10.28.15 I am home again, after a quick week-end whirlwind trip to the Bay Area, to help Sarah and Nick decorate and fluff-up their new rental house, high on top a hill in Oakland. Sarah navigated with the smartie phone as I drove her ancient manual transmission Honda up and down the East Bay corridor, on and off crowded freeways, in and out of dozens of parking spaces, looking for treasure. We came home with lots of stuff and the adorable rental house felt very much like home by the time I left. Valerie and the kids came for pizza one night and we all danced to the Wii in their beautiful living room, and the new lamp survived our chaos. I walked Eamon home from school Monday afternoon; played a little catch with both the boys; found a chest of drawers for Nick while trolling an antique store with Val…whew! What a great week-end!
As is always the case, flying home is too quick, too sudden a change, for me to adequately process such trips. it helped that the weather was clear, so I could look down over the East Bay, and pick out Sarah and Nick’s hilltop, as well as the vicinity of Valerie’s neighborhood. I could see the Richmond Bridge we drove over a few weeks ago, on our fabulous Healdsburg week-end together. As we flew up the coast, there was Mt. Shasta, a landmark we always enjoy when driving home through Oregon. And, Seattle, with Mt. Rainier, and the waterfront trail we jog on when we stay there. On the flight out of Seattle, we were soon into white fluffy clouds, but there were breaks to see the brown eastern Washington farmlands, and, in a short hour, there were the yellow Tamaracks, dotting the forested mountains and surrounding the lakes of western Montana. Then I was home to light misty rain and peaks of sunshine at sunset.
When Valerie and Mark lived in London, oh how I remember leaving there! On the clear skies mornings, I would look down at the verdant green rolling hills of that beautiful island, and would cry when the white cliffs met the sea, knowing there was now nothing but ocean between me and them. California is certainly a lot easier.
In a couple of days, I’ll be leaving port again for Billings and our annual Halloween celebration with Joy and family. The seven hour drive across the state is so familiar after all these years, and it is always beautiful. In the past, when the kids were babies, I cried on the way home, at least to Columbus, where we stopped for coffee and breakfast. It’s still very quiet that first hour or so when we leave. I’ve come to accept that I just need some time to right myself, as i come in and out of port.