Roughly three weeks ago, we suffered severe weather damage - i.e., driving rains with 60+ mph wind gusts - to the roof of a portion of our home. The short term verdict: we need a new roof on the 25 by 28 foot "great room" portion of our home (pictured below) and depending on the severity of the water damage, we may need structural repairs and most certainly plaster repairs and repainting. First thing in the morning tomorrow, the first in depth assessment will be dome. In preparation, the husband and I had to shift all of the furniture to one corner of the room and move patio furniture off of the deck that surrounds the great room. The prospect of major construction work is, needless to say, less than welcome.
As a welcome escape, once the tasks at home were completed, we headed to a friend's home in Virginia Beach which we refer to as the "Country Club" for the 40th birthday of another friend. Our friend's home is beautiful and sits on a fresh water lake and has a salt water pool where surprisingly competitive volley ball games take place (the more madras punch consumed, the better the playing gets). After a winter from Hell by Tidewater Virginia standards, the party was a welcomed embrace of one of the most beautiful days with 80 degree temperatures that we have had to date. The camaraderie was great as is always the case and the crowd of party goers covered a range of gays from cute 20 somethings to relative fossils like myself.
What I found perhaps most uplifting from the party is the way in which the young gays are so much more self-accepting than those of my generation were at similar ages. While there is much more to be dome in terms of securing full LGBT equality, compared to when I was in my early twenties - being gay was deemed a clinical form of mental illness until I was almost 22 - the changes for the better have been cataclysmic. It is what makes me want to continue the fight against anti-gay bigotry and religious based ignorance until the battle is fully won. No one should ever hate themselves or feel that suicide is the best option. Today energized me again to keep up the struggle. A few photos from this afternoon with these "extended family members" are set out below.
|View toward the lake - the husband is in the center right with the blond hair|
|The rainbow flag in the background|
The love and support that I - and the husband - have found from this amazing group of guys is something special. It is our own fraternity of sorts and I count myself lucky to have come to know these guys. Despite the hi jinks and sometimes bawdy jokes and ribald commentary, these guys are the genuine item. If I needed someone to guard my back, I'd pick these guys any day over the "godly folks." Being a good and moral person does not require one to be a Bible thumping modern day Pharisee.