All the girls were at the table, we all sat under the setting sun on a Wednesday afternoon with cocktails coming and going. Menus set aside, we were here for one thing and that was to get this Independence Day weekend started – on a Wednesday! With two cold beers in front of me in animated suspension waiting for the busied barkeep to mix our oldest girls drink I waited so we could all enjoy a beautiful toast to once again being with each other, the first since Memorial Day weekend and our appearance on The Ellen Show. ¶ As Taylor’s margarita arrived I started the toast and Bonnie looked down at the inside of my forearm to find three lengthy streaks of blood from what appeared to be scratch marks. Having no idea where these came from we continued with the toast, raised those potent potables to hear the glasses talk to each other and we consumed. ¶ Aaah, what a great way to start the weekend with all the girls sitting at the table where fun, frolic and festivity filled the air. After the first beer was knocked back it dawned on me where those scratches on my arm came from, to which is exactly how the past five days began. ¶ Flying into SFO from LAX is truly a piece of cake, a fifty minute flight, barely enough time to get all settled in before you’re being told to straighten your chairs in the upright position, etc., etc. Arriving in SFO at 4:05 gave me just enough time to rescue my checked bag from the carousel and hustle outside to meet the Airporter Express for a relaxing ride home. The Airporter really does their best to get you to your destination on time, but … they are no match for the traffic in San Francisco this day. I learned the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system employees had been on strike the past three days causing all kinds of transportation problems and the bus driver did the best he could to scheme his machine across the city, over the Golden Gate Bridge pointing north, though we were there with the masses on Hwy 101 finally reaching the Sonoma County Fair Grounds in Petaluma around 6:45 … the sun was still plenty high in the sky, and the visual of my bride waiting in the parking lot with a handful of others brought back so many memories of her on the pier so many times, so many years ago. Nothing really changes but the geography and I am one lucky son of a gun … that’s all I can say. ¶ We bounded out of the parking lot and headed for one of our many favorite watering holes with Logan in the front seat and this is where the adventure began. ¶ Since I’ve been gone, downtown Petaluma has undergone a few changes in curbside parking due to the repaving of Petaluma Blvd. The previous three lanes of traffic have now been reduced to one on each side with a suicide lane in the middle, I probably would not have paid much attention to it all until Bonnie found a premium parking spot and she slowed down, put on her directional indicating she’d be needing some room to parallel park, etc., etc. ¶ We all had our windows down due to the great weather, and because of this we heard the driver in the car behind my bride yell “MOVE YOUR ASS!” … ¶ I assumed this tool believed his inappropriate language at my wife was going to speed things along, mind you there’s never any real hurry in this town anyway, so I’ve never understood the reason for this kind of behavior, and since I was there anyway, I thought I’d teach him a lesson on how NOT to act from behind the wheel. ¶ My little girl knows her dad well enough and I could hear her saying “No Dad, no, stay in the car!” … Bonnie also pleaded with me, but … I only assumed he was talking to me, so I acknowledged his request and moved my ass like I was coming over the boards in a power play situation. Based on the surprised look on his face when I was now inches from his window it was safe to assume I was not the intended recipient of his less than gracious request. ¶ Traffic was now stopped and backed up a couple hundred yards during this one-sided counseling session, and as I watched Bonnie perfectly maneuver her car into the spot, I remained at his door curious if he had any further requests. Turns out he did not. ¶ After that first beer I replayed that scene in my head and now remember Bonnie grabbing my forearm with her fingernails while I exited the car. Six days later those scratches remain as a wonderful visual of how this Independence Day weekend all started!
Keeping her close …