Monthly Archives: December 2014

White knuckle driving

It’s said to be the worst storm in many years. In spite of those dire words, I drove from Half Moon Bay to Aromas to check out a studio for rent. Then I had a dentist appointment in Salinas, and another appointment in Monterey. The latter one was canceled, due to what I don’t know.

The waves on the Coast Highway were high and mighty. The roads were slippery, and the rain fell from the sky in sheets. Good thing my brand new wiper blades had been installed yesterday…none too soon.

Listening to the radio announce every few minutes, an accident here, a tree fell down there and injured a child, a roof caved in over there, and you’d think the sky was falling and Chicken Little was right after all.

When I drove back in the dark, it seemed safer, because the road was clearer because of the light bean from the car.

So , because of the news, I decided to stop letting it scare me, and chose a station that played Christmas music. Before I knew it, I was back home.

John Coltrane kept me awake

Ron, my son, and I left Half Moon Bay today, early for San Francisco for the John Coltrane Church service that was held at the Grace Cathedral Church. BEfore we left the area we had lunch in Princeton.

Then up to San Francisco and we didn’t get lost, hurray!!But we were really early and had to stay busy for several hours on Nob Hill. We went to the Grace Cathedral Church just to check it out first. The stained glass windows are worth a trip inside just to see them. The Cathedral is very European and San Franciscans are lucky to have it. Ron and I stepped around cable cars and trudged to the large hotels near the Cathedral to sit, rest and watch people.

Then we decided to go to the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel, clear to the very top where you can see the city from above. Ron said it looked like a bunch of square boxes.

Then we sat for an hour inside the cathedral to wait for the event to begin.

Finally at 7:15 African dancers accompanied by drummers danced down the aisle. Rhythmic, wild arm and body movements and dressed in African garb, we felt like we were right there in a jungle with them.

The horns, jive piano playing,  drums, harp, harmonica, tap dancers, singers and hollering and flinging arms, and celebrating the holy ghost, was mesmerizing.

John Coltrane is considered a saint by the African Orthodox church, because of his musical talent and religious beliefs and promotion of peace for all peoples. They do know how to celebrate. They used the Cathedral to spread the celebration to the most people possible, even though their own church is housed elsewhere in the city. The Grace Cathedral Minister greeted the audience and said their mission was to welcome everyone into their congregation.

It was one welcoming party, for sure.


Attended first Christmas party

It was the glass house with the glass stairway, and that is where the Christmas party was held. Many people were there, with their shoes off, and eating away.

There were savory items and sweet stuff as well. So good, and fun to talk to the people in the Christmas spirit.

The lady of the house is clever with paper and scissors. She made a cup for candy with a lid on it, and gave one to every person who showed up.

She also makes cards and sells them in the local paper goods shop.

But before this event, after church, a lunch was held for everyone, and the ladies of the church followed the one menu and brought it in to share. Not a potluck, but an organized menu and delicious.

All that food led me to take a walk to the pond and scare the ducks away. There was one duck, that was either a bully or a duck herder. He snapped at them until they all got moving away from the shoreline.



seagulls and me

Lots of people think of seagulls as nuisances, but I love them. I find it fun to get them flying up to catch a piece of bread or whatever I happen to have saved for them.

They are beautiful birds and each has their own personality. There are bullies, some are bashful and fearful, some are brave and some seem to be adventurous. They can be very aggressive towards each other when it comes to food; and that reminds me of people and how we fight for what’s ours.

They’ll stick with me until every last morsel has been gleaned from the concrete or sand where dinner was served. And then when I drive away, they walk away en mass, knowing the party is over.

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Remembering someone in Iceland

I’m going over the blog and right now I’m in the little village, Thorshofn, on the Arctic Circle. As a coincidence, one woman I met there and I have been chatting on Facebook.

She is full of fun and I’m having a great time knowing her. I’d really like to go back there someday. Her name in Catherine. She found her way from Ireland years ago, to the village. She was part of a group of women who were recruited to work in the fish business when there was a shortage of workers. Well, she met an Icelander, married him, and she’s still there. She lives next door to the hotel where I stayed, and I met her only two days before I left.

Catherine took me all over the town and then some, to show me what I would have missed otherwise.

Meeting people all over the world, is the biggest part of my adventure in traveling.


I’m putting in long hours working on the book of the yearlong journey. Many good memories of that awesome year are coming back to me as I re-read the stories.

Meanwhile, life goes on around me, with folks Christmas shopping and future plans.

It’s going to be a great Christmas as my grandson Michael will be back for Christmas and my cousin’s son, Max, from Oregon, as well. It’s just so wonderful to see these great young people growing up to be good citizens. I love to hear about their plans for their future.

I know sometimes it’s complicated to try and figure out what to do in your life when you’re in your 20s. But I have a lot of faith in Bobby, Treva, Michael, Brandon and Max.

My son, Ron and I are going to head up to San Francisco for a tribute to John Coltrane. It’s going to be held at the Grace Cathedral. I’m looking forward to the event.

Nothing will stop me

Tomorrow – Dec. 1 – is the official start of the writing of my one year journey. I have re-read, and organized it a bit. But tomorrow is the beginning of the serious writing.

I give myself a few months to finish it and get it off to a publisher.

There is work ahead but I’m ready for it. Delays have been the work in AmeriCoprs, in the recruitment of volunteers, and then the Cambodian experience, and traveling around Colorado and Wyoming, visiting friends and family, and looking at my old neighborhoods. And then, I had to find a place to live.

That’s all done so now it’s time to get busy.