|Back in our day . . .||
Have you ever lived someplace that was close to paradise? Well that's what San Diego was like for me! In Kodiak we had such bad weather and I was not the greatest on sheets of ice and glistening snow piled so high you had to dig your way out of the house. So, in the balmy summer we experienced in our first year here, it truly was paradise to me. Once we had moved into the house and retrieved our furniture from storage, my parents went out to find a car next. They came home with a Mercury Monterey with a push button starter on the dashboard. It had 4 doors, and compared to what we had in Kodiak, it was a limousine! It was turquoise blue and white and very suitable for our short Mom to drive. Dad would soon be going out to sea for 9 months, and Mom needed a reliable source of transportation. My Grandmother Elsie lived with us, and she had driven for many years. Often she would be the one driving me to school and picking me up in the afternoons. She had always lived with us, and she helped Mom out a lot with things.
Once we all settled in, there was much to do on the house and the yard. My brother David was 13 at the time, I was 16, and my baby sister was 6. Mom would round us all up on any given weekend, and we'd all make the trip to a place in National City and we'd buy plants for the yard, grass seed, fertilizer, and the like. David liked working in the yard and he'd spend his days in the balmy breezes watering the newly planted grass and sweep down the driveway and the walkway in front of the house. We had a huge backyard and a patio and that too was swept down along with the garage. Grandmother and Mom took care of the storing, and I took care of the making of beds, and general clean up of the house. We all worked together while Dad was at sea. He and Grandma Elsie were not the best of friends and it was a lot easier on the nerves when one of they was away. I think Grandmother loved the weather as well. I fell in love with the palm trees swaying in the breeze, and the Santa Ana Winds of late summer days. The Taco Bell and Jack In the Box were new to us, and we thought it was some of the best fast food ever. We found Cost Less Imports down in San Diego, and we'd browse on lazy Saturday afternoons, buying some incense, jams and jellies, teas like Oolong, and candles, and such. They had everything you could imagine, but the place caught fire one day and burned to the ground. There was so much to see and do that we were never bored. It was paradise to me and I loved San Diego with a passion.
Soon school would be starting, and we drove over to the school one day to check it out. It was a brand new school, and I would be a Senior and a member of the first graduating class of Castle Park High School. It was beautiful, and I didn't know it at the time, but this would be the best year I'd ever had in school! There were many classrooms, a huge campus, a Senior Lawn, a cafeteria and a place to buy burgers and things of that nature if you didn't want a full lunch. The P.E. field and building were up above the school on a hill that overlooked the whole campus. I'd met some kids in Kodiak that were from California and they too made it seem like a paradise. I was so excited about going there to live. At first I thought we were moving to the San Francisco area, but at the last minute it was changed to San Diego, and now that I've seen San Francisco, I am doubly glad we live in San Diego! It really doesn't compare.
There is so much to tell about my life here in California, and I don't want to diminish your time with us here, with prolonged descriptions of the weather, and the things we were finding so attractive, so I will bring this session to a close for now and give my co-author the platform for a bit. I will be back with more of the reasons I fell in love with my life here, and prepare the background for just how it affected me when I was told we were moving away, yet again, to a cold, dismal place, leaving California far behind me. Thank you for joining us for another cup of tea. Hope it was entertaining and gave you a somewhat clearer picture of my love for this place.
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This is for the grandkids, the family, close friends, and anyone else who can keep a civil tongue in their heads! It amounts to an interactive book of memoirs, but only if you interact... so get to it!
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California has been my home since 1965. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm home to stay!
What is there to say about a ten-year old turning 65, besides, what the hell happened?!??