The first 'bank' holiday of the year was upon us, and as usual, we spent a good deal of time wondering what to do! After the hustle and bustle of the lead up to Christmas, and the shopping trips, etc., it was nice to have a day off with no specific agenda. I knew Dana would go into the office, although the time he was to spend there was always to be unknown; sometimes everyone takes the day off, sometime no one! I was not going into the office! The week was going to be quite different all around, and I wondered how much of a roller coaster event it would be! Political discussions were rife, and I found it best to keep my opinions to myself, unless pointedly asked.
I bid my husband farewell after we drank a leisurely cup of coffee, in the comfort of our living room, and then continued with the 'Monday' tasks, before driving myself to Samantha. We had decided to take advantage of 'Ladies Day' at the 'range', and set off to Reds. Getting out of the car, we looked across at each other, as we heard the sound of echoed 'bangs' through the wall. There are times, nearly thirteen years into our emigration, when we still feel a sort of novelty in the vast difference. Walking into Reds, carrying our own equipment is certainly one of those moments. Although I think Samantha has assimilated more than I, as I (apparently) mention it far more, this is something that we both still feel is 'new'. We had decided that if it was busy, we would fore go our outing and do something else, but as we approached the desk, we were told that there was no one waiting and were asked to read the rules, after being verbally apprised of the same.
It had been sometime since I had used my fiftieth birthday present, and I had forgotten how to load the cylinder. However, my trustee companion was not so ignorant, and 'Annie Oakley' took charge, and 'threaded the needle' for me, so to speak! Ready to go, I took aim, and fired. Although my first shot would have given any perpetrator the chance to not only run, but hide, the time between that and the second would have given them time to laugh and mock at my inaccuracy! It did not take long before I was 'on track', and I aimed for the right shoulder, as is my general behaviour! I finished my round, and took my target sheet down from the clips, and backed up, so that Samantha could take her rightful place in the booth.
The rifle being used at the other end of the range must have been enormous, as although I did not see it, the sound almost made me leave the floor. I watched as my daughter made short shrift of her perpetrator, and the other participants, who all seemed to be rather deft at the task. The room filled with people, from all ages, and the queue outside the actual firing area had grown tremendously.
Half way through the proceedings, I realised I had not called my mother. "Should I call her now?" I asked Samantha, but she could not hear me. Of course, my mother would not have been able to hear me either!
My neighbour stood back, as her partner took his place in the cubical. "What is yours?" she asked. I replied with the model of my weapon and she nodded. "Nice", she said. I was not partial to the style she was using, and told her that I preferred a more conventional type. Again, I laughed at the conversation. Discussions regarding an arsenal at home, would have been a conversation about a football (soccer) team!
Leaving the premises, we once again embraced the fact that we would have spent a 'bank' holiday in England rather differently, and went on our way to the craft store!
The residue from the previous activity had been wiped away with an antibacterial solution at the range, but there were still some dark marks around our fingers. Noticing the discolouring as we paid for our wool made us laugh a little. We had just spent the best part of an hour shooting at targets, and soon we would be going home to clean the weapons, and then....crochet, and maybe bake some cakes. The diversity felt magnificent!
I drove home around five, and Dana was still at the office. It had been a 'work' day for most of our clients, and he had not been able to take advantage of the time off, as I had been. I had offered to take some of the burden from him, but he refused to allow me to work on a holiday. I was rather pleased at the refusal!
Tuesday morning I rose early to make puff pastry! I could not help but still smile at the diversity.
It was a busy week at work, and we did not leave the office until quite late most nights. Friday was slightly quieter, with the phones ringing less frequently than they had during the rest of the week. Dana had a meeting at the Capitol building, and I took the reins for a while. It was 'Inauguration Day', and I one of my computer tabs set to watch the event. I refuse to announce my 'political affiliation' within these posts, and can assure you that there will be no 'reading between the lines' when I write my next few sentences. My dad always said, "You should watch this. It is history in the making". Having always been a bit of a history buff, I am fascinated by the precedent of any event that makes an historical statement. I watched the moon landings with the same awe. I watched the first shuttle return from the moon. I went to the original Rocky Horror Picture Show in Chelsea! (Not that I realised at the time that I would ever say, "I was at the original") To say, "I saw it", be it in person, or through the television screen, is quite satisfying. I thoroughly enjoyed the 'tradition' and found it fascinating that as the Vice President is 'sworn in' first, for five minutes, he is the VP under the outgoing President. In this case, for five minutes, there was a Democrat President and a Republican Vice President. Obviously, this is not of interest to all, but as I am now a resident of this country, I want to understand the 'ins' and 'outs' of all!
I was unsure as to how the 'First Family' felt on Friday night, but after watching the ceremony, and the parade that followed, I was thoroughly exhausted, and wondered if I would have had the energy to go to the ball!
Saturday morning was also quite busy. We had the annual general meeting of our homeowners' association. It is usually an informal formal 'apolitical' event, and this year proved no different. Everyone has an opportunity to make comments and suggestions, and there are 'elections' to the 'board' at the end of the meeting. I was quite honoured when asked to be the 'witness' to make sure all the votes were properly counted. "Does this mean I am the Returning Officer?", I asked. The blank faces that were returned made me realise that this is not a term used here, and I simply embraced the difference in our cultures, and proceeded to count the votes a they were read out to me.
Edward joined Samantha and me for our Saturday morning jolly, and we deposited him safely home around three in the afternoon, and continued with the menial task of grocery shopping.
It was a very different week. The title of my post is from the first Prime Minister I remember being in power, Harold Wilson. Politicians come and go. Administrations come and go. Bank Holidays come and go. As another historical figure once said, "You can't please all the people, all the time". I shall continue to live my diverse life, and hopefully not upset too many people in the process! After all, variety, so it has been said, is the 'spice of life', and where would we be without 'seasoning' in one form or another. I shall see how much variety I can muster up for ...... another story!