The highlight of our trip was, of course, visiting our son in his new home city. He lives in the latino neighbourhood of Bushwick, which is apparently so sparse for greenery that quite a few people stop in front of his rooming house to take photos of the teensy weensy, weedy, overgrown front "yard" and arbor trellis, where he and the other tenants are struggling mightily to get a rather sick and sad looking vine to grow over it. He finds it all quite amusing. He lives two blocks from the nearest subway station, and a rather nice little grocery store, so the convenience is fantastic for him.
His rooming house was built in 1905, a solid brick building with the two storeys divided into accommodation for 5 people. Each floor features a shared kitchen and the main floor where my son resides has a huge shared living room space. There is only one other person sharing his floor and kitchen (a gal he gets along with very well) so, since his own personal room is three times the size of his entire bachelor pad in Vancouver, he feels blessed beyond measure. He even has room to paint in there with the ten foot ceiling. The giant bay window gives him lots of space and light. I don't know when we have seen him in better accommodation and it is even relatively clean!! The Vancouver place was cheap and it looked like it, grossly filthy and filled with noisy tenants. We are happy to see him coming up in the world to some extent.
He was extremely disappointed that he ended up being called into work for 2 half days and 2 full days that he was supposed to have off to spend with us, BUT he knocked himself out to see us every single day of our visit. He was completely exhausted by the time we left. All the walking, bike riding and subway transit between his place, both his places of work and our place, on top of all the sightseeing we took him with us for, well....it was kind of funny that these two old geezers could leave him begging for a chance to sit down for a rest! He isn't even 40 yet, is in great physical condition from all the walking and biking he does in the course of a week, but the intense touring walks we dragged him on were more than he is used to. hahaha Good to know we are still as physically capable of walking long distances as we ever were! We can walk for at least two hours at a stretch without needing to sit down...a perfect skill for touring a big city!
Our son looks healthy, he is feeling stable and content. His work is taking too much time from promoting his art career so that he can afford to remain in his great accommodation, but he doesn't seem to mind. This is the exact extended break he has been needing for a very long time. With the current political situation south of the border he is no longer convinced he wants to renew his visa 18 months from now but will play it by ear when the time comes. We assured him that should he have to return to Canada at any point with no job yet lined up, he will be welcome to stay with us, wherever we may be by then, until he gets work and place sorted out for himself. I suspect the idea of living with his parents for more than a couple of weeks, for any reason, will be sufficient motivation to find a good situation for himself before he crosses back into his home country. hahaha
He has retained his pastor's heart in the midst of some grueling circumstances over the past few years. His heart and broad shoulders are still available to any of his friends and family who need to vent, cry or just want someone to be understanding of their plight. One of his Vancouver friends was there at the same time as ourselves, and we all got together one afternoon. She too is a helper personality and was in New York to help out a friend in need. It kind of shocked us though when our son told us we were to text him the moment we arrived home in Regina, no matter how late at night it might be, plus he texted us numerous times during our return trip to see if we were okay and if our planes were going out on time, had we gotten lost on our way to La Guardia, were we finding enough to eat after passing through security, etc. It was hilarious!
He has been in touch both days since we returned. Seeing each other again has been rejuvenating for all three of us. All of us are essentially "rootless" and have been for years, so it makes getting together for a few days very special. It is an "anchoring" kind of feeling.
We are all grateful this visit was possible and that all went so very well for the whole week. Thank you Lord, thank you praying family and friends!