About three days in California

Mom’s 60th birthday was on the fourth, and Elizabeth put together a party on the 11th. I didn’t say anything about it, because my going was a surprise, and you never know who’s reading….

Originally I wasn’t going to go because C had school — no, originally we were going to go and make a trip of it, but school started earlier than the date I had in my head. (Old habits die hard: UPS always started the day after MLK Jr. Day.) But then after I got Mom’s Christmas card, with the invite inside, I felt that I’d spend the rest of my life kicking myself if I didn’t go. So relatively last-minute plane tix and the opportunity to provide a bit of surprise. Elizabeth (and Aunt Susie, with her years of alumni relations experience) organized the whole thing, but Mom approved the guest list, menu, etc.

It was a good experience in all sorts of ways. Mom was pleasantly surprised (not at the party, but the night before). The party went off quite well, and she enjoyed it immensely. Lots of family, family friends, and some of her co-workers, all mingling to one degree or another. Great food. I took some pictures; less than I would’ve liked, but I was socializing. 😉

Also, I did a bit of driving in Mom’s van, which is, to be entirely honest, the first time I have ever driven a car in my hometown. And I got to drive Mom to and from the party, which made me feel ecstatically grownup. (Don’t ask about parallel parking.)

The weather, which everyone here asks about: almost 80 on Sunday, with a clear blue sky. I have pictures of that, too. Very strange, after the snow days of the previous week, and lovely for a little getaway. Went for a long walk Sunday morning in a short-sleeved shirt!

I had some more serious thoughts as well, about how I approach my house and the things that need to be done, and my sense of connection to my little sister, my mother, all the extended family. Called C from the party just to say, “you were right about everything; I was wrong.” Not too much more to say about that right now.

A very full three days: I haven’t even talked about the cousins, Pearl, Aunt Susie’s new house, the smell of the deodor cedars, the renovations to my elementary school, or the lunacy that is airport security.