Day Seven – Friends

Posting on Wednesday morning – from Granlibakken – about Tuesday, June 6th

Breakfast – Geoff –  training – weapons rack – dinner and a show – laundry – route planningpacking

Tuesday started out cold and wet. It had rained overnight, and was about 51° F in the morning. I have been stubbornly eating outdoors because I am determined not to get sick – from Covid or anything else — on the strip. So this morning that meant asking one of the staff to dry a chair, as they each had a pool of water on the seat, then sitting by myself outside. I probably just had Rice Chex in my room.

The day did improve considerably, however. In the interest of getting to training on time I’m going to try, once again, to keep this brief. Let’s see if I can actually do it this time!

Hanging Out with Geoff

My long time friend Geoff came up just for the day to train. I hadn’t seen him in ages. We had some lovely conversations and got to train a little bit. It was so good to see him after all this time.

He shared some unhappy news about two mutual friends. One just passed away a few days ago at the age of 59. I hadn’t even known he was sick. Another has developed dementia. Still enjoying life to some degree, and as Geoff said, living in the present every moment. Hang onto your friends, folks, and stay in touch.

Today’s Training

I participated in all of the classes today except the 7 AM class. I really enjoyed all of the teaching. I sat out a few minutes to watch and take photos and notes. While it’s always fun to be on the mat, I do want to be able to remember some of these things to work on later, and I can often best do that by writing down a few ideas or getting a quick video. There were a few revelations and exercises that I want to be able to play with when I get home. Really brilliant stuff.

My Aiki Road Trip 2023

This post is part of a series: My Aiki Road Trip 2023. For about two weeks I’m sharing my adventures and photos on my way to the Aikido at Granlibakken retreat at Lake Tahoe, insights and fun during a week of great Aikido training with dear friends, and the trip back. I’m driving through the Mojave Desert, San Joaquin Valley, California’s Gold Country, and High Sierra, exploring the historic water situation — rivers, reservoirs, dams, flooding, and Tulare Lake, plus gold rush history, and amazing nature and scenery.

At the bottom of each post I include resources for further exploration about each day’s adventures – books, videos, maps, links, images, etc.. For the trip in general, here are more California History Resources for Road Trips.

I mostly posted these from my phone, with limited Internet access. There may be typos and glitches. I’ll come back to fix them later. You can email me at [email protected].

Silent Auction

There has been a silent auction going on throughout the week. Aikido of Monterey donated many pieces of artwork, and several other items to be sold off as a fundraiser for a scholarship Fund for the retreat. Today at noon was the deadline.

I had my eye on a beautiful little weapons rack, and I won the bidding! When I get home I intend to finally get my dojo wall together. I have several pieces of art I got framed just before the pandemic, but that situation kind of took the wind out of my sails. Now I have an awesome weapons rack to get me motivated again.

Dinner and a Show

Remembering my chilly breakfast outside on Tuesday, and given that it had rained again in the afternoon and was quite cold out, I figured I had best take a risk and eat indoors. I had a lovely time at a table of awesome friends, and the food was the best so far, this time Hawaiian themed – mahi-mahi, a delicious kale salad, teriyaki chickpeas, some sautéed vegetables, and a gluten-free chocolate pudding and coconut kind of dessert.

At the end of dinner, Michael Friedl Sensei, who practices magic, came by our table to show us a few things. I had the best seat in the house – right next to him, and even so I often could not see what it was he was doing. Very impressive!

Route Planning

I spent some time in the evening looking at alternate routes for my southbound trip, between Jamestown and Mariposa. On the way up I discovered that that section of Highway 49 is treacherous! I’m glad I have seen it once, but that is enough.

I found a beautiful alternate route that takes about 15 minutes longer and goes through some lovely low rolling hills.

What’s Up Today?

Today is the last full day of the retreat, and ends with the infamous Aiki Follies in the evening. There is a definite sense of shifting from getting rolling to wrapping up.

Last night I did my laundry. I still have five more nights away from home, so need plenty of clean clothes. That process actually ended up being a bit of a workout, as I am on the third floor, and the laundry is on the first floor. Two loads, with a few complications, so I ended up running down and back up the stairs seven or eight times.

The schedule on Thursday morning is very tight. We have breakfast, training, and lunch. We need to be showered, dressed, and out of our rooms just 45 minutes after the end of class. So today I will be getting everything but the essentials packed up and ready to load in my car before breakfast tomorrow. I will just leave enough in my room to shower, change, and get out.

Then we can relax a bit and say our goodbyes. Over lunch I will be hitting the road fairly quickly, though, because I want to see a state park that closes early.

Anyway… All that means that today is about getting everything out of the cupboards and drawers and into the plastic bins that go in my car. I won’t have any time this evening to do it, and no time tomorrow, either.

So I better get moving. Off to breakfast and training.

Further Exploration

Be sure to check out my post, California History Resources for Road Trips, where I share several excellent books/audiobooks, tours, videos, and websites.

About the Author — Linda Eskin

Linda Eskin began practicing Aikido in 2009, at age 46. From the beginning she was inspired to explore how Aikido is taught and learned. In addition to mentoring adults, and now teaching a weekly Focus on Fundamentals class for students of all ranks, she assisted in the children’s programs for over eight years.

Linda loves Aikido both from the technical perspective, and as a practice of awareness and embodiment. She is completing her forthcoming book, Aikido to Zanshin – 26 Essays on the Martial Art of Peace.

Linda’s passion is encouraging people to begin, and supporting new learners of all ages.

Linda trains with Dave Goldberg Sensei at Aikido of San Diego, in California, and holds the third black belt rank, sandan.

Share this with a friend!
Facebook IconYouTube IconVisit Aikido of San Diego