Updated: Jun 6, 2019
Just a year ago, I set off to Northern California for an extended seven week stay - 50 days to be exact. A month or so earlier, my eldest daughter had found a job in San Francisco. She asked if I would come help out with the grandkids while she and the family transitioned into her new role as working mom again. “Yes. Of course,” I say in my knee-jerk response to helping my two girls, now women, whenever they need me.
I had one workshop commitment in early May, so my flight was scheduled for May 8, 2018.
I started making plans immediately. Lists of what I’d need for seven weeks, not just clothes and presents for my grandkids, but the art materials that sustain me through all life’s journeys. My mind is a-flurry.
Other than making sure I am prepared for my workshop, I could think of nothing other than what this adventure is holding ahead of me and what I needed to sustain.
My daughter had asked me what I might need on her end, preparing a comfortable room in their home where I could retreat into quiet. Where I could close the door to the motion that is three children under the age of six, to not feel like I was underfoot and allow their family their privacy. I also wanted to have a place for my computer and also a spot to sit and stitch.
With that in mind, I become a Californian by embracing my new, though temporary address. I join the local Next-Door site to get a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood vibe and immediately find a mid century Sears Roebuck desk for my room. Pick-up of the desk is near their house and the desk is free.
This shopping therapy also preoccupies my anxious thoughts about staying with someone, even family, for almost two months. Will I get along with my daughter; will I be able to keep up with three little ones? Will I remember the schedules, the activities, the driving directions to the library and supermarket, where the bus stopped on each day of the week? Will my phone work nestled in the mountains that encircle Lucas Valley.
My husband stays home, minding the dog and our house in South Carolina. He continues to encourage me to be brave and I am certain that I need something to keep me grounded in a pinch, to stay in the moment. I decide to prepare fabric so I could easily accomplish a tiny stitched piece each of the fifty days.
By the time I arrive, my daughter has decorated my room with pink sheets and a fuzzy pink pillow. Lucious, textured throws lay across the foot of the bed. A full length mirror flanked a corner. My desk was in place on the wall with the door. There were hangers, fluffy bath towels, hand lotion and a bouquet of roses on the night stand.
I have visited them at this address before, but now it is really feeling like home.