It had been too long since I’d seen my California “tribe”. So I ventured south in February. I lucked out on the weather on the way down and was able to drive straight through to my first stop – Placerville. The first time I stroled down Placerville’s main street I was struck by how many people said “hello” as we passed one another. I was pleased to find that things haven’t changed all that much there. Some things have changed in the seven plus years I’ve been gone, multi-generation storefront businesses closing and some new homes built, but many businesses that started up while I lived in the area are still going strong. I got to tour the two-year-old permanent Boys and Girls Club facility. It was full of young people doing every sort of healthy activities – music, basketball, homework, pool, talking with friends, etc. Besides the time spent with loved ones, the highlight was a drive with buddies up to Tahoe in the snow.
Then my trusty dog and I made our way to Greenwood. Gaston and I have been together for three and a half years. Throughout that time he has never shown any interest in food other than to eat when he is hungry and stop when he is full. It takes him over a week to eat all of the kibble in his dish. He loves freshly cooked meat treats but doesn’t beg (unless there is beef jerky involved). All of that can now be thrown out the door. When walking with a friend and her dogs, she offered Gas a treat and he totally came and took it. Every time. I now carry little pieces of chicken jerky in my pocket when we walk or run, and we are both doing well on our training. Who knew either of us could be trained? Leave it to old friends to continue to help you learn and grow.
Thanks to old friends I was able to catch the touring company of Evita. I guess I am eternally stuck with the high bar set by Patti and Mandy because this production left much to be desired. The sushi dinner before the show was definitely a highlight.
I have taken Algebra I three times. The first was in the eighth grade and only because I was in honors English. Needless to say I placed right back in the ninth grade. By the time I took the college placement tests I went right back to – you guessed it. My nephew is in the seventh grade. I thought I was safe in offering to help him with his homework. Wrong! I will say that they are using a new visual system that I wish we had when I originally took the class. Spending time with him and my niece working on homework, going to the ice cream shop, watching the new Queen movie, hiking the canyon, and sitting by the fire hearing about raising kids in these social media times touched me deeply.
A storm came in when it was time to head back to Washington so I decided to take the coastal route home. Really glad I did because the high snowy passes got hit pretty hard. I did drive through a lot of rain the first day, but the second day was sunny and gorgeous. As I got up far enough on Hwy. 101 to the redwoods, it started to feel more like home and a sweet feeling came over me. Northern California is so cool for the variety of landscapes it offers. When I got into the forest, though, I realized that that is home for me. As Gaston and I pulled into the farm at the end of two long days of driving, I was grateful for the time I had to connect with those I love and for this beautiful life.