I am back in California where the sky is blue and the clouds are high and white and somewhere someone is mowing their lawn. My daughter has graduated from Princeton. My son is down the hall calling me to see his photos of Belgium and Paris and my best friend's family. My daughter comes home tomorrow for 10 days before returning to New Jersey to start her new, actual, pays a salary, has health insurance, job. Amazing. I go in to work for a day before heading down to Santa Barbara for the weekend with my mother, her husband, my youngest sister, her husband, their three astonishing children and my son and daughter. My life is not without its troubles as we all have troubles but at this moment, sitting at my kitchen counter in the late afternoon light, I feel with full certainty that I am a very fortunate woman.
I have stories to tell. Graduation and thunderstorms and sun so pressing I had to retreat humbly to the shade. Dinner with my father's side of the family, in Northern New Jersey, drinks outside on a flagstone terrace, cheese and crackers served by people in white jackets, the table inside set with candelabras, and china that changed with the course, and centerpieces of wild brambly berries of some sort and trailing greenery falling out of small silver bowls.
But these can wait. I want you all to know that I am also a very fortunate woman in that I have you to listen to my stories. It is a privilege. I thank you.