Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back from Chico

With Grandma
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
It was a great couple of trips this week. I had a wonderful time with Grandma, as usual. We spent our time together chatting and reminiscing as we always do. I find her descriptions of her youth more and more fascinating the older I get--perhaps because technology is changing our lives more quickly now, and a non-digital life is just plain foreign these days and also something I'm really beginning to appreciate. I tried to be very good about spending money at as many different places as I could, though there's one less restaurant there now. The weather was wonderful. I got take-out at Doxie's Thursday evening and dined in my rented Corolla at the cemetery, watching the sun set over the headstones of Grandpa and other Axtells, Bauers, and Hadens. Wilbur was getting ready for Wild Goose Bill Days, which meant I got another gander at those enormous Old World oxen before leaving town Friday morning. I did miss my chance to have my photo taken with Miss Wilbur and her court, who were downtown the night before the big parade raising money for something or other.

Flying in and out of Santa Rosa is wonderful. It takes the better part of the day, but it's not taxing--no traffic long waits in airports. M collected me at the SR airport Friday late afternoon, and instead of heading right home, he took me out for a date night, a tradition we've let lapse a little. We drove out to Jenner and walked on Goat Rock beach, then had dinner at a not-bad place in Bodega Bay overlooking the water. Weather still gorgeous--it was a lovely drive through our beautiful county, down the spectacular coast and then through quaint Victorian towns (the church and school in the town of Bodega, where The Birds was filmed, were particularly striking, rising white against the deep blue sky) and oak-studded pastures with obviously contented bovine inhabitants to home.

(Photos from 1999 and 2010 date nights)

Saturday morning we got an earlier start for Chico than I thought we would, which was very nice. We got into town in time for lunch, which we ate in Hooker Oak park while watching boisterous boys from a church group splat each other with water balloons. We drove on to Upper Bidwell Park and sat by Chico Creek for a little bit before driving down to Ryan's school fair to rendezvous with Mom and Felicia, who were selling pottery.

Later we had a big dinner group, family and friends going out to a Benihana-style Japanese steak house, which was a lot of fun, followed by birthday cake back at Mark and Glori's. Note to self for next year: fifty candles make a great fire and a lot of smoke. We all thought of course how nice it would be--in theory of course--for Alyssa to give birth right then and there, since we'd all be there, but thankfully baby Sophia is holding off a bit longer.

A smaller group of us got together again for breakfast today, Mark's actual birthday, and that was also very nice to have more chances to visit, especially with Felicia who had to work last night so couldn't join us for dinner. Then another beautiful if slightly overcast drive home--reflecting a little bit of my Sunday blues perhaps.

One thing to be very thankful for, again: while at breakfast, M discovered that several of his classmates did not pass the Bar exam--again. That makes four tries for some. Things would be so different for us if he hadn't passed the first time. It's difficult to express how grateful I am for that.


One other interesting part about A Moveable Feast--I'm finding it a little tedious what with all the name dropping (gotta wonder what Stein, Fitzgerald, and Pound all thought about Hemingway), but I am enjoying his descriptions of Paris, particularly the food and café life. Apparently fishing in the heart of the city was quite common. And he describes one incident where a goatherd and his dog drove a herd through the quiet streets at dawn, stopping at the homes of customers who would bring their own pots to the street, and the goatherd would choose a likely doe and milk her right then and there. What a fabulous delivery system.


Busy week ahead, getting ready for the conference in Washington DC the following week. Memorial Day weekend looms like a mirage in the distance…


At 5:00 AM, May 17, 2010, Blogger Kamala! said...

Glad you're posting more often, Suz. Book recommendation-Half Broke Horses-A True Novel by Jeannette Walls (author of The I ce Castle). It's written as a memoir of her remarkable grandmother who grew up on ranches.

At 8:05 AM, May 19, 2010, Blogger bren said...

Good job on posting the events, Suzanne. Excellent celebration.

At 8:06 PM, May 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 7:23 AM, May 23, 2010, Blogger bren said...

I received an email from Beulah expressing how fast Suzanne's visits go by and how nice it will be for Myla and Sophia to play together.


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