going back | part two

We’re in Chico for the day, living a time warp and wondering who put our lives on super-speed.

After class, Gregg invited us to his home, a short walk through campus, past my dorm (1977, Whitney Hall, fourth floor), the rushing creek…gosh, this is a beautiful place.  I remember days like this, when it was so warm and green,  and the frisbees were flying, it was physically painful to leave the sunshine and go into class.

Gregg and Phyllis live on the lovely street (they’re all lovely, but this one is really lovely), and moved their old home to a family orchard and built an incredible, light-filled, design-inspired home that is just breathtaking and comfortable at the same time. It has a subtle sense of humor to it (matching Gregg’s I think). There is a Braille wall. In butter yellow.

We visited and shared more stories and ate cheese and swatted mosquitos. I even felt a little bit like a grown up (not that much though).

We finally left around 5:30, because I had one more thing I really, really wanted to do.

We drove through downtown, which looked more like downtown Eugene or San Luis Obispo (both great downtowns, by the way) than our Chico, and found our way to our first home at 7th and Orient. It was a little ragged, but we were happy to pass by on our way to the park.  THE PARK. Bidwell Park, where we were married in 1979, at Cedar Grove. With daisies and dogs and friends and family and a bluegrass band (8th Avenue String Band) and five kegs of Sierra Nevada beer. Guitars and a homemade altar and a nervous groom and an excited bride. Volleyball and water balloons and carrot cake and a really, really, really hot day. And this tree.

Steve and I walked to the tree and pondered how it got so big and old so fast. We looked around and Steve pointed out where each event was, and we agreed that it was a pretty darn good wedding. It did seem to have some magical staying power (hope I didn’t just jinx it).

We drove home in silence again, on the back roads, as the sun set over the fields. Every once in a while, one of us would say, “wow, that was a really nice day.”

And so it was.


About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
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