Six months ago I landed at SFO (that’s San Francisco Airport in California, USA for you non-American west-coasters) on a trip which was to last a relatively short time. Four months tops! Perhaps five at the outside. Now I am returning to my brood in North Carolina for the greater part of December to enjoy my granddaughter’s second birthday party and the Christmas season. By months end I will be back in California for another four and one-half months (top!). How did this happen?
Several things have happened during the six months I have lived here. For starters: I fell in love with my best-friend. Never intending for this to happen and with full disclosure that the affections are not returned but rather, in my opinion, precipice on his end I am struggling with keeping our treasured friendship safe from my need to be loved in return. I find I am rather good at doing this. Good for me! Something to be said for being an older and wiser woman, I guess. At any rate this is a good thing I am doing. Guarding my friend’s heart from me!
At least this is what I thought until he brought me some water. Long story and I won’t get into it but I think he’s fallen for me as well. Not pushing it though. It would be a great wonder and the greatest love of all, if true. I think it might be. And as long as he knows I am not perfect and does not expect perfection for unfortunately, with me, no perfection exists! I am who I am and quite frankly, that’s pretty wonderful! So there!
Second: The second thing that has happened is an opportunity for employment in this awful economy that might allow for seasonal work until I can no longer walk through the office doors. Working hard for four to five months each year is something I have done for the past several years. Being semi-retired is an awesome thing. But, as awesome as it is to be retired it is also nice to have income other than what the social security administration deems appropriate after years of pouring my pennies into it! If I sound dissatisfied with my monthly ‘allowance’: You bet I am! When I began working at the age of fifteen and one-half and questioned why I was paying into the program I was told I should be thankful it existed because one day, long down the road when I was older that program would “take care of me”. These days when anyone tells me to be thankful for this government program or that government program I take it with a grain of salt. I don’t count my blessings. I am acutely aware that things don’t always go as planned. I don’t feel lied to about the social security program but I do feel mislead! The knowledge that I may need to work for the rest of my life doesn’t bother me either. What bothers me is that I should never have had to! So the second thing that happened during my six month stay will greatly enhance my life and for that I am grateful.
Third: The third thing that happened and it only happened last night. Steve’s daughter hugged me. She truly hugged me and it is one of the most welcomed hugs I have ever gotten. Even now, even while I type this out my eyes are moistening up. Another real blessing from a very delightful young lady who has the ability to do great things with her life. As long as she is not side-tracked by that young man of hers (as so often young girls are) and stays ‘course-true’ with her life.
Fourth: Petunia, the English Bull Dog! I never thought I’d have any affection for another dog like I did for Lacy, But . . . then came Tune (Petunia) and she is simply too cute not to love. And she likes me! She really likes me!
Fifth: I have wondered over the past fifty plus years what downtown Mountain View looked like (now) and I can wonder no more. I spotted the same store-front green colored marble below the large windows on the store that once was a soda shop hang-out when I was a kid. Other buildings are still here but different, of course, to a degree as new businesses and/or restaurants took over the original store. I can walk downtown just like when I was a kid! I won’t find any playing card enhanced bicycle wheels dashing on and off the sidewalks these days. And the movie house will never play a matinée with lead-in cartoons and two movies for ten cents and I’ll never again spend fifteen cents at the concession stand for more candy than I could eat during the afternoon. Still, I like my walks around the new downtown. Every once in a while I smile at something I pass and every time I do it is because I am remembering something fond and memorable.
So, I travel across the country from west coast to east coast this Friday. I have things to take care of while I am there. Things to settle. Things to properly store for a later date. People to hug. Grandchildren to spoil. Then it is back here to work, and to do what I set out to do six months ago.
Now, I need to put some things into a box for shipping and ready my clothes for traveling. I have been known to wait until the eleventh hour to do these things. I must be getting wiser in my old age!