November 05, 2005

Friday lunch at the lake

Yesterday, classes were cancelled campus-wide for the holiday, so mid-morning I picked up my Smart Wonderful Beautiful Daughter and we took my parents to lunch. We drove out to BigLake, to a restaurant that has big windows overlooking the water. During my childhood, my Dad used to keep his sailboat on BigLake in the fall; we both reminisced about the many wonderful sails we had. This time of year, you can smell leaves burning and can hear the sound of a chainsaw as someone somewhere cuts firewood.

My wedding reception was at this restaurant, 21 years ago, on an August Day when the sky above the lake was a rare blue. My Dad and his friends provided the music, my youngest sister decorated the tables with flowers from my Mom's garden, and Blonde Sister made all the favors. Red-haired Sister was married on the lawn of the restaurant in front of the lake some years later. During the ceremony, my youngest sister sneaked around and handed guests bubble wands and bottles of soapy liquid. When Red-haired Sister turned with her new husband to walk up through the rows of chairs, the sky was filled with bubbles. She loved this wonderfully tacky surprise.

The restaurant was a bit crowded yesterday, so the owner ended up coming to take our orders. He and my father - old friends -- exchanged their usual jokes about the beer on tap. We ate slowly, talking the whole time. Daughter talked about her friends, her studies, and the next concert she was going to. ("Coheed and Cambria?" my father asked, incredulously, "That is the name of a band?" And he nearly spit out his beer when she said she had seen the Shins. "What a funny name.") Despite their shared love of music, the generation gap is apparent with grandfather and granddaughter talk. We talked about Daughter's plan to spend a semester in London. Twenty-five years ago, I spent a semester in London, and my parents came over to visit.

Daughter gave us what news she had heard from her cousins, SchoolTeacher Niece and Red-haired Niece. My mother repeated a conversation she had had that morning with Urban Sophisticate Sister. I told them I had given With-a-Why permission to play an online game that evening with Suburban Nephew, in honor of Suburban Nephew's birthday. My father commented that news travels so fast amongst the women in our family that by the time he tells anyone anything, it is always old news. Cell phones have only accelerated this process.

This morning, my mother called to say again how much she enjoyed the lunch. "Daughter is just the nicest young woman," she said, "Smart. Self-confident. Articulate. Poised. You could not ask for a nicer daughter." Of course, I agreed.

13 comments:

Running2Ks said...

Congrats on raising such a beauty. You have every reason to be proud.

Nothing like your parents telling you that, either ;)

Lilian said...

That was a wonderful lunch - one of the reasons I love to read about your experiences is that I also have a close-knit family, even though we don't live very close to each other right now :(

the very end had me sighing over here... about the daughter I don't have and probably won't have. I hate to feel this way, but I guess it's normal (given that I've always wanted to have a daughter). My mom-in-law had four boys, trying for the daugher, and they are *wonderful* boys too (I can't thank her enough for her eldest son :)

Rev Dr Mom said...

It sounds like a lovely day. But what was the holiday that merited classes being cancelled?

jo(e) said...

Classes were cancelled for Eid U-Fir. Maybe holiday isn't the right word. Holyday? The end of Ramadan, I think.

Songbird said...

jo(e), #1 Son is auditioning for a drama program in London next year. If they end up going at the same time, perhaps we can connect them.
I, too, love hearing about your family, close across generations.

Leslee said...

Oh, how I wish I could enjoy a lunch with my grandmother again. Precious Memories!

listmaker said...

I wish I had a close family. My kids don't even really know their first cousins and their grandfathers are both dead. Thanks for letting us share your family.

SuzanH said...

I feel so serene now.

Thanks.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

jo(e), I want to be you when I grow up.

Kathryn said...

ooh...2 revgalkids potentially in London next year,- just make sure you visit them, moms! I'd be thrilled to be a UK contact for either or both, if a friendly voice at the end of the phone might help at all. We're 2 hours from the big city here...

Marie said...

You're enough to make me wish I was close to my family. And that's saying something! Beautiful post.

Teri said...

What a wonderful post.

jo(e) said...

Kathryn: Oh, I will definitely visit my daughter when she is in London. We will have to plan a blogger meet-up!