Monday, June 04, 2007

first, the really good news

When we arrived home this afternoon there was a letter from The Patient's radiologist, giving him the preliminary results of his last CT scan. After cutting through all the medical terminology we decided what it means is that everything looks very good. What's supposed to be gone IS in fact gone. He still has to see the head/neck surgeon who will have the final word. But there is rejoicing here on Monterey Avenue tonight!

Now on to the good news about the weekend's events. It all sped by in a blur of good food, good fellowship, good times with family. First, however, the mascot of the hotel. Charming, no? This little mosaic fountain is in courtyard of the hotel and even though our cottage was in the back we could heard the gurgle of the water. Very delightful.

Friday we met Andrew after his morning commencement rehearsal. He had to run some errands in town, then we stopped at Bart's Books, the wonderful outdoor bookstore. In his career at Thacher he had never managed to get there and, like the Patient and I, wandered around amazed at the number of books, the miles of shelves, and the whole idea of an outdoor store. There is a discreet notice on the door that tells customers that if they find a book on the street-side shelves that they want and it's after-hours, just drop the money through the slot. Imagine! We had lunch in the patio of a little restaurant downtown. Warm, sunny, lovely. We delivered him back to school and went back to the hotel to read, relax and prepare for the evening's banquet. All those kids we saw in jeans and tank tops at the rehearsal had somehow been transformed into scrubbed, coiffed and smartly dressed young men and women just about to leave the protective (and protected) haven of Thacher for the big (bad) world. (I didn't get any good pix at the banquet; it was so incredibly cold I spent the entire evening shivering and trying to keep warm. I finally put a turtleneck shirt over my dress in a feeble attempt to stay thawed. But I think Alex took some snaps and she'll send them and I'll put them up.)

Saturday morning we all gathered again under the big tent on the lacrosse field for commencement. Fifty-nine smiling faces lined up to be bag-piped across the field. It was a gorgeous day; bright, sunny, still a bit cool. The coastal fog that creeps over the foothills and settles in the lower valley was visible below us, but up in the hills it was crisp and clear. The tears ran down my cheeks when Andrew strode down the aisle, all 6 feet of him, decked out in his seersucker suit. There is a very nice Thacher tradition at graduation. Instead of just calling the student's name, having her/him walk across the stage to get a diploma, designated faculty write a paragraph describing each student, telling about the student's history at Thacher, each one's gifts and talents, and what having each student at the school has meant to both classmates and faculty. So there were 59 individual stories; funny, moving, awe-inspiring in many cases. These kids have had an education of such depth and breadth and rigor that many of them will be shocked when they get to college at how far they have already come. Their genuine affection and respect for one another was easy to see and very satisfying. After all, Andrew has lived and grown up with these kids; it's like a big, extended family.

After the ceremony we all trooped up into the center of campus for a buffet lunch held outdoors in a big patio. And photos.
First, we have Andrew, Em and Alex. That's Pete in the background in the hat.

Here's the graduate. Note the white bucks!

Cait and Mike gave Andrew a wonderful watch as a gift.

We spent the afternoon at Vic and Tom's hotel (the sister hotel to our; The Emerald Iguana). Cait and Mike went back to Santa Barbara, Alex and Em stayed overnight with Vic, the Patient and I went back to our hotel.

Sunday we drove over to meet Cait and Mike for brunch (Dungeness crab hash, layer of mashed avocado, two poached eggs. Delish!) in Santa Barbara. Here's what I mean about the jacarandas. No photo can do them justice, I know, but I just thought I'd try. These trees are in full bloom all over the city. What a gift! What a treat! We drove back to Ojai via Route 150, over the hills and around Lake Casitas. Again, we started down in the cold and fog but broke through into blazing sunshine about two-thirds of the way up the road. Typical Santa Barbara summer day!

We left Ojai at 6:30 this morning. Good old Vincent (the car; you know, Vincent Van-Go) and the Patient's good driving got us home safely seven hours later. A long day. That's why I am writing this now; gotta hit the hay early.

I did manage to get two books finished, watched the debates (interesting; my guy didn't shine), visited with family (Pete's) whom I hadn't seen in quite awhile, and saw my beloved grandson off to a new chapter in his charmed life. Good work for a weekend.


At 8:51 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Thank you for reporting in so quickly and congrats on the GREAT health news! I loved the photos of your beautiful family and all the news including your report on one of my favorite bookstores, yeah!


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