in May, after many months of discussing what direction
we want to go with our lives, we decided to put our
beloved home, which we had built 21 years ago, on the
market. A desire to travel, to spend more time
with our kids and grandkids, and the realization that
when Michael did retire we would no longer be able to
afford to live in Monterey were predominant factors in
this very difficult decision.
合気道: [Aikido]: May was an especially busy month for us with Aikido. The first weekend we hosted the 9th Annual Aiki Horizons Seminar at Aikido of Monterey. Two weeks later, we flew to Switzerland to participate in the International Aikido Seminar held at the Olympic Training Center in Macolin, hosted by Juerg Steiner Sensei. Danielle had been invited as a guest instructor. Also teaching was Jean-Pierre Kunzi Sensei from Geneva and Rein Ausmees Sensei from Talinn, Estonia, who we had met last year on our Baltic cruise. The 3 day seminar was inspired by the teachings of "Big Heart" and "Big Gratitude" of our mutual teacher, Motomichi Anno Sensei, 8th Dan, and was filled with good training and good friendship, new and old. On the final day, Steiner Sensei asked Michael to teach the final class. It was an honor to be asked.
We returned a week later and almost immediately left again for the 36th annual Mt Baldy Seminar, where we have been part of the teaching staff for many years. On the 3rd day of the seminar, during one of the classes, Danielle started experiencing chest discomfort and an erratic heartbeat. Two medically trained participants evaluated her and, in an abundance of caution, an ambulance was called. After 4 hours in the emergency room, with our friend Cyndy Hayashi and Michael watching her heart-rate fluctuate between 120 and 180, the doctor diagnosed her condition as atrial fibrillation and treated her with medication that brought it under control. Danielle also realized that she had experienced a similar, though less extreme, episode at Macolin a week earlier.
In July, our dojo once again participated in the annual Obon Festival at the Buddhist temple. This year, in addition to our 30 minute demonstration of Aikido on the outdoor stage, dojo members helped to prepare hundreds (thousands?!) of teriyaki kabobs, and served in food booths and the green tea patrol. The next day, Juerg Steiner Sensei, Jean-Pierre Kunzi Sensei, and a number of their students arrived from Switzerland for the Aikido Summer Retreat in Santa Cruz. We were delighted to return some of their hospitality, when they had hosted us in May, by taking them down to Big Sur and to McWay Falls.