Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

Havana, Cuba, Baby

April 9, 2019

That’s right.

I am going to CUBA!

I just booked my ticket for July.

Yeah.

I know, Cuba in July is going to be hot, but fuck I don’t care, I like it hot, steamy, warm, bring it on.

You know where it isn’t hot in July?

San Francisco.

It’s fucking freezing.

It’s foggy, grey, dreary, damp, and hella cold.

Especially where I live, right out by the ocean.

It is not pretty.

The nice summer, the Indian summer glory that I hope no one ever really discovers except the locals is mid to late September and early October.

Then its glorious.

But July?

Forget it.

Crap weather.

I was going to go to Hawaii.

That had been the plan.

But.

I kept getting disgruntled when I looked.

So expensive.

The flights have been steadily going up and what had once seemed reasonable and doable began to look much less so, especially when the cost of the tickets easily eclipsed what I had paid for my round trip ticket to Paris in December.

Granted, Paris in December is during the off-season.

But one would think that Hawaii isn’t all that packed in July.

The tickets though and the cost of accommodations was depressing.

Do I want to spend that kind of money to lie around on a beach?

Will I get bored.

I suspected I would.

Would I get resentful and annoyed at the expense?

I think I would have.

Really I was mostly worried about getting bored.

I mean.

Sure, a nice lay around on a beach is all good, but I couldn’t actually imagine doing it for an extended period of time.

One friend said five days was his max and then he was done.

Another friend said a week was way too long and that it felt like paradise with strip malls.

I spent a lot of time on Air BnB trying to find accommodations I liked that weren’t too expensive or didn’t look like my grandmother’s kitchen.

Nothing against my grandmother, I love her, but do I want to spend a lot of money to stay in a place that looks like her kitchen?

No.

I did find one place and it was a bit more than I wanted but I compromised and figured better to stay somewhere that would make me happy.

And the site went down.

And there was a glitch in the dates.

And sorry, we don’t know what’s wrong.

But basically for two days straight I couldn’t book it.

I took that as a sign.

I felt bad for not wanting to go to Hawaii.

Shouldn’t I want to go?

I am sure it’s lovely.

But what do I like to do on vacation?

I like to walk around and see things, I like architecture, I like museums, I like, really like people watching.

I felt flummoxed and a bit baffled at myself, did I or did I not want to go to Hawaii?

When it came right down to it I realized I did not.

And that’s ok!

It’s ok to change my mind and its ok to know that I am a savvy traveler and I would really rather go somewhere more exotic and have an adventure in an urban environment.

I like cities.

I am a city kind of gal.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being out in nature, but when I think about traveling I want to go to a city.

I have always found the idea of Cuba and specifically Havana, very appealing.

All the Art Deco, the Prado Theater, the Habana Vieja (Old Havana), the churches and all the vintage cars, the colonial architecture, Cuban coffee, veranda life, sitting on a balcony or in a square having fruit and coffee, walking around and really seeing something different.

Also, there are plenty of beaches in Cuba.

As soon as my friend said, “strip mall” I knew I wasn’t going to Hawaii.

I wanted something more.

So, yeah, I bought a ticket.

There’s some hoops to go through, you can’t really travel to Cuba on a tourist Visa, you must have a reason to go.

I did a lot of research and the category that best fit me was that I was going to support “the Cuban People” which means that I won’t be staying anywhere or buying anything that has any ties to the military or government.

Fine with me.

I’ll support the local artists and musicians.

I will stay, fingers crossed at Hotel Chez Nous.

You have to love that it’s a “French” named casa.

It’s considered a “Casa Particular” which means a local family that runs a “hotel” or sort of “boarding house”.

The rooms are in two different homes in Old Havana, one that is old school Colonial and the other is Art Deco.

You can’t reserve online, you have to make a request, so I sent off my request and hopefully I’ll be staying there.

The room I want is 45 Cuc, Cuban convertible peso (which is pretty much one Cuc to one dollar) a night!

I request the Art Deco single with a balcony.

That’s my style, sitting on a balcony in Old Havana, overlooking a square smack in the middle of Old Havana.

Yes please.

Bring on the sundresses, sandals, iced cuban coffees con leche, walks along the old port, visits to churches and museums, and yes, some spicy Cuban food.

God damn I am excited

I did not feel excited by Hawaii.

I feel ecstatic about Havana.

Nervous too, I don’t speak Spanish and there are some hoops to jump through to get the Visa but, overall I’m fucking thrilled.

But hell yeah, Havana, baby.

It’s going to be one hot, sexy summer.

Well, at least nine days of it will.

Heh.

 

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Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

Sometimes it’s really, really, really nice to get mail.

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

I got home today, as per usual, a little tense, a little upset, a little in bafflement, as I have been over the last few days since I was told that I needed to move out, to a few items of mail.

One was a very sweet and unexpected card from my grandmother with a $20 bill congratulating me on graduation.

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

I already got back my tax returns, both state and federal, and I filed electronically so the returns were sent directly to my bank.

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

I had a thought, but my thoughts are not always the nicest to me, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Cue an earlier thought, that I sort of joked about, but not really to my boss that it was ok, me getting asked to move out, because I have a tent, and I can hang out on the beach.

My boss laughed, but she was horrified to hear my news and also very supportive, there will be no beach for me necessary.

I can stay in the spare room that is currently the kids play room if worst came to worst.

Such a kind offer.

And one I hopefully will not have to take up, but it’s always good to know that I can.

I did once before when I was in transition, stay with employers, actually, former employers, who were remarkably generous and let me stay in their attic room with private bathroom and yes, with both my cats, while I was waiting to get into my next place.

Nothing says worst nightmare to me than homeless with cats, but in a sense that was exactly what I was.

I used to say I was in transition, but it was a transition that was horrendously uncomfortable, especially at seven years of sobriety.

I used to beat myself up about that, homeless with that much sober time, but it was just God preparing me, winnowing down the unnecessary things in my life, so that when the time came a few months later when the opportunity to move to Paris was presented to me, I was able to go without much thought about stuff and things.

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

The only furnishing in my studio that is mine is my bed.

That’s it.

The chaise, end tables, chairs, kitchen table, bookshelf, all my landlady’s furniture.

She’s a realtor and I believe they were used for staging at some point.

Anyway.

I won’t have much to move when I move, just the bed and the things hanging on the wall, the clothes hanging in my closet, and my kitchen stuff.

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

It’s just a matter of finding a place to move to.

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

I got a tip on an in-law on Silver Terrace, but out of my price range at $2,000.

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

And if I have to I could go as high as $1800.

But that would be super freaking tight.

And I know this sounds crazy, but whatever, I have a feeling it won’t be that expensive, I do have a feeling the right thing will come and it will be what I can afford.

I told my therapist today how scared I have been and upset and angry and how it’s been hard to fall asleep because my brain will attack me with horrifying scenarios about not finding a place to live or not being able to afford what I find.

So.

Last night I said, enough brain, knock it off.

I can’t live in a future where there is no God.

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

And if you have to think about the future, think about it with faith.

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

Think about what it looks like, really get into the details.

Hard wood floors, light, oh man, give me some light, I have been living in my little cave for almost five years, I could use a god damn window.

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

A nice kitchen, a gas range, a washer and dryer on site.

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

Ruminate on the nice things, not on the bad things, see it, visualize it.

It will come.

It will!

I don’t know what exactly will happen next, I have to go to the SF Tenants Union on Saturday and do the drop in counseling.

Until that point all that I can do is what I have been doing.

Reaching out quietly to friends, avoiding social media, but just texting a friend here and there and asking them to keep ears open.

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

There is only a little envelope to open from the IRS.

So open it.

I had put away all my stuff from my day out and about and put away my groceries, and I was heating up my dinner when I opened the card from my grandmother.

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

In January of 2015 I did my taxes early and I did not have all my paperwork, I didn’t realize this until after I had filed.

I received some paperwork a month later and realized that I had fucked up my taxes and that I actually was due a bigger return than what I had filed for.

So.

I filed an amendment with the paperwork that I had left out and sent it in.

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

Although it would peek up above the surface of my unconsciousness every year after when I was filing and I would remember to make sure that I had all my necessary paperwork available to me before filing.

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

But now I can stop stressing about the money I wanted to have for my traveling this summer.

I was afraid that I would find a place and have to use up my travel savings to put down a deposit to move into a new place and then have nothing left to travel with.

Maybe I would have to break out that credit card I got months ago but have never used.

Maybe not!

Not when I got a check from out of the blue for.

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Bonked But Not Broken

December 17, 2017

Perhaps a touch tender, but for a minute I thought I was going to actually get a shiner.

Fortunately I only cut my brow bone.

How did this happen you ask?

Eagerly going in for the salad at Gus’s Market’s salad bar.

I didn’t see that the glass partition was raised, whomever had restocked the salad bar hadn’t lowered the shield and I didn’t see it.

Not at all.

I smacked right into it.

“OW!”

I said and then I started laughing, what kind of idiot I must have looked like?  I’m glad I could laugh at myself, it really was sort of funny, like someone smacking into a glass window while walking out to the patio.

I chuckled pretty hard and the guy across the way said, also laughing, “that is exactly the kind of stuff that happens to me, I’m glad I’m not alone.”

“Here to be of service,” I laughed again and got my salad.

I actually hurt myself worse than I thought.

I was standing in line to check out when I realized I could feel something dripping down my eye.

Oh my God!  Am I bleeding?

I paid for my salad and La Croix and popped open the camera app on my phone and turned it to selfie mode.

Yup.

Sure as shit, I was bleeding.

I asked one of the cashiers for the manager, who hustled right over.

I took off my glasses, explained what happened and asked for a band-aid.

I in hindsight I was pretty damn calm and I wasn’t upset about it and I wasn’t going to make a fuss, although a tiny petty part of me was like, “buy my salad!” But I was actually just really aware of how I felt internally, that I was happy, joyful, spiritually attuned, and not really ready to pull a class action law suit against the manufacturer of shield glass on salad bar.

I took the band-aid, went to the bathroom, washed the blood off and put the band-aid on.

I actually looked kind of cute.

I had just come from a holiday ladies brunch and holiday party and had dressed up for the occasion.

The band-aid added a certain kind of tough aplomb to my outfit.

The brunch was also the reason why I felt as good as I did.

I had gotten to reconnect with ladies in my fellowship and community that I have sorely missed over the semester of busy.

It felt so good to sit and chat and catch up and see how folks were doing.

I even got a client referral from one of the women there who is a licensed MFT.

That felt really good.

In fact, the whole day felt really good.

I had a great supervision group.

Nobody noticed my eye, the bleeding stopped pretty quick and though I have a tiny bump and an obvious cut, it’s hidden quite well by my glasses frame, and I got to have a merry check in about all my adventures the last two weeks.

Last week I wasn’t in supervision as I was in class so my supervision group wanted to hear all about the lecture and how my semester had finished.

And one of the other interns, who has been there over a year, talked to me about a possible client referral, and he said, “you’re an amazing therapist.”

I just about broke out into a blush.

Later I thanked him for saying it and he added on, “not only are you an amazing therapist, you’re just an amazing person, you really have so much to give.”

I just was so struck by the sweetness of it and we hugged and wished each other happy holidays.

So nice.

Then!

Oh my gosh.

I run into a woman I used to work with at Hawthorne Lane, the fine dining restaurant that was my first job in San Francisco.

It turns out she has an office in the same building that my internship is in!

I was so happy to see her, it felt really good to reconnect and see how well she was doing, she had a big cancer scare a few years back while I was in Paris and to see her healthy and happy and ask after her husband and son felt super sweet.

She told me how great I looked and how happy she was to hear how I was doing, she was in awe that I was heading into my last semester of my Masters program.

Validation galore today.

Then off across town in my pretty little car to do some Christmas shopping.

And may I just say, how nice it is to have a tiny little car.

Aside from the fact that she is so adorable and cute, she’s teeny and I found parking in a spot that no one else could possibly have fit.

As well as when I got home tonight, squeezed right into the tiny spot on my block that almost always is open.

Then some Christmas shopping.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

A little holiday sparkle manicure.

Because.

Glitter.

Then back across town to the NOPA and getting right with God and connecting with my folks there.

So good.

I also found out that two of my friends who I had thought were going to be out-of-town for Christmas are in town.

We made some got to go dancing plans.

That felt really good.

Then the drive home, warm and cozy in my car listening to Music to Slow Dance to, a playlist that I am just in love with, and yup, there was my parking spot waiting for me.

And.

When I got in.

Mail.

Man, I love getting holiday mail.

I have a little garland of stars and green box twine that I hang my Christmas cards to, I got to add two in the last day.

The mail made me very happy.

A birthday card and a Christmas card from my grandmother.

She’s my last grandparent alive.

I was over the moon.

Last year she forgot my birthday and that sort of bummed me out.

But she didn’t this year!

It just felt extra special sweet.

And that was my day.

Sweet.

Funny.

Special in quiet ways.

Tender and in love.

Happy.

And I just signed up for a yoga class tomorrow morning.

Plus.

Yes.

I may let myself go do a little birthday shopping tomorrow.

Because.

Well.

I’m going to be the birthday girl real soon.

And it feels nice to get myself something sweet for my birthday.

Without sounding facetious.

I deserve it.

I work really hard.

But I have no complaints about that.

It is something I get to do.

My life is grand.

Full of love and light and joy.

Happy.

Happy.

Joy.

Joy.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

I am aware that tomorrow is June 1st and not November.

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

I love my life, I’m lucky, I’m graced, I’m blessed.

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

It will be my first time, unless something unusual pops up and I find myself in the islands, which I am not opposed to, but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t expected to hear the news today that I might be in the islands for the holiday.

My family I work for brought it up today.

I will have off that weekend from school and work, well, since it is work, will let me have the time.

It’s not a real vacation for me, I’ll be working, but, oh, the location does not suck.

Not at all.

And like I said, I’ve never been to Hawaii.

I really should go, I am part Polynesian after all.

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

I had someone tell me once that I was a Polynesian princess mixed with white trash.

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

I definitely have some princess in me, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

I love that the family really wants me to be included in their lives and I really love working for them.

Tomorrow marks five months of work and it’s been such a great job for me and the parents really appreciate me and the kids love me.

I love my charges.

LOVE.

Both of the older kids were under the weather today and one of them stayed home from school.

Work was huge amounts of snuggling, singing every song I know from my years of being a nanny, and an almost endless repetition of a lullaby that I usually sing to the baby, and all the babies I have ever worked with and a lot of my toddlers too, to the oldest boy while rubbing his back and petting him and just sitting and crooning to him.

He is the sweetest boy and super smart and vulnerable and the request to keep repeating the lullaby and stroking his soft blonde hair, oh, my heart, I just wanted to curl him up in my arms and kiss away the fever.

He got lots of love and I got to be the Queen of Snuggles.

I also got to do some cooking while he was watching a movie, sick days get movies, and I revelled in the cooking.

It feels good to cook, I miss it sometimes, cooking for a partner or my family.

I used to cook all the big holiday meals for my family and oh, the baking, and the stews, the jams and cheesecakes and pies, the cookies and pork chops.

Midwestern much.

Aside.

I said “bubbler” today and the woman looked at me like I was an alien.

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

I made up that last word, rhymes with cheese, bubbler is a total Wisconsin word, there are a few more, but that one slips once in a while into the conversation, or “pop” instead of “soda.”

Once and a while my roots show.

I am, however, not so connected to my Hawaiian and Puerto Rican roots.

My father wasn’t much around growing up and though I always kept in touch with my grandmother, I didn’t have much idea about Hawaii.

I had things from Hawaii that my grandmother would send and I remember boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and once a grass skirt, coming in the mail from my grandmother.

I think we had placemats too and a few books about the islands and where the family was from.

It wasn’t until I moved back to California as an adult that I met my father’s side of the family in a more concrete way.

I remember meeting some cousins for the first time and being blown away by how much I looked like them, how they looked like my sister, and how I was actually lighter skinned than the majority of the family.

“They look like me!”

It was a relief and in a way an almost instantaneous connection that I had not always felt with my mothers Germanic roots and Scottish ancestry.

I was neither pale skin nor blue-eyed, or green-eyed as my mother.

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

Well, once in a while, after long ass days detassling corn in the fields around Waunakee during the summers when I was working the crews, I might get a shoulder burn or a heavy crop dusting of freckles.

My mom though, my God, she could burn so easily, such creamy white fair skin.

Yeah.

So coming to California and starting to get those connections to my father’s family was a revelation.

I’m still not as close as I suppose I can be, social media does most of the work for me and there’s still stuff with my father that I have reservations broaching my family about.

I ceded his care when I was in Alaska in the hospital to the head of the administrative at the hospital.

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

He wasn’t around and when he had the accident that lead to the coma that led me to Anchorage, I went almost more to settle my own heart, then for anything else.

I sat by that hospital bed in the ICU for four night and five days.

He was in a coma the entire time I was there.

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

I made friends in Anchorage and the fellowship there carried me when I wanted to collapse into the snowbanks and the cold air and just cry my heart out.

I managed to not get stuck in any snowbanks but I won’t ever forget the dark night sky outside the window of the room the hospital hospitality house put me up in, for families of critical care patients at the facility, and the roughness of the sheets on the bed and how alone I was.

No.

That’s not true.

I wasn’t alone, I had God, I was carried, but I was by myself.

I was grateful, beyond grateful, to be there for my family and to relay messages out to the world and to let my grandmother be in contact with me and my uncle and my cousins and the love seed that was planted there.

I have never talked to any of them about letting go of my father’s care, but I did visit my grandmother that next summer and it meant everything to me to say “I love you,” and in that moment, as I was leaving to get on a plane from San Diego, in my grandmothers arms, I could feel how much she loved me too.

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

Even if it’s not with my employers, which is sounds like it might actually be, I will go.

I have some more healing to do in that corner of my heart history.

I will swim in the ocean and walk on the beaches and turn my face to the sun.

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

Impressed as it is on the cheekbones in my face, the wide plush smile on my face, the curls in my hair, the freckles on the crest of my nose, the wilderness of my hips, the sway in my walk.

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.

I’m Not Tech Savvy

July 24, 2016

But.

I am listening to music that my dearest friend put together as a playlist for me.

French music.

From a Parisian.

I feel so special.

Seriously.

I love me some French music.

Perhaps because it is an easier way for me to understand the language, lyrics tend to be repetitive, simpler than every day conversation and lyrical, which makes it easier for me to access.

And there is just something to it.

I want to couples dance with someone in a cafe with ceramic black and white tiles.

The smell of tobacco smoke drifting in as the door opens.

The smell of coffee in the air.

The low light, the ambiance, maybe I need a French cafe in my home, whenever I get it.

Either that or just frequent trips back to Paris and this time to also experience the night life a bit more, the cafe music life, I got into the spoken word a tiny bit with my excursions to Le Chat Noir for Paris Spoken Word events and had a tiny taste.

But to be there with a Parisian and be let into that exclusive view.

Delicious.

It’s sexy and sensual and worldly.

All things I aspire to.

I got to record with Adriana Marchione today for a podcast she’ll be posting along side  her ongoing project “The Creative High” .

I was really honored to be thought of and it was a great experience, and I have to say, I felt my voice, I was in my voice and it felt really powerful.

And.

There’s something to be said to having an artist, an auteur, and a teacher, interested in my work.

Also.

How she described me.

Well.

I’ll leave you in a little suspense, but it was quite flattering.

The podcast will go up in about a week and will be on her website.

I got to share a part of my story, a bit about my process, my experience with writing, blogging, poetry, the little bit of spoken word I have done, my best friend passing nine years ago and how that prompted me to Burning Man, my other best friend and how she was the person to whom I went to for help when things all came crashing down.

It was a great experience and I didn’t prep for it other than run through a small set list of poetry pieces of my own that are memorized.

Three.

That’s it.

I have three of my works memorized.

But they please me and it’s nice to share them once in a while with someone.

I shared about the patron last year from Burning Man and doing the collaboration with him.

I talked about my memoir(s) and how I still don’t know what to do with them, or how to go about getting them together, but also, how much that striving has pushed me towards places and experiences that I was just not expecting.

At all.

It also gave me another taste of recording.

And I have to say, I liked it.

“Are you going to do something for the talent show,” I was asked by the amazing MC last night before it was about to start, “you sing right?”

I told her I didn’t.

“You look like a singer,” she said.

Now there’s a compliment.

I admitted that I do some spoken word.

But frankly, it didn’t feel appropriate to recite one of my pieces to the fabulous birthday girl, they weren’t quite in the spirit of what was happening, and they also weren’t pieces that would have been celebratory of her and her experience.

And that was important to acknowledge.

There was a moment, I thought, well, there’s that one piece that might be fun, but really, it would have been to garner my own attention and I wanted to just sit back a little and be a wall flower and watch the main act and really enjoy that I got to have the privilege of being asked and then showing up to celebrate someone’s life and the gifts that she brings into her circle of friends.

It was a great honor.

And fun.

Although I had to bail “early.”

Heh.

Though I was slightly shorted on my sleep, I came home and unwound and blogged and watched part of Stranger Things.

Which.

Side fucking bar.

FUCKING AMAZING.

So good.

I mean, I really can’t recommend it enough, except.

Well.

Ha.

I’m susceptible to the scary.

And I did have a moment last night when I was curled up in my bed with my hands literally over my ears, because I did not want to hear the soundtrack and I was preparing myself for the scary, that I thought.

Hmm.

Maybe I should’t watch this right before I go to bed.

Oof.

It’s good.

Seriously.

Check it out.

End side bar.

I can’t just get right into bed, even on a late night, so, not so much sleep was gotten.

But.

Oh.

I took a nap today.

I am so proud of myself.

I never nap.

And it was just begging to happen.

I mean, only getting five hours of sleep will catch up with me, sometimes it’s not so bad and I can have an extra cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to blow my vocal cords out and be dehydrated from drinking coffee today, so I skipped my usual Saturday morning large coffee with my person today at Tart to Tart.

Then went straight to the podcast, after that to Scooter Centre, then to Scuderia, since Scooter Centre was unexpectedly closed, aired up the tires, scooted home, ate a late lunch, caught up with a girl friend on the phone, and then I looked at the time.

I can nap for one hour before going to my new Saturday night commitment.

I folded up my laundry, nothing says sexy like knowing I’ll get to slip into fresh washed sheets tonight, and grabbed a pillow.

I lay down at an angle on the bed, on my back, head propped up on a small throw pillow and closed my eyes.

It was just a touch chilly.

Afghan, the one I got in the mail from my grandmother.

I reached for it.

It had been sitting folded on the end of my chaise lounge in the sun.

Extraordinary.

It was like being wrapped up in warm soft sunshine.

Best nap ever.

Covered in the love of my grandmother.

Warmed by the sun.

After getting to do some art and be available to my friend.

It was glorious.

I almost didn’t get up.

In fact.

Had I not had that commitment, I would have gone back to sleep.

Grateful I didn’t, I don’t need to muck with my sleep schedule.

But.

Boy howdy.

That might have been one of the best naps I have ever had.

Plus.

It was good to connect with my people.

To see and be seen.

To not let myself be isolated.

A sweet, simple, glorious little day.

Full of light and warmth and art.

Poetry.

Narrative.

Recovery.

I mean.

Really?

My life is fucking awesome.

Seriously.

It is.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

Good To Be Home

June 1, 2015

Home is where the heart is.

My heart travels with me well and I am blessed, blessed, I say, to get to travel right back home to where I belong, home, home, down by the sea in San Francisco.

“Uh, where are you visiting from,” one of my cousins awkwardly asked as he reached for second helpings of grandma’s rice.  “I mean, where are you from, I, uh, haha, this is coming out funny, where do you live?”

San Francisco.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

Not because of your fog, though I was not disheartened to see it rolling in over the hills, there was some sunshine out at SFO when I landed and for a moment I rejoiced even harder.

Sunshine!

In San Francisco, at this time of year.

Yay.

But the celebration was cut short.

I realized, um, yeah, the airport is on the opposite side of the city and not actually in San Francisco and is not foggy, but the fog, it is there, right there.

I can see you fog.

Hunkered down, grey, cool, misty.

I may change my tune after a couple of days of it, but I wasn’t upset to see it and it was just another characteristic of this place I love so much.

“Did you see that the median apartment in San Francisco is $4,200?”  My uncle asked me asked yesterday as he was reading an article on his new iPad.

“Yeah, it’s creepy, and I remember all the fuss about how the minimum wage has gone up, but really, nobody making minimum wage can live in the city,” I acknowledged my uncle.

“I don’t pay that much, $1300 for my studio,” I said.

My uncle still raised his eyebrows at the price and then told me about a friend who has a studio twice as large as mine and pays $500 for it.

The three bedroom house across the street goes for $1300.

Yeah.

But is it in San Francisco?

I think not.

I mean I’m sure Nevada City is great and all.

But.

Um.

No.

I don’t often question it and I don’t think about it, but I feel that I am spoiled by the beauty that surrounds me, the character of living here, even if a lot of people I know are getting priced out of living in the city.

Hell.

One of my dear friends is a doctor and her husband is a doctor too and they couldn’t afford to buy a house in San Francisco.

They found a sweet place in North Berkeley and they commute.

Many of the artists and craftsman and creatives that make San Francisco, San Francisco, have left, gone over to Oakland or further Seattle, Portland, Brooklyn.

And I am still here.

Hanging on by a tether to the edge of the sea and every time.

EVERY.

SINGLE.

TIME.

The wheels touch down and the plane lands, I smile.

I know I am home.

“Hello house!” I said when I walked in.

“So good to see you.”

Yeah.

I know.

I talk to my house.

But it is an animate space full of color and art and creativity and it’s my little space and it is my little piece of San Francisco.

And in my own teeny tiny way.

I believe I add some of that special San Francisco treat to the area I live in.

I am a character.

I am colorful.

And I don’t know where better to express who I am with as much joy as I have for being who I am, than in San Francisco.

“I love your hair!” The baggage handler said to me as I checked my bag.

My flight was delayed, see above, fog in San Francisco, and I checked my bag through to SFO rather than carry on.

There was no charge and since it was a direct flight I wasn’t worried about losing it in transit.

Plus I was going to hop on BART and then the N-Judah to get home.

I was in no rush.

The flight was short and I would say that I spent more time in transit to and from the airports than I did actually on the plane.

I made some phone calls, caught up with some lady bugs, sighed content with happiness to see the familiar Victorians going by the MUNI glass windows and when I hit Sunset on the N-Judah I called ahead to Thai Cottage and placed an order for Tom Ka soup with chicken and a side of brown rice.

“Ready in fifteen minutes!”

Yes.

I got off at 46th and Judah, hustled my bag home, and turned around and walked over to Thai Cottage to grab my lunch and dinner.

I was not cooking today.

In fact, I did make it out to the grocery store, but only to make sure I have coffee for tomorrow and apples for the making of oatmeal all week.

I’m not sure what I’ll do for food at work this week, but I just did not have it in me to cook up a bunch of food.

In fact, I am all tuckered out.

Travel can do that to me.

Even though it wasn’t a great big journey.

it was a big deal.

Saying good-bye to my grandma was a big deal, a bigger deal than I expected.

I hugged her and said “I love you,” at the curb side check in.

“I love you too,” she said.

And we looked at each other.

There.

Right there.

Don’t start crying.

It surprised me.

Where did that come from?

I understand myself well enough to see that I had some expectations going into it, not knowing what to expect I created something for myself to hold onto, the idea of history, or story, of finding out where I am from.

Instead what I got to see is this small, resilient woman, who raised four children and walked through 87 years of life see me for who I am and love me despite myself.

“You look good with flowers in your hair,” she confided in me out of the blue last night in the kitchen.

“I used to wear fresh gardenia’s in my hair, when I lived in Paia (on Maui)” she continued, “I would pick them and wash out the ants,” and she mimicked putting one behind her ear.

I am seen.

And I got to see my grandmother.

A friend jokingly responded to a photograph I posted on Instagram, “gee, no resemblance, at all.”

I laughed.

It is there.

Not just in the flowers in our hair.

But in the survival, the resiliency, the strength of a woman, the getting through, the doing the best one can with what one has.

I hope I am able to summon as much quiet strength and grace as my grandma displayed to me as I go forward.

I don’t know exactly where I will end up.

But fingers crossed.

It will still be San Francisco.

I am with myself wherever I go.

But it feels best when I am home.

Where my heart is.

I left it here and shall return again and again and again.

To reclaim it.

Dust off it’s weary travel self.

And.

Put it right back on my sleeve where it belongs.

In San Francisco


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