Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

It's the third day of August, and I am back in the office after a week of vacation. I have piles, PILES of work to catch up on. Piles. Three large ones! But I am finding it hard to settle down and trudge on through. So I am taking a few minutes to think about this past week, and remember its gloriousness, in hopes that when I am done I can sigh briefly and turn to.

My beloved sister Ruth arrived on Saturday morning at the train station, which I still think is one of the greatest buildings in the city, in spite of its modernization. I did not recognize her for a moment, and she also looked right past me, even though we were both looking eagerly about for one another. In my case, it's because I am so much fatter than when she saw me last, and have cut off my hair. In her case, it must have been because I'm unobservant, cuz she certainly looks just like herself. I took her home to my sweet little apartment and was very gratified to find that she likes it almost as much as I do, and was walking around exclaiming in a very heart-warming way. Especially liked the deck, which was surrounded by fluffy green leafy branches and very pleasant to sit on in the warm afternoon. We drank lemonade and ate sour-cream-blueberry coffee cake and talked and talked. The next day, Sunday, we had breakfast at Sully's, outside on the sidewalk, which was also very pleasant and enjoyable. Then walked over to the Farmer's Market, where Ruthie got a chair massage and I bought some marionberries to make a pie for the trip to Ocean Park. Cousin Mickey came over and spent the afternoon making us laugh. Thai food finished off the day. I was very full when I trundled off to bed, or to couch, for accuracy's sake.

The drive up there was the shortest yet -- I was still looking for the third mountain range when we came down the slope into Astoria -- surprise! Nice to have someone in the car who isn't driving, so she can tell you what things say, sing along with the music in harmony, and respond to your remarks. We got to Ocean Park about fifteen minutes early and did a little shopping at Jack's to give Mom and Dad time to brush their teeth and comb their hair. They were very happy to see us, especially Ruthie, as they see me every month. (Of course they like me best, though.)

We went to the beach that afternoon, and I signally overdid it on the walk, which is still having its effect on me, a week later. I strained my calves in walking through dry sand, always a bete noir of mine, and my back somehow as well. Too bad, because that kept me from being able to be very active the whole week. My calves are still sore enough to make me groan when I stand up, and I can't turn my head all the way to the left. Unfortunate! I had been planning on this week meeting all my exercise needs for the whole year! I was still very able to enjoy talking with Ruthie at night (we shared a room) and eating meals with my parents and with Ruth's husband Tom and son Sam who drove up on Thursday. I made three pies while I was up there, and directed Sam through one as well. On our last night there, Dad and Sam made Sidewalk Tacos, which were absolutely delicious and I ate three. Sam is sixteen now, and is six foot two. The tallest person in the room!

I read many of my mother's collection of paperbacks, drank lots of tea, ate the best pie in the state, watched a couple of movies with the gang and talked and talked and talked. To everyone, but mostly to my sister Ruthie, who is my best and dearest friend. It was very restful. I got pink and freckly and my hair is a shade lighter than it was when I went up there. Only one day was rainy, though several were overcast, but for the most part it was sunny and bright, but not hot. SO perfect!

And now -- I turn with a tiny stifled sigh to the first of these large piles of paperwork.

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