May 30, 2012


Scenes from the long Memorial Day weekend.  On Saturday, Lily participated in a mud run/Foam Fest with members of her Girl Scout troop.  (The girls did the "Rugrat" race, for kids 12 and under.) The actual race for adults looked arduous, as folks ran over hill and dale, through obstacles in mud, foam, and cold lake water.  I don't know that the lake water was cold, but I had to wear my hoodie just standing there, arduously watching them in the breezy morning air. These people (most looked under thirty) paid good money to do all this.  Go figure!

The girls were unanimous in their opinion that the most fun part of the race was getting all muddy and dirty and foamy without being scolded or told "Stop that!" by their moms.

On Sunday, my sister and nephew were set to come out and spend a couple of nights with us.  While at Target, I texted back & forth with her over what type of beer and snacks she wanted (for the record: Tecate and Spicy Jalapeno Cheetos) and all was fine, until she texted me while I shopped for my own snacks at the gourmet grocery (cheese-stuffed green olives and salami) that her car was packed, she was ready to go, but her car wouldn't start. 


Long story short, I made a quick tour of Southern California -- picking her & my nephew up from my aunt's in Huntington Beach, bringing them back here for a fun 24 hours of snacks, beer, cousin rough-housing, and a viewing of Jaws. Then, late Monday, the whole lot of us packed into our car and took them back to Whittier, my hometown.  So maybe it was a lot of bother (and gasoline) just to sit around and stuff our faces and gab and gossip. But I missed my sister. I miss having family around. I grew up seeing my grandparents and aunts just about every single weekend, and that routine lasted for years and years.  Everybody lived less than 10 miles from each other, except for my aunt, who moved all the way down the 605 freeway to Huntington Beach when she got married. The nerve!
The home exit
And now there's me, who moved nearly 100 miles away. Even though it's less than 90 minutes from my front door to my mom's, she pretty much acts like I've moved to Arizona.  "How's the weather there?" she inquires each time on the phone. (A little colder in the winter, a little hotter in the summer.)  Then she'll tell me what the local L.A. weathermen are predicting -- the same L.A. weathermen that I watch on the very same stations, way out here in Riverside county.
That big brown pole is an air-raid siren

Old trees and overhead power lines: two things I miss.
Sometimes I miss my old town: the history, the pretty college, the cute Craftsmen cottages, the great walking up into the steep, hilly neighborhoods.  My kids love to visit their grandma and aunt, and don't ever want to leave.  Sometimes I feel a little traitorous, living so far from roots and family and our history.  But it isn't all that far, really.  And sometimes, it feels good to drive away, and put a little distance between me and all that history. Sometimes.  

*All photos are from my camera phone, and the last are through my dirty car window.

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