The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s Annual Global Convention is the world’s premier educational and networking event for the LGBT tourism industry. Join them in Florianopolis, Brazil April 12-14, 2012 for the 29th conference – the first in South America. This year’s educational programming will showcase ways to tap into the growth of South America’s LGBT market while also providing key information for expanding your LGBT business globally. Included will be a media panel called “Building a Mutually Beneficial Travel Business & Media Relationship”, also presentations called “Marketing in the Age of Social & Mobile Technologies,” and “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Lesbian Travel Market.”
Yesterday, we loaded up the kids who were out of school again for no good reason (something about the teachers going to New Orleans for a conference (Mardi Gras)). We were on the way to Mobile on I-10 when Dawn very calmly said, “That was a Wild Boar.”
“A what?” I said
“A wild boar. It was in the median.” Let me say now for those of you not from the South, that a wild boar sighting is VERY rare. I’ve lived here my whole life and never seen one. I still haven’t – I missed it. Dawn went on to say that she has a certain affinity for wild boar because it was part of the best meal she’s ever eaten.
“You ate wild boar? Where?”
“In Brasil.” This is the answer I was hoping for. I LOVE hearing about the year she spent there. She’s so modest that I kind of have to trick her into telling me about it or wait patiently for moments like this.
“We were at my host family’s farm. We had gone out on the river in the boat. We saw a boar cross the river, but when it got to the other side it couldn’t climb up. The bank was too steep. It was going to drown anyway, so my host dad whacked it on the head with an oar.” No shit. That’s what she said. Back off, girls. I saw her first.
As she got more and more carried away with her love for Brasil, stories spilled out. Fresh milk with brand new chocolate, pizza with mangos, trees filled with toucans, and a spiritual gathering that her host family wouldn’t take her to because the group still practiced sacrifice and Dawn being a blond virgin might not be safe. She says all of this with a light in her eyes and a melodic laugh.
Last night as we were getting ready for bed, Dawn was tending to the birds and chatting and I was checking the email one last time. I wish I could remember what she was talking about. It was something funny and charming. When I shut the computer down and turned around, she was sitting on our bed all aglow with tiny white down feathers all in her hair. She was, as is her way, totally unaware of her beauty. My angel!
This morning, she was working at the computer downstairs and had turned on Pandora.com. (If you don’t know about this miracle of modern life, go now. My feelings won’t even be hurt if you stop reading and proceed immediately.) She had it on the musicals channel. When “My Favorite Things” started up she called Faith in to hear it. Dawn has managed to infect Faith with her abiding love of “The Sound of Music.” They sang and danced together. When Faith ran off to get dressed so she could watch the movie, Dawn told me about the special trip she took to Austria just to go the place featured in the opening scene. “Did you spin around and sing?” I asked.
“All day. All day.”
She’s given me the afternoon to write, which is to say that she is entertaining the kids, isn’t yelling at me about drinking wine before 5, and is resisting the urge to come in here every quarter hour on the quarter hour. She’s doing a really good job with all except the last. She’s just told me that she may can stay away if I will regularly check my email so she chat with me from the other computer in the den. Our friend Spencer finds this disgusting. I’m pretty sure it’s because her husband (yuck!) is yucky.
I’ve spent the last little bit reading some other lesbian blogs. After reading all the love stories out there, it occurred to me that I haven’t written much about Dawn that doesn’t involve our kids. So here’s an installment of True-as-Far-as-I-Know-It Dawn Lore.
It seems logical to start at her childhood home. She grew up in North Dakota, for the love of God. North Dakota! Before I met her I wasn’t totally convinced that North Dakota even existed. I could have been persuaded that it was simply a joke amongst cartographers. On her tongue, North Dakota is a Wonderland, a frozen tundra with only 25 different species of tree and endless adventure opportunities. She paints it as Norman Rockwell would. She loves the small town. She loves telling about her mother taping 42 cents to a letter and her postman buying the stamp for her. She loves that when her mother accidentally called the dentist’s office to warn them that Dawn’s father had had a stroke and she was bringing him in, the dentist called the ER and said, “Something’s happened to Ed! Maggie’s bringing him in! Meet them out front, will you?” She was a really big fish in a very small pond, but remembers splashing contentedly and regrets not getting her kids there more often.
Dawn went to South America as an exchange student in High School. She didn’t speak a word of Portuguese or Spanish when she applied or when she arrived in Sao Paolo. She had never seen the ocean, either. I think that heaven will be a time-machine. I will, at will zip through time and space witnessing historical events, big and small. At the very top of my list, will be a statuesque fingertip appointment in Washington in August and a Grassy Knoll in Dallas in November, both in 1963. I’ll see my own birth and my own firsts. But before I go anywhere else, I will take a moonlit trip to Brasil to see her see the sea.
Her soul picked her body up from the drowning pool of blood her attackers created and left her in. Her soul, perfect and remarkably still aglow, carried her broken exterior to doctors good enough to just keep her alive. She forgave them years ago, and helps me forgive them now. Stronger and Better than even she was then, she now is near unstoppable in spirit and body. Damn inspiring is what she is! Amazing and beautiful and her own and still Mine! Mine! I’m not getting over this miracle any time soon.
More Dawn Lore to follow. Stay tuned.