Happy Memorial Day! Please take time to honor all our Veterans who died for our country and the freedoms we enjoy today!!
I just returned from a great vacation. Now, I have visited California twice before in my lifetime. The first time was the summer after my sophomore year in high school. My mother had the bright idea that separating me from my steady boyfriend might possibly lead to a grass is greener perspective on my part. She sent me to visit my aunt and uncle in Laguna Beach for two weeks. However, her plan backfired for as we all know, absence makes the heart, etc. etc. That boy later became my first husband and the father of my two children.
Eight years ago, I travelled west and hopped on a plane to The Golden State. A surprise birthday present from my son and daughter-in-law, the trip allowed me to reconnect with my brother’s grown kids whom I hadn’t seen in years.
This May 2017 vacation with my husband, Mike, was a ten-day journey which began in gorgeous San Diego where he had lived most of his life. His gracious cousins threw us a party where I mingled with his relatives and met Mike’s uncle, the last living one in his family. Everyone opened their arms to this southern girl and made me feel at home.
For the next nine days, Mike and I drove up the magnificent Pacific Coast Highway making stops to visit friends along the way. We ended our tour with two days in San Francisco before we ventured to Sacramento where we had lunch with more friends and dinner with relatives before we caught a flight out the following day back to Georgia.
Of course, I can’t say enough about the amazing scenery. And you know what the song says, “It Never Rains in Southern California…” And the weather failed to disappoint as we meandered through beach towns, gazed out over smooth and rocky beaches, observed the tropical flowers and plants of the coastal area, and devoured good food. To our right lay the mountains; to the left, the blue of the Pacific Ocean. As we headed north, the wind at the shoreline became chilly as were the nights, but purchasing warm hoodies in Cambria quickly took care of that issue.
Mike’s role as chauffeur allowed me to accept the job of voyeur. Along the route, I began to notice the trees. As my husband steered farther north, the trees grew taller. Never have I seen such unusual shapes and shades of green. I, being the tree lover that I am, stood in awe of the variety, the differences and the beauty.
One can admire the uniqueness in people in the same fashion. As a creative woman and writer, I love the variations on our exteriors. Yes, we are all the same in our basic feelings, wants and needs, but it’s the differences that appeal to me. The distinctions, whether it be facial features, body shapes and sizes, the wearing of old, mismatched clothes or haute couture, melodious or gruff voices, colloquial accents or even mannerisms. It’s what makes life colorful.
In my opinion, same is boring; diversity is interesting—whether it’s the weary eyes of a weathered old man pan handling near the bus stop in San Francisco, the toothless smile of a skinny red-headed child in a restaurant in Santa Barbara, or the contemplative expression pasted on the lovely face of the African American woman who sat across from me on the airport shuttle bus. Just like the trees, the people intrigued me. I took plenty of pictures of the landscape but because I didn’t want to get sued, I had to be satisfied with engraving people’s images in my mind and making notes on the notebook I kept in my purse.
I apologize for I AM a people watcher. Always have been. I use those different faces, those uniquely beautiful people, as characters in my manuscripts adding personality traits, likes and dislikes, family situations and circumstances to create my make-believe entities.
And, by the way, not only was I blessed to be entertained by the beauty of the scenery and the interesting people, I’m positive that I was able to amuse the locals many times with my loud cackling laughter and my southern-fried accent peppered with an occasional “y’all” thrown in for good measure.
Thanks for reading my blog!!
See you in June!