Tales from Joy #5, 2024

Hello again, dear readers.

Many of you are experiencing sub-zero temperatures up north, with blizzards. I wonder whether it is a form of cruelty to send these photos to your side of the world…

although some of you are delighted with the snow, the quiet, the mysterious frost etchings on your window panes. I spent many wonderful winters in Montana and Wisconsin. I remember the gifts of splitting wood, stoking the stove, snow-shoeing in the woods at dusk, rainbow patterns in the sunny drifts…

It was a little harder to unwrap the “gift,” though, while my vehicle was sliding sideways on sheer ice, into a snowbank or on a mountainside.

Only this.

I had my “only this” opportunity yesterday on the two-hour speedboat ride between islands. I was grateful to find a barf bag, and I clung to it religiously, watching the minutes creep slowly past.
V e r y s l o w l y.

When we finally waded ashore, I was rewarded with the sight of three little hornbills hopping around nearby. A woman from the national park here told us it is rare to see them outside the jungle. Sorry the photo is so blurry; my hands were still shaking.

But I need to back up a little bit, chronologically, dear readers…
to relate a few events that are meaningful to me, while I was still in Bangkok:

​* The day before we left on this island adventure, (which I have dubbed

because we are all living out Nawng-Joy’s daydream while she was lying on her bed recuperating, for months.),

we went to the hospital where her physical therapy clinic is located. It was a two-hour journey; our friend Aey was the chauffeuse, as usual.

I was glad to witness the ultra-sound, stim, massage treatment, and especially the manual arm-stretch regime. Unlike the U.S., Thailand has a national insurance program, so all this is nearly free.

I had imagined that I could help Nawng Joy by facilitating the arm stretching exercises….except that she’s been so busy snorkeling, playing in the water, climbing in and out of the boats by herself, that there hasn’t been time.

In fact, not even her teenage nephews can keep up with her.

*That same day in Bangkok (January 13), I was invited to bring my flute after lunch to help serenade the 75 women on weekend retreat, alongside the crystal singing bowls played by the maichee/nun…

Here’s a secret, dear readers… 🤫.
My inner critic can be extremely harsh about my flute-playing (and any other morsel it can latch onto, like the eight pounds I have gained…)👹

…Read the full Tales #5 at this link (pdf file)