Friday, January 10, 2014

California Memories

A small moment can evoke the most vibrant memory

I just left the most amazing conference and I am inspired. Inspired to teach, inspired to learn, inspired to create, and even inspired to live. You might ask how attending a conference with a bunch of academic geriatricians could even come close to evoking this many positive emotions... but it was only the conference. 

This meeting was on the beach in Coronado. It's true, I love the beach. I even love the fact that I have to wear tons of clothing and sunblock to avoid a burn. It's the waves and the serenity. But more than that, this particular beach made me think of my grandparents. 

Pa is still at home in Kansas enjoying his endless and putrid cigars, but he really isn't able to travel easily and certainly not by himself. He and Grandma loved to travel, and travel they did. That is, until her stroke at age 59 left her paralyzed and functionally dependent. 

I imagine that they traveled well prior to that time -- Grandma was the type that got dressed everyday and didn't leave the house without lipstick, carried a fancy purse, and faced the world. And Pa, well he just wanted her to be happy. They would have loved this place together with it never ending beauty, delicious food, and places to sit down and smoke.

I passed a man smoking a pipe on the beach yesterday. Normally, I would have been irritated by the smoke and hurried past. Instead, I stopped directly in the smoke's path and inhaled deeply, loving every morsel of the Cherry Cavendish... or whatever it was. And then I called Pa.

And found out that he and Grandma had been to Coronado... and loved it. 

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