On my last day with my mother (sorry, readers, I wrote this a week ago, but have not been on-line since getting home…), she wanted to visit a college friend, who lives a few towns north toward San Francisco. The friend had a luncheon engagement, but suggested dropping by mid-morning for coffee. She lives in an area with redwood trees and slopes which go into the Santa Cruz mountains. Grass, oak trees, shrubs, narrow roads, hundreds of houses, lots of retired people: a fire-trap in the making and fire fighters nightmare to try to protect. Winds were whipping up as they crossed the Bay and hit those hills. Do you recall the power-outages from the day before?
As she greeted us, she cheerfully declared that the first cup of coffee was dripping and more hot water was ready to boil… on the Coleman stove sitting on her washing machine! Did I mentioned that she has training for emergency response in earthquake country? You like milk in your coffee… its right here in the cooler with ice blocks. Let’s head into the living room where its warmer.
I have only been to her home a time or two, but always thought of it as a place that would fit right into our bit of woods in the Appalachian mountains. And here we are only a few miles form Stanford University. And, in the cool shade of the redwoods, we sit around the gas fireplace, chatting about current events, and 60 years of friendship between her and my mother.
I glowed at the symbolism of those two ladies, smiling, laughing, telling yarns, ranting about politics and society, all around a fire place (granted natural gas, not wood), drinking our coffee and chai tea, heated on a camp stove sitting on the washing machine. Oh, should we just turn off the power more often! Friendships are so much better without all the distractions of cyber space and instant Fulfillment Centers.