In the breakfast room of the AmericInn in Sartell. We must be about the last guests in the motel on a Monday morning. The front desk person and two woman who do the rooms are sitting a table across from me. I just walked across the street to the gas station and bought a 20-oz. coffee for 85 cents, less than half of what I usually pay. My back is feeling better–after a half hour in the hot tub. I strained it playing golf yesterday with my brother-in-law and nephew. On the seventh hole. I had paid for 18, which my sister played in my stead in the afternoon.
Yesterday was my mother’s big 90th birthday shin-dig. (I wonder where that expression comes from and what it means.) It went famously–except for me hobbling around. the poster boards with pictures that we had gotten from my mom and the laptop with the slideshow went over famously. That was gratifying.
I connected nicely with some of my nephews that I only see every few years or so. The twenty-two year old cutie who is on his way to study in Itay this winter. Very uncharateristic of my family. The thirty-somethings–the golf bum caddy who against all odds seems to have created a great life for himself, the two scientist brothers. We all went across the street to the micro brewery.
These gatherings are always bittersweet for me. Reminds me of how bad my memory is, but maybe forgetting is a coping mechanism. As my sister related someone saying “I have a photograhic memory, just not same day service.”
But I always have these feelings of remorse and regret. Like when my one nephew tells me that I used to tickle him until he couldn’t breathe. Swell. Makes me feel not so good about myself. But then he says that he forgave me decades ago, so hey, if he forgave me, what am I wallowing about?
And then he relates that is why he taught his children about red light stop and green light go for tickling. To which he demonstrates with his three year old son, who then walks from person to person, arms upraised to be picked up, says “green go!” giggles wonderfully, says “red, stop!”, gets down and goes to the next adult. I gueess one thing that I also have to remember is that I was just a little kid myself, and a product of my environment.
Our friend Kate stopped by as the party was winding down–perfect timing. My mother greeted her warmly. Then we went of and hung out with her–first in a bookstore coffeeshop, great for socializing while children browse books, and then to a restaraunt.