Monday was what I call the Running of the Bulls down at the senior hall---a day that happens five times a year where we have to register for the events we want to attend over the upcoming months. We get a sixteen page newsletter in the mail, have a week to look it over and make our decisions, then not a second before 9:00 AM on an appointed day we’re allowed to respond by e-mails. By the end of that first day they will register between 1,500 to 1,700 RSVPs. The running of the bulls comes from all of us wanting the earliest time stamp we can manage on our e-mails. It could mean beating someone else out for a seat on the bus for a day trip, a ticket for a play or baseball game, a seat at a lecture or luncheon, etc. Many of those RSVPs will end up on waiting lists but if your whole social life revolves around the outcome of registration day, it can give you a rush if you snagged what you wanted. This time there were twenty-one events offered but I made a decision to cut way back on my summer sign-ups. I only RSVPed to one lecture, an ice-cream social and three Gatherings (for people looking for friends). It’s a risk for me because I usually pepper my summer with twice that, including a day trip or two. If I’m moaning and groaning this summer about being bored I’ll have no one to blame but myself. I did agonize over whether or not I wanted to go to an off-Broadway production of Wicked. The $85 for a matinee and transportation was probably a good deal but still that’s a big chunk of change.
My summers since my husband died have all had a theme. The first two summers were devoted to downsizing his stuff. The third summer I was obsessed with condo shopping that, in the end, I decided I’m not ready for yet. Last summer I was on a mission to find friends and that’s starting to pay off. Now that summer is on the horizon, six of us from the Gatherings set up monthly brunch dates and we had our first one this week where I’m sad to report we didn’t find a plan for world peace but we did talk about books, movies and going to an artists' street fair later in May, which will be our forth outing. Stepping up the number of times a month we see each other should speed up the developing friendships. “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are the seeds of today.” That saying is written on a clock that hangs in my garage. The clock was supposed to go to the Salvation Army but that’s as far as it would go without a gun held at its back.