Summer is saying, “So far nothing odd has happened today for you to write about in your blog, Mom.”
And, then it happens.
The three of us are playing hooky from our regular lives, today. We’ve come to Balboa Park to give my granddaughter Lexi, who is 10, some museum culture. Lexi has been badgering us for months, to take her to see the “Naked Neanderthal men at the History Museum.”
I’ve thought she might be disappointed. In America, nobody has genitals in these kinds of places. It’s just not done. This may be why the Neanderthals died out.
The cavemen are indeed a disappointment.
Next, we have lunch outside at a fancy place on the Park grounds. While looking at the menu, Summer says, “Lexi will have a big Margarita.”
Lexi snaps to attention and gets excited.
“Oh wait,” her mother says, ” I was thinking about myself, not you Lexi. Sorry.”
Lexi slumps in her chair and peers at her dismal glass of water.
So far, nothing *FOD has happened.
As we get up from our table after lunch, we notice small white hearts encased in tiny plastic snack baggies, on the ground.
We gather up as many as we can. They’re beautiful! What are they?
Nobody knows. We ask…but nobody knows. Not even the waiters or the hosts, or the busboys.
We begin climbing the stone stairs out of the patio, stooping to marvel at and collect more little hearts in tiny bags.
We’re saying things like, “Aren’t they darling, they must be seeds, but it’s so much like they are in little plastic bags, what are they?”
A man coming up the steps behind us overhears and says, “They’re seeds from the cherry trees in the Japanese Garden behind us. I know because I’ve just come from Japan and these hearts are blowing everywhere.”
How lovely. But, still…not so FOD.
“Let’s go to the museum,” I say, ” with the drawings by the man who didn’t start his art until he was 80. He’s famous now, of course but he’s long dead. The usual run for an artist.”
We choose to take the flower path that no one else is traveling. We want to gaze into flower faces.
“Why is it,” Summer asks, “that most people miss so much beauty around them. They don’t even see it, like the little white hearts.”
The three of us are tripping along the tiny grass strip by the iceland poppies. Summer is saying, “I want to take the kids to Spain. It’s so beautiful, I want them to see it.”
“I want to go with you,” I say. “When I travel in other countries, I can eat all their food and never get sick. That’s because they don’t have all the additives in their food that America has.”
“Yes! In Spain they eat the healthy Mediterranean Diet!” says Summer.
And then it happens. The FOD.
An older man has been behind us apparently, because suddenly he jumps ahead of us, turns to us and says, “The Mediterranean Diet?! Ah yes, I’ve just been to Spain!”
He commences to tell us the best place to go in Spain, where to stay and where to eat.
“It’s the most beautiful place in Spain, my ex-wife has a hotel there. You must tell her Denny sent you.”
Summer takes notes.
We chat for a bit and then the man is off to wherever he’s headed.
Summer and I look at each other.
“This is weird,” we say.
“You’re just talking about wanting to go to Spain and the Mediterranean Diet and here comes this man out of nowhere to tell you where to go,” I say.
Summer agrees, it’s very strange.
“And guess what else,” she says, “We’re hoping to take the kids to Japan…and what was the last hour all about? Little Japanese cherry seeds and then we meet a man coming up the steps behind us… who has just come from Japan and explains what they are! It looks like Japan and Spain are in my future.”
And, I’m thinking, I’m hoping that maybe another fellow will come along in the next few days or weeks, come up behind Summer, tap her on the shoulder and say, “Take your Mother.”
*FOD: A term that Lexi coined several years ago. She said to me, “BaBa, whenever I go someplace with you, fun odd things always happen. We always have FODS! Fun Odd Days.”
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