Our summer vacation commenced on July 4 as we dashed out the door not looking back and remembering to bring Lou’s milk cup, which was left to fester in a sealed up apartment enveloped in full blazing NYC summer heat. We left Harlem behind for Los Angeles pastures including immediate cocktails and barbecued kalbi. It’s only in the summer that you work to keep yourself busy with such leisurely activities – making peach cobbler due to an abundance of mom’s garden grown peaches, swimming at the pool for a number of reasons and figuring out what the night’s drink will be to go with whatever’s being grilled. Lou has discovered the beauty of having space, a backyard and a vehicle. Staying with my parents is always (usually, no, for the most part 😉 ) a delight and there is no place like home like their backyard next to the hot grill and fire pit going on a 7th s’more.
My Gramps died on June 29, 2012 and my sister and I will always remember and laugh about how he used to take us to Fun Factory giving us $20 each for tokens and sitting for hours at the machine where you put the token in at the top hoping it will slide down strategically into the pile pushing tokens off the edge of the cliff, and how he used to take us shopping at Pearlridge mall or Ala Moana and hang outside the store smoking several of his Capri Slims, and how he would pay me $20 to either wash his car or sweep the 7-10 rocks that made their way on the sidewalk back to where they came from, and of course that one time when he took my neighborhood buddies and I, piled into the trunk of his white Mazda pickup, to Sports Authority so we could cash in a jar of pennies for a street hockey related item. He was always there for us whether we needed a ride somewhere or if the shaved ice truck made a spontaneous stop or if we needed a reminder that we needed to "study hard now." I'm glad this picture was taken and that we were able to see him one last time in January.