California gold, no rush

In recent weeks, I’ve been focusing hard on a summer trip to Greece I’ve got booked. There are a lot of moving parts with that vacation and I’ve been occupied with finalizing dates for various locations, booking accommodations and doing my best to maximize opportunities to spend time with special friends and family who will be either joining me or, by some amazing coincidence, staying on the island right next to the one where I’m scheduled to be for approximately a week.

My excitement for finally getting back to Greece has overshadowed my upcoming spring vacation to one of my favorite domestic destinations, the desert in Palm Springs, California. I was lucky enough in 2021 to get to California twice, but my planned third visit for Christmas was unceremoniously canceled by the airline the day before departure. In all honesty, between the weather forecast at the time and the Covid surge, I wasn’t crushed to reschedule for spring. Who wants to go to the desert when it’s raining? Especially when a few short months later you can have this…

This California trip will mark the end of a very long era. My friend, aka my Jewish mom, has arrived at a stage in her life where maintaining her property is beginning to feel like a burden and, so, she is selling her home. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve stayed with her over the decades in her lovely midcentury ranch with a backyard pool, citrus trees and a mountain view. My initials, (pre-Lilly), are scratched into a concrete slab underneath the household mechanicals on one side of her house and there are countless memories of our times together etched just as permanently in my heart.

While I’m eager to hike in the desert and bask in the sun, I’m also acutely aware that I’ll never again do this trip in quite the same way again, a reality which makes me want to slow life down a little and savor every moment. I’m really going to miss the oasis my friend has made available to me for all these years.

While I initially assumed my lack of attention to this upcoming vacation was prompted by my focus on the more exotic trip later in the year, I’m starting to think that maybe I was trying to avoid facing the fact that time is passing. My dear friend’s life is on the verge of a major change and I’m sobered to the reality of those circumstances. It’s perfectly clear that none of us are getting any younger.

Yes, while I certainly am wildly excited to spend a few weeks bopping around Greece over the summer, first comes California. Let’s not rush that at all.

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