Sunday, January 20, 2013

And the Seasons, They Go Round and Round…

While I didn't think about it when posting, the carousel photo turned out to be pretty descriptive of 2013 so far: up and down as life spins 'round.

On New Year's Day, I got the terrible news that Jim Levine, longtime friend and my father-in-law for a decade, passed away. He'd been having some health concerns, but I don't think anyone thought it was so serious. He had a heart attack and died from complications a few days later.  It's been three weeks and I'm still having difficulty accepting it. Uncle Lloyd's darkly humorous, "We're getting to the head of the line" comment has been passing through my mind. I'm hoping the memorial celebration happening on February 2 will help me come to grips with his death.

On the up side, we had a lovely visit from M's mom and sister. We used the visit as motivation to do touristy things that the two of us just hadn't gotten to, and the weather was fairly cooperative. We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge then wandered around the Union Square area of San Francisco.

The following day, we drove through the rainy countryside and did some wine and olive oil tasting at particularly pretty estates, running into Felicia, Erin, and his folks at Ferrari-Carano. M and I had pretty much given up on wine tasting, but researching destinations, there are quite a few with tours and pretty spectacular scenery, so we resolved to do more of it, visitors or no.

Doesn't this look like a shot from a J. Crew catalog?

I was inspired by a photo of Jo and Noah during their Africa visit. I think this might turn into a series...

The rain cleared and left us with incredible visibility for our trip up the coast to Fort Ross the next day, a historic site I've driven by for forty years without visiting. We stopped at Jenner to admire the seascape and log-like seals piled on the beach, and who should pull up but Nick and his dad, one their way up the coast.

Mom and Don and Felicia and Erin also joined us for the Fort Ross excursion. It was nice having so much family together for a little adventure.

Leaving the fort, we did a scenic drive over to Healdsburg for an incredible early-birthday dinner for M at Barndiva.

Yesterday I attended the memorial service for the husband of a work colleague. He was well known and respected in the community--the pretty little church in Occidental was filled to overflowing with family and friends. I had only met him a few times, but it was nice in a bittersweet way to get to know him a little better through the stories that people shared during the service. Of course I kept thinking of Jim, and this seemed like a sort of preview. Now that I have a few years under my belt, I'm starting to see the pattern of these milestones evolving: first graduations, then marriages, then children, then divorces, remarriages, and now…funerals. Sonoma County is a pretty small community and I ran into someone I know from the gym who also knows the widow. She's a little older and we had a brief exchange where I mentioned this trend of life events I'd been seeing. She said often only encounters former colleagues at memorials at this stage of her life. Sigh. I know this is life and is how it's supposed to be, but that doesn't make it easy.

I've also been thinking about that "running into people" think around Jim's memorial--who I'll see that I haven't in decades, because I'm sure the theater will be filled. Some I'll know from Facebook, but I'm dreading not recognizing people who will recognize me a bit. I should probably review my yearbooks before the celebration. I know people moving in and out of one's life is also part of the carousel going round and round, and that encounters can't always be due to happy circumstances. Well, maybe it will be a consolation, catching up with people from my past.


What progress have I made on the novel, you ask? Sadly, none yet, and I offer no excuses. I've been reading Outlander for a book club at work I just joined and it's pretty bad. So bad that it's inspiring, in a way--hell, if that book can be a NY Times bestseller, I may have a shot. Though for me, just writing a book-length work of fiction is my goal, getting I published would be gravy. Pointy Pal Julia is scheduling some writing retreats at her parents' vacation home on Stinson Beach, so that will help. 


At 6:15 AM, January 23, 2013, Blogger elm said...

125 fromogA really good post Suzanne.

We are also saddened by Jim's death. He had a lot more good cheer and good ideas to give. And he was young!

At 3:37 PM, January 24, 2013, Blogger Kamala! said...

It amazes me how you keep running into people you know in a random way.
I could not get more than 50 pages into Outlander.
I hope the Feb. 2nd celebration of Jim's life turns out to be a wonderful celebration-I think it's great that there will be dancing!

At 4:58 PM, January 27, 2013, Blogger Brenda said...

How can you, two, be so blase' about all of the sex scenes in Outlander????


Post a Comment

<< Home