Welcome Home Dinner
I know, I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Sorry about that.
Last Saturday I went to see my Grandma and my Great Aunt in Stockton. My cousin, who lives in Santa Maria with her two gorgeous kids, was in town, so I thought I’d go visit while they were there. Maya had cheer practice, so she and Ted stayed home. Usually when I go visit Grandma I like to take her and Aunt Flo to lunch, but times are tough right now, and with my cousin and her kids there (who are going through a tougher time than we are), I couldn’t afford to take everyone out. You know what? I think it was better. We had grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, chips (I love chips, I can’t help it), and strawberry pie. You can’t beat that at a restaurant, I gotta say. Grandma doesn’t read blogs, doesn’t understand computers, so I can say here that she’s looking more tired and thin than she has in awhile. I guess she’s entitled, because she’s 87. But it made me realize that I need to make the effort to see her more often while I can. She told me an interesting story about when she was in Kindergarten or 1st grade. The school district wanted her to go to the closest bus stop, which was on the highway, and her parents wouldn’t have any part of that. Can you imagine a 5 or 6 year old out there on the highway, waiting for the bus? So the compromise was that she would take the bus with the high school kids and go to the elementary school near them. But the high school got out hours after hers did. So she would go out and wait, by herself, on the country road, for the bus. It would come and pick her up, but it was a bus for big high school kids, so she couldn’t make it to the bottom step, so a high school boy would reach down and grab her by the arms and pull her up. She would go to school, and then when school got out, she would wait there until the bus came by, which was about 2 hours. She’d go on the swings and sit and read as much as she could, and just be bored and wait. She doesn’t even remember any adults being around. Every day. Now you can say that times have changed and there are more freaks in the world today, but I think it’s more a matter of just more people. If 2% of the population is sick f**ks, then taking your population from 1,000 to 100,000 greatly increases the number of sickos, right? Anyway, no one worried about her sitting there alone after school, back in the mid to late 20s.
Sunday was relaxing, taking it easy, and getting Maya packed for cheer camp. She’s going to be a freshman this year, and made the freshman cheer team. She’s thrilled about that, but wasn’t thrilled about going to camp, and being away from family for almost a week. Not sure if that means we’re doing a good job, because she doesn’t hate us and wants to be with us, or if we’re doing a crappy job because we’re not preparing her for the world, or if we’re pretty much incidental to the whole thing, because she is who she is, and all we can do is our best. Anyway, she’s a great kid, and I’m proud of who she is. If that means she’s not ready to go away for a week between middle school and high school with a bunch of kids she doesn’t really know yet, so be it.
Monday morning, Maya left very early to go to cheer camp. Very. Early. We dropped her off at about 4:50 a.m., then I came home, and went to the store…then took a nap before work started. That night, Ted and I went to see RUSH in concert. Be not afraid, I am not speaking of Limbaugh. I am speaking of the hard rocking and very polite Canadian rock band, RUSH. I’m not a huge RUSH fan, save a stint of 2112 fanaticism in 9th grade. But they’re great in concert, and I’m thrilled that I went…they were awesome.
Due to the concert and how late we got home after, and also the fact that Ted’s friend Jeff was in town from the East Coast, we took Tuesday off from work and went to visit Jeff and his friends Rahul and Sarah. You know how there are so many different kinds of people in the world…there are people you don’t think you’d ever be friends with (the guys in front of and next to us at the RUSH concert), there are people you’re not sure about at first, but you grow to adore them. And there are people who you meet, and they’re just so open and friendly and down to earth and yet the right amount of snarky and so on, that you like them right away. That’s how it was with Rahul and Sarah. And, of course, Jeff, but we haven’t just met him. So it was a lovely, lazy day, spent lounging in the gorgeous California summertime, an unusually cool summer with temps in the mid-70s. Awesome. Then we came home to talk to Maya, who was homesick like crazy, and wanted to come HOME. HOME. I like the girls here, she said. They’re kind and great and fun. But I want to come HOME.
Wednesday was work and grocery shopping, etc. Cleaned the house, did laundry. Another call from a very homesick girl, who wanted us to drive 6 hours to her camp, pick her up, and bring her home. What a struggle. I wanted to go pick her up. I wanted her to be happier. But I also want her to live up to her commitments, and I want her to learn that she can indeed live without us for a few days, and I want her to be strong and independent, within reason for a 14-year-old. So I left her there, and didn’t make the drive, rent a hotel room, and drive back with her in the morning. Sigh.
Thursday was more work, groceries, farmers’ market, laundry…and Maya came home. YAY!!! She said she was sick of chicken, since that’s most of what they ate at camp, so I made a lovely salmon dish for her, with tomatoes and rice and snow peas. Really good. The trick is to put butter on everything. The salmon had a beurre blanc, ala’ Julia Child, and the tomatoes and snow peas were sauteed with butter and garlic. YUM. I grilled the salmon dry in its skin, ala’ Jacques Pepin, and it was moist and flavorful. Really good. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow, but I think you can figure it out by the description I just gave you. Grill the salmon. Add a beurre blank (butter and lemon juice). Yum. Serve with cherry tomatoes that have been sauteed with butter. Again, YUM.
Welcome home Maya, you were very much missed.