Evelyn: It has been a busy week. I get home several hours later than usual. Down tumbles "the Kid," "Let's play chess, mom." We pop in some frozen meals. I hate frozen meals. I hate chess, I can't see beyond my current and possible next move. But Justin gives me pointers, "What would YOU do, Kid, if you were on my side of the board?" And off he goes with several possibilities that it makes my tired head spin. Next thing I know I have him in a slight quandary. He takes longer to think on it, and I am secretly wondering if he is letting me win, or pure LUCK got me here. My confidence grows, I look at his mane of hair, his thinking eyes, and I love him so much that I play chess. Three more moves, and I am done. My king is defeated. I smile and I announce, "I hate chess!" Yet, he will tumble down again the next time, and I will sit and drink him in, and play a game.
Monica: Most weekends, we head to Sacramento to indulge ourselves in the simple pleasures of city life--restaurants, movies, shops, and museums. We go to the city to get away, whereas most people come to our hot springs resort in the middle of nowhere to get away from the noise and haste of modern living. I need a dose of noise and haste to keep me balanced. This weekend, we discovered a park (Discovery Park, actually) at the confluence of the Sacramento & American rivers. It was a warm summer evening and families were loading up their picnics and their boats after a fun-filled day in the sun. We watched the sky turn to dusk as innumerable skunks scavenged for scraps by the overflowing garbage cans. The evening felt peaceful and the wide expanse of the rivers reminded me of my little town of Fuling in China, where I lived at the junction of the Yangtze and Wu rivers.