#138–Back from Cali & hitting the ground running . . .

 

A dozen heron nests were in the eucalyptus tree to the left. We watched the birds fly in and out. No little ones had hatched yet.

A dozen heron nests were in the eucalyptus tree to the left. We watched the birds fly in and out. No little ones had hatched yet.

My trip to California was bookended by hot weather. In between, though, it was quite nice, and it even rained one night. I was gone 23 days and memorable moments include watching herons nesting in a eucalyptus tree near the waters of Discovery Bay from the deck of my friend’s home where I was staying. We watched the full moon rise over the water, and since it was the evening of the “blood moon,” some of us got up later to watch the moon’s eclipse.

I helped my sister fix  a big pan of paella for a special dinner celebrating my brother's fiance's birthday.

I helped my sister fix a big pan of paella for a special dinner celebrating my brother’s fiance’s birthday. Our paella had two kinds of sausage, chicken, and shrimp as well as the clams and rice.

During the two and a half weeks I spent with mom as caregiver, cook, housekeeper, and gardener, we played gin rummy most afternoons. I started out beating her seven games to one until she found her groove and started beating me. More memorable moment’s include seeing my sister’s yard in full bloom and her pond in beautiful shape with small waterfalls at either end and planning and cooking special meals with her.

On the way home I visited my two roommates from college. The three of us have remained close for more than 50 years. Of course, none of us believe it’s actually been that long. Teeta, who lives in Palo Alto, and I drove over to Half Moon Bay to escape the heat and it was a drive down memory lane for me. My ex-husband and I used to escape to the beaches north of Santa Cruz––Ano Nuevo, Pigeon Point, and San Gregorio. Now they are state parks and you have to reserve far ahead to see the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo. Back then, we could just walk the beach and see the elephant seals whenever we wanted.

It looks like it did decades ago when my ex and I used to visit the beach here.

Pigeon Point Light Station looks like it did decades ago when my ex and I used to visit the beach here.

Then I visited Phyllis at Lake Wildwood in Penn Valley. We played tourist in nearby Nevada City by going out to lunch and doing some shopping in the quaint shops. This old mining town has refurbished many of its old buildings and is a delightful place to visit.

 

Nevada City is an old mining town with many restored historic buildings.

Nevada City is an old mining town with many restored historic buildings.

 

I returned home late Sunday night and spent Monday getting back into my groove––sorting through 23 days of mail, shopping for groceries, paying bills, etc. Then Tuesday, Connie Bradley and I held the second meeting of the 2014 Florence Festival of Books Planning Committee and that evening I typed up the minutes. By next week, we’ll have the application along with Frequently Asked Questions online and folks will be able to sign up for the September 27 event. I spent most of Wednesday doing FFOB stuff and handling some book sales.

While I was gone, an article appeared in the May/June issue of Oregon Coast magazine about both my books. I had sent the info to my fellow editor and friend and now neighbor, Emily Kolkemo, when she had asked me to send her info on my books a couple of months ago. I had hoped it would be in this issue, and it has already generated some sales. So I wrapped some books to take to the post office. And some coastal venues both north and south wanted some books. I got back to them and will deliver next week, after calling other venues in nearby towns.

Director Bob Hart introduces me before my bridges presentation at the Lane County Historical Society Museum.

Museum Director Bob Hart introduces me before my bridges presentation at the Lane County Historical Society Museum.

Then on Thursday I practiced my PowerPoint Coastal Bridges presentation. This is the new one I’ve given a few times. I hoped there would be more folks attending at the Lane County Historical Museum than at the assisted living facilities where I last did my presentations. I tinkered with the text a bit to fit this particular audience and headed for Eugene.

The LCHS crowd was a very attentive audience.

The LCHS crowd was a very attentive audience.

I arrived at the museum, which is located at the fairgrounds, about 4:30 p.m––plenty early for the 6 p.m. presentation. I met with Adrienne who buys books for the gift shop and Director Bob Hart, who has been my contact. Because of a lecture happening at the U of O the same evening about Luther Cressman, the archaeologist who found the well preserved sagebrush sandals many thousand of years old at Fort Rock, the crowd was smaller than expected. There were about fifteen in the audience. They made up for their size by being very attentive and having great questions.

Roya is 92 and remembers watching the Yaquina Bay  Bridge being built and riding the ferries before the bridges were built.

Roya is 92 and remembers watching the Yaquina Bay Bridge being built and riding the ferries before the bridges were built.

Because they were so attentive, I veered from the script again and again, adding more details and anecdotes. So the program lasted a little longer than usual as did the question-and-answer period. And I’m pleased to say, there were several books sold—especially The Crossings Guide.

All in all, it was a great trip to see family and friends in California and this past week has been one of accomplishment. I’m glad to be home, but after a week of hitting the ground running, I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit.

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About crossingsauthor

Freelance writer/editor and author of Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges, The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans, and Around Florence. Spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.
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