A Different Road

Back in mid-December on a puffy cloud day, Maycee was home sick.  We spent the hours resting, me by de-fault, and in the afternoon I decided to head over to her school to pick up her homework.  I left a little early to make sure I got there in time to find a parking space.  On my way, however, instead of going straight something within me said, “No need to rush….take a different road…”

I don’t travel, at least not in the way folks think of “traveling”.  I haven’t gone anywhere more than two hours away since, well, since I don’t know when.  To my mom’s, to my dad’s, to my sister’s, up the road, down the road, around the block….that’s the extent of it.  Mostly, this is because of money and time (in that order), and over the last couple of years my daughter’s anxiety has also played a part.  Honestly, it doesn’t bother me much, probably because I’m too busy to dwell.

I also have come to love where I live and still feel like a tourist needing directions.

On this puffy cloud day I took my curious mind’s advice and turned left onto a road I had always wanted to drive.  It was clear once I made the left why I was drawn to go this way, denying myself the opportunity for the past six years since moving to the Yellow Submarine.  Denying no more.

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For a gal who has a small-town heart, it’s befitting that I live within minutes of what is still considered an actual “town”.  Halcyon is the foundation of what became a bigger city, but the post office still operates today.  I had never gone inside until a couple of years ago, and now on this day, I traveled the road on which it sits.

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I felt a magical, whimsical presence within me…I imagined myself living in this quaint cottage.

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As I drove I marveled at the neighbors’ quiet contributions and the eclectic nature of design within each space.

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To have your horse in the backyard, well, that is every horse person’s dream.  My momentary escape began, and I could smell the coffee brewing in the morning while Chief grazes on sweet green grass.

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Sunday morning services at 10:00.  The Temple of the People sounds like my kind of place.  I couldn’t see inside, but I wanted to…..

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I wondered…did a dad, playing with his children, decide to lean these logs up against the big old tree in teepee form?  Maybe a single mom?

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After coffee in the morning, I’d jump on Chief and ride up to my art-teacher friend’s home, pictured here.  We’d work on abstract water-color paintings, using the puffy clouds as our inspiration.  Then, I’d head back in the afternoon to work in the garden.

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Upon pulling up to the cottage I’d see that Maycee had come for a visit.  I’d enjoy hearing all about the latest horse she was training, and I’d bring out homemade chocolate chip cookies, her favorite.

The garden can wait.

I so enjoyed my 10-minute drive on a different road.  I pulled up to the school just before 3:00, the end of the day…why did I wait so many years to see what was simply around the corner?

Funny how we are.

Now I wonder, what will I find the next time I decide to travel a different road?

Life is short, so don’t wait to do what presses on your heart, and every chance you can, give a chuckle!

XOXO,

SWM

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Have Any Plans For the Summer?

Ha, I had to laugh at the end of the day as I entered my boss’s office and exclaimed, “I really want to be on vacation!”  She looked at me, a bit stunned, but knowing me well and smiling, she also knew there was a catch to my exclamation.  I continued, “Wine tasters…here they come in looking for a tasting room, clearly on vacation, going here, going there, and…”  She finishes my statement, “Well, I get to work full time now! (in her best “Kasey voice”, that is)”  Ha, ha, ha…I’m laughing as I write this.  HA, HA, HA!  Yes, that is correct!  You get to travel somewhere, anywhere, and I’m super duper califragicallistically happy that I’ve entered the world of 40 hours per week.  To each his or her own, correct?

Really, complain? Nah!

  The afternoon put me back in time to my college years when I worked as a housekeeper each summer to earn a little extra income.  All of us girls would go in and out of these hotel rooms like lightening, 15 minutes per room max to get all 12 to 14 done in 8 hours.  As we’d do our jobs, a little part of us couldn’t help but turn green for the overnight tenants: remnants of pizzas, desserts, wine, beer, sodas, and the like sprawled around anywhere they felt like leaving the stuff bled into brochure upon brochure of the Mystery Spot, Knots Berry Farm, and Disneyland.  And, if room service was ordered, ugh!  I was just a young girl trying to gain work experience, but most of my housekeeping comrads were single moms with little or no education, barely getting by to pay the bills.  While I would eventually take some vacation time to see family, the other ladies would continue their daily routines.

Before this summer started, I visited Maycee’s school after an assembly, and I joined her teacher on the playground prior to heading home.  We sat on one of the benches, and she asked me, “So, you have any plans for the summer?”  I kept my answer in check for a moment as I surmised the thought: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.  Hmmmmm, let me see what my choices are.  I politely replied, “I’d like to take her camping somewhere, maybe just for an overnite, and if I can muster up the extra cash I’d like to take her to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego.  But, I’d also like to take her to SpiritWestCoast (an all out Christian Rock Jam) for at least a day, too.” It was a very polite answer.  Well thought out in the split seconds I had, and definitely things that had crossed my mind over the previous few months.  However, none of them have materialized because to take a vacation you need $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, you need paid time off, and you need more $$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the dog kennel, gas, food, lodging…  Well, darnit, not this summer!

I’ve had the blues over these thoughts, only infrequently, because as soon as Maycee got going with summer camp, i.e., the VERY SECOND DAY of her June debut, the camp was heading to a Sea Life Center to go boating, fishing, and exploring.  Maycee had the best time.  Sequentially following that, week after week,  has been two days of field trips including Boomers (a miniature golf place with an arcade, race cars, and bumper boats), two different aquatic centers, the county fair, a water slide park–which Maycee promptly showed me she is much braver without mom around and rode the “big ” water slide ALONE–, roller skating, gymnastics, and tomorrow they hit the zoo.  This amazing camp will conclude with a trip to Hurricane Harbor the very last day.  In between all of this nifty fun they’ve had jammy days with fort building, cooking lessons, tennis lessons, a myriad of unusual sports, arts and crafts, and next week she will be learning cheer leading and sewing. Wow!  Are you tired yet?!  This wonder camp does not come cheap, but if you do the math of any full-time summer daycare center, completely required if you are a SWM, the cost is no higher.  This equals one word: YAY.

The local centennial celebration was perfect for Mom's visit!

Of course, all of this fun in the sun (and the fog) hasn’t meant much in the way of summer lovin’ for mom, but who cares?  I mean, WHO CARES?  Last summer Maycee spent every day crying before I would take her to daycare at a local preschool.  She had a totally bummer summer, thankyouverymuchjudymoody, and the comparison between this year and last holds no bar.  And, geez, I did manage to take her to Solvang, my most favoritist place in the local world for an afternoon, and we had a total blast!  That counts for something.   Therefore, I’ve put my Rhythm ‘n’ Blues away for the remainder of time, which, believe it or not, is only a few more weeks.  

I’ve had a couple of terrific visits here in the Yellow Submarine with family, my best buddy is coming up this Saturday with her two boys for the day, and the last Saturday of this month I get to reunite with my longest, dearest, and bestest friend of all time, after six years of being apart.  I will meet her little girl, she’ll get to see mine again, there’ll be tears of joy, hugging, and good ol’ fashioned blubbering-no doubt.  We’ll look at old pictures of my mom’s.  We’ll eat pizza and catch up on our lives-in person.   I bought a chaise lounge that I’ve actually USED, relaxing and drinking a soda on my newly painted deck, whilst I throw my doggy’s ball over and over and over again, nearing what I’m sure is 100 tosses or more.  I’ve made homemade lemon pies and lemonade, courtesy of my boss’s lemon tree.  Picked a nice-sized batch of sweet plums from my own.  Taken Maycee swimming in our 90 degree heated community pool.   Enjoyed my horse riding lessons and improved, as well.  And, really when you live only 5 miles from the beach, see the crest of the ocean waters every day as you drive into the winding mountain roads that take you to miles and miles of intricately groomed vineyards, I would have to say this: vacation is a state of mind.  Isn’t it?

It's not the Carribean, but hey...

So, I guess I have had plans for the summer: to get through it with a bit of ease, to appreciate all that is positive and right in my life, and to know that each day I’m one step closer to not envying the wine tasters, campers, tourists, and stay-at-home moms.  Who could ask for anything more?  Zen…?  Maybe.

Have some summer fun today, drink homemade lemonade, wear flipflops, give a chuckle, and most of all: be happy.