Yesterday (January 29) my eldest son and I made the trek to my sister-in-law and brother's home in Auburn just for the day.
It was a Chamber of Commerce weather day for northern California. The weather here is outstanding this week (last year it rained for the entire two weeks I was here). So the three hour drive up and back was made with at least one window partially down. I had almost forgotten the feeling of warm, fresh air. Traffic was light through San Jose, which can be a bottle neck on the drive to and from the East Bay.
My son, who will be unable to attend my brother's party (he didn't want a memorial) next week wanted to see Barbara and be in my brother's home.
Next Saturday, February 7, a number of family (including a group of cousins who haven't seen each other for dozens of years) and close friends will gather and remember the life of Michael B. Smith. As my son William said yesterday: "You can still feel Uncle Mike in the house."
Barbara, a truly great cook, fed us like kings.
It's been four weeks since my brother died on New Year's Day, but the emotions sometimes well up and overflow, as they did yesterday when it was time to leave and drive back to Aptos near Santa Cruz.
Barbara is doing well, keeping busy and her many friends are taking good care of her. I'm going back (glad I have a rental with unlimited miles) next Wednesday and Thursday to help set up the party. Then I'll return to the Bay Area, pick up my wife at the airport Friday and drive back up with the cousins on Saturday for the party.
Do I know the way to San Jose? Oh, yeah.