After a brief detour to drop Spuds his forgotten lunch, we headed up 5, Himself fussing mightily most of the way with audio related external battery headphone calamity stuff. We stopped at the new Tita’s (right off the highway) in Buttonwillow, which is much the same as the other Tita’s but a bit more expensive for saving you the mile or so drive into downtown Buttonwillow, for a fabulous breakfast. We did have great tunes the whole way and it has been a long time since we’ve listened to music actively together. An overcast day on a flat road and we were listening music for the most primal reason people listen to music and we were hearing it.
We arrived happy at the Hotel Vitale, where you can sit on the toilet and breathe oxygen for 15 bucks a crack but is nevertheless one of the finest hotels I have ever stayed at and a sweet time was made sweeter. We strolled the Embarcadero and saw fireworks at a stupid angle from the lobby of the creepily enormous Hyatt Regency Hotel and then supped at a restaurant (Sens) that we realized had reincarnated from another (Splendido) we’d dined at on another trip to the City more than a decade ago and we held hands.
In the morning I availed myself of the free lobby coffee and the free morning yoga class provided by the hotel. With instructor Treasure, I stretched and breathed and saluted the barely visible sun from the 8th floor yoga studio, overlooking the Ferry Building, the Saturday produce market in full pre-Thanksgiving bustle. Himself escorted me to wait for my car and prepared to the lobby to wait for his first meeting with Anna, his birth mother. I had meant to, had wanted to, be long gone but my car took longer than it might have and I saw a couple, of appropriate age, arrive on foot and he kissed her goodbye and I saw her face. I knew it was her and the nanosecond in which we made eye contact took my breath away. I am comforted now, when I look at the photos from the end of the day, after Himself and Anna had conversed for several hours, followed by a several hour chillout period, and then dinner with Anna and her husband Jerry that the pictures I took reveal such soft sweet happy faces. Anna, a very direct woman, told me that she’d been very angry at me but she thanked me now and I thanked her too. We both knew it was unnecessary for me to say that I had been angry with her as well. Now, I believe we all feel blessed and grateful. So much of what we assumed was wrong and I ask forgiveness for my harshness.
I brought Ferry Market provisions to the Harper Berry/ Berry Harper residence in Mount Hermon made even more sacred to us now with a room addition, a grand and humble cathedral in the forest where we spent the evening eating and drinking and actively listening to music. Bob and John and I have listened to music together for so long that we are tattooed with each other’s instincts. Chris humors the old folks and tolerates what must be to him, our moribund lexicon.
We returned home, buoyant and showed the boys pictures of Anna and Jerry and described the meeting. I said that it was particularly poignant to me because adoption was such a large major theme in my own family history. Spuds looked puzzled and asked, "Adoption, your family?" And then it clicked. My sister had given her daughter Cari up for adoption but now she and her daughter Marlene are so naturally and easily and seamlessly members of the family, blood relations, that Spuds had forgotten for a moment that lives had been separate for many years. I gave thanks yesterday for my family and for music and food and for lives that have been separate and will now come together.
My husband writes beautifully always, but particularly beautifully about the last few days at http://fionnchu.blogspot.com/2007/11/way-to-market-station-miss-templeton-my.html