Listening to every heart
[Note...this will catch all up onto my last day in CA...but there is a poem that ties up the ending very well...entitled "View from the airport carpet…"
10-05-04 4:00 a.m.
It is so easy to slide through a vacation, albeit trying to capture every moment. Oct 4 slipped away so fast. Yvonne and I woke up relatively early [early for Yvonne – I am still on KS time]. I went downstairs for Y’s café latte and a cup of coffee for me. Upon return, and four sips later, the latte was deemed undrinkable, so the search for a Starbucks was on. We showered, dressed, and packed efficiently and quickly. The café jitters were starting to get to Y.
After a bit of dickering over our bill [no major problems – it was just that my ISP provider gave me an out-of-town number which was “local” but still incurred long distance costs…some questioning by me of “how is one to know, when dialing a “9” to get an outside line, a local number placed, and no operator’s canned voice coming on saying, “dial 1” or “add area code” to provide fair warning that the number dialed is actually another town’s number…and I got the $150 phone bill down to $35. As the techno-age wears on, we continue to learn more and more… So the secret is – check the phone number prefix in any local phone book to see if that is one that is actually in the town you are staying in. Simple as silk on glass.
Car packed, motor running, latte-starved, we were on the great search for the Starbucks downtown. After obtaining her “café latte, lo-fat, no foam” drink, my friend went from “do you want nice, or do you want me?” stage of her morning and we proceeded on to a Baker’s Square restaurant for breakfast. I normally never eat breakfast on a weekday…except when traveling.
Breakfast was great…probably because we were both just plain hungry after the long weekend. A lot of emotion had been spent, and it was a feeling of natural refueling to tackle the forthcoming week. As I had purchased a few small things, I needed to “lighten my load” so we proceeded on to a pack and mail place to ship some stuff back home. MUCH less expensive than paying over-weight charges at the airport!
Yvonne took me on to the Enterprise office and I picked up a Chevy Malibu. Not too shabby…an upgrade because I arrived early and their “intermediate” size car had not yet been returned. [Car? Yep…still a “small town”]. However, driving around my old stomping grounds by myself, and later with my cousin, showed me that in essence, CA greed has remained unchanged. If there is a chance to take a small spot, build an overpriced, albeit cheaply built home and ask for an outrageous sales price, then it WILL happen.
My cousin proceeded to explain that salaries here – in the blue collar jobs especially, are not much more or about the same as mid-west salaries/compensation. And yet, these homes range in price from 3 to 10 times more than what the rest of the nation pays. It is simply amazing. It never used to be this bad…or at least, if it was, back in the 40’s and later 50’s, I was simply not aware of it. The building market was never this outrageous some 20 years ago. Or this spread out! The sugar beet fields are gone. There are still some strawberry fields, yes, but the “agri” sense of my hometown is gone.
My cousin further explained that people “live on” credit cards. We’re not talking about high-spenders, or irresponsible folk. They simply cannot survive any other way, if not for the credit that you and I work so hard to maintain.
I may have said it earlier, but it’s worth repeating…about the only thing that has stayed the same are the street names.
While showing my cousin’s husband some photos on my computer, and showing some nature shots of Kansas and its’ weather, he commented…”we never see skies like that” and I was struck anew of the rainbow skies under which I reside. No…they never see a sunset of pinks, golds, mauves and purples, nor reddish-orange/royal purple, dark skies like I see come over us. At least, not in all areas of CA…we are that far south that the haze of smog has even overtaken our small, once clean, valley air.
“Your skies are so crisply blue…” as he observed fall pictures of golden cottonwoods and azure skies.
Yes, they are.
10-05-04, and it’s not quite 5:00 a.m. here on the west coast. I cannot seem to get off of Kansas time, which overall is ok, the shock won’t be quite so great once I return. When a person gets to this age, some bodily functions just won’t stand much adaptation, and if I were to push it to fit this time zone, there would probably be a price to pay, physically, when I return home. So…go with the flow.
Today I will leave for the southern climes of CA…and take my time in getting to Camarillo. If I see some place that I want to stop…then I’m stopping. Whatever comes my way…will be explored. We always say, “oh, we should have stopped…that would have been a great photo opportunity.”
The opportunities are splayed before me today…
Time spent alone, contemplating, can be good for one’s soul. Won’t go into the details now, but my alone time in Camarillo was well worth that singular day which gave me much to think about. Everyone should experience a bit of time like that to themselves; whether it be through reading, or writing; sitting alone in the quiet, or listening to music. Feel the time around you – let it be your friend, and embrace it thoroughly. Look into the eyes in the shadows of your soul, and do not fear them. Look back on the memories of your life, acknowledge all – feats, fears, wrong-doings, and especially the things you’ve done well. All of this is the makeup of your mentality, and your well-being. Accept, as they say, what you cannot change, and change that which you can.
Change is good…
Wednesday found me following a dear cousin’s suggestion…instead of going on Hwy 101 toward LA, I went west on Los Posos Road, but MISSED the slight turn of the road [it was 6:00 a.m., heavy fog, and still quite dark!] I ended up at the guards’ shack on the outskirts of Port Hueneme…and immediately began to pull out my driver’s license and roll down the window…I’ve been lost before, and knew what to expect. The guard was very kind, having been in my neck of the woods during his growing up time…and asked if I knew where certain places were in location to my town of Salina. Oh yes! We enjoyed a nice chat, and he guided the “lovely lady” around, pointed her in the right direction, and returned my license. For being such an early hour of the day, he was in a wonderful mood…
I followed Route 1 then, the “scenic” route of the California highway system, and enjoyed the ride immensely. Got out onto one of the camping beaches before sunrise, and just listened. For those of you who are landlocked and never hear the real sound of the ocean, I am only sorry that I cannot give you that joyful sound. Any recorded ocean sounds are only good for “so long”, or are repetitive, and you can hear the small “click” and recognize the waves of before. Such is not the way it is with the ocean. There is no repetition…each wave crashes upon itself in various sounds…and all of them are good…
Later in the morning I arrived at my aunt and uncle’s home in the LA area, and spent a few hours there. My grandmother woke enough to not only recognize me, but speak to me as well. She is failing fast, and it will be a blessing to all when she does decide to let go. This lovely person I held hands with is not the person even she would recognize. I doubt she has seen a mirror in a couple of years…she is waiting to die. Hopefully, now that she saw her first-born granddaughter, she will let go, God willing.
That afternoon, I headed north/north-west…and with a little help from a flower-girl via cell phone, found my way to Martie and Taylor’s home. And what a home! Warmth, comfort, and love felt like the vines and vast shrubs and flowers that lead you into their home. Eclectic is another word we can ascribe to Martie and Taylor now…with all things bearing some deeply rooted feeling or memory. What a thrill it was to be with them for two nights and a full day!
Our first night together found Taylor “holding his own” with his chemo treatments! You go, Taylor! They invited me to join them at one of their favorite restaurants, where it was two bottles of wine for the price of one! Well, that is yet another of the “good deals” I’ve run across on this journey [and if I have missed sharing several of my good deals and marvelous fortunes, I’ll get back to them some day…] The dinner was excellent, and we ate out on the patio in the open air. It is easy to see that Taylor’s floral business makes him quite well known in the area…there wasn’t a stranger to be found, and vocal greetings floated across the air with almost every bite of food we took. Glendora is a wonderful, small community, nestled at the foothills of Michelle’s Mountain. Due to caution, the hills were closed to travelers…it is fire season. So, no hike up the hills this time, but perhaps…
Next time. Right, Martie? And Taylor…you keep that wonderful spirit of yours UP!
On Thursday, Martie and I spent some wonderful time together, and we did a bit of housecleaning, then fed the birds, dog, and cat, and even fed the stray peacock that Martie has taken in. Oh, I must mention Taylor’s having found a young pigeon, as well, that fell out of its nest. You can only guess who was raising this bird, named Bird, to fledgling status, and when I left, it was all but ready to take on the world, on it’s own. Go, Bird!
A couple of poets were able to come and meet up with us in the Fullerton Arboretum…what a delightful day! I was introduced to Martie’s fall-up leaf tree…I even got to sit on Martie’s special bench. If you want a relaxed, laid-back time…and you’re in the Glendora area, call on Taylor and Martie…they will show you a home that is filled with love.
On Friday morning, Martie and I scrambled some words. She also scrambled breakfast, and what a great meal that was. I found out just how much we are alike, which pleased me even more. It is pleasing to know that the “sisterhood” between Martie and I only strengthened in real time. I left some words behind with her, which I understand she added to…and I am looking forward to seeing that poem, and how it turned out.
I then took leave of Martie and Taylor on Friday morning around 9:00 a.m. or so…and leaned back into the car and let it guide me home to Santa Maria.
The trip “home” to Santa Maria was probably much of what homing pigeons experience. Set your nose in the right direction, and you are there. It seemed that short of a drive. My family, being the kind they are, left a door open for me. I ‘netted for a short while, knowing that my ISP service is not what it is cracked up to be…and any “local” number isn’t necessarily local. When my cousins arrived home, we had a wonderful dinner with plenty of drinks to go around…and all hit the hay early in order for me to be transported to San Luis Obispo at o-dark-thirty Saturday morning.
Saturday morning, October 9, 2004…
I am typing this as I sit in the Phoenix airport. I tried calling my adopted sis…but she is not in. Ah well. You will have to bear the brunt of the story. My SLO flight was cancelled because the overnight incoming flight was cancelled due to … fog. All of the passengers that were to have boarded that flight were “courteously” bussed down to Santa Barbara…a 90-minute drive. Once at the SB airport, they inserted my name in backwards [go figure] and had me waiting in SB until 3:35 PST. HUH?
Not fair! I was already in line, so proceeded to show the very nice young man ALL of my information and that is when he found the goof…but he couldn’t let me on until all other passengers who were “goofless” had boarded…he would call “standby” and that would be my cue.
I cued in all right…and still can’t leave Phoenix until 5:34 p.m. tonight. It is now 12:35 p.m. Phoenix time, so I am quite sure I will not be one of the harried passengers that will be running down my plane. What an opt time to finish my book, except this floor is exceptionally hard. That’s right. No on-line connection, but an electrical plug under the phone lines, so…I’m recharging my phone battery while catching up on my journal. Never leave a moment to waste. I MAY have to buy another book, however, because my four-hour flight home is going to be QUITE long…
And I may stay over in Wichita tonight depending on the weather and the time I get in. Even I know how far to push myself, and a 20-hour day may be JUST a bit too far!
Better to get up first thing in the a.m. and head out fresh. What’s to stretching a vacation just one more day. Heck, I even thought I could board a Houston flight, and visit our friends down there, too…but THAT flight doesn’t leave until even later than my Wichita connection…
So the vacation is on the verge of ending on a fine note. I find it a bit comical to observe for all of your enjoyment that I am not the only female on the floor, using a computer and recharging batteries. There are two other lovely blonde ladies enjoying the carpet with me. I doubt one would ever see a man doing this. But that’s ok. You know now we ladies tend to multi-task without complaint, and truly make the most of our time!
Thanks for "tripping" with me!
[This message has been edited by Sunshine (10-12-2004 03:29 PM).]