Most of us don't really ponder the concepts of aging and the passage of time until they thrust themselves forcefully upon us. I haven't been able to escape the reality of aging lately - though I'm lucky that the reminders have been pleasant. Some have even been downright joyful!
Last week we made an offer on a 1.2 acre lot in the Tumble Creek neighborhood of Suncadia. Tom is pretty much over the moon about planning for our retirement there, mostly because he gets to build (or at least be involved in building) a house. I am finding my way over the moon as well and think it'll be a really good place for us to spend our "golden years." We'll both get what we want: Tom will get to build a house on a quiet, large, secluded lot where it doesn't rain most of the year (though it definitely snows) and I will get my dream house in an active community with lots to do. I'll blog sepearetly about that endeavor once escrow closes and it's a done deal. But here's a little tease:
The day after our offer was accepted and went under contract ("You are Getting Old, Event #1), I woke up at 3 AM to get on a 6 AM flight to the Bay Area to visit with Elisabeth and to attend my aunt's annual wine tasting party.
My parents and my aunt met a group of people in Germany when they were in their early 20s, just after the war. These friends not only immigrated to America together, they raised kids together in the same Berkeley community in the 50s and 60s, and have been extremely close all along. What started as a big group of loud, feisty, fun, slightly crazy young whippersnappers is now a very small group of slow, quiet, reflective old people. It's actually hard to watch. ("You are Getting Old, Event #2.) But I'll get to the wine tasting later.
Elisabeth went to the Bay Area to go to graduate school at Samuel Merritt University, where she's training to be a Nurse Anesthetist.
Our visit to the cadaver lab really gave us appetite (not... but it was time to eat!), so we headed to Rick and Ann's, which is in the Berkeley neighborhood where I grew up. Then we walked around the neighborhood in which almost all my childhood memories were formed. ("You are Getting Old, Event #4.)
Just walking down the path toward the school, which I must have done hundreds of times in my youth, brought back a flood of memories! (You are getting old, event #5.)
Those poor tenants behind that door (which used to be red)! Did we really think "ding-dong ditch" was funny day after day?
The stairwell leading to the cafeteria is full of memories for me and I swear, I could hear hundreds of school children chattering and I could smell those 40 cent school lunches being prepared! The bumps on the railing were to keep us from sliding down to our lunches. They weren't much of a deterrent!
John Muir's library was moved when the school was retrofitted about 20 years ago, but the beautiful "Mother Goose" wall painting were salvaged and now grace the new school library. I'm so glad to see that these were painstakingly saved! It is so worth it!
I noticed right away that the porch outside my bedroom (from which I could see the Golden Gate Bridge straight ahead!) had been expanded.
There used to be a walkway straight through from the main road to the pathway behind our house and I wanted to show Elisabeth that path... but it was no longer a straight path and we had to trespass in order to get to the path.
"Just knock on the door," the man (a tenant who lives in the ballroom -- yes, we had a ballroom!) suggested. So we did!
Remember this photo of my mom and me in her dressing room?
Well, that room currently looks like this:
And the fireplace that looked like this?
That now can be seen here:
And we ended with a photo, of course! Thanks so much, Steve and Marian! What a treat!
Speaking of "cute," my dear cousin (where I was staying, as Kat and Morgan would stay with Elisabeth when they arrived on Saturday) just added this new cutie, "Percy," to the family!
|The new Bay Bridge|
|The real tourist attraction is the tourists!|
|Stately San Francisco homes...|
|Elisabeth and Danny (and the Golden Gate)|
|Kat and Morgan (and the Golden Gate)|
|Mom and her girls (and the Golden Gate) ("You are Getting Old, Event #7.)|
|The Golden Gate!|
When we got back from the City, we were exhausted! ("You are getting old," event #8.)We chilled a bit in Elisabeth's yard...
|Claudia and Ulli|
|Dad and his two youngest ("the little ones," we were called)|
|Some people actually did taste wine!|
|"Mickey" and Ray|
|Elisabeth and my cousin Marcus|
|The four Heumann "kids"|
|Kathy and Ray|
|Ulli and Thomas, sister and brother|
|Sister and brother and spouses|
I tried my hardest to keep my eyes open on the plane ride home, but could barely capture my favorite views through sleepy eyes,
|Mt. St. Helens|