Monday, March 26, 2007

The Long Weekend and A Sweet Goodbye

"I really want to go." Mom says to me.
We'd received the invitation to Jim and Gen's 70th anniversary party in the mail that day.
"They were my friends and mentors, a great help to me personally when we moved to California from Japan."
To those of you who know some history, this was the worst of times in our family.
We knew it would be 'complicated', a party with lots of awkward-ness.
We prayed for a safe trip, a sweet reunion, a fitting tribute.
It was all that and more.

We left Hemet early (6:45am) on Friday morning, drove though Adelanto and straight into San Leandro.
We drove up to SLHS by, you guessed it, 3:15pm. Mom thought we should come back when there weren't so many students (or Police Cars!) so I went to Bancroft instead.
I let myself into the Music Hall/Gymnasium, peeked into the Band Room, and just wandered around the campus to my heart's content, up and down stairs and out to the central courtyard.
A little later I did the same at the High School. When I got strange looks, I just said I'd graduated from here 32 years ago and I was enjoying some memories. I found my old locker, stopped and looked at Mr. Jensen's classroom, walked the old halls. They've built a new two-story wing across the end of the Quad, skylights in the roof of the upstairs hallways, filled the outside paved area behind the cafeteria with portables.
It was still pretty much how I remembered.
I liked High School.
Mom had a nice nap.
We drove down to Broadmoor, bought fake Duffy's ice cream (it's now Lourd's), spent an hour with Barbara, toured our old home.
Back up E14th Street; no Cessy's, no Great Earth Sandwiches.
The Bay Area is beautiful, green, cool, and verdant.
Plenty of crowded, skinny streets. Freeways are bedlam. Bay Fair has a Kohl's, a Chevy's, a smaller parking lot.
No Thanks!
The party was very moving. About 80 attended. Jim was his same wacky self. Genevieve lasted only an hour before she became disoriented and fidgety. I think she recognized only about half of the folks who greeted her. It was bitter-sweet. I'll have good memories of her. We were invited back along with others, for supper.
The day will be hard to describe, it brought with it incredible joy, incredible sorrow. I found myself face to face with what we've lost. What I've lost. Not having seen some for 25 or more years, knowing I'll not see them again this side of Glory. In this photo you can see Vivian, Karen, Roy, Anita, Paul, Linda, Sandy, Wesley.
Lila had a number of pictures of her brother's family, too.
I was tired.
It was hard.
The next day was all-day-meeting in Oakland. Jim broke the bread. Dave I. closed the meeting with Acts 1:11.
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner...

After the weekend was over, after we had all gone our separate and disparate ways, after all the time, words, loss, and memories, He is, and always will be, the same.
Lord of all then, Lord of all now.
What a rebuke.
What an ultimate comfort.

Mom wanted this special shot of her, Setsu, and Kimi. These dear ladies used to bring sushi to all-day-meeting when we lived here.
We left right after lunch and made it home by 10:00pm.
We are thankful for your prayers.
it was a good trip.

Friday, March 16, 2007

More Patio Progress

This is how we started things.
It worked well until I noticed a few strange things that, when strung together, spelled
T R O U B L E !
First; there were little muddy footprints on the living room sofa. (Strange, he doesn't like dirty feet.)
Second; lots of muddy mess on the newly erected swing. HUH?

Third; if you notice, there is an herb garden in a window box on the fence behind the swing.
It was a tilted and dug up mess.
The conclusion we arrived at was that Bobby had tried to jump the fence using all of the available furniture and pots as a spring board.
This is really odd because, he is such a home-body and doesn't ever try to dig out or get away.
Well, maybe once when we left the kitchen door and the garage door open at the same time by mistake and he wandered off.
Here are some pots showing off.
I love the bright pink of the Cyclamen.
Since I took this photo (and we've had the escape attempt) I've decided to switch every thing around 180 degrees. We moved the swing to where the table is and the table to where the swing was.
It works just as well.
This is where we eat breakfast and supper every day now.
The next thing we had to change was moving this poor plant!
I'd come out here in the morning and find it mashed flat.
I couldn't figure it out for the longest time.
Then I discovered that the nesting Mourning Doves were using it as a landing strip!
Squishing it every which way, every time. I think they might have built a nest in it sooner or later. Too, too bad.

This is Dauber's BONSAI effort.
He's hung chains from particular branches on this fledgling Japanese Maple.
He thought it was too crowded together at the top, needed more 'air'.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

What Exciting Housemates I Have!

This is a typical evening here.
A fire in the fireplace,
Gramma 'reading' a book,
Bobby entertaining us both.

Neither one knows I took their picture.