Friday, February 28, 2014

The First of My California Trip

April 3, 1979
It's early morning. The sun's rays are penetrating across the desert town far off to the mountains. The baby is up and fed. She's with her parents. I'm enjoying a cup of unhurried coffee and thinking on the last couple of days.
I arrived in L.A., a weary, tired and excited girl. As I struggled with two overloaded suitcases, I wondered where I should wait. I knew it would be a while, so I wanted to be comfortable and in plain view. 
I took the plain view right at the front door. It wasn't comfortable as I leaned against a pillar. Soon the minutes dripped into a half hour and Diane and Herman with Michelle would be there shortly. I sat on the suitcase, even if it did feel like it was going to break.
I saw many people, from a man wearing an army green suit, T-shirt and tennis shoes with a knapsack, to the obvious fashion plate snob. Some wore very summer clothes,(probably from the East and their first time in California, like me), others a fall or spring light outfits, while still others wore fur coats or winter coats with boots. Of course, in an airport you cannot really determine a person's sanity by his clothes. The winter people were probably going some place very cold.
As the half hour turned into an hour, I began to grow anxious. I was so very tired and my thinking started to be irrational. I almost felt like crying and I could feel the fear creep into my face. My mouth was dry and my whole body ached from worry.
I prayed to the Lord to quiet my fears. I prayed the little VW Rabbit wasn't in trouble and I asked that they would soon come. He gave me strength to sing Christian songs to myself and while I was trusting Him, He brought the family safely to me.
I hopped into the car and began my tour of California. First stop-> L.A. and surrounding areas. At night it was an ever going plane of lights, only the ocean stopped it on the west. I saw the expensive homes and palm trees at night.
We spent the night at a distant cousin and his family's apartment. They were a very nice couple and their children were beautiful. George was five and always wearing some sort of hat covering his black hair. Nina, almost three, was a little lighter with brown hair and brown eyes. They had olive skin and looked like their mother.
That ends my first day in the Golden State. I'll write more, but now the morning is moving on and I have to get moving. An aunt's work is never done.

April 10, 1979
I'm back to my story after a week. There is so much happening and a new life style to absorb, that I haven't time to record it. Also at night, I got distracted by "The Scarlet Letter" on TV. It was a very good production. There's no desk in my room and it makes it hard to write. Also I'm so tired by 10:30, it's a relief to snuggle in my covers and wait for morning. Well enough excuses, I could go on; and on with my story of California.
My first full day in California began with a tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bell Aire and L.A. in large. This is the rich, elite and stereotype California. Look to your right and you see bag ladies or a man getting his breakfast in a truck size garbage bin. In front, are the glittering signs for record albums. Larger than life and prettier are the Bee Gees, Bob Welsh, George Benson and many other entertainers. On your left, there are chauffeur driven cars, not necessarily limos, with business people. There are the modestly decorated mansions to the sheik's gaudy green home with painted naked statues. All the houses are larger than any normally big home. People have the money and they spend it.
The flowers were in bloom and every lawn was manicured. It was a man made beauty, but beautiful all the same.
We started up the coast and one big name was Malibu. Beach Boys songs popped into my head as I observed the surfers and the crashing waves. It all seemed very fast moving and a life style all their own.
Mud was on the road and houses that were worth a lot, hung from the hills. Driveways were blocked off as I gazed at the "basements" of houses. The foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rains came down and floods came up. The house on the sand went smack.
So many people's lives are like that. They have no firm foundation and nothing to cling to in the storms of life. Jesus is the foundation in life, because He is the maker of life. I praise the Lord I have Him to hold me and support me.
The views from these houses had the ocean and were very picturesque. The setting on the cliffs was ideal. It was very inviting scene to build your home, but the hills were just dirt. So is life like this story. We are tempted by beautiful things, but they turn out to be the real horrors of life and our foundation is crumbly dirt. But Jesus says it best in Matt. 7: 24-27 and Luke 6:47-49. He is the Rock.
As we went further up the coast, the less populous and more natural the state became. It was more common to see a cow than a surfer. It was very beautiful and uplifting in its simplicity.
We spent my second night in San Luis Obispo. It is an agriculture town with a university, a lot like Penn State, only with an ocean near by. There are quiet peaks and the city is hilly.
Diane's old high school friend has lived there. Her husband is a chemistry professor at Cal Poly. They bought a new house.
The house was twenty years old and built by the man for his family. It appeared small but rooms kept springing up. The living room was long and went into a dining area. Separated by the sliding doors was a cute deck. The kitchen was large and had plenty of room for a refrigerator, washer and dryer, stove, sink and cupboard space. In the guest room, downstairs, was a piano and a studio bed. It was to be my room and it was comfortable. Up some stairs we went into Linda's room, the sign hadn't come down yet. It was a fair size room with eves in it. The room reminded me of my own at home. Up a few more winding stairs into the attic with a hall, there was an empty room with an insulation floor. The man had built himself a den or office and it had the neatest door. Because of the slanted ceiling, the door had a wooden flap, so it could open into the room. Then there was Relatives Roost. It was high and had a lovely view of Bishop's Peak. I envied Diane and Herman for this room, but it really suited a couple, more than a singe teen age girl. In Maggie and Al's bedroom, the man built a place in the wall where his wife could sew. In the basement, the used to be a garage was the den or rec room. It had a sink, a turning door in the wall for the man's projector and a bed with a door to the outside for their dog, Bowser.
The man used every inch of space and there was a lot of storage. We all concluded it would be a great house to play hide and go seek, but did not pursue the game.
I had a wonderful night. Al made thick, chewy pizza, unlike any I've ever tasted. The fresh salad was great with the snapping lettuce, glistening tomatoes, creamy avocados and firm cucumbers.
Maggie and Al are so nice and were the best hostess and host. I enjoyed getting to know them, because I was too young to know Maggie from before and I was eleven when I met Al at Diane and Herman's reception. So I really didn't know them.
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