we’ll have something wonderful again. Isn’t that what everyone needs?

Sara

I am a daughter and a sister, a wife and a friend. I am a reader and a writer, a dreamer and a realist, a teacher and a learner. I am the mother of a baby born sleeping. I am on a journey of healing, walking a path paved with tears and grief and hope.

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