When I’m making plans to come down to California, I always ask Gina what’s on her social calendar for that week. Book Club? Mastermind? Cooking class? Bunco? (G has a much more exciting — and more regular — social life than I do.) I like to get a chance to spend time with her friends, people I see once a year, at the most.

This trip fell on a Bunco week. For those who don’t know, Bunco is an extremely easy dice game that is perfect for socializing. It takes very little thinking, so you can go on chatting; you change partners constantly, so you get to catch up with everyone; and the winning partners move to different tables, which mixes things up even more.

Gina has been playing with these women, whom she knows from her college sorority, for more than twenty years. Two of the people there last night were bridesmaids in her wedding, as was I. It was so fun to get to hear about their kids and their lives!

I need to set up structured time with my friends, whether a book club or a standing Bunco date. I used to have this with Creative Memories, when I’d have regular crops; David has had it for the past ten years with his game group(s). But lately, my social life seems to consist of promising people that we will get together and then not following up and making an actual date.

I’m going to set a goal: in the next 30 days, I will set up a group like this! Let me know if you want to be in it!

Parents, palms, and poker

Gina and I drove out to Palm Desert yesterday to visit Dad and Ann. It’s been a very productive visit: Dad and Gina went to the casino to play poker, Ann and I went thrifting, we’ve had some excellent meals, I got food poisoning (or whatever the heck has turned me completely inside out), we’ve visited and told stories and watched Wayne Newton sing on Bonanza.

I also gave Dad a detailed lesson on what Multiple Sclerosis is and how I know that I really have it. Since his stroke, he has been adamant that I don’t have MS, that there’s nothing actually wrong with me, and that doctors are all incompetent. It’s been discouraging for me. Since MS is an invisible disease, I always wonder if people think there is nothing wrong with me, that I don’t have real symptoms, that I’m actually faking. I know that’s ridiculous, but I often feel I have to explain or defend myself.

I think, though, that not understanding the details of how MS affects me (and how it might progress in the future) made him more nervous than he needed to be. Once I explained that I was not going to die from it, he seemed somewhat reassured. He just wishfully thinks I don’t have MS because he wishes I didn’t have MS. I can definitely relate to that sentiment!

Poker by Javier Morales / CC BY

The Handmaid’s Tale

Hoo, boy. Every day at Gina’s is a video extravaganza, and today was no exception. We are binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale and I can’t get enough.

Gina and Cullen, our nephew, got into a huge debate in the kitchen as to whether a similar scenario could occur in our country in the near future. The discussion was so heated that it moved into the living room. There were some excellent points made, some agreeing to disagree, and some consensus. I got pulled in because G said she needed a more sane mind than herself involved to argue her side.

And on that cliffhanging note, it’s almost midnight and I have to post. Stay tuned for more.