Friday night's here and I've got a date with an old friend, her daughter, my husband, a pitcher of micro-brew beer (or two) and a karaoke machine. Who could ask for anything more? The star of the show turns out to be my friend's three year old, Olivia, with her rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "The ABCs Song". Three moments stand out as my favorites:
1) slow dancing with Olivia to "Tears in Heaven",
2) hearing Olivia tell her mom "You can't sing!" when Mom was trying to help her with the ABC's. Such independence! Definitely a girl after my own heart and
3) being asked to be Olivia's Godmother. I am so honored.
Overall, what a great night.
The next morning, bright and early, the alarm sounds. Ro and I drag ourselves out of bed, get packing, showered, fed and then on our way to Redding to meet my uncle. Only slightly later than we intended, we made it on the road after having a divine breakfast at my friends' cafe, Cafe Coda.
Two hours to Redding, another hour to the beginning of the dirt road, an hour on the dirt road, then a short but steeply uphill climb, and finally we have arrived. My uncle, his girlfriend, Rohan and I made it to our home for the night: the look-out at Hirz Mountain.Upon arrival and after a hearty lunch, I appreciate all the effort it took to get here; it's a pretty isolated spot. The only noise is the sound of the wind whistling through the canyon and the occasional bird song. If we look one way we see Mt. Lassen and the other Mt. Shasta.
A lazy day followed. Lots of talking, reading, snacking and then it was dinner time. On the menu: garlic cheddar, fresh sourdough bread, heirloom tomato, shitake mushroom and garlic sauce, fresh pasta, roasted garlic and a bottle of California Zinfadel. Not bad for camping! A stunning sunset full of reds, oranges, pinks, purples and blues tops the day off nicely.
Too early for my taste the sun comes streaming in through the windows. Mind you, all the walls of the room are windows, so any hope I may have harbored for rolling over and blocking it out was useless. As I lay there, I watched the sunrise and the hummingbirds zip up to the feeder for their breakfast.
All too soon it's time to pack up and head back down to civilization. Weekend's like this are the reason I moved home: time with old friends, family and the gorgeous Northern Californian environment. Just writing this as a reminder for when the doubts creep in.