On the first of July I am booked on a Delta flight bound for Vancouver, British Columbia. I will spend time with cousins, nieces and nephews who are very close to my heart.
After two weeks, my first great-grandson will pick me up for a breathtaking scenic three-hour drive across the Canadian border to Seattle.
More excitement! A few days after I get to the land of Beecher cheese, if the count is right, my 10th great-grandchild, a boy, will be born.
In the meantime, I am enjoying sunny-now-stormy-later Atlanta, GA. They call Georgia the Peach state; pity I don’t like peaches. When I was very young I thought they grew in cans.
I love everything about this place that in the summer people fondly call “Hotlanta.” At this time of the year, the sun sets at almost 9 p.m. I don’t mind the humidity too much. The heat is less oppressive than Manila. It must be because of the magnificent foliage that surrounds us. Besides there’s air conditioning everywhere you go.
At home the thermostat is kept low and it’s comfy cool. But the other day the system ran out of Freon and we stewed.
Kim to the rescue
My sister frantically called Kim, her reliable, longtime refrigeration guy. Nice, personable, considerate, efficient and, above all, very polite, Kim is an American citizen from Korea.
We asked if he was from the North.
He quickly replied, “No. I am from South Korea. The only people you will meet from North Korea have escaped or defected.”
On the heels of the recent Trump-Kim Jong Un summit in Singapore, we were curious about how he felt about the outcome of the meeting. He paused briefly. “I hope it went well. I honestly wish for the best.” So do we all.
Of course, the media is still giving confused and confusing reports about what transpired. If you watch CNN, the reviews are skeptical at best, more often dismal, and never favorable. One commentator remarked, “It was meaningless.”
Trump lovers watch Fox News where former President Obama and all Democrats are bad guys. Every Fox anchor gave the historic meeting rave reviews. One even mentioned the Nobel Peace Prize.
My sister does not watch the news. “You can’t believe anyone anymore,” she complains. “I don’t know what is real and what is fake. So, why even bother?” She’s so right.
I have learned to take it all with a bit of humor. Recent news from home, however, fails to amuse me. It gives me heartburn and keeps me up nights.
As much as I love my travels and time spent with people I sorely miss, I dread stepping on my bathroom scales when I get back home. I wonder how long it will take me to lose the delicious pounds I “found” on this long “vacation.”
My sister and I eat out a lot. She lives alone and it’s no fun cooking for just two people.
I remember living by myself for almost two years in a borrowed condo in Manhattan. On nights that I was home alone, I would throw a TV dinner in the microwave or order a pastrami sandwich from the corner deli. I ate watching “Headline News.”
Sometimes I ate over the sink, just so the clean-up would be fast and easy. I also walked a lot, even in the winter. Not quite for exercise; taxis were too expensive.
Our favorite place here is Sushi Mito, a quick 10-minute drive from home. We are there at least once a week for their exquisite chawan mushi and grilled hamachi kama. Both are to die for.
The manager/maître d’ pampers us. He knows a few words in Tagalog and never tires of showing us his photos with former President Ramos, who apparently dines there frequently when he visits friends and family in the area.
My sister lives in Wedgewood Chase, a small upscale community where owners/
residents, aged 50 and up, know each other by their first names, are hospitable in that typical Southern “Gone With the Wind” manner, and still manage to mind their own business. For the most part, they are thoughtful neighbors and rally to help one another during trying times.
Friday evenings when the weather is good, they sit on park benches under magnolia trees near the entrance to share refreshments and news tidbits. I recently joined their Cinco de Mayo gathering and it was fun.
I was warned that Wedgewood, like the rest of Georgia, has a predominantly Republican population. I have tried to keep that in mind.
My old friend called. She is the one who always starts a phone call with “Did you see?” “Have you heard?” We all know someone like that. I am accustomed to her “scoops.”
She asked if I had seen the video on Facebook of three well-known, well-heeled women laughing hysterically while reading sad letters from people asking for help. I had. She was disgusted. So was I.
It was difficult to watch their repugnant behavior and not throw up. Their lack of sensitivity was appalling.
I heard they have since apologized. That’s good, I guess. But I doubt that it has done anything to make up for the pain they caused and the ugliness they left behind. Deplorable!