Thursday, May 10, 2012

He was building a life.

Brian made solo trips to Oregon whenever he could. He'd call us Friday morning, and arrive in Eureka by noon. We picked him up, had lunch and then he drove us home.  The next day, he and I would comb the beaches, catch up with our lives. Whatever was on our minds, we had an opportunity to walk and talk and get those thoughts out.  By Monday, he was gone again.

We took yearly trip to Southern California, usually during winter months, to escape the rains. We spent a few days at a local motel, taking turns meeting with Scott and his family, and with Brian, attempting to get them all together whenever possible.  Here, we had just arrived late one afternoon. Brian was living in Palos Verdes then, before he bought the house,  just a hill away from this mall.

Making faces: from left to right.
Front row: Scott, Jasmine, Thizar Williams
Back row: Brian, Ken
Location: South Bay, Torrance.

Ken and I had just arrived from Oregon, and the family met us at this place because Brian was working at L3, just a few miles away, and Scott's residence  even closer. Ken and I were already giddy with all that sunshine. Though cool for Southern California, the temperatures were just right for us.

We returned a few months later, to inspect the house he was about to purchase, and this time we had my old car, a beat up Saturn he wanted to borrow for a few months. I was happy to deliver the car, though I wondered that it would make it all the way down without a hitch.  The car had been sitting in my garage, and I'm sure had major hiccups and had become a nest for some wandering critter during the cold months.  We were prepared to help him with the down payment too; but, he had worked that out too.  He was taking advantage of a government program  and borrowing from his retirement funds. The only thing he needed was a car for emergency trips now and then. He was selling his brand new Acura sports car to cut down a $500 monthly expense, and wanted to have a great credit score when he applied for the mortgage loan.

In late June, we drove down, left the car with him, inspected the Long Beach residence he was about to purchase, consulted with him on the expenses he would incur with this property, and wished him good luck.

That year, at Thanksgiving, I helped him make a turkey dinner for all of us down in Long Beach. His house was bare-boned, but he was most proud of a new puppy, Buttercup, that had joined his household.


  1. Note: I start with one picture and one thought, and before I finish the first paragraph, a rush of stories blur that first thought. I apologize to those of who who are linear, who'd prefer one thread followed through.
    Perhaps, it is this intimacy I feel as I start writing, as though he is right there next to me and one thing leads to another.

    For those of you who know cats:
    I have the top picture of Brian on my home page. Newkie climbs up when I open the computer and sits right on my lap, nosing my fingers. I wonder, does she see him and remember too? Is her nuzzling around a way to connect too?

    On another note: she sleeps on his blanket and she eats from the same bowls he had at his house. We changed couches in the living room. But, the couch he sat on the last visit we saved.That's where Newkie lounges most times.

  2. On one of his trips, the only CD was a Dixie Chicks album. By the time he got back to Riverside, he knew all the songs, word for word. :)

  3. Yeah, he'd do that. Also, he tried to make the entire trip without spending the night anywhere. Crazy energy! Thanks, Cat, for this detail and many others you have shared with us.