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Today in My History

2000: Baubles, Bangles and Bigots
2001: Busy About Many Things
2002: The Massacre of the English Language
2003: Good Old Days
2004: Steinbeck and Me
2005:  Obscenity

2006:  Rogue's Gallery
2007: On Her Own Two Feet
2008: Come up and Skype Me Sometime
Stubborn Mothers
2010:  Here's Yer Ears
2011:  China and Pancakes

Bitter Hack
Updated: 4/3

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 4/3
"Travels with Alice"

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My 70th Year

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My 70th Year



5 April 2012

Well, check another one off the bucket list.  Something I've wanted to do for nearly 40 years has finally happened:  I had lunch with my mother and with her step-daughter.  I mentioned a few weeks back about my disappointment that after my mother and her second husband married in 1975 I never got to know his grown children and my kids didn't have the opportunity to have "cousins" since they were all roughly in the same age range.

But, as my mother says, "that was a long time ago" and proving that it's never too late to start over, his daughter Ellen and I spoke at her brother's funeral recently about how we should get together with my mother some time.

Yesterday was the day!

We both drove to my mother's house from opposite directions.   (Ellen lives about 2 hours south of San Francisco, near Salinas, where the John Steinbeck Center I've wanted to visit for about 20 years is.  She suggests that if I ever get down there, we might go together, as she has never been either.  She also recommends the Monterey Bay Aquarium which I have also wanted to see since it was built in 1984...it's where the Star Trek movie about the whales was filmed, in part.)

I got there first, since I had about 50 miles less to drive and she encountered terrible traffic going through the Oakland part of her trip.  But we were there in plenty of time to get to the restaurant by noon.

We went back to the Hilltop Inn, where my mother took me for my 69th birthday.  The young woman who seated us was a beautiful girl who may or may not be anoretic.  She was so incredibly thin!  And quite pale.  But very sweet and friendly.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day and we were seated by a window so we could look out on all those puffy cumulus clouds floating over the hills and the freeway.

We each had a vodka something...my mother and I had vodka and tonic, Ellen had a martini on the rocks...and we just sat there visiting for awhile until we finally ordered lunch.  I can never remember how many kids Ellen has.  I know about two of them, but I think there is a third but, after being a part of her family (albeit a quite distant part), I was embarrassed to ask about a possible third.    I heard about grandchildren whose names I had never heard before, who are now attending college.  My mother doesn't see Ellen and her family very often any more either, so she was shocked to discover the grandchildren are old enough to be in college.

I was able to catch up on what her husband is doing now (real estate).  The last time I knew about him, he was a drug rep, but I think I missed about 15 years in there somewhere.

We finally ordered lunch.  They had a Cobb salad but the waiter sold me on a prime rib sandwich with horseradish sauce that was absolutely delicious.

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We shared a dessert, which was good because the desserts, I remembered from last time, are so HUGE you could make a meal out of one of them.

Then back to my mother's where we visited again for a bit before Ellen had to leave to go home.

I was spending the night because I had arranged for my mother to have a baseline memory test at Kaiser in the morning.  I had made pesto and we had pasta with pesto for dinner and settled in for an evening of TV (Survivor, Criminal Minds, CSI).  I zonked out as CSI started but was jolted awake an hour later by my mother poking me with the TV remote and demanding I fix the TV because she couldn't get it to go off.  I had "done something" to it and I had to fix it now because she was not going to leave it on all night

Well, I hadn't "done anything" to it.  I had gone to sleep with it on Channel 5 and it was now on channel 715, an HD channel (she doesn't have HD, so the picture was scrambled).  While I was trying to fix it, she was kneeling down in front of it trying to fix it from the box, which, of course, effectively blocked my doing anything with the remote because she was blocking it.   Anyway, I finally got it fixed for her and she went to bed, leaving me wide awake in the dark. 

Fortunately, I had prepared for that possibility (waking up in the middle of the night) and had my iPod and earphones with me, so I sat up for 2 hours listening to my audio book, not disturbing anyone by turning on the light.

Read the next entry to find out what happened in the morning!

Anyway, it was an absolutely lovely day and I had jsuch a good time getting to know Ellen a bit better and I hope that we do, indeed, do it again some time!



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