Michael returned yesterday after ten days gone photographing in Hawaii, thanks to a generous faculty grant from the college. He spent his days on the Big Island taking uber-cool photos of lava flows, plastic beaches and jungle. If you are one of the few adults who can cross your eyes, you can view his twin images in three dimensions on his photo blog, The Daily Post. And if your mind is open, they'll perhaps transport you to a place you may not be able to reach on foot.

For me, back at home, it was a kind of staycation, hanging out with a bunch of my besties, not cooking for myself and leaving the dishes for later.

The day that Michael left, a Thursday, I spent the evening with Lauren. The two of us bellied up to the bar at our favorite Asian restaurant for a twilight glass of wine. On Friday, I had a very informal, long overdue, parent conference with Calvin's life-skills teacher, whom I absolutely adore. Over gorgeous cocktails at a favorite watering hole, we talked about Calvin's progress. We went on to discuss candidates, presidents and first ladies. She told me her daughter was doing a report about Eleanor Roosevelt, and I mentioned I'd heard somewhere that the feminist icon was a lesbian. In response, my companion said something like, Isn't everyone? and we chuckled. And while I'm not exactly sure what that might mean, I like the idea; perhaps the world would be a better place if we were all at least a little bit gay.

Saturday, I ducked in to visit Woody, who I haven't seen as much of these past six months, what with spotty nursing help and all. I brought him some homemade chocolate chip cookies in exchange for two fingers of bourbon and a couple of cubes. We shot the shit for a spell while Nellie tried lovingly to lick the ears off of his cat, Trixie, who happens to be a male.

On Sunday, Matt and Connie arrived with their children in tow. The kids played ball with Nellie and Matt played bartender, mixing three strong gin and tonics, then mashing up some guacamole right on the spot to go with the homemade hummus they'd brought. In one brief moment, when I had my back turned on Calvin, he crawled up to the table and grabbed my cocktail, which was filled nearly to the brim. Before I had a chance to catch the glass which he was about to toss aside, he'd taken a major gulp. I've heard of far worse things happening to kids like mine, and though alcohol can be a seizure trigger, I shrugged it off as best I could and laughed at my boozin' child—something I couldn't have imagined doing several years ago. I guess I'd call that progress.

Monday's date du jour was with my neighbor, Barbara. I made it another early night since Calvin wakes around five and needs repositioning once or twice on most nights, plus it seemed to me he was due for a seizure that thankfully never occurred. Between sips of spirits and bites of arancini, fresh mozarella and chicken Parmesan, Barbara and I spoke of politics and The Peroxide Demagogue: the narcissist bully candidate who is threatening nearly every virtue of our country. At just thirty-six, and besides being a total hottie, Ms. Barbara is a college professor and an expert in world government. So while we had a good laugh about Trump the ReallyHate developer, the clown who could easily pass for a villain in the city of Gotham, we also bristled at his hateful rhetoric, his incitement of violence, and his alarming following of racist xenophobes, some eager, even emboldened, to do his bidding and "beat the crap" out of their fellow Americans. Sigh.

The next day, Akiko arrived from Jacksonville via Detroit to spend a couple of nights. It has been three years since last we saw each other, so we had a nice time catching up, nibbling on yummy dumplings and Asian slaw, talking more about politics and walking the dog. Like all of my gals, she's a gem of a young woman who I'm most honored to call my friend.

Barbara dropped in again on Thursday, her son and husband also gone for the week. At ten o'clock, we stepped outside and into a misty cold where we shivered some and pondered the world's divisions under a common moon. We covered nearly every topic staying up until almost eleven—a recent record for me. Thankfully, Calvin slept soundly again that night and, thusly, so did I.

On the last stretch, three gals made a home invasion on Friday; Lauren brought over a large mason jar full of her famous pomegranate cosmopolitan plus a spinach artichoke dip. Natasha made a tasty salad dressed with wild mushroom vinaigrette, which was so much like eating dessert that I could have licked the plate. Mary arrived with a tray of one of my favorites: deviled eggs—yum!—their fluffy yolks oddly alike the Republican frontrunner's coif. We talked kids and jobs and illicit drugs, presidential candidates and, of course, all bad things—because, to be honest, we find nothing redeeming—about Trump.

Saturday night I spent alone catching up on some much needed rest. Calvin had taken it easy on me the entire week; during Michael's absence our boy suffered no seizures to speak of and today is day twenty since his last grand mal! I promise to elaborate on that later this week.

Regrettably, on this staycation, I didn't get to see all of my lovelies. But the time has made me grateful for so many things: the ability to celebrate the good in each day and the beauty, love and compassion in others, the gift of long, seizure-free stints, the aid of an amazing nurse, and the knowledge that Michael was getting some satisfying work done in the field while not having to worry too much about me.

I love this photo of my friend Lauren and me taken spring 2014

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