A Visitor

You guys, there is a young man sleeping in my house!

Two, if you count Clyde, cuddled up next to me on this foggy morning.

Ben, the first one, is sleeping peacefully on the couch under Nana’s restored quilt. I have to say that quilt has been getting a lot of use since Erica and Megan restored it.

Long time readers may remember an incredibly beautiful and moving Bar Mitzvah I attended several years ago. Ben is the older brother of the boy from that Bar Mitzvah. I hadn’t seen him since then, so in my head – always an odd place – he remained the same age. Time being the inexorable thing it is, though, he grew up in that time and is now an engineer for an oil company in the wilds of Manitoba (and I do mean wilds – it’s an eight hour drive from Winnipeg). He is quite a delightful grown-up.

Ben has been on an epic road trip in a car he bought for $500. The main event of the journey was to attend the wedding of a college friend in New Mexico. The groom is of Afghani heritage and the bride’s family is from India, so it was a wonderful, days-long extravaganza. Ben said it was a very beautiful ceremony and he loved being part of it.

On his way out of town, his car broke down, which is only to be expected on an epic road trip. It was fixed well enough to get him to Las Vegas, where the car needed a little more attention. By Thursday night, he was in Oakland, and I confidently expected him to be here before I got home from work on Friday.

However, I got a text late in the afternoon saying he was in Jenner, which is on the Sonoma coast, which meant he somehow took legendary Highway One instead of 101. I later learned that the traffic on 101 near Petaluma was so horrible that he bailed out and headed for One. It took longer, but it is a spectacular drive, so he got here via the magical South Coast.

I hit traffic of my own coming home late after an eleven hour day, waiting for six cars to turn off the highway onto the Ridge. I have never experienced that before. It’s a traffic jam, Hooterville style!

Passing the farm across from the Gro, I saw a car pulled over, and a closer look showed Manitoba plates. I pulled over myself and sure enough, it was Ben, consulting my directions on his phone. After we finished hugging and being excited, we convoyed home, where we made Dad’s paella for dinner and caught up on the last few years. It was a great evening.

He may have to hit the road again today in order to get home in time. I hope not, since today is my brother’s birthday and there is a BBQ planned at the family estate after work. And I would like to spend more time with Ben and introduce him to my family.

A YEAR AGO: A dinner and a play with Megan and Lu. I notice in the post that I refer to Lu’s then boyfriend Rik, who became her husband at their beautiful and moving wedding this summer, another memory I will always treasure.