I’ve been gone the past couple of weeks. I drove to California for some long needed reunions with family and friends.
I left Portland at the tail end of the huge wet downpour we had here. We got almost 6” of rain in a couple of days. It wasn’t fun driving down I-5 , but I stopped several times to break up the 400+ mile drive. I arrived at my sister’s in Redding under sunny skies and those skies stayed with me for the two weeks until, driving home, I reached Woodburn and the rain returned. Got to love it.
My sister and I drove to Lake Almanor to visit our Dad who is now 88. Had a good visit. Discussed yucky things like funerals and property. I don’t think he should worry because the way he is going I think he’ll make it to 100.
We then drove to Susanville to visit our Mom’s and Grandparents’ graves. Found a few other markers of friends who died in Vietnam and parents of other friends. We paid our respects.
We also visited my ex-in-laws. yes, I am still friends with them. Their youngest daughter came by and it was great to see her as it had been decades since I last saw her. My ex’s older brother was also there. It was great to get together with all of them again.
We stayed at the Indian Casino in town and when I saw my ex’s picture on the wall of the lobby I thought maybe I should get a free room. For some reason, the receptionist just laughed. It was a good try.
A few days in Redding, visiting quilt shops, and then it was off again to Roseville and a very wonderful reunion with my cousin. I had not seen her in 14 years(I was shocked). My sister put it all together, getting friends from the Bay Area to join us. My aunt, my Mom and the mother of our friend all went to high school together. One of my friends, Allegra, was named after my aunt, also Allegra. Our families spent many holidays and summer vacations together. We talked and drank non-stop for hours.
I wondered if we should put on one of our skits…something we would prepare for in the basement while our parents partied upstairs. We were quite the little entertainers.
Something that struck me as soon as I walked into my cousin’s house : a table and chairs and a bedroom set. I recognized them as belonging to my Grandmother. I was right. I even remembered the decals on the table….that table where I remember sitting and eating her wonderful sugar cookies. I have been making those sugar cookies ever since. BTW, I hadn’t seen that furniture in over 50 years(God, did I just say that?), but I recognized it right away. Wish I had taken pictures.
It was wonderful to see everyone again and we should not wait so long. Half of us are cancer survivors and life is precious. The fact that we could get together after so many years and pick up right where we left off lets me know how important we are to each other.
Back home in Portland now and the leaves are changing color and the air is crisp, but I am taking time to think about all these people and I miss them already.