On Sunday, after shopping in the morning, we went up and had lunch at my father’s house. The day was beautiful – blue sky, oak trees, lizards running between rocks.
My stepmother made soup for lunch. We sat and ate in the breakfast nook. As in many houses with formal dining rooms, it’s common in High WASP houses to have a place to sit and eat in the kitchen. Blue and white is a common color scheme, with yellow, or red, as accent. Those are photos of the grandchildren, and the dog, on the cabinets in the back.
After lunch, we went and sat in the hot tub. High WASPs like water features. Sometimes that’s an ocean. Sometimes a fountain. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for the most part, we’re talking swimming pools. Black-bottomed, these days, unheated until summer time, with a pool cover that rolls into its hiding place under the edge.
I’m a little scared of the pool cover. As though I might get caught underneath. I don’t know why.
This is the view from the hot tub. Where my kids and I sat, and talked, and watched the day pass. The pool was way too cold to swim in – heat is very tough on dwindling family fortunes. The hot tub felt perfect.
The sky was really the color of that little bit of blue in the corner.
When we got out, we went through my dad’s old ties. I had asked him to bring them out to see if he still had the Liberty of London one we gave him in 1968. Long gone, apparently. So my dad chose which ones he wanted to keep, we picked some out for my son, and threw the rest away. Dad told the story of how he was the first administrator at the university where he spent his career to come to the office without a tie. Maybe that’s why he moved to California, originally, leaving Park Avenue and New Jersey behind. Never did like ties.
Doesn’t every dad keep his ties on a hanger, and own at least one with a large, silly, smiling something on it? High, not High, WASP, not WASP? My father had one with the sun, in sunglasses. Seemed appropriate, in context of the day. The red gingham might be culturally specific, but, you know, moths, the passage of time, and all that.