It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Sunday, August 16, 2009
An Evening With my, um...., my Son.
DISCLAIMER: I have two sons whom I love very much but..., they are getting too old to be mine. They are 41 and 36 yrs and, in order to maintain my dignity, I'm going to have to disown them. I can't see how I can keep up the facade of being, Oh, lets say 55...,or maybe 57 for the next few years and let them get any older. What's a woman to do when those cute little babies grow up and start making me look like I'm a ..., a grandmother.., an old lady. I know, of course, that I am. I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and accept what has happen.
So, my point is..., I don't know who this young man in the pictures is. He looks like he could be related to me but he's way to old to be my son. Anyway, I went to see this guy last Saturday....,who owns this little house..., in the Oakland hills....
All right, I can't tell this story without pride of ownership. So..., this "guy" is my son.He's my oldest and he lives in Oakland, California in a little old house that has survived all the earthquakes the Bay Area had to offer except the big 1906 disaster. It was built in 1911. We can't find any information on it but we think it was a caretakers cottage on a large estate or a summer cabin for someone who wanted to get away from the crowds and fog of the lower bay. This home is the oldest on the street and the only bathroom in the house is out on the back porch, so we assume that ,originally, there was no bathroom. I just love this little house. It is a work in progress and the work has begun.
My son "M" has lived here for about 3 or 4 years and saved his money until he could start renovating. He had to do some foundation work and now he is adding a new bedroom and redoing the bathroom. He will have a lot more room and a sliding door out to the backyard, and eventually a deck, under the trees. I added the two bottom photos for good reason. The close up of the foundation is to show the earthquake retrofit bolts which make his parents feel much better about the fact that he is only a few blocks from the Hayward Fault and a few miles from the San Andreas Fault. The last photo is of an Amaryllis or naked lady, that is growing in his backyard. It's so beautiful! There are roses and other flowers that someone planted a long time ago. They must have loved gardening. When everything is cleaned up and the work on the house is done, I will prune and redo the garden for "M" so he can enjoy his new view.
After he showed me the new addition and I took all my pictures we went out to dinner. We ate at an Italian restorante called Marzano's . I think it was on Park Ave. We had pizza , salad and wine. Very good food! Then we drove over to St. Margaret Mary's Catholic church. This is my son's church and I wanted to take some pictures. The doors were locked..., a sign of the times in cities, I guess. So, we drove over to St Jarlath's and it was open. We met the priest and he gave us a tour. He told us all about it's history and explained who each saint was in every glass window. In a little side chapel that felt just right we lit a candle for Mom. We sat down for a few minutes and "M" said the Lords Prayer in Latin and English. I felt like Mom had been waiting for us. Her daughter and grandson said goodbye to her as the Mother Mary and her child looked on. Sometimes things happen that are too special for words.., so I will stop. Words just get in the way.
Later we went down to a gelato(Italian ice cream) store near the restored Grand Lake Theater (I went to the movies here as a child.) where my son and I had the best gelato I've ever tasted. We drove back to his house, said our goodbye's and I drove back through the tunnel to my sister's house in Lafayette. What a nice evening it was. I recommend spending some time with your grown children, even if they make you feel older than you are. You spend so many years being "Mommy", it's a pleasure, and a reward, to be their friend too.