Slice of Life: A Time-Warped Weekend

This 24-hour slice included over 300 miles of driving (one way), but the important middle, 10 hours worth was slow and easy, an on foot existence. Join us here at Two Writing Teachers each week and write your slice.

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hWe left at 5 am Saturday morning. Darkness surrounded us as we drove through Los Angeles.  Sunlight hit as we entered green open land. It was like LA didn’t exist.

We got to the Grapevine, a long uphill climb that lifts you out of Southern California into the central part of the state, in less than two hours. I always felt like north should be uphill. In this case it is.

Descending into the Central Valley you see nothing but vast, continuous acreage.  I couldn’t help but think of the water shortage, water politics and the amount of produce this place generates.

After endless land, the GPS led us off highway 5 onto strange routes that cut through little towns, strawberry fields, and green rolling hills over to the Santa Cruz mountains.

Fog and cooler temps met us as we wound up to the pine-decorated northern California coastal town of Santa Cruz: a town of college students, older hippies, surfers, homeless and a few affluent folks. Average California town?  Just one of the many archetypes that exist in this diverse state.

We pulled up to our 23-year old’s place and it looked good, clean and put together, as did he. When your kids go away, you don’t know what to expect. Knowing the kid I knew at home, this was a surprise..

We spent the day, with our first born, our oldest, eating, talking about politics, his studies, his work, reading, Shakespeare. We walked around town. Spent and inordinate amount of time in a used book store.  Stopped for another cup of coffee. Purchased some shoes, for him for me, socks for Dad. Walked some more. Hmm. Time for dinner? Had an amazing meal featuring fantastic pesto sauce at a very hip place showing a continuous loop of Coffee and Cigarettes, a bizarre but at the same time fascinating movie, as we ate.  After dinner we talked and walked some more. Got some ice cream. Finally, time to call it a night.

Dropped him off with a promise to get him for coffee at 6 am. Amazingly he calmly agreed. Next morning we pick him up for coffee and pastry and then after a hug and goodbyes, start the drive home.

Even though the drive was crazy fast, it seemed to be a leisurely time-warp like experience. Just being together for about ten hours. Enjoying each other’s company. These moments will stick with me — just like photographs that line our walls, tables and desks of them when they were little ones, bigger ones and graduates. Unbelievable. Exhausting. But good.

So good to see him.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life: A Time-Warped Weekend

  1. Sounds like a great weekend. I am the oldest in my family and am an hour and a half away from home at college. Despite being not very far away, I don’t get to see my parents all that much and I love when they come and visit. It reminds me a lot of your slice. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This will be us in a few years, and this line really resonated with me: “When your kids go away, you don’t know what to expect.” My wife and I are not ready, and I suppose one is never quite ready, but with our oldest in 10th grade and a slew of college mailers innundating our mailbox these days, we’re moving into the mindset, slowly and surely.

    • The first one is the hardest (I think)! I still have one at home though, (a 10th grader) and I’m afraid that the last might be harder. Good luck to us both.

  3. Your post brought back memories of visiting my oldest son in college. Isn’t it the best to get out of the old ways of relating as parent and child and let your child take the lead in showing you his new environment and new maturity.

  4. I can’t even imagine sending my Isabelle off into the world to live on her own. (I have wrapped my head around preschool, which starts this fall!) What joy you must have from spending time with him and watching him thrive as an adult!

  5. I know what you mean – it’s weird to think of our kids having their own place, not their rooms at home (the ones they grew up in and never cleaned!) . I love “visiting” my older two – it’s a peek into the adults they’ve become. Bittersweet, right?!

  6. Great description of the drive–my favorite line(s): “I always felt like north should be uphill. In this case it is.” I can also feel the warmth and coziness of those 10 hours. Thanks for sharing. It made me smile.

  7. I love how this read somewhat like a journal and your inner asides along the way. I could just picture this spectacular place and the pines…how I love them. I relate so much to a son living far away and how it surprises me how neat he really has become. xo

  8. I am so lucky in that my oldest is attending college here at home so she still lives with us. I think she has finally accepted that living at home isn’t all that bad! She is going to become a teacher and she has mentioned that she would like to live that first year at home to save some money. We will see if that changes! 🙂

  9. It is better when you go to visit them and step into their world. When my son comes home the time goes fast and it is diluted and he is gone and I regret none of the moments that you so beautifully describe. And then there is the drive back, savoring all the moments. Happy for you all.

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