Sunday, December 16, 2007

November Train Trip - Part I .................. The Destination

~The Reason for My Trip~ Click on any photo to enlarge - all © 2007 jim otterstrom

This handsome fellow is Levi, he's 10 months old, and the much adored son of Norene and Andrew. I am part of their extended family and this was my first chance to meet Levi.

I rode the Amtrak Coast Starlight up to Jack London Square in Oakland, where Norene picked me up. Then I spent 10 fleeting days at their comfy home visiting as much as possible amidst the demanding schedules of two very busy new parents.

Levi Playing With Mom Norene and Levi play on the rug as, Skinny, one of the family cats, reads the mail.

Levi's Proud Papa Andrew is a devoted husband and loving father, and a first rate drummer too, I might add. I took this picture as he and I were heading out on one of our many morning walks.

~And Levi Again~ I think Levi most resembles his mother, except when he makes certain facial expressions.

I see Andrew in his smile.

And once more... Levi is very friendly and easy going. He's a lot of fun to be around and loves having his picture taken.

~Another Family Member~ Mister Peepers

Mr. Peepers & Skinny used to rule the roost at Norene & Andrew's place, until Levi came along, but they've had to make a few adjustments lately!

Aliens Saying Goodbye?
You really should click on this photo to enlarge it!

This may look like two alien cats in need of exorcism, but I think they were actually saying goodbye, or perhaps they just wanted to make sure I was really leaving.

The photo was taken early the morning of November 15th, the day I had to catch the train south. I had just brought my packed bags downstairs and sat down to have a cup of tea.

These two have been very aloof the few times we've met but they warmed up to me, ever so slightly, during this visit.

Skinny actually sat in my lap for a 15 minute petting session, and Mr. Peepers allowed me to be in close proximity for extensive picture taking.
Andrew, Norene, and Levi
I miss you guys...

And your weird cats too...
And even your alien sea-level plants!
Some of them are fascinatingly bizarre, like this potted succulent in the back yard.

And Some Of Them Are Seductively Beautiful... this Orange Clockvine twining up Norene's garden fence.

But most of all...
... I miss moments like this

But my time there was over. Ten days had flown by in a blur of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, fixing cars, doctor visits, household chores, running errands, walking, talking, playing, and visiting Levi's pre-school. All the things that define the life of a young family in a fast moving world.

And, by now, I was homesick for my wife, my dog, and my cats. Homesick James!

And they missed me too!

My own life, my home, gardens, and chickens needed my attention.

~It was time to catch my train~


The photo of Norene below was accidently deleted as this was being posted so I added it as a separate post.

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Blogger Deb said...

Jim- it's so wonderful to see your beautiful extended family. Although it must have been a bittersweet trip.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


Lots more sweet than bitter even if I rarely get to spend time with Norene, Andrew, and now Levi.

10:01 AM  

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