Adventures With Mom
To be honest, I can’t remember for sure what year it was, but sometime between 1983 and 1987 my mom and I embarked on a special trip to Seattle.
In my school years we had gone there many times on the Greyhound bus (you know, back when it was more safe and they were cleaner) to visit my grandparents that lived in an apartment on Spring Street.
In fact, one time Mom and I took a notion to ride over from Seattle to Bremerton on the ferry. While we were in the waiting area I decided to take a look at the various travel brochures in order to kill some time. I turned around just in time to see a man gently guiding my mom off to some other part of the ferry terminal! I didn’t even have time to think, I just took a few quick strides over to Mom’s other arm and said, “Where are you going?” She said the guy wanted to ‘show her something‘. I don’t even want to think about what that something was! My mom was obviously very trusting. I knew from that moment on that our roles were reversing and I would be looking out for her just as much as she did for me.
At the Mayflower Park Hotel
Back to the original story though. In the 1980’s period I mentioned, I was probably in my mid-30’s so that would make Mom in her 50’s. I thought she was old at the time, but now that I’m going to turn 59 this year, she was just a spring chicken.
Mom and I had planned our visit to Seattle because she wanted to go back to see her parent’s old home on Queen Anne Hill just one more time. I was reluctant, but she insisted, and so that was the main goal for one of our days.
We were staying at the Mayflower Park Hotel on this visit, and we enjoyed our room with the old tile work and porcelain fixtures in the bathroom. It was like being transported back in time to my mom’s era when she was a young woman living in Seattle. We even treated ourselves to a morning ritual of tea and coffee with rolls brought by room service. I never knew what a hottel of tea was before that trip! Did you know they’re called a hottle?
If you look at the rooms for the hotel now, they seem bright and cheery, but I remember them as dark and cozy, with sounds of traffic and pedestrians hustling to and from work wafting up to our seventh floor room. My memory is always connected to aromas and smells too, and since this was before the hotel was completely remodeled, it had the air of old wood, a slight mustiness, and that mysterious sweet smell that conjures up visions in the mind of romantic liasons or secret rendezvous.
Another Two Ride The Bus
Mom convinced me that she knew the bus routes and which one to take, so after a nice breakfast in the hotel cafe, we hopped on the city bus and set out for 2466 4th North. I thought we were just going to go look at the house and then come back on the bus, but as it turned out the owners were having a new bathtub installed that day and the workers were hauling it in through the upstairs window. Mom, bold woman that she was, went to the door and explained that the house had belonged to her parents at one time and that she had been married there in front of the marble fireplace in the living room. (This was all news to me!).
Astonishingly, they let us in and Mom and I made a quick dash up the stairs to her old room. She must have been in nostalgia heaven that day as she walked around the rooms and thought of happy times there. She related stories from the 1940’s that included Mrs. Silverstone, a lady that my grandma Eppie (Lillian Vera Epstein Moline) had worked for as a private nurse. Mrs. Silverstone had even attended the wedding of my parents on February 5, 1944. At the time, I think it was all lost on me, the significance of being in the home where my mom and dad got married, her days of waiting for letters home from my dad when he was in New Caledonia, but I’m so glad I made that trip down memory lane with my mom. I know it made her very happy at the time. Thanks Mom! I miss you!
Joan Moline Yates