Friday, August 26, 2011


IT FALLS TO the offspring who lives in Hollywood to keep an eye on his elderly parents. The one in Alaska wishes she lived closer, the one in Castro Valley makes arrangements to come down when he can, but it's Tim who's "on call", so to speak. Two sides to that coin, I'm sure, but I'll have to say this.......he never makes Manor visits appear to be an inconvenience for which I'm ever grateful. Duty calls are not my idea of a good time for anyone concerned.

He's in charge of seeing that his mother gets beyond her city limits, thus preserving her sanity and it helps that our tastes are somewhat parallel in things to see and do. He sees the wisdom of driving surface streets rather than always taking the freeway. He likes food, interesting's a fault we share. He keeps a list in his head of places to go and things to see. A few weeks ago he drove us to Fullerton, with a plan to visit our favorite jazz club. He'd called ahead to be sure the Golden Eagles were playing and even made reservations for three with a real person. When the day came and we drove the hour to get there, the only ones on hand to greet us were the servers. No music scheduled. Disappointment all around until Tim remembered a nearby restaurant he'd heard about and the day was saved. 

Mr. Bob usually opts to stay at home on the Sundays Tim appears. The three of us go to the dining room for dinner together and then the father waves us goodbye, looking forward to alone time for a couple of hours. Off we go, sometimes the outing is as simple as a visit to a couple of supermarkets for supplies, other times we explore. One Sunday, driving to Pasadena, Tim turned on a residential street, saying, "I think there's a lake somewhere back here" and sure enough, we found it, hidden away.

Another time we went in search of a gelato place I'd heard about. It was a beastly hot day, their location was nearly impossible to find,  tucked back in a largely vacated mall in Altadena.  But they have a following, as evidenced by the line that became no shorter as people continued to arrive.

 They are known for their pistachio gelato, using only nuts from Italy. Did you realize that most of the pistachios we buy come from Turkey and Iran and are handled in such a way that there's a chance they are moldy? Now I've wrecked that for all of us.

Last Sunday found us going to South Pasadena in search of a shop that was on my Bucket List. That town is a treasure. The residential streets are interesting, the trees are old, there's a main street full of unusual shops and restaurants. In a word, happiness.
For four years I've mourned the closing of a store which used to offer unorthodox clothing, offbeat greeting cards and objets d'art.
Recently I discovered that four of that store's employees moved around the corner and opened their own attached stores, carrying the same sort of exceptional merchandise. That was our destination on Sunday. Our visit didn't disappoint.

Admittedly, I'd outgrown the possibility of wearing their clothing (and I'm doing something concrete about that, starting today) but the books and other merchandise offered are still several cuts above the average gift shop, enough to make my head spin and my checkbook pulsate.

I tried, I really did, not to purchase a five year diary, the idea of which seemed a bit optimistic, all things considered, but this journal had an unusual format and my will-power crumpled. Consisting of a daily question and just 4 lines in which to answer it in each of the next five years, I found it too intriguing to pass up. It's a thought provoking tome and filling four lines hardly strikes me as a daunting task, so there's a chance I'll not abandon the project prematurely.

Maybe one of these days Mr. Bob will want to go with us on one of our "explores", as Pooh would have termed what we do. At the same time that I know he relishes his quiet Sunday afternoons, it feels somehow wrong to leave him behind, even though I do realize there's a tremendous difference in our urges for that sort of diversion. For me, those outings are life-savers. Maybe they are for him, too.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
                               Mark Twain


  1. I love the concept of that diary!!

  2. Nice of Tim to be there for you both, he has a kind heart!!

  3. Does Tim get a free meal out of this? A given in our family.

  4. Absolutely yes! And I think he's come around to liking the food at the Manor.......especially when he's here for the Champagne Brunch.

  5. That you and Tim share so many interests, and actually partake in experiencing them together is priceless.

    So weird...I've often thought throughout my many years that I tasted a hint of mold when eating I know I was right. Certainly will be more selective in which ones I buy from now on.

    Much love to you & Mr. Bob,

  6. I always thought Tim looks like a kind soul. You are all lucky.
    I live across the street from that lake....wish you'd known. Maybe
    you would have come by to see the baby elephant in my yard.

    Love to you,


  7. Driving miss Janey.

    Next time I'll have you sit in the back and I'll play the theme song from the movie.

    I'm honored. It has never felt like a burden. Don't tell anyone, but my folks are are fun to spend time with.

    The local kid.

  8. Don't tell anyone this, either… but it makes my eyes all misty to read that.

  9. I can relate to Tim--I was the "Tim" in our family, since I lived closest to my parents for years. I always felt luckiest to have had them to myself, and I treasure my visits with them, which were many. Tim always sounds creative and fun--wonder where he gets those traits? hmmmmmm...

  10. I so agree with all the above posts. The Sunday are priceless for both you and Tim. Kindred spirits and Bob knows it. He gets the chance to dance to his own drum on his Sunday times on his own. I love the fun you two have and would never ever mind more stories. That journal sounds like a great gift!! I know yours will be a treat to read!..Driving Miss Janey....