My mother and my dad's twin sister both turned 65 today. Mums and my friend Susanna and I went out for lunch at Five Guys after church (John has been on call for three days, so other than Friday night, when a HUGE cold-packed box of Godiva chocolate arrived at their house, and he was there to chortle over Mums' reception of this delicious gift, I haven't seen him this weekend). Church was good--the pastor is preaching through the so-called minor prophets, who "get into your business" more than the others, he points out. I need to have an accountability partner to help me get back into reading the Bible regularly. My life has gotten so out of whack without proper rhythm and interaction with the Almighty.
The surprise party in Rock Hill, SC, for my aunt was a great success--out of the more than 40 people who came, nobody had breathed a word, and she was shocked and delighted all at once. Both of her remaining siblings, their spouses, children, grandchildren, and in one case, great-grandchildren, all came, with the exception of my siblings, niece and nephew. I was a little disappointed to discover that my young second cousins, who have been living in London for two years, don't have English accents! :-(
Other than Thanksgiving, this is the first happy-occasional family reunion we've had since before Daddy died, and the most comprehensive. It was good reconnecting with relatives, all of whom are friendly and most of whom are creative people. It was very, very loud, at the party, though, and my poor stepdad wouldn't have been able to understand a thing if he'd been free to attend. A dozen small children under the age of twelve, plus thirty-something happily bellowing adults in a single party room make for a deafening volume.
I continue to correspond with the fellow with whom I was matched a couple of weeks back. I think he is my Korean male clone. Unless something unexpected happens, I expect we shall simply remain steady penpals. He asks me questions about American culture and I ask him questions about Korean culture, and given that we're both generally insolvent and he hasn't suggested a time for Skyping, I don't expect we'll meet either virtually or in person anytime soon. I get a message or so every day from other people who have seen my profile and want to start corresponding, but nobody else has really piqued my curiosity.
I got my first paying freelance translation/proofing gig for a religious studies journal, run by a Stanford graduate who describes himself as an ex-Evangelical. Whatever its and his persuasion, I thought the opportunity sounded worthwhile for several reasons: it would get my foot in the door for similar work, and also give me a chance to become conversant with the current debates over the history and contemporary manifestations of religious faith in the Russian-speaking world.