Thursday, November 24, 2016
They walk a little slower now, but the timbre of their laughter and the stories they tell are the same. A little greyer, maybe, a little forgetful, but with pushing late 80s they are entitled.
We took them to the ocean, on a bluff between Jenner and Bodega Bay, for what may be their one long last look at the Pacific.
It was somehow extremely important to share digging our feet in the sand with them, watching the fog burn off to beautiful windy fall days and hunting for seashells as the dogs dance along the waves.
We had great talks. I'm German, it turns out. And French and English, which I knew - and Scottish on my father's side. My Grandfather was married twice, once during the War and he was overseas when his bride died of influenza. We talked of my mother, my first marriage, things that were wrong and right in our lives. I listened to what life was like growing up in Chicago during the 30s / 40s, and we sang out loud in the car.
We are gamers, and evenings were filled with Tripoley and Mexican Train and laughing out loud. We dined on Dungeness Crab, local and fresh, and Alaskan Salmon with Sourdough. From the hot tub you could watch the waves wash ashore.
There was something deep and resonating about spending time in a little fishing shop turned retirement home sitting among big and beautiful properties. We felt grateful, even after losing power and having no TV remote. We sat in the dark with little battery candles and watched the waves. The soft worn floors and Indian rugs and the leather sofas brought us comfort in spite of no wifi, not much in the way of phone coverage, and spotty landlines. We sank into beds with soft feather pillows and slept tight in the cold foggy air.
There were redwoods nearby and the Hubs and I reminisced about Guerneville in our youth. On the way home we stopped at a sandwich shop in Petaluma and ran into Randy's nephew, if you can believe that. Some things just happen because they're meant to.
Thanksgiving had been all week, but we celebrated with the family on Saturday before they headed home - 14 strong - all stuffed into the kitchen and living room along with 3 dogs - with helpers at the stove, at the sink, at the island doing tasks. My aunt taught me a thing or two and she said I taught her a thing or two ( although I think she's got me beat in the kitchen department.)
We had long visits with Mike, who is moving to Philly at the end of the year
... and most everyone stayed long after dinner was through.
I can't imagine anything better than that, other than remembering to take some family pictures. Totally forgot!