Sunday, May 4, 2008

What Mom Did on Vacation.

My mom called from Minnesota last weekend. I told her it was 95F and sunny her. She said it was 33F and threatening to snow there. I told her she should come here where it's nicer out so she did. It was a pleasant 75F this weekend and didn't snow like it did on her first visit.

I'd gone on a date to see Lewis Black. I got the shuttle to drop mom off at the Claim Jumper during their late night happy hour and greeted her with a hug and some tri-tip sandwiches. The date wheeled and carried her bags back to my place for her, which was nice of him. Mom woke up before I did and proceeded to clean the place from top to bottom with whatever cleaning implements were at hand. She did a better job than the hired ladies did a couple weeks ago and was much faster and quieter at that. Believe it or not I actually cleaned up for a couple hours thursday night before she came, but apparently my rug-shaking skills are lacking because she did it again.

After I stumbled awake in a cleaner condo, we had breakfast outside and I drove her through horse country because I know she likes horses and architecture. We picked oranges, lemons, and kumquats from a friend's backyard. We made fresh squeezed orange-lemonade that made my eyes roll back in my head with pleasure and went to the local fair. It was very old school with spinning rides and throwing games and reminded me of a fair we used to go to as kids in my dad's hometown where they served really excellent orange-lemonade from the beer tent. We watched the horse danceline perform for a while. They had one tented area for vendors and apparently I inherited my swag collecting gene from mom's side of the family. We came out with one of every free thing, and the name of an eye surgeon who's done about 40,000 procedures including pro athletes because I'm thinking about that and don't want to go bargain basement on my eyes.

For dinner we drove out to the Ventura Harbor which wasn't stinky this time and had beer boiled shrimp and other fine food at the Brophy Brothers bar where we could watch the bartenders shuck oysters. Dinner and a show. We walked on the beach, watched the waves, watched the sunset and tooled back home where we proceeded to kill a bottle of riesling. My mom insists that we split it 50/50 but I'm pretty sure it was more like 30/70. She didn't really drink much or often when I was a kid, so I figure she's due.

Today we walked to the donut shop. It's just lucky that the closest donut shop is also the best donut shop. From there we walked off our donuts at the Gardens of the World where the Docents got talking with mom about plants and flowers. One of them had a son that went to the same school I did. His job is top secret. My job is making chips for cell phones. I'm ok with that. I like to talk about things. We took a lot of pictures of flowers and each other while we stopped and smelled the roses.

We managed to cram some oranges and lemons and kumquats into her baggage, have a fresh salad, actually made by me, out on my porch where we watched a bug fly in abrupt, square flight patterns about 2 feet away. The bug never bothered us but kept flight in these tight formations over and over. Afterward we headed for LAX and didn't get stuck in traffic. Dropping someone off at LAX feels like you're kicking them to the curb saying "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out", so I hung out at the beach nearby in case she needed to recall me for some reason. I sat on the cliff side near the car and read for a while but it was chilly. I went back to the Stick-n-Stein and the fabulous Darlene served me a drink and those great fried zucchini and let me read in the booth with sunlight for as long as I wanted.

The drive back went well. I had the sunroof open, all the windows down, and the mix CD cranking. I've kinda been zoning out since then. If I told you I'd do something, I'll probably do it tomorrow. I'm going to start the next book in the series, but I think my eyes will drift shut soon. I love my mom but I am worn out from the constant companionship. It kind of makes me wonder about dating when I am so in need of my own space. Mom and Dad called a little bit ago and she made it home just as my dad got off shift at the airport so that worked out.

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