Posts Tagged ‘home is where the heart is’

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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Home Cooked Care

September 8, 2014

I cannot for the life of me imagine why I am so tired.

I jest.

I was up, after two and a half hours of sleep, at 5a.m. to wrest myself and my belongings onto the J line train headed out of Brooklyn to Queens to connect with the AirTrain to JFK.

It seems a little surreal, that.

I was just in New York and now I am here.

I was just at Burning Man.

I have been to both sides of the country and back and wonder why I might feel a tiny bit deflated, a tad flat, a touch morose, a teeny bit sad.

I also feel happy and grateful and glad to be home.

Home is where San Francisco is.

Home is here, in my little bungalow by the beach.

It was so good to feel the cool breeze off the ocean when I deplaned today at SFO.

It hit me as soon as I step over the threshold of the plane and onto the tamarack, cool, clean, slightly salty, crisp.

A perfect San Francisco day, no fog, scatter of high wispy clouds, mid 60s, slight breeze.

When the wind was not blowing the sun felt warm, but not hot, and then the cool breeze would slough over me and refresh my weary self.

I got into SFO at 11:10 a.m. this morning.

I got on BART, then onto MUNI and it was about 1:30 p.m. when I got home to my little studio by the sea.  If you count the hours as they stood East Coast time, it took approximately 11 hours door to door to get home.

Of course I am tired.

I did nap a bit on the plane, which helped and though I don’t feel terrible, I do feel quite low-key.

Perhaps it is my body still digesting all the meat from last night.

God.

That was just yesterday.

I was walking through Central Park, sitting at Tavern on the Green, eating steak at Peter Luger’s (and bacon and lamb, and I do not apologize for it), it was just yesterday that I was at a Chelsea gallery looking at the Nick Cave exhibit, walking the Highline, having iced coffee in the hot and humid of New York.

And here I am back home.

Home, though, where the heart truly is.

I did have a wonderful dreamy time in New York, but as someone close to me recently said, “great to visit, don’t want to live there,” it is not the city for me.

San Francisco, my foggy seaside treat, you are.

I was reflecting that it’s been twelve years since I moved out here from Wisconsin.

Twelve years.

Give or take a little sabbatical in Paris.

Twelve years of rainy seasons, fog, recycling, composting, eating organic, quitting smoking, quitting drinking, no more drugs, no more car, riding my bicycle everywhere, slowing down (who am I kidding, I am still learning to slow down), meditating, trying surfing, trying yoga (neither stuck, but I do have a great wet suit to show for the surfing), giving up sugar and flour in my diet, going to Burning Man a lot (8 times in a row), concerts at Stern Grove, dancing at the EndUp and the Mezzanine, DNA Lounge and Mighty and Club 222 and The Elbow Room and The Make Out Room, riding across the Golden Gate Bridge on my bicycle, going up Twin Peaks (on foot once, on bicycle once, many times in a car, once on the back of a motorcycle, and once on my scooter), taking the cable car, the BART, the F-Market Line, living in Nob Hill (Taylor at Washington), living in Potrero Hill (Kansas and 26th), living in the Bayview (Palou at 3rd), living at the foot of Bernal Hill (Kingston and 30th) living in all sorts of places in the Mission (20th and York, 22nd and Alabama, 23d and Capp, 23rd and Folsom) and now in the Outer Sunset–46th and Judah.

Twelve years of Halloween’s, Gay Pride, Folsom Street Fairs, Castro Street Fairs, Day of the Dead, Carnival, Fourth of July fireworks, Giants play off seasons and league wins, Sunday Streets, and farmers markets, the Ferry Building, riding the ferry to Tiburon and Sausalito, walking the Embarcadero, feeding the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill, playing frisbee in South Park, lying around Dolores Park, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on Easter, and Hunky Jesus, SantaCon, pillow fights on Valentines Day, the How Weird Festival, Decompression parties in the DogPatch.

Twelve years of work, waiting tables at Hawthorne Lane and Absinthe (almost at Slanted Door–tried out, got hired, then they had a hiring freeze), working at San Francisco Vet Hospital, volunteering at the SPCA to do kitten socializing with feral kittens, personal assistant to a pornography director (documentary and educational films), make up artist assistant, household assistant, nanny, babysitter, customer service representative for a Bayview Wholesale vegetable and fruit vendor, house sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, plant watering, fish sitting, front of house whiz kid at Mission Bicycle Company, and a whole bunch of odd jobs from being a hair model to dog walking and plenty of other things I am sure to be forgetting.

Twelve years of dating but not really dating, craigslist dates, Missed connections, M for Female (mostly when I first got in San Francisco before it got super creeps and weird), accidentally ending up in the first Fucking Machines studio before they relocated to the Armory and Kink Dotcom (they shared space with a Burning Man artist’s studio in the SOMA), blind dates, hook ups at, of course, The Make Out Room, the R Bar, Zietgeist, sitting outside and smoking cigarettes and drinking bloody mary’s and pitchers (pre-sobriety), dating the door man at the Crow Bar when it was still open, blind dates with guys from Silicon Valley that drove up to the city, too many OKCupid profiles, one 9 month relationship with a steam train locomotive engineer (I kid you not, RedWood Steam Trains up in the Berkley Hills, he’s probably still running the miniature trains up in the hills today) kissing outside of Muddy Waters on 24th and Valencia, strolling down 24th to Philz, too many blind dates at Philz (maybe I should stop first dates at coffee shops, I get too caffeinated), sushi at WeBe Sushi, sushi at Blowfish Sushi, a surprise date to Flour and Water when I thought we were, yes again, meeting for coffee, dates at Mavericks, Mission Bowling, Chez Spenser before it burned down, that one time I dated the tea buyer at Rainbow not knowing he bought tea for the whole store and I invited him up for a cup of stale chamomile I filched from a room mates tea box, weird underground Trance parties in the Bayview for Kontrol, making out underneath Coit Tower.

Twelve years.

San Francisco I hope I get at least twelve more.

And twelve more after that.

And well, you get the idea.

Happy Anniversary love of mine.

So very glad to be home.

Home where my heart resides easiest and best.

When I am not wearing it on my sleeve.


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