I'm home for the weekend, celebrating my brother's graduation from UC Davis, Father's Day, and a college friends' wedding. I haven't been home since Christmas, and have spend less than half a dozen days in Casa Navarro in the past year.
Being back here is filled with both nostalgia and discovery. Visual and aural cues whisk me back to younger days. While additions and changes are more prevalent and will likely continue to be that way.
My bedroom would looks more like a female gardener's den. I count five fake potted plants. At least 11 pillows with some sort of floral design. A matching bedspread, area rug, a butterfly lamp, and metal thermometer in the shape of a flower.
The multi-colored portable lawn chairs have faded, but still take me back to little league games. Sitting in the teal, orange, pink chairs meant warm summer days, corn nuts, and grass stains.
The pool vacuum has been turned on and a symphony ensues. The glugging of occasional air pockets through pipes in the corner of the backyard. The web of pumps and valves humming low. Trickling water falling from the spa to the pool.
Back to my bedroom for a moment. The Autumn I left for Saint Mary's was a year of remodeling at home. New floors, new paint, new windows, the works. Included in the remodeling was my brother commandeering my former room because it had a cable hookup. In the past five years, I've had the urge to walk into my old room as if it were my current. Still do.
The remodel still throws me for a loop sometimes. It's a trip to walk in and see wood flooring and plantation shutters.
Gone is the Ford Bronco. It was the car I learned to drive in, was my car through high school, and helped me escort several young women on dates. I had a special connection with that car-- there was a stamp on the engine block saying: "Paint OK 2/4/88." We share the same birthday.
In it's place a 2012 Ford Focus. A rocketship of a car. Kevin bought it to replace the aging Bronco. A sporty, silver, sleek 4-door. Proud of him for being able to buy a new car and choosing a winner.
Just spotted a sixth fake potted plant in my room. But this one's different. The flower is one my grandfather's trademark wooden flowers. The flower is orange and black sitting on top of a faux grass in a pot that says "World Champs S.F. Giants."
There's something else different about this potted plant-- it's also a picture frame. The picture shows a family decked in black and orange at AT&T Park. They're smiling at the camera.
Concealed behind all the changes is something that hasn't.