Last week we took a short road trip up north, to Greenfield, to visit my best friend's grandmother. A trip we've made countless times before starting back in our teenage years, armed with big shot attitudes and one freshly granted license (hers). Just the two of us, sailing up the coast, five and a half hours in a big maroon mini van. Radio blasting, no cell phones, no cyber map assistance to help guide us to a nearby gas station when we pushed the tank to dangerous limits.
Circumstances combined, that make me shudder to think of now as a grown women picturing my own children embarking on the same kind of journey.
"God's country" is what her grandfather use to call it. Miles upon miles of green pastures being the highlight of this quaint farming community. Their house just down the street from the family ranch where her grandmother had been raised. Where the now abandoned barn sits decaying, with rotting antique automobiles and one beautiful white owl that stands guard up top the peak of the roof beams.
The pastures that once housed green produce, have now been inherited by grape vines. Bringing wine, branded with gold flaked emblems on the bottles, initials of their family name.
We spent the day looking thorough her photo albums, visiting the San Miguel Mission and having a picnic in the afternoon on her back lawn, watching Rex race around the yard on that red bicycle, a plastic bottle wedged in the spokes making it sound like a real motor bike. Laughing at the baby and him laughing back at us.
The three days away were restful and it was so nice to get one kid away. On a special trip alone without his brothers. Where he is the only one heard. And he, the only one in line to pick out souvenirs he doesn't have to share, in the gift shops along the way. And have a bath to himself, and a nap and a conversation at an unfamiliar dinner table in a city he's never heard of, with all eyes and ears on him. Taking the boys on these lone trips is something we try to do occasionally when we can. Something I hope they each remember in the long run. Hayes is too little. But Rex, he came home with pockets full of goodies, a mouth full of tales, and a new bounce in his step.
It was a good trip. And I will happily be sharing more about Elva over on The Ma Books at some point soon. So keep an eye out over there if you can?