Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Walk with Mom

First, I want to welcome myself back to my blog. I was unusually busy the last half of 2010 with work. Then The Stumbling Mother suddenly became ill, and passed away after 5 long weeks in the hospital. My life is slowly returning to normal, and it is time for blogging to resume. I will start off by posting a short memory I wrote about Mom back on the New Years Day weekend.

I decided to get some culture this weekend. There was an exhibit at a museum which interested me, so I took off towards downtown on this clear, crisp first day of 2011. In the back of my mind, I heard my Mother teasingly scolding me for living in a city full of galleries and museums but rarely visiting them. But surely she was happy that I was going to a museum, relaxing and taking a break from work. I walked around searching for the museum (there are dozens and dozens in this area, so it can be a search). Again my Mother was with me, as I recalled her spotting a small sign in this very area, "Silk Road Museum, 300m". She just had to visit, no matter that the 300m was entirely uphill. We had better luck on that day compared to today - at least the Silk Road Museum was open. This museum I tried to visit today was closed. I don't know if it was becase of New Years Day, or because the exhibit was not yet open. Not to get too discouraged, I stopped at a coffee shop and regrouped. Sipping my coffee, I remembered just how fun that unexpected 300m uphill walk turned out. The tiny museum featured relics collected along the silk road, collected by the owner herself. We were the only visitors, and received a personal tour by the owner. She even served us hot tea. These unplanned stops can be as rewarding or more so than the planned ones.

I then decided to take a random detour to nearby Insadong. Took a stroll up and down the artsy (and touristy) street, and once again I could hear my Mother shouting at me to wait up, while she went shopping at the 15th pottery store of the day. I passed a store displaying the beautiful long scroll paintings, just like Mom brought back to America to adorn her walls. Next on the street I saw the old tea shoppe sign. Again I was hearing my Mother as she insisted that we stop there, because her friend Tom had told her this tea shoppe had monkeys. None of us believe her story, until we finally asked the owner, whose face lit up when she told us that not only did they used to have monkeys, but racoons as well! We never should have doubted you, Mom. Then I passed the silly oil-can-man, who had posed for a photo with me and Bill while Mom snapped the picture.

Finally for dinner I ate at a Vietnamese restaurant, and ordered the rice paper wraps (lots of chopped vegies which you wrap in rice paper and then dip in sauce). As they brought out the food, I heard Mom telling me how delicious it looked, and how were were planning to enjoy this very meal together on her next trip so Seoul. I thought to myself, "Mom, you won't be able to visit Seoul anymore". But then I realized, she had been visiting with me all day.

Thanks, Mom, for joining me on this first day of 2011. I love you.

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