I played bridge three to four times a week. At the end of September, I realized bridge was eating my life. I took a break. I love bridge; but, it interferes with writing.
A Celebration and A Memorial
There were significant life event celebrations in 2012.
Cousin Jim McDaniel turned 90 in March. Jim and Pat have 11 children and more grandchildren and great grandchildren than it’s possible to count. Getting their whole family together involves long term planning and logistics. Scheduled for July 24, Jim’s birthday celebration was a gala event with a barbecue at the family home in Mt. Shasta, a table groaning under the weight of potato, pasta, jello, and green salads, chips, dips, watermelon, and birthday cake with homemade ice cream. There were people who I hadn’t seen in years. I was delighted to be a part of it all.
A memorial celebration for Candace Watson was held in Redding on October 28. Dawn, Candace’s daughter, waited until Bob recovered enough to participate in the celebration. Far from recovered, Bob was able to attend and to greet family and friends. Throat injuries prevented Bob from delivering his eulogy. He asked a dear friend to read it for him. The service was heartfelt, full of the love and beauty that Candace exemplified. Dawn edited a slide show that looped continuously over a soundtrack of Cass Eliot singing “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” the song Dawn discovered in the CD player in Candace’s car.
To escape the summer heat of Bakersfield, Judy and Annis head for Coos Bay, Oregon at the end of May staying through September. I visited them for several days in August. We hiked in Shore Acres State Park on a misty Sunday morning. The view from the trail is spectacular. The rose garden was a riot of colors juxtaposed to the lily pond’s serenity. At the Coos Bay Vistors’ Center, I found a brochure that laid out a walking tour of the historical homes of the city. I spent two days roaming the streets of Coos Bay photographing its historical houses. The house Annis and Judy rent for the summer is one of the houses on the tour.
In late September, Eileen and I flew to Newark to spend the Jewish holidays with Eileen’s sister, Phyllis, and her family. Between the holidays, Eileen and I took the train into New York City where we spent three days. “I want to see your New York,” I said to Eileen who grew up in Brooklyn. The closest we got to Brooklyn was eating at Junior’s in the Grand Central Station food court. We meet a few of Eileen’s high school chum’s and soaked up as much of New York as we could. We saw Nice Work if You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick, had dinner at Sylvia’s (The Queen of Soul Food) Restaurant in Harlem. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial was an emotional experience. The weather was beautiful and the Jersey Shore was spectacular.
I was pleased to have my essay “Shirts” was published in The California Writers’ Club Literary Review, Winter 2012-13.