Thursday, December 22, 2022

50 Years

It was a glorious day on Mt. Tam with my wife, two daughters and two grandchildren. We bundled up for the cold, but the sun came out and warmed us as we hiked 8 miles round-trip to the West Point Inn. A place alive with echoed memories of the retreats we took there with four other families. Those retreats began in the mid-80’s, our snow trips to the Sierras. Some skied, some snowshoed, some sledded and all of us gathered around roaring fires made merry by hot cider, delicious dinners and endless games of Hearts, jigsaw puzzles, chess games. So it continued year after year until the y2k scare of 2000 (remember that?) and then the little kids now in college and spread out far and wide. Perhaps we did another four or five years after that in the snow with whoever was available, but then switched to the closer, less cold and less expensive West Point Inn. Now with kids of the kids and the same traditions continuing— and the same people winning in Hearts! Up until 2017 or so.


Regardless, simply seeing the cozy big room in the Inn evoked all those memories and happily so. I think we all hope to reunite there again some day. As the song says, “Through the years, we all will be together, if the Fates allow…”


Zadie and Malik were great hikers, happy to be outside looking out over the whole Bay Area, playing horseshoes outside the Inn after lunching at the picnic tables and even a rare moment of them walking back together happily, Zadie telling Malik a story and no fight in sight! 


Coming home over the Golden Gate Bridge, I remember the first time I ever crossed that bridge and set foot in my future home. It was the summer of 1972, riding in a VW bug with my sister, brother-in-law and my sister’s friend, having driven clear across the country. And in thinking about that, it struck me forcefully— 1972. 2022. 50 years since I first came to San Francisco! A half a century! How can that be? I mean, really, how can that be?!!


But hey, I’ll take it! This city that stole my heart and still does, while also breaking it (homelessness, Sales Force Tower, another store or favorite restaurant closed). For some 50 years the Fates have allowed us to be together and though I can’t say, “Here’s to 50 more!” I can express gratitude for each and every one of them that has passed and each and every one still to come.


And so I do. Thank you. 

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