Summer Trip

About a week ago I got the chance to go down to Southern California to see friends and family. It was lovely to have the time to spend with people I love!

One of the serendipitous reasons to go down was to help a family friend, Bonny, through a small procedure on her back. Except when you are 90, no procedure is really minor. Anyway, although Bonny felt really guilty to have me there with her,  I was glad to do so.

The fact that I was able to be there was a great bit of timing – Bonny had thought of asking me, and right after I sent her an email telling her when I’d like to come. We were so happy that this worked out, and I was grateful to be of use.

I think I’ve figured out that my job between jobs is to see how I can serve the world right now. I’m not sure completely how this will pan out, but it is a positive frame and it makes me look for things around me. Just yesterday, a clerk in the pet store was looking a bit down, and we got into conversation and talked about the beautiful weather, and by the time he put my massive bags of litter in my car, he had a smile on his face. My mom used to do this, and in my childishness I rolled my eyes and got embarrassed, but now I am wiser. It is worth helping each other even in the smallest ways.

Anyway, I got to visit one of the places my family used to go all the time – the Los Angeles Country Arboretum. The land used to be owned by the Lucky Baldwin family, who were train barons, and I was a bit worried when I visited that I would be disappointed. Instead, I realized that it was bigger and better than in my childhood.

Among my favorite memories were the Queen Anne Cottage. I used to imagine the people who lived there – but in fact, no one lived there, it was built for parties!

The Arboretum is known for its peacocks, and I was really lucky to see a lot of them.

And as children, we used to run through the palm trees and what we thought of as “the jungle’ – I thought it might seem smaller, but it actually it seems like everything is way bigger (It’s only been 40 years or so!).

There are also plenty of new things, small gardens and corners that are delightful, and small touches even in the sidewalk.

The trip also included plenty of meals with friends, and even going to a friend’s gig at a restaurant. It was really great to connect again.

My friend Nhien and I always try for time for knitting together – and this time I got to see her finished Find Your Fade cardigan in some amazing colors – she was able select disparate colors and totally make them work. Nhien’s work is in textile design, so it’s not a surprise that she was able to do this well. Next time I want to do this kind of project, I think I’ll ask for her help!

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