I did get to spend several hours with Jeanne, though. We went out for a lovely dinner, something we knew Uncle Ed would have wanted us to do, and had a very meaningful time together. Her husband and daughter had been out of state for a few days for college orientation and they arrived home late that evening. It was good to visit with them, too.
This morning I received the sad news that my dear uncle had passed away. I’m glad I had the opportunity to see him last week but I’m still absolutely crushed. I’ll have more to say about him later but since all he ever wanted was for people to have a good time when they visited, I’m going to go ahead and share a few special pictures from my recent trip.
Most of my time in California was spent at my aunt’s and uncle’s main residence in Glendora but on Friday my cousin, Jeanne, invited me to come with her to her home at the beach. She had been away for several days, taking turns sitting with her dad in order to give her mom a break, and she needed to water her plants and check on a few things.
Here is a picture of her gorgeous backyard:
And as the sun was setting:
She gave me the choice of spending the night at her house or staying at my aunt’s and uncle’s beach house. I really felt the need to be alone for a bit. Plus, I have such special memories of times spent at the beach house and I wanted to relive a few of those happy times.
Around 11 p.m. I drove to the beach house. I made myself a cup of tea and spent the next hour looking at framed photos on the family room walls, photo albums on the coffee table and mostly just remembering good times. I even ate a couple of Jelly Belly’s from the glass jar that they’ve always kept stocked. I have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude about jelly beans but there…in that house…memories…
Jeanne and I had planned to leave for the hospital at 9 a.m. so I got ready early and took my morning cup of tea to the patio:
I’ve sipped tea at this table many, many times:
And then Jeanne texted me to say that we wouldn’t be leaving until 9:30. That’s when I knew exactly what I needed to do. I grabbed my bags, hopped in the car and headed for the Dana Point harbor. I was able to park very close and snapped a couple of photos. If you look very closely you might be able to see the pirate flag:
For someone who gets seasick I have a ridiculous attraction to boats:
I then hopped back in the car and headed for Doheny beach. I didn’t have long but there was no way I could be so close to the ocean without seeing it. I parked the car, removed my Birkenstocks and walked down to the water. It was overcast and the temperature was perfect.
I walked to the water’s edge, stood with my feet in the wet sand and allowed the water to ebb and flow over them a few times. I wanted to stay there forever…smelling the salt air and feeling the sand between my toes but time was running out. I inhaled deeply a few times, picked up a sea shell, and then walked back to the parking lot.