It is the very, very late end of a long day.
I got up early to make coffee cake for breakfast, and then Phil went off to do some banking and Jeri and I went to pick my mother up for the Brain Gymnasium. As usual, she didn't want to go.
It was good for Jeri to be there today. She got to see my mother at her best...or, more appropriately, at her worst. She threatened to walk out if Michael didn't stop asking her questions. The exercise we were doing at the time was to think of something that you can't do now because the means to do it no longer exist. Things like crank telephones, ice boxes, 78 records, and things like that. It should have been a piece o'cake for my mother. She's the oldest one in the class and has seen a lot of things come and go in her lifetime, but she couldn't think of a thing and it made her so angry that Michael would even ask her...because she's 94, you know, and her brain doesn't work like that (this is a recording)
But Michael jollied her through it and by the end of the session, as always, she was feeling OK and even figuring some things out on her own. The thing that makes me so frustrated is that in her anger at feeing "stupid" and not wanting people to see that she is "stupid" she doesn't even notice that every single person in the class makes mistakes. Heck, even Jeri and I made mistakes today. But all she can see is that she makes mistakes and that embarrasses her.
We then went to lunch and sat with my friend Peggy, who is such a delightful woman and looks forward to spending time with my mother while I'm away because I will send her photos that she can share with my mother on Peggy's computer. I decided not to mention that I will be keeping this diary daily...that seems too much to ask her to bring my mother to her apartment every day, so I will just send off maybe the Photo of the Day each day, or a few times a week.
For dessert my mother ordered an ice cream cone. So did Jeri. Peggy and I each got the smaller frozen drumsticks. My mother sat through her whole cone talking about how big it was, how she could never finish it, why do they make servings so big, etc...but she has that cone every. single. day. for lunch! It was like she had never seen it before. The only difference between that cone and the cone she usually has is she usually asks them to pour a little chocolate on it. And she finished it all with no problem at all.
After that morning, I left the others at home and drove to San Francisco to meet my friend Lynn for dinner. Well, not exactly. I planned to drive to Walnut Creek and take BART to the city, since parking at the Hyatt Hotel, where Lynn was staying, would cost me $62 so I decided to take BART in...not realizing that the BART stop is almost directly in front of the hotel so it's almost more convenient in addition to being significantly cheaper.
I have an unerring sense of direction. No matter where I am going, I always take the wrong turn. and so it was that I didn't find the Walnut Creek BART station and in trying to get to it, stumbled across the Concord BART station, so I gook BART from there.
I got to the hotel about an hour before Lynn's meetings were finished and I sat and read. Ironically, there is a display in the lobby of the Hyatt about Alcatraz prison and I am currently reading "Orange is the New Black" about a woman's year in a prison, so it all felt too chillingly familiar!
Lynn finally arrived and we went to her room on the 15th floor to look at the view, which is spectacular.
We then walked two blocks up California to Tadich Grill, the oldest restaurant in California and a place Forbes named one of the World's 10 Great Classic Restaurants.
Which may explain why the bar was jam packed at 6 p.m. and why they told us it would probably be 45 minutes before we could get a table.
But we were in no hurry, so ordered wine..
...and sat at the bar chatting with the bartender...
...and getting caught up on all the news in our lives. Lynn has just bought a house and is all excited about things surrounding that, I got great feedback (and moral support) about my mother, we both shared the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world. In short, girl talk, the thing I miss most in my life these days. The time passed so quickly we didn't even notice that our wait was an hour and 10 minutes.
But the meal was worth it. Tadich specializes in seafood, so naturally I ordered crab, this time sauteed in a wine sauce with mushrooms that was worth the mortage I've put on the house...
The original plan had been for me to spend the night in Lynn's room (they even have a comfy chair with a foot stool, which would have been perfect), but with Jeri and Phil leaving in the morning, I wanted to be home to tell them goodbye.
The immediate problem was finding my way out of Concord. At least I knew where the car was parked but, especially in the dark, I didn't have a clue where the freeway home was. Nigel to the rescue. I hauled out the trusty GPS and set it up for about 10 minutes, which was all it took for Nigel to direct me to the right freeway. Then it was clear sailing home.
Nobody was here when I arrived, as everyone had gone out with Ned and Marta on Ned's friend Greg's boat for a sunset dinner cruise, and then back to Greg and his wife's house for chit chat until about midnight. Now all have gone to bed and I will soon follow them!