|My mother's bird|
watching me watching her
Monday was our first day of not doing much because Larry had come home very late the night before. Or should I say super early the morning of Monday. Either way, we knew sleeping late and naps were on our collective horizon.
We went out for Chinese that night and came home with enough leftovers for the next night’s dinner, which we would need. In fact, it’s probably a good thing my mother and I took it easy on Monday because Tuesday was busier than we could have hoped or expected. Over dinner, Larry asked me about our honeymoon and I eagerly shared some of the positive memories I had of our trip, the one he so generously gave to us, the highlight of 2013.
Then he asked me, “Where would you like to go this year?” He made a few suggestions: Nashville, Austin, San Francisco, London. Seriously, is there anything to discuss, debate, decide? Nope. Rob and I will be going to London in September. Late September. Oh boy! Back at the house, we talked more about Larry’s trip, from which he had just returned, and the possible trip Rob and I would be taking. (Okay. We hadn’t quite decided but it wouldn’t take us long to do so.)
|This is my mother's new car|
but she never drove it
I actually went to bed earlier than I had been on Monday but still late for me. And I slept later on Tuesday than I had been on the trip. I felt fully and well rested. I also devoured a book. I had already finished two books and my mother had this third one lying around so I surprised myself with how much I read. Especially when one considers how crazy things were on Tuesday.
My mother overslept but we were ready to head out the door early enough. We headed over to my mother’s friend’s home. Cathy showed us some redecorating she had done in her home and I got to appreciate her glorious doll collection (including a to-die-for dollhouse) and her lavish garden. We then headed off, the three of us, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My mother was eager to see an exhibition of Buddhist statues because she had read that there would be large statues that rarely are allowed to leave the country of origin.
grilled cheese sandwich
Except, my mother misread things and I can only assume that we went to see the largest to leave the country of origin. Not one of the statues was especially large and my mother was disappointed. (insert crude joke here about how size does matter) My mother was so determined to get us through the exhibit (because apparently Cathy is a lollygagger when it comes to walking through museums) that she hurried us through each room. I barely had a chance to admire let alone appreciate anything. We then dashed to and through the Charles James exhibit. I was not able to enjoy it because technology got in the way of my engaging with the gowns as flashing and scrolling videos played endlessly everywhere.
My mother rushed us through that exhibit as well so we would have time for the gift shop. I picked up some gift wrap (for crafting purposes) that was on sale and a book for either my niece or granddaughter. I’m not sure yet but one or the other will get it. If I don’t keep it for myself. (You know, if I keep it for myself, I don’t have to choose who gets it. I’m so clever!)
|Beauty is on my shoulder =|
We then hustled back to New Jersey. My mother had a workshop scheduled for that evening which started at around 5pm which is why we dropped her off first. Cathy and I talked about how wonderful she is until it was time to drop her off. Then it was my turn and, when I arrived at my mother’s, I was in for a surprise. The door was locked. I was in a quandary. I could ring the doorbell, interrupting Larry’s yoga practice, or just sit and wait.
Lizzie was on the other side of the door, looking at me, wondering what my problem was, why I didn’t simply come inside already. But I was loath to interrupt Larry’s practice. So I sat and waited, but not for long. Larry soon came to my rescue and I was inside the house, dropping off the gift shop things before playing with Lizzie. I read quietly for a while and ended up fixing myself some leftovers for my dinner. When my mother came home, she and Larry ate the rest of the leftovers. After dinner, we all talked about family and politics and philosophy and family some more.
|A blurry picture of my mother =|
a bigger miracle
I started packing because I knew the next day would be my last full day in New Jersey. When I woke up on Wednesday, I packed up a few more things and hoped I could fit All Of The Things I had collected. The new shoes. The things Love gave to me from her “free shopping” by which she means not shoplifting but sifting through the garbage of her neighbors to see if someone threw away something she might find useful. (This is not unusual, in some of the better neighborhoods of NY where people will actually lay such things out on top of the trash cans. If you are walking by, you know this is an invitation to check out what’s not in the can.) And I had picked up a few things on my own, from my mother, mostly, of course, but a couple of gifts here and there for random people.
When I arrived in New Jersey, my mother and I quickly realized that the visit’s schedule was overflowing. On my first full day there, she was already lamenting the lack of time we would have together. I reassured her that by the end of my visit she might feel differently, eager to see me gone. I was mistaken; we both were lamenting the brevity of my visit. I was already missing her and she suggested we trade in my ticket home and use it to bring Rob up north. But Lizzie doesn’t really like other dogs and I think Snowdoll and Holly would have found her nice floors too slippery.
|How many pairs of hose|
did I go through before I came home?
My step-sister Janice joined me for lunch. If I hadn’t already had enough of tea rooms, my mother made us some cucumber sandwiches, served us the scones from the trip we took with Barbara, some tea (of course), and brie and crackers. We talked about our significant others, our reading and writing, our lives. We talked about getting older and perimenopause and plastic surgery and Botox. We had a wonderful visit full of nonsense and seriousness and all the things that make visiting family wonderful. Or wonderful if you’re fond of your family members, anyway.
We hugged goodbye and I went downstairs and packed some more, leaving out only the things I wanted to wear to dinner that night. And what I wanted to wear on the plane. And both outfits changed at least thrice before I left the next day. But at least I had no difficulty packing everything, including all of the new stuff. And I enjoyed every book I read and was enjoying the one book I was still reading. Three books brought with me and three read and I still had one unfinished? Blame it on that one book of my mother’s that was simply too good to put down.
|Breakfast of champions|
Dinner was at the usual Café Panache where I enjoyed the filet mignon ravioli. It was delicious. The wine was great. The company, the best. I am so loved.
And then it was time for me to go to bed and wake up the next day to leave and return to my reality. My mother woke up early enough for us to eat the last of the lemon cake. It went by so fast and I realize that it’s impossible for anyone to feel too loved and cherished. My mother and I have come a long way and we appreciate every moment we have together. She’s a treasure and I feel treasured by her. Is it too soon to want to go back for a visit? I’m so glad to be home. If only I could be in two places at once, my life would be perfect!