Laughter Amid Tears

I’m in northern California to do some more stuff at my Mom’s. It’s been a difficult trip, but there has been a lot of laughter too. For example, while going through my Mom’s clothes yesterday, we (a friend from college helped me with the work) came across a clown costume. It was still in a dry cleaning bag, so it was in good shape. Must have been from the days when she and her B of A employees would dress-up for Halloween. Can you imagine something like that happening at a bank today? Times really have changed.

After packing up my Mom’s clothes and all, my friend Carla suggested we go have lunch then visit Gray Lodge Wildlife Preserve. I’d been thinking about driving around to see some birds, but I’d forgotten all about Gray Lodge.

We had a great time and saw lots of beautiful birds. We also reminiscenced about our college days at California State U, Chico and caught up on each others’ lives. My picture of an Egret here doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the area, but it was taken with my phone, so I can’t really complain. Oh, and I’ll throw in another shot just to give you an idea of how beautiful the place is.

Today, I took my Mom’s clothes and some other things to the Salvation Army today. Bags and bags of clothes and such, and what got the most attention? That’s right, the clown suit we found yesterday was a huge hit. Everyone came out to see it.

Also went to B of A in Yuba City today to do some banking activities B of A in AZ can’t do for some reason. Ended up being this complicated transaction, so I was sitting at a desk looking around, and I look up as someone walks to the desk next to where I am sitting. She looks sort of familiar, so I take a shot:

“Sukie?” I ask. ”
Yes,” she says looking at me with some curiosity.
“Don’t you recognize me?” I ask.
“Uh no,” she says.
I say “Come on, have I changed that much since HS?”
She shrieks, “Desert Democrat!” and comes running over to give me a hug.

We did a little catching up, I told her my Mom had died, she shared that Sam, the man who hired my Mom at B of A in 1967, had passed as well. She then turns to the woman who has been helping me and who, it turns out, is her boss, and says: “Her Mom hired me in 1981!” Then with tears filling her eyes, she said, “And she was the most wonderful woman in the world, except when she gave me this look” and pulls her glasses down her nose a bit and furrows her brows in a perfect imitation of how my Mom looked when she wasn’t quite pleased with what I, or apparently her staff, had done.

So, of course it was nice to see a HS friend, but it was even nicer to see that a classmate my Mom had hired has moved up the ranks as did my Mom.

Tomorrow I head to Sacramento for lunch and a visit with another great friend from college and the friend who helped me go through my Mom’s stuff. Then Friday I’m having lunch with my college mentor and biggest fan without whom I would have never even considered graduate school.

Then it’s back on the plane and back in AZ that evening.


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