Yoga at the Freemason Y

I love yoga, but I don’t often post photos of it on my blog. After all, it’s simply not kosher to wave an iPhone in the air during class.

I’d intended to practice at my home Y for the past two weeks, but a cold got in the way. Having recovered, I finally made my way to the YMCA in Norfolk’s Freemason district last Saturday. Here are some photos from that adventure.

Chili with Duane and Kitty Kat

Chili with Dave and Duane last Sunday.

Chili with Dave and Duane last Sunday.

Duane Wilson has been feeding Dave and me for the past 13+ years.  Duane was president of the Port Norfolk Civic League when we move to the neighborhood.  There weren’t many others willing to take office at that time; he clearly needed some help.

I was immediately drafted to serve as recording secretary and corresponding secretary (little did I know, these were two distinct and labor-intensive jobs). Duane was thrilled to have help and he has thanked us hundredfold over the years.

He lives just three blocks from our home and he phones us at least once a week with an invitation to head to his house for dinner.  Dave and I have learned to anticipate a call on Sunday night, when Duane is prone to be “cleaning out” his refrigerator.  He didn’t call this week, so we rang him and asked if he had any leftovers on… and by golly, he did!

He’s such a generous person that, in addition to feeding us, he has also:

  • Installed (with Dave and sometimes me) all four copper roofs on our house.
  • Let Dave paint the porch flooring in his garage.
  • Hosted our wedding shower at his house.
  • Taken us along to his daughter’s wedding (as his date — hee, hee!)
  • Thrown my 40th birthday party at his house.
  • Introduced us to dozens of his friends over the years.

Duane and I have learned yoga and opera-appreciation together. Our attendance at the opera is due to his girlfriend Julie; we all enjoy our time with the opera crowd.

It’s wonderful to have Duane, Julie, his Kitty Kat — and others from his group like Ann, Clara and Jimmy, Ken and Sally, Eric and Ann — to count among our friends.

Tuesday Nights at the Cobblestone

The dim light of the Cobblestone on a Tuesday night.

I love stopping by the Cobblestone on Tuesday nights after yoga class.  Tom Mulligan (the proprietor), his son Tomas, and some of his nephews play on Tuesdays.  The crowd is small on Tuesdays and the tone of the place is very relaxed.  I alway find a good a seat right in the musicians’ corner.

Irish musicians often play more than one instrument. Here you see Tomas on guitar and his cousin playing flute with a set of uilleann pipes on his lap.

Whenever I come in on Tuesday, Tom’s playing his flute.  When the song ends and he looks up, recognizes me, and exclaims “Shannon!” in the most lovely Kerry accent I’ve ever heard.  That warms my heart!

Of course, dropping in on the way home from yoga leads to some misconceptions as well.  Many people assume that my tall, green bag holds a musical instrument.  The musicians and audience alike ask me to join in.

Unfortunately, it’s been years since I played the oboe. But with six years of that under my belt, I know that playing well takes tremendous time and dedication.  Were I to take up an instrument, it would take years before I’d be ready to play for an audience.