We woke up in Burbank.
Why did my father ever drag us away from here?
This is what a roof looks like:
Notice there is nothing brown, no mosquitos, just tree, just leaves, just awesome.
I'd love to tell you what Punk did this morning, but my lips are sealed - legally, my lips are sealed, and so are his. I can say this much: it involves a mouse, it involves his favorite animated character since the age of three, and it was life changing. We were told that this has never happened before, he was the first, maybe the only, and it was an OMG three hours.
There are no pictures, except for this one when I got stuck trying to find my way out of the fabulous grounds:
We picked him up about 1:00 and headed down to Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame - just because that's what tourists do in Hollywood. Punk found The Scarecrow, and Speilberg, Kooka loved Michael Jackson (me too -and my hands fit!) and Yoda slept.
We only spent about 45 minutes downtown. As a whole, we are not too impressed random actors, but we do have a genuine level of respect for artists who can create a character that lasts for a century (Ray Bolger), create music that lasts for generations (M.J.), or films that transcend generations (Speilberg). So we paid our respects and headed north.
We were headed back to Uncle Brad, who was finally sprung from the hospital, back to cousins, back to Ventura, back to the only real thing I have left of my childhood.
When you only have that one person left, when everyone else who remembers the stories, the faces, the houses, the voices of the people you loved most, is gone there is a sense of urgency.
I need Punk and Kooka and Yoda to hear stories of their grandma, of their grandpa, of their mama. I need them to be with these cousins and realize that most of their crazy quirks are hereditary, and not a reflection of my stellar/flawed parenting. So Cal is where they were supposed to grow up, this is where they come from, this is who they are. They are the great grandchildren of the city mayor, the town jewelers, a watchmaker, and a lady of society. Their great-great grandpa was a barber with a hearty laugh and a sweet spot for goofy little kids. We ordered ice cream at the same Foster Freeze where grandma Terry got her first job. We collected shells where Grandma June and I used to walk hand in hand. we drove the same street where my dad won my mom in a radio contest (true story).
To them, Minnesota is home.
But this place is where it all began. It is all I know. It is what made their mother who she is for better or worse. It where I learned how to be a kid, and how to grow up, and how to cling to what's really important. I hope they are learning it too.
p.s. Still no real way to upload pictures, but when we find a way, I'll drop a bunch here.