It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Postcards from the Coast
Wednesday morning I drove down to Sacramento and picked up my friend "C". We drove down to Berkeley and stopped for lunch and a quick look in a couple of great stores (A Thousand Cranes and Castles in the Air) on 4th Street. Then we headed for Pacifica.
We arrived on an absolutely beautiful day, with sunshine and a light breeze blowing the fall leaves around. We stopped and bought some groceries, drove up to my sister's condo and settled in.
Sis bought this place a few years ago and she has been so generous with it. It's not down near the ocean ,which is fine with me because of my fear of the high seas, but up on a hill with a view to die for. It is in a gated community which makes it very safe for anyone who stays there. Sis has decorated it beautifully and one only has to bring clothing, personal items, food and themselves to spend time there.
Above is the view and some photos of the condo. Below are some photos of ( from left top, clockwise ) Pacifica Pier, Mori Point, the beach below the pier looking toward Mori Point and Point San Pedro, and the beach above the pier looking toward San Francisco and Marin Co.
We had such a good time. Mostly we RELAXED. "C" is going to have a knee replacement in February and is having a hard time walking, so we were very careful not to tax her already damaged knee.
On Thursday afternoon we drove around the area from San Pedro Point up into the San Pedro Valley and back to the ocean..., then up to Rockaway Beach ,where we had dinner at NICK'S restaurant. Nick's is a great place for dinner. It has been there forever and it's right on the ocean. A little too close in a storm...., but beautiful. As far as I can tell there are not that many good restaurants in Pacifica but you can always get a good meal at Nick's. I think the prices have gone up recently, and you don't get a salad without paying extra for it, but all in all it was a very delicious dinner.
On Friday my sister arrived . She was able to come over and stay the night thanks to her sweet husband who took the day off and taxied her youngest to school for her. We did some sightseeing, then drove down to the Pacifica Pier and had some clam chowder and a sandwich for lunch at the Chit Chat Cafe on the pier.
That evening it was truly "lady's night". We had sushi hors d'oeuvres, ate Salmon for dinner and had (what else?) bread pudding for dessert. Bread pudding is tradition.
After dinner we ate that bread pudding with Carmel sauce, big spoons and no reservations. We watched some television, talked, and laughed until , one by one, we headed for bed. We are 57, 64 and 65 years old and this kind of day is what these years bring to us now. No more parties, drinking and staying up all night. We all did our share of those indulgent kind of things when we were youngsters and could get away with it...., but now, we are content to slow down, share our lives with each other and eat some dessert without worrying about how many calories it has and how we're going to eat salads for the next two weeks to make up for our indiscretions. Please don't get me wrong. We still have to worry and health is even more of an issue in our lives now, but we don't get obnoxious about it with each other and what we do, say and eat in Pacifica..., stays in Pacifica (if you will allow me to coin a phrase).
The year is coming to a close at warp speed and this was the only chance that "C" and I would have to take some time together before the commitments and rush of the holiday season fall upon us. So we chose to walk a while on the same Pacific coast that saw us walking together many years ago on the beaches of Mendocino. A lot of time has gone by since then. A lot of changes have been made and we are older, wiser and much more aware of the distance that we have traveled together. I know what my sister and I have gone through recently and the pain of our losses in the last few years..., but with my friends, and especially with "C", there is not as much monitoring of our lives. There are lots of gaps. Finally, now, we are the closest, geographically, that we have ever been. We choose to continue, as best we can, our friendship with each other. So the times that we do spend together are important and help us understand each other more. These visits, are the "adhesive" of our friendship, the way that we hold on to the distant threads of memory, the places that we have known and the new history that we continue to make each time we get together. This was a very nice weekend and we will do it again ,next year, after her operation.
This has been a long year. I'm tired..., and feel that life has changed in irrevocable ways. We work hard to maintain the quality of our life and sometimes it seems impossible. So, when I start feeling sorry for myself I think of this old Ojibwa saying...,
"Sometimes I go about in pity for myself,
And all the while....
A great wind is bearing me across the sky."
...., and I try to remember that whatever happens we are all moving in one direction and I do not have to fight this flow or be afraid. I can just live each day, sometimes each hour, each minute, each moment in a place called Now.
It was a good weekend and now I'm home.....
It was a good weekend and now I will feed the chickens and walk the dog.....