Friday afternoon: Left work a bit early so that I could pick up Mom and drive out to Conroe in a reasonable amount of time, say two hours at 4:00 rather than three hours at 5:00. Why Conroe? To see my nephew, of course! It's our monthly visit. He's calmer, smarter, more articulate, more focused, and more at ease during this visit. He's working hard. He proudly tells me he made an 89 on his essay on the Illiad. You know, Homer, he tells me. Yes I know. I am proud of him, proud of his learning.
Friday night: Mom and I shared a room at a Best Western that the owners must have gotten quite a deal on interior fabrics because the bedspreads were a horrid color combination of bright pink and green palm trees, which conflicted to a nauseating degree with the dark green and red carpet. When I opened the door for us, mom said, Oh my. That cracked me up.
Saturday: The school had gifted him with a Red Maple tree in honor of my father. We plant it in the afternoon. I watch him slice the shovel into the dirt, opening the ground to receive the tree. He's strong and involved. My brother shows how to build the donut around the tree with dirt and then mulch. We water the tree and take pictures. It feels good to be there, good to plant another tree for my father.
Saturday night: Before meeting friends at La Griglia for a birthday celebration that was to start there and then go from there in a long black limousine to wherever we pleased but dancing had to be involved, I stopped at the McClain Gallery for the George Rodrigue exhibit. Mr. Rodrigue was a friend of my Uncle's and a guest on my father's boat, The Simplicity, on several fishing trips in Cozumel and Cabo San Lucas. I had made a photo album for him of pictures from those trips and hoped to leave the album there for him. I got much more than that once his wife saw me and questioned the album in my hand. At best, I had hoped the he would look through the album with me and share a story or two. I got that. He was both delighted and delightful and I left him with the album and a hug, taking with me his voice and the look in his eyes as he wistfully said in that thick Cajun accent, Oh the times I had on that boat with your father and your Uncle.
The rest of Saturday night involved a surprise guest, numerous bottles of Veuve Cliquot, the Black Swan and, lastly, Absinthe. It also involved a lot laughter and dancing and silliness. And late hours.
Sunday: Necessarily quiet. Some Advil. Lots of sleep. Pizza.