Good grief, I know folks are wondering if I disappeared from the face of the earth! I
arrived home from India, more than a little weary, on the 3rd of December, after a
change of planes in Amsterdam and Seattle. All the flights were completely full so,
needless to say, it was a very tiring journey - almost 30 hours total time en route.
That shows you how much I love India!!! I've made that trip now eight times now in
three years and I will return May 5th.
Much to my delight, my West Sacramento family was there to greet me at the airport,
minus the two granddogs. Harper Ann may have been briefed on "Nana's" arrival and,
even if she didn't exactly remember me, she said my name clearly and took to me
immediately - or was it the Santa bunny I'd picked up at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport
that did the trick?
Once home, the granddogs went into a frenzy when I walked in the door ( they ALWAYS
know me ). I quickly took the heavenly glass of California red wine my daughter-in-law
offered and the hours of jet travel melted away. I do love India but, thus far, their wines
just can't compare to those in my home state, price-wise and otherwise.
Much to my dismay, I could not find my US attachment for my India purchased Lenovo
computer. I immediately ordered one from Amazon but it was nearly a week until it
arrived. Funny how bereft one can feel without a computer to use. Even with my fancy
Samsung Note 3 phone, I didn't feel adequate electronically to do my blog.
I have really been enjoying Harper who has learned so much in the five months
I have been gone. She is quite the chatterbox and is so bright, learning words in
both Spanish and English ( both my younger sons graduated from high school
with high honors in English ). I am fairly fluent in Spanish myself so, with her
Spanish story books and all this early learning, she will be well on her way when
she begins school. I am amazed at how much she knows for just 20-months. She
is so cute as she wanders about the house, reciting in her sing song voice, :"Mommy,
Daddy, Nene, Bap Bap, Nana, Taffy, Bucky."
The dogs love her and have been her constant companions she she came home
from the hospital. She can pull ears and tails without a protest from them and
they lie contentdly near her as she plays. Taffy MUST be in her room as she goes
to sleep for naps and nighttime.
We went out for Italian food one night with my oldest son, Shawn, who just had
his 44th birthday on December 17th, Harper enjoyed playing with the dough they
brought out for her. I forgot to recharge my phone so flash pictures weren't
possible, much to my disappointment.
Future Round Table employee
Middle son, Alex, 31, on left - Oldest son, Shawn, 44, on right
Nana, Harper, and Laura
I've only been to San Francisco one day, for three medical appointments, in one of
our torrential rain storms. Sacramento is only 100 miles from San Francisco and I
left at 4:30AM for my 10AM appointment, knowing there would be rush hour traffic
beginning soon. I was not prepared to be four long, tedious hours on the freeway,
however. What a nightmare. All I could think, though, was, thank heavens, I wasn't
driving in Mumbai!!!!
After my doctor's appointment ( only thing wrong was that my blood pressure was
elevated - doc thinks it is because I am in so much pain - all my arthritic joint pain is
so much worse in this colder weather! ), I went to one of my old favorite haunts, American
Sushi House, for lunch. I've been eating there since it opened and Bruce Lee ( not
of the marital arts fame but far more important to me ) welcomed me warmly. I had
my usual bento lunch, raw oysters and a spicy tuna roll, with sake, of course.
From there, I went to my favorite Thai restaurant, Manivanh, near San Francisco
General Hospital, where I've eaten at least a thousand times and where the "Carmen's
Special" appears on the menu. The Doungpanya family are like my own and are a
treasure to all of us who have worked at the General, especially to the forensic nurse
group. I especially was thrilled because the 3rd of their four daughters had come in
to bring her baby, Taylor, to meet me. It was a joyful reunion and I ended up staying
to have a late second lunch with the family, an incredible catfish dish. Over fifteen
years, I've shared quite a few of their family meals and they are always very special.
As it turned out, I ended up sleeping the night on the floor in the restaurant. Neither of
the two hostels where I usually stay had any vacancies and Nang was staying over to
do late food prep for the next day so she invited me to camp out with her. After my
exhausting morning drive, I slept like a baby!!!
I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of little Taylor with her mom, Ann, or papa,
San but she seems perfectly content with her grandpa, Sam, and grandma, Nang.
Tuesday, I saw my dentist and my optometrist, then went to the Ritz Carlton for the
evening performance of my beloved Sony and Jerry Holland. The two are now
performing five nights a week in San Francisco! How I wish I weren't a hundred
miles away! At least, they are no longer living in Los Angeles. I can't tell you what
a joy it is to see and hear them. They brighten any rainy night and, usually, there
are a few old friends present of the fan club so it's always like "old home" week.. I
was so weary, though, that I was dozing off and on during some of the sweet
So, now Christmas is just a few days away and I'm determined to finish Harper's
stocking which I began last year. Felled by my kidney stones ( or one of them ) the
week before Christmas, I didn't complete it. Alex is teasing me that he isn't expecting
it till she's eighteen - heaven's, I fear I'll be a speck of dirt by that time. No, I must have
it done for Santa THIS Christmas.
It will be a nice holiday for me. I haven't seen my youngest son yet. He was away on
vacation for ten days but, Christmas, all three boys will be here.
I hope you will have your loved ones close to you, in happiness and good health.
Lots of love and good wishes from my home to yours.