My doctor said I could travel, but Mom was reluctant.
“I’m not traveling with you–you’re a ticking time bomb!” she said. Continue reading
This spring, I have had the opportunity to spend lots of time in one of my favorite cities, Los Angeles. My most recent trip, a long one of just over two weeks, is about to wrap up which has me thinking about what I will miss.
First, the brightly colored flowers and trees. Even in the scruffiest neighborhood, there are beautiful jacaranda trees and wildflowers.
Second, the weird news. A few weeks ago, the big news was a car that “fell” into someone’s backyard with no sign of a driver. More recently, there was the ‘flying horse.’ There are so many televised car chases that the local NBC affiliate has a dedicated web site section for this type of news AND promises to follow-up on the outcome of each car chase.
Third, the sunshine. I always felt that if I lived here, I’d miss the variety of weather that we have in NYC. Truly, I’m the weirdo who enjoys winter.
But during this longer stay, not only have I realized that LA does have some rainy days and temperature fluctuations to break things up, but I have also experienced a huge, much-needed lift in my energy levels. I even went on a hike!
Fourth, the apparel possibilities. April and May nights in LA have been cool. You can still wear sweaters or jackets plus cute booties without having the seasonal transition weather awkwardness I always feel in NYC. I don’t know why this feels like a revelation. But I swear it is. And I suddenly understand who buys sleeveless sweaters and suede sandals–it’s LA people.
Finally, what don’t I like? Limited access to cats and kittens. Yes, I’m serious. I miss my PS9 friends that much. Fortunately that could be addressed with a little free time and effort.
I’ll be home soon, kitties.
This final installment is probably the most boring because I worked nearly non-stop.
Nearly. And then I went on vacation. More on that soon – honest.
Third stop: San Francisco
I packed for cool, rainy weather. Naturally neither condition materialized. But I’m not complaining.
While I was in SF, I met Tommy Lee. He was very nice and is, apparently, quite the foodie.*
This is Part 1 of a three- or four-part post. We’ll see how things go.
OK, it was actually ME who was gone.
Sorry for the silence and also the lack of warning. First, I was distracted by this.
Then I went on an epic thirteen-day, four-stop business trip that was preceded by an additional one-night business trip. All told, I stayed in six hotels and one apartment (his, twice) between January 27 and February 11. It was a LOT, even by my standards of biz travel.
Here are a few pics and stories from the first stop of the trip, Palm Springs, for the curious.
h/t to Jennifer Mendelsohn
I’ve been trying to draft some clever, thought-provoking posts. A post to make you laugh perhaps. Something that sums up the year in a witty way. And nothing to do with grief – for once.
But, nope! It just hasn’t happened.
I have lots of thoughts and, as usual, a desire to share them, but right now, everything in my head is a bit…scattered. Plus if I take the time to think, you might end up with more sad posts like this.
Part of it has been my recent travel schedule–Sacramento, San Francisco/Walnut Creek, LA, DC and the Scranton area for Thanksgiving. Fortunately none of my Thanksgiving fears came true. Continue reading
My plane landed early at JFK Tuesday night, but a hiccup with the equipment meant that we didn’t disembark until well after 11 pm. While we waited for the tow, my mind wandered. My phone was dead. Without email, texts, Twitter and Words with Friends, my thoughts were all I had. And they quickly turned sad and dark.
There are a few memories about my father’s death that I have tried – mostly unsuccessfully – to tuck away somewhere unreachable. I try not to think about the heart-breaking ride from hospital to hospice. About how I knew that the end was coming, but felt trapped between not wanting him to die and wishing for the torturous in-between to be over. I remember how he had begun to change physically, no longer looking like the Dad I had known and loved every day of my life.
But what forced my emotions to surface Tuesday night was remembering what it felt like to sit with my head on Dad’s shoulder one last time. It was July 16, hours before he was moved to hospice. Dad had been in ICU for a while now – days? a week? It’s all a blur now – and subject to isolation protocol due to the fact that he had contracted several infections including pneumonia during his hospitalization. Each time Mom and I entered his room, we were required to don a fresh yellow paper gown and blue rubber gloves, all of which we would discard upon exiting. Each re-entry required fresh garb.
On that last day, I couldn’t take the gloves anymore. I tossed them aside as I pulled up a chair close to Dad’s bedside. My sweet mother worried for my safety, but I couldn’t be concerned about myself.
Dad was sedated but sitting up at forty-five degree angle. Carefully, given the monitors and tubes connected to him, I put my head on his shoulder. One of my hands held his while the other stroked his forearm, committing the feeling to memory as I knew it would be one of my last opportunities to touch his warm skin.
Dad’s shoulder, which I leaned on throughout my life both literally and figuratively, felt smaller than I remembered. As we sat there, I took in the feel of his bones against my cheek, thinking of the many times he lifted his arms to carry or hug me. I marveled at the strength within.
“My Daddy,” I thought to myself, like I was a little girl. Tears fell.
I heard the woman in the seat next to mine rustling in her purse.
“Would you like these?” she asked in a lightly accented voice (Czech, I subsequently learned), offering napkins for the tears that had begun falling from my tired eyes.
“Thanks. I’m ok,” I replied before adding “I lost my dad four months ago,” so she wouldn’t think I was mooning over something dumb. I care too much about what people think of me sometimes.
We talked. She was kind.
And then it was finally time to get off the stuffy plane, return home to Brooklyn for the first time in a week and hopefully let this aching heart of mine get some rest.
When it comes to hotels, I have opinions. LOTS of opinions. If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a few weeks, this will not be a surprise.
1. Have sufficient places to hang towels in the bathroom
Hiltons are the worst offenders I’ve encountered recently. A Hilton Mom and I frequented during Dad‘s hospitalization had recently undergone a massive renovation. Nice, but the bathroom featured exactly one hook. No bar for face towels. No hook on the door because the hotel designer had chosen sliding doors. Just a single hook.
Things got messy fast. I found the same issue at a Dallas Hilton too.