Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"...It's too old and cold and settled in it's ways here
Oh, but California
California I'm coming home
I'm going to see the folks I dig
I'll even kiss a Sunset pig
California I'm coming home"
After preaching on Sunday we loaded up the family, the dogs and 3 suitcases and headed off on our great adventure. First to my Mom's house in Delaware to rest, reconnect, and ultimately to leave our 2 dogs in trustworthy hands (that totals 3 dogs and 2 cats at Chez Mom for the next week or so. I think they are forming a pack).
Flight out Monday dinner time included a near miss with our connecting flight in Denver (SO glad we did not have to spend the night on the airport floor) Our son decided over airport cheese-steaks that he would make an album to take back to his 3rd grade class for an "emergency share" after spring break. We immediately began taking pictures of all airport mundainity.
Arrived late Monday night- it's such a gift to be picked up at the airport after a long day of traveling. So good to be in a comfy home with old friends. Immediately the comparisons began- some things so familiar, some so strange. I know this seems odd, but the thing that seemed most strange was the flowering plants. The progression of blooms in Upstate New York is so slow and methodical- first the bulbs (crocuses and tulips) then the flowering trees, then the day lilies and Irises of high summer. Yet on my late-March walk through a San Carlos neighborhood I saw flowering cherries, tulips and Day Lilies all in full bloom. The two ecosystems are like apples and oranges. Speaking of which- lemon trees sagging under the weight of their fruit. Lemons- seasonal local winter produce in CA. I forgot.
The long drives from friend to friend to yoga to "remember that little Vietnamese lunch place?" have the sensation of driving backwards in time. So many hours and years I spent on these roads, they are like old friends and strangers. The traffic I thought I remembered. What I forgot was that it takes at least 20 minutes to go ANYWHERE. Just when I was getting cranky about my 3-times-a-week 50 minute commute, I forgot that it used to take me 20 minutes just to get to yoga, 20 to get to my son's preschool and 25 in the other direction to get to work. Friends were further- 45, 50, 60 minutes to commute to friends. It sure makes my 6 minute walk to yoga back home seem precious, and my downtown neighborhood seem downright sleepy.
Okay, but I'm not here to do cultural analysis, I'm here to see friends. These are very very precious. Everyone has been so generous with their time and opening their homes to us. It is mostly joyful, but even though we have a full week left to our stay, there is a poignancy that underlays certain moments. But mostly the ease and gratitude of being with friends who know us in a steady, easy, comfortable (or as our son would say "comforting") way.
Posted by Ginger Root at 6:02 PM