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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Saturday, August 12, 2006


When I was growing up, my grandmother traveled everywhere with us. Then, when I went to college and beyond, she continued hanging out with my parents. They went to Florida a dozen times, and also took shorter trips, to my dad's investor club meetings in the Poconos, and once to Hawaii, and of course out to California to visit me. At least once or twice a week, the three of them went out to dinner together. I never thought what a funny threesome they were - but they always sent me photos (good Japanese tourists, they always carried their cameras around their necks) of the three of them in various configurations.

Well, what goes around, comes around or whatever. Or is it: history repeats itself. Because now it's my husband and me, + my mother. This week, both of our girls were Elsewhere, and he had the week off from work, and we didn't really feel we could leave her alone here. So the three of us trundled off to Sausalito, and stayed in a little hotel for two nights, and did the kind of things she likes. She doesn't like "hanging out" like we do (more on that later). She was up at 7:00am, dressed and ready to go. "What's on the agenda?" she asked. So even though we'd told her to "bring books" we knew this was not going to be any kind of our regular reading + napping kind of vacation.

We decided to take the ferry boat from Sausalito to the San Francisco Ferry Building, where we browsed the Book Passage bookstore (integral part of any vacation: bookstores), ogled the lovely produce and had a great lunch out on the back patio, with the Bay Bridge stretching out overhead. It was a great little expedition. The ferry ride was really fun, and beautiful, and something we really only do every few years. We came back and played tourist, walking around the shops, and then came back to the hotel so Mom and husband could watch their nightly baseball game. It feels like a nice groove, and weirdly enough, after decades of resisting her company, I like having my mom around. I love it that she and my husband are incredibly close buddies. It's all very surprising and strange and nice.

Then we came home and I worked for half a day, and then just he and I took off for one more night in Inverness, to the cutest little cottage hanging over the water of Tomales Bay. There, we got to do our standard vacation of reading, sleeping, cuddling, hanging out in front of the fire and just being quiet. Left to our own devices, this is our perfect vacation. We don't like doing a lot of touristy stuff, and we don't like doing much of anything that takes a lot of effort. We just like doing what we rarely get to do at home: hanging out quietly with a good book and each other. We're both reading books we're liking a lot, which is good luck. I'm reading Dave King's The Ha-Ha, which was enthusiastically recommended over at Readerville. It's a startling, fascinating and very moving book. He's reading The Good Family by Terry Gamble. Which is something I really love about him. This is a book that I would normally just keep on my side of the bed, because it's written by a woman, and it's about Family, one would consider it "women's literature," but he managed to find it and pack it in HIS suitcase, and he's really liking it a lot.

Postscript on Sausalito: When I first moved to the Bay Area, one of my new friends insisted I ought to move to Sausalito so everyone could call me "Susanito from Sausalito." I still think that's not a bad idea.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan, I'm reading your blog for the first time. Fun to read and very you, as it should be. I was interested that J is reading Terry Gamble's book. We went to the same high school in Pasadena & a long time ago I went to a reunion at her house in SF. It sounds as if you had a good mini-vacation.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006 7:34:00 PM


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