Author Archives: laureen

Paper work…and glass steps

I filled out a long paper to qualify for senior housing. Paper work these days is long and sometimes difficult to find the answers to questions.

Who remembers the exact day, month and year they moved into an apartment and the same for the day they moved out?  Who remembers the time they first signed up for a particular health and medication insurance?

Who remembers the name and information on all the past landlords?

Then, the paper requires detailed information on my budget. My financial situation has changed radically, and so, I’m not certain yet, how my budget will affect me in the coming months. But the paper work has to be filled out.

 

After the paper work is finished for the senior housing, there is still a one to three year wait until it’s possible to move in. By that time, hopefully, another place – a better one will be found.

 

Then there is the new insurance and medical forms to fill out, and the mountains of paper work that follows. It must be read and understood. Who understands their medical insurance in it’s entirety? It’s more complicated than arranging travel around the world.

Meanwhile, there’s a life to be lived and I’m on it. I will be interviewed about my one year journey by the Half Moon Bay Review.

Yesterday I had a lovely dinner at a home of friends in an awesome house between Half Moon Bay and El Granada. To get upstairs from the ground level in their house, you either take an elevator, or walk up on glass steps. Yes, glass steps.  Take your shoes off and walk in stocking feet.

I’m learning from folks that my one year on the road, in the skies and train tracks, is unique, especially for someone my age and to be alone. When I left the U.S. to begin the trek, I never thought about the uniqueness of it. I just packed up and left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s such a pretty day today….look at the sunshine!

What a beautiful day.

It was warm, with a nice breeze.

I attended church and met a woman who remembered me when I lived in Half Moon Bay for one year back in 2002. She had an amazing memory, for she asked if I was the woman who moved to Costa Rica. She was correct. Will and I had just moved to Half Moon Bay, after I had packed up the house in Soledad and moved everything to our new home. He died only two weeks after we moved in.

I found out two days later then, that I didn’t inherit any of his pensions, and therefore, knew I had to find a job. So I worked for one year in the Bay Area, and then, thinking it would be cheaper for me in Costa Rica, while I worked on the book, “Too Close to the Sun” a Dutch boy becomes a man during WWII, I put together a few belongings and began a life in Central America.

Then, after two years there, I moved back to where my old job was open and I worked there until last year.

History tends to repeat itself, for it’s twelve years later, and here I am, needing to find a way to make an income. I am blessed with many skills, and therefore, not anxious about what is in store for me. I only need to find it.

So, tomorrow is another day,  predicted to repeat today’s weather history; it will be warm with a nice breeze. I’m looking forward to the new day.

What will be, will be…soon

I have been taking it real easy, but must get moving. I went for a walk to the cliffs overlooking the ocean yesterday. It was a beautiful sight.

I haven’t yet decided where I’ll settle. There is much to consider. I had one opportunity to rent an apartment in Half Moon Bay for the summer months, but declined. The reason was the woman who owned the apartment asked for an enormous amount of money for the rent and then said she would be staying there occasionally. That didn’t seem right that I’d pay rent and she would come back from her summer house to spend time in the apartment that I’d be paying rent for.

Then there was a job opportunity that would fit me perfectly, but it wasn’t available in any of the cities I want to consider to live and work. I want to settle either in Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz or Monterey.

I have been asked to make a presentation to the Senior Coastside center in June regarding my book, “Too Close to the Sun”. That will give me an opportunity to meet people and sell my book.

Also, the book is on display in a book store and gallery in El Granada, a city close to Half Moon Bay.

I’m confident that every thing will come together soon. Meanwhile,  I’m enjoying being with my son, Brad, my daughter-in-law Aleida and grandson, Brandon.

 

Boston

I can’t help but wonder what the people I met within the three continents I visited in 2012 and until two weeks ago, think about the scene in Boston.

 

 

Organizing the details

Love the details

The journey continues in my heart and mind. When I was on the Island of Vis, off of Croatia, I met a young lady inside of a restaurant. She was working on an art project and I was on my computer writing a daily blog.

 

Tina and I talked awhile, and exchanged emails and both joined up as Facebook friends. I saw that she was on Facebook late last night, while it was day time to her. She was back in her home in Slovenia and here I was in Half Moon Bay.

 

I have made many friends along this journey and treasure them, as they contributed much to my happiness while on the road.

 

Yesterday, I opened up all the packages I had sent to my son, Larry, for him to put into my car. They were small informative books, pamphlets, maps and post cards, and more, for me to use as factual background for the book regarding my year long journey I’ll be writing.

 

I organized them according to the country. Soon, I’ll print out the blog, so I can begin the job of including the best of the year long blog project.

 

Still needing a place to live and small income. I’m positive it will all come together.

 

The book I wrote last year, “Too Close to the Sun” a Dutch boy becomes a man during WWII, is still available on Amazon.com. However, I have some of those in my car. I met a man at the Methodist Church in Half Moon Bay, on Sunday, who remembered way back when I lived here that I would write that book. He asked where he could purchase one.

“I have some in my car.”

“Well, I want one then. Can you go get me one.”

Meanwhile, he had his signed copy, and another person saw it and asked for one, as well.

And another man asked for a copy but will get it next week.

Hmmm, didn’t mean to make money at church, but you never know where luck will find you.

I’m no longer an expat: I just mailed off my income tax

Got my income tax done and mailed off. If I hadn’t needed to come back here to do my income taxes, I might have continued to travel. But now that I’m here, there is much to do.

 

People keep asking about my favorite place, and I don’t really have one. Each place had something to offer. I suppose it might be where I forged friendships.

 

Today, I’m going through all of the brochures, pamphlets and my notes to begin the process of putting together a power point presentation.

 

I have wheels

I have wheels! After one whole year of buses, trams, taxi’s and planes, I have my own Ford Escort.

 

My son Ronnie picked me up in Half Moon Bay and after we talked awhile we drove to Aromas and had barbecued chicken with my other son, Larry and his wife, Sue.

Afterward we turned on the radio and heard my grandson, Bobby Crocker playing baseball in the Ports, the farm league for the Oakland A’s.

 

Today was a real homecoming, as I got to re-experience the good, old mellow feeling I always get as I get close to Santa Cruz where I raised my three sons.

 

While I was on my journey, I sent accumulated papers, brochures, maps and other material to “Laureen’s Car, in care of Larry Crocker.” So tonight, getting back to Half Moon Bay and dragging packages back from my car, I was surprised to see how much I had sent back. Amazing.

 

Moving along, step-by-step. I’m getting there.

Turkish food

Last night, Brad, Debby and I went to Redwood City to a Turkish restaurant and sampled several typical Turkish appetizers.

The owner of the restaurant was a bit surprised when he told us where to sit and I thanked him in Turkish. That was fun.

I am so fond of Turkish food that I purchased a cookbook from Amazon and it should be here soon.

 

Moving along in my quest for a settle-down, I’m about to do my taxes, and it should be easy as I made very little money last year. See, there’s a benefit right there.

 

 

Pursuing the rest

Pursuing the rest: what I mean by that, is I have so much to do here in the U.S. to get on with my day-to-day life.

Today I walked to the charming town of Half Moon Bay and into a Coast Side Senior citizen second hand store. I found  Neman Marcus cashmere cardigan that would cost well over $200 for only $35.

Then I checked into the senior center and located some senior housing available on a sliding scale. So I will put my name on the waiting list.

This is difficult for me. I cannot imagine that I’m a senior citizen.

The other night we watched a video of the movie, “Chasing Mavericks”. It’s a movie about a young boy who wouldn’t give up until he surfed Mavericks – one of the most difficult surfing spots in the world.

There were many shots of Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz where the lead character was raised.

So when I see Santa Cruz on film, where I lived a good part of my adult life, I think that would be an idea place for me to settle. But then there is Monterey where my writer friends all live and where we meet to share our written stories.

So you see, where I settle depends on what I can find affordable, but any three of those places would suit me fine.

Tomorrow I’ll see Susan, one of my writer friends and we’re going to the Bay Area. It will be great to be on the road again, if only briefly.

 

Big Butt and me at the DMV

I spent over one hour inside the Department of Motor Vehicles in Redwood City. I walked in and saw a long snake of a line. “It looks too crowded today. Maybe I should go back another day.”

One man standing near the door, said he had been been trying to find a non-busy DMV place all day, and finally realized he should stay and wait. “Where do you get the number for your turn?”

He laughed and told me that the long line was the line just to get the number. So I snaked along with everyone else, until I got to the end.

Meanwhile,  a woman got in front of me. And when that happened,  a stringy, red-haired, big butt woman in tight white pants, standing behind me, asked her why she was so special.

“I waited for a long time in the wrong line, so I have to wait here.”

“Well, you should go to the end of this line.”

“I would have been in front of you anyway, so it won’t matter if I’m in front of you now.”

“You are setting a bad example for children.”

“No, I’m not. I waited for a long time over there.” She pointed to a line for people who had a reservation.

“You are teaching your children to cheat.” Big Butt said.

I told Big Butt that the lady was only one person. “I don’t care. She needs to get over there.” She pointed to the end of the line.

I told the lady in front of me not to pay any attention to her. “Just stay here, it’s okay.”

She waited already for a long time.  If she had just walked in and crowded in line that would be wrong, but that’s not what happened.

I finally got my number and sat down. Meanwhile the angry one got served before all of us and and left in a huff, wagging her big behind.

So, after an hour, I now have all the paper work finished and I can pick up my car in Aromas this weekend. Today, I’ll also have health insurance after I speak with the insurance person over the phone. Everything can be done electronically these days. I even electronically signed my name for the car insurance.

I’m getting there: next on my list is a place to live, a job in the arts, and work on the second book. I have fifty books of “Too Close to the Sun” a Dutch boy becomes a man during WWII, to sell, as well.

And I’m working on a power point presentation of my journey.