Friday, May 11, 2012

Quiet time

I'm in California this week with my sister Alyx. For the last three days we've been in Santa Barbara. We're visiting our deceased mother's oldest and dearest friend, Elinor, who will be 92 on Sunday. Elinor lives with her niece, Becky, and Becky's family. She has a caregiver during the day. As with many elders, Elinor is growing more and more frail, and her sharp mind sometimes takes a break into forgetfulness or even confusion. But she is still present much of the time.

Aunt Elinor knew my sister and me before we were born. She and our mother were wives of young Marine Corps officers, and for a time 60-plus years ago, they roomed together while their husbands were overseas. Our two families shared many Thanksgivings and fourths of July. Elinor had two sons, Robert and James, but she calls us her "girls".

We've had a quiet time the last three days. We've taken Elinor's wheelchair and strolled at the Santa Barbara marina. We've worked in the kitchen as Alyx helped make Aunt Elinor's famous coleslaw. We've chatted after dinner about the past. We've looked at pictures of years gone by and of people who are no longer with us.

Tomorrow we leave for three days in Lake Arrowhead. Alyx has a house there that's for sale, and we're getting the last of the boxes out of the attic and the basement. It probably won't be such a quiet time. But it will be good.

10 comments:

Retired English Teacher said...

It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. I'm so happy you were able to spend some time with this dear friend of your mother's. Safe travels as you go on your way.

Linda Reeder said...

A sense of quietness came over me as I read this post. It is a lovely thing that you are doing with this visit.

Out on the prairie said...

A once favorite area to play. I always wanted Fess Parkers place there.

DJan said...

I always enjoy being with my sister, too. These days it's via FaceTime or iChat, but being together in person is always the best. I agree with Linda; a very quiet and peaceful time you're experiencing right now and comes through your words.

Ms Sparrow said...

What a nice trip down memory lane!

Grandmother said...

What joy you brought to your old friend. Bless your heart. Safe travels.

Arkansas Patti said...

How nice you included an old family friend in your travels. Sometimes they are as close to us as family.

Suzanne and Malcolm said...

Isn't it wonderful that something as simple as making coleslaw from a cherished recipe can mean so much. Safe travels...

MerCyn said...

It is wonderful of you and your sister to keep in such close contact with your mother's friend. And I am sure she appreciates it.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Family time is always nice. Enjoy the trip & good luck with cleaning out the last of her stuff.