Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Home and Away

With Grandma & Jay by suzipaw
With Grandma & Jay, a photo by suzipaw on Flickr.
It's been a busy few weeks.

Jay and I visited Grandma last weekend. It wonderful in so many ways. It was great traveling with my brother. It's not something I do very often, just the two of us hanging out away from our respective homes. It's also nice because I did things I wouldn't have done if I had gone by myself. For instance, we had lunch at Coulee Dam. I hadn't been there in years. What a nice change of pace that was. When I travel alone, I also have a lot of time to spend pondering things both weighty and flighty, searching various nooks of my brain. But with Jay, we had time to connect with Grandma as well as with each other. We caught up on stuff happening in our lives, and we also batted around politics and pop culture and the process of getting older, which manages to still surprise me in so many ways. I liked hearing the questions and conversations he and Grandma shared, things I wouldn't have talked about alone with her. Grandma was very popular that weekend--she had a lot of visitors, which I was glad to see. We looked through the photo books and talked about her move and just enjoyed each other's company. I'm so glad I had the chance to see her, however briefly.

Because Grandma is moving to Spokane in a couple of weeks, it was an excellent time for a visit, though bittersweet too. Who knows when I'll get to Wilbur again? It's become a very regular part of my life. Jay and I cruised the streets a bit when we were there. But Spokane will be a good change. Not such a long drive from the airport. And please, may there be better food! I can only take so many combinations of carbs and fat. But oh, I'll miss the plain cake doughnuts from Sandy's. And I'll miss the drive through the undulating wheat fields, shorn or green depending on the season; the clouds that are so different from California, hiding in the morning, pretending to promise a clear day, only to and convene gray and brooding by afternoon; the beautiful white barn on the way to the cemetery; being in a place where Axtell is a familiar name, attached both to people and to land; the ornate headstones and trees in the old part of the cemetery, and especially Grandpa's grave there, too.

The house is painted. I have to have our real estate agent come over to tell us what to do next, but the major hurdle do putting the house on the market has been cleared. It's still a little strange coming home--I don't recognize it. It looks much better. But in many ways it doesn't look like my house anymore. Maybe that's A Good Thing. M and I went to an open house one weekend and the house fit all of our criteria, but...I wasn't enthused about it at all. I wish I could have put my finger on why I wasn't interested in even making an offer, I think that would help in the search. I'm trying to remain optimistic that "the" place will come along at just the right time, but considering how long I've been looking, it's difficult to stay upbeat.

M and I and our friend Caitlin went to Sacramento a few weeks ago to march with Unite Against the War on Women. When was the last time you took part in a march? It's been a long time for me.

I was very disappointed in the number of other participants. There are so many awful legislative things happening now, I'm surprised we didn't have more people showing up. Which made me very glad to be a part of it and more grateful that M and Caitlin were willing to go with me. I was also glad to see a number of men there too. It's going to be an interesting (and I hope not in the Chinese curse way) election year.

In other news, plans for a visit to Portland and the Descendants of Julia reunion on Lake Ontario are firming up, so I have much to look forward to in July. M has purchased a new motorcycle, same model as the last one, so we're up on two wheels again. My mentoring duties are over, and I'm a little sad. I didn't spend too much time on it, but it was a memorable experience for me.