Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggity jig, part deux

but i didn't go to market, nor buy a fat pig.

the beach of my youth, with the capitola wharf in the background, from which i caught many perch as a lad.

i did fly to california and back to visit my mother. (and boy are my arms tired..rimshot). it has been many years since last i entered the airline milieu, but i knew about "security" regulations. no toothpaste! i did not though, expect that we are all still taking off our shoes. i don't feel safer for it. i had my window seat. i had munchies. i had my favorite sunday crossword puzzle (merl reagle's) and the sunday ny times puzzle. i had a cd player and headphones. the last item was useless as i was sitting behind the engines and the roar didn't mix well with music.

enough carping. i got there and had a nice visit with me mum. she does like to dine out, but i did cook shrimp risotto one night. we spent some time at her vacation house in capitola, giving me a chance for short visits with a few friends in the santa cruz area. we also spent three nights at her residential assisted living place in cupertino. she has a one bedroom apartment, so i slept on a rollaway bed there. there is a nice dining room where breakfast and dinner are served. they gave us a separate table, as she usually dines with the same people at a full table. i've met many of her friends over the years and they all came by to say hello. i'm 64 but felt more like 24 or even 14 among so many older folks with canes and walkers.

my mom is 86 years old. she is still sharp mentally. we watched the presidential SOTU speech, and the response by jim webb. she reads the newspaper (sf chronicle) and watches news on tv. she knows how bush has screwed the country. physically though, not so good, but ok for her age. her left hip is bad, and she has to stand slowly and wait a bit to walk, with a cane or walker. her hearing has deteriorated, as has her eyesight. she has not the autonomy that she has enjoyed all her adult life. the normal stuff for all of us as we get older, but also the normal struggle to submit to the limits of age. one of the pleasures left her is escape from the assisted living facility in Cupertino to her house in capitola, but she can no longer drive the notoriously bad stretch of hiway 17 over the mountains. it was my pleasure to drive her there and hang out with her. the purpose of my visit.

i had our pc laptop with me, and a camera attachment, and we have a mac with isight at home, so robin and i could do video chats. i was supposed to be able to access a national dial-in local number and connect to our washington isp, but didn't get it to work till the last day we were there. i did find, well, my computer found, an unsecured wireless connection that was quite fast for surfing the net. it would allow robin and i me to see each other, but not to talk. we did text messaging and sometimes phone connection for audio. she watched me cook the risotto.

i don't miss santa cruz, but i do miss friends. the traffic is worse than ever. there are more mcmansions everywhere. the week went by fairly quickly and i had little free time, but i did miss robin most of the time.

the flight home was uneventful till we landed. the jetway, that covered passenger tunnel, was broken. after 20 minutes of watching various people try to get it to move to the door (it was right outside my window) the pilot announced that we would deplane out the rear self-contained stairs. remember db cooper? he jumped out of the back stairs on same sort of plane over southern oregon. another 10 minutes and i was hustling thru the airport to the arrivals place where robin was waiting. she had hot tea and homemade rye toast for me!

not a terrible trip, but somewhat lonely without my honey. the longest we have been apart in 18 years. i don't want to do it again.

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