Walking a downtown street on Sunday, my child bride and I passed, for the umpteenth time in the past 13 years, the hotel where my mother and sister stayed during their visit in 2000. I stayed there too because I was still living in the state capital 40 minutes away at that time.
It was their first and final trip over the Rio Bravo, and the only time I’ve had family members visit. That’s not quite as bad as it sounds because I only have three blood relatives. We are not prolific people, which is probably for the best.
My mother referred to us as peculiar, but she was thinking of my father’s folks, not hers. She was correct, and the four of us still breathing are peculiar indeed.
The visit went as well as could be expected. My mother was 81 and feeble, and couldn’t get around very well. My sister, as she has been for over 30 years, was irascible. So the visit for me was challenging, but I survived.
As I said, I have passed this hotel where we stayed countless times, but I had never walked into the lobby and out onto the rear patio since that faraway time in 2000. The view from that patio is spectacular, and this is it.
My wife and I stepped out there Sunday and, by chance, I had my camera.
Most of the rooms of the small hotel abut the patio, and I looked at the door of the room where I stayed, my sister’s room, and the room where my mother slept. We rented separate rooms because we are separate people.
My mother lived nine more years, dying at 90. My sister remains in Atlanta and is as irascible as ever. My aunt lives on an island off the coast of Maine. She is, if memory serves, 87. My daughter and her husband live in Athens.
Georgia, not Greece.
And I live here. On top of the world.