The next day of my very nice trip to Ypsilanti, I went to visit the Catholic Worker just west of downtown Ann Arbor. I spent a couple of hours there and got to see the young couple I met at the soup kitchen here in San Francisco and to meet some of the people who live at the Ann Arbor shelter. It houses both men and women, which is rather unusual, and is open three times each week for people to come and eat. I was there for the final two hours of a four-hour open meal, and it looked like only six or eight people who don’t live at the house had come to eat. Maybe more people come earlier.
The young woman I know from here lives at the house and appears to be absolutely thriving. She does some cleaning at a hot yoga studio one morning a week in exchange for taking three or four classes, and she looked utterly radiant—relaxed and happy and perfectly at peace. Her boyfriend is more interested in working outdoors and less interested in living in community—I don’t blame him—so he lives elsewhere and works as a landscaper.
After being there, I went by both of the houses I lived in as a child. In the evening, Mom and Dad and I watched Purple Rain on TV. Another night we saw Lords of Dogtown, which I had seen before and liked. The music is excellent; ditto Emile Hirsch.
One day I met Ginny for lunch at Café Zola. We got all caught up, and, as always, I had their fantastic salmon burger and, as always, a greasy morsel slid down the front of my shirt. I tried my mother’s Whink Wash Away stain remover, and it worked perfectly.
Another day, Amy treated me to lunch at Seva (birthday coming soonish). We also had a good chat and she showed me a video of her and her husband’s four new pigs, which they are planning to eat, so they haven’t named them. Amy said she calls them all “Pork Chop.” She said she goes to their barn to feed them and “chat with them” every day, and she said her husband loves them, so it’s possible that when it comes time to have them butchered, they won’t be able to. I joked that a year from now, they might have four 1200-pound pigs sitting in their living room in front of the TV. In the early evening, my Uncle Rick and his wife, Janet, took me out to dinner at Haab’s in downtown Ypsi, another lovely visit.
On Friday, I went back to the meditation group at the Ypsilanti library. The next day, Dad treated Mom and me to lunch at Subway. When my father and I went on our road trip last year, he discovered that I’d never eaten at a Subway and we stopped at one for lunch, where I was a giant brat and refused to eat most of what I’d ordered. We sat together in silence, and it was horrible—a sad memory. So I asked my father if we could eat at Subway during this visit, to try to overwrite that memory with a better one. He, gracious as always, said he didn’t remember anything bad about our first visit to Subway, but took us there, anyway.
My mother has done a lot of research on the ills of high-carb eating and accordingly is very careful about her own intake, to the point that she even checks her own blood glucose at home from time to time; sometimes my father does the same. After lunch, my mother thought she’d see how much damage the bread had done, and I volunteered to let her check my blood glucose, too, and my father followed suit, so now we can remember it as the time we all went to Subway and then checked our blood glucose.
That afternoon, my father and I went over his financial information, which we do every two years, so that my eventual executor duties are as stress-free as possible. I really appreciate all of the effort he has put into this. A friend whose last parent died last year advised me to try to get this information sooner rather than later. When I described the preparations my father has made, she approved heartily.
In the late afternoon, I sat outside for a time in the beautiful green backyard with my mother. My sister came over again that evening, and we all watched Trumbo. After she was gone, we watched Inside Out, and the next day I flew home.