May 14, 2009

My parents in the art museum

My parents

When I was a senior in high school and complaining about going on a summer vacation with my parents (since it meant leaving behind my friends at home for a whole week), my mother said to me, dramatically: “This might be the last vacation you ever take with us.” She said it again the next year, and the next.

Thirty years later, I am STILL taking vacations with my parents.

We arrived yesterday in Big City Like No Other, just in time for a late afternoon walk by the river. We’re staying with Urban Sophisticate Sister, who claims to be thrilled to have her parents and older sister staying in her one-room efficiency. Red-haired Niece stopped after work to say hello, and then we went to the local Thai restaurant for a great meal.

This morning, the weather forecast for City Where You Can Get Great Vegetarian Food Everywhere included a prediction of rain. So we spent the morning in Huge Art Museum, a place whose permanent collection includes over two million pieces of art. We saw famous paintings and gorgeous pottery and Eyptian tombs and stained glass windows and lots of naked stone statues.

When we needed to rest, we went to my favorite spot: a huge room with a slanted wall of windows, shallow reflecting pools, and a sandstone temple from Egypt. “Watch,” I said to my parents. “Everyone wants a photo in front of the temple.”

Sure enough, a young couple stopped on the steps of the temple to pose for a photo. Then a family group came by, and the mother took a picture of her three kids in front of the sandstone. Then a bunch of schoolkids came through, all making faces and silly gestures as they snapped photos. Every minute, someone was taking someone’s photo in front of this old Egyptian temple.

“Here’s a whole group who are going to stand in the doorway of the temple for a photo,” said my Dad. As he watched the tourist flurry of photography, and my mother looked at the museum map to plan our next move, I took THEIR photo.


Magpie said...

i once walked through the park during a blizzard and watched the snow cascade down the outside of that slanted window like a waterfall. it was mesmerizing.

Songbird said...

Love this.

Zach said...

As children sometimes my sister and I would whine on the long (11 hrs) car trip to visit our grandparents, and my mother would say fiercely, "This may be the last (summer vacation/Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter) you spend with your grandparents and you WILL appreciate them." She ended up saying it, eventually as little jokingly, for the next 15 years until my grandparents did pass away.
And of course, I do appreciate all that time we spent with them.

YourFireAnt said...

This is a beautiful post, Jo(e).


word verif: fictici. A new genre.

Cranky Old Man said...

Late again, but I had to note that this was a standard comment for a long time in my family. “This may be the last ….we will have with Farmore” Insert any holiday.

It was easy to believe, she looked like she was at deaths door since I was a kid.

She did die, at 97, after she buried her son, my father. She outlasted them all.

We like to say we have good stock in the family; my sister just has passed her flight physical as a pilot at 75.

adjunct whore said...

they are very sweet looking.