Updated: Jan 4, 2021
When we were back in Sonoma County, I had almost 2 solid weeks to pack up for our trip back to Canada with “Lucy Love”.
We spent Sunday night in my bed inside my house. This was the last night inside.
I had listed my bed, my dresser, my beautiful little loveseat, and a few other items on craigslist and Facebook marketplace. I was trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of items that Michael didn’t need in the house. My best friend and honorary son Michael Harris is renting out my 4 bedroom home in Rohnert Park for the next year and possibly beyond. I sold my bed on Monday, July 18th. Now we were really going to start sleeping full-time in the Airstream! Yeah! I’m excited!
Without the bed in the room, it made for easy packing. We focused on my room on Monday. I had already packed the majority of my clothes. The hard part was the sorting. What to pack in the Airstream. What to pack for Canada. What to store in a plastic tub for a later date. This bin has all of my concert t-shirts since 1981 and special clothes with memories. I have the kids’ San Francisco Zoo Volunteer sweatshirts and sports sweatshirts in there too. I needed to donate a ton of clothes that I no longer wore to Crossing the Jordan. It’s a thrift store that supports people recovering from addiction, dealing with domestic abuse and homelessness. I feel great about giving to this place.
Tuesday we decided we needed a break from packing so we went to coffee with Michael Harris in Santa Rosa at this amazing coffee shop. It’s called the Trail House and located on Montgomery Drive. It is the coolest place. You can get coffee, food, beer, and your bike fixed, all at the same time! The decor was simple but bicycle-themed with the TV’s showing the Tour de France. We had our kayaks on the back of the truck so after coffee we went to Spring Lake for the day! It was warm and peaceful. We found several large blackberry patches that we picked from the lakeside. So much yummy fun!
Wednesday was another work day…...til about 2pm. We had left the kayaks loaded in my little GMC Sonoma, just in case we felt like more kayaking during the week. I found out that high tide was at 4:14 pm on the Petaluma River so we headed down after a half-day of work. I looked up the Smart Train schedule so I would know the perfect time to be under the Haystack train bridge. There were about 12 inches above our head to the bottom of the bridge. I know the bridge will support the train but when it’s 12 inches above your head…..It’s freakin Exciting!! I got scared the first time I tried to do it but with Larry there I was successful this time. We had 3 chances as more trains are going this time after work on the weekday. It really was a blast and I would highly recommend it.
Thursday I had my second to last softball game and my friend Jordann Carley came out to watch us win! I met her about 11 years ago on one of my teams. She’s not playing this summer but she’s one helluva player and a great friend.
Friday night we went to the Rohnert Park Friday night market. I’ve been doing this market for 3 summers now. I sell my book “Tell me your story” plus some small kids books, bookmarks, and my colorful cards with photos that I’ve taken over the years. The great thing about this market is that living in the community for 35 years, I always see someone I know. Lots of friends stop by to support me too. The profits from the items that I sell go to my charities. I support C.O.T.S. (Committee On The Shelterless) in Petaluma and The Living Room in Santa Rosa. Both these nonprofit programs serve the homeless in Sonoma County. Let me know if you would like a paperback book or an electronic copy of my “Tell me your story” book of shorts stories.
I saw lots of my usual friends, Gary Friedman (softball coach) Michelle Lua (a friend from my Safeway days), and a bunch of softball friends that like to come to the market and listen to live music. Vita and Natasha Rodocker surprised me by showing up! Natasha has illustrated 3 of my kids books. The latest being “Larry catches Lizards” about how Larry and I met in Mexico. That book is only $8 and half of that is profit to be donated to my charities. Let me know where to send one to you!
My friend Jeanne Nelson from my gym had knee surgery just before I retired and went up to Canada in June. I knew I wouldn’t see her if I didn’t go to visit her as she was still doing physical therapy and healing up. Larry and I drove to see her and her husband Tom on Saturday before we headed to Trione-Annadel State Park. We had a nice visit and she was excited about our upcoming travels. She also gave us tickets to a Summer Repertory Theater production at Santa Rosa Junior College for the next day. I returned my volunteer uniform to the Visitor Center at Annadel. I mainly did my hours at the visitor center. I was a bit disappointed that none of the Rangers were working and neither was Sarah the volunteer coordinator. I wanted to thank them and say goodbye. Next, we were off to hike up the Richardson Trail to Lake Ilsanjo. It was a beautiful afternoon and we saw a small deer that almost walked down the trail to us. I love Annadel and I will always cherish the time I spent volunteering there as well as Sugarloaf in Kenwood and Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen. I would highly recommend volunteering at your local parks. It’s very fulfilling and one of the benefits is getting a yearly pass to these amazing parks.
I felt very accomplished with my first week back in Sonoma County and the progress we made packing, I decided to goof off more on Sunday. We walked around Santa Rosa Junior College where I earned my A.S and my Certificate of Aviation and Aeronautical Science back in 1990. I enjoyed studying at SRJC. It’s a beautiful campus with mature oak trees and brick buildings dating back to 1918 when it first started classes. A lot has changed. They have added more buildings for classes, a parking garage, and were in the middle of renovating the old theater building, Luther Burbank Auditorium. Our play was a matinee starting at 2pm. We saw “39 steps” based on an Alfred Hitchcock film. It was spectacular and we were laughing through the whole thing! I’m so glad we went. Thanks, Jeanne!
Many evenings, Larry and I took our finals walks down my favorite country roads. We found wild blackberries to eat and also a great plum tree with super juicy plums. Walking, looking and snacking all the way. I was trying to soak of many of my favorite activities before leaving. I was savoring every little bit. I went for short mile runs in the morning. Had tea in my backyard with my cats, birds and fish. I would get my plan for the day and work diligently and intelligently for many hours. I made sure this week to make forward progress each day toward my move. Time was running out and at the same time seemed to be going very slowly too!
We went to lunch with my second mom Sharon Hoberg. She lives a mile from my house in Rohnert Park. Her children, who I grew up with, live in other states now so she gets me! We had a nice lunch at Panera. I found a delightful greek salad for lunch and Sharon treated us. That made it taste even better! We spent a few hours visiting when I remembered my friend Yri was selling a Corvette. When I borrowed it last year, I gave her a ride and she loved it. Sharon was interested in buying the 1997 White Chevy Corvette. I was able to pick it up later that day and delivered it to her house. She was so excited, like a teenager with her first car. This made me very happy and she promised I could borrow it when we came to town. Bonus!
After lunch, since the kayaks were still loaded on the truck, we went to Spring Lake again. Larry picked 7 cups of blackberries because I said I’d make him a pie. We had to stop by Michael Paul’s house when we were leaving Santa Rosa to pick up a mountain bike he was selling me. When we finally got home, I had Larry start the oven in the Airstream so I could test it making the pie. I’m happy to report that I was able to make the most delicious blackberry pie of my life in our fabulous Airstream oven!
This last week was shaping up very nicely. Then I found out my daughter Jill and her handsome boyfriend Riley were coming Friday for a weekend visit. I had my very last softball game on Thursday. We won and I got one really good hit. I wished I would have played better this season but I definitely had a lot of other things going on during this time. I got a ton of hugs and congratulations and We will miss you. It felt great. I have enjoyed playing ball with some of these women for 20 years.
I went to my very last Friday Night market in Rohnert Park with Larry. Gary and Michelle stopped by which was great! My friend Ginger Goltze from softball stopped for a long visit too. We hadn’t played on the same team in years and it was good to catch up. Jill and Riley came over to sit at my booth, Our family doctor, Dr. Prince stopped at my booth and got to see Jill after about 4 years. I sold 3 photo greeting cards to make $20 for my charities and had a fantastic time visiting with good friends. Larry and I took Jill and Riley to dinner at Tonayan Mexican restaurant after the market. Michelle came with us too. It was a great night all the way around.
Saturday and Sunday were the last little touches for packing. We had a drop-in open house both days from 12-6. The most surprising guest was Doug Bernard from my Safeway days. His brother Tim let him know about me leaving. I haven’t seen Doug for almost 2 years. He gave me a story for my last book and brought over his book of short stories for me. What a treat. Carol Steffenson was my first guest on Saturday and we shared our final glass of wine for a while in the backyard in the shade of my trees. It was a very hot day. Caitlyn from SSU came by with her husband Eric. Greg Strohmeyer my hiking buddy stopped by for a quick visit. He hiked Half Dome with Larry, Selena (Larry’s niece) Michael Harris, and me last June. Great guy and an amazing baseball player too. Gary Friedman and my special friend Malik-Charles Wade were both able to come by for big hugs and well wishes. And of course my very special friend Michael Harris came by both days.
Sunday morning we borrowed the Corvette from Sharon and drove one of my favorite drives in Sonoma County. We went out River Road to Guerneville to see the giants redwoods of Armstrong Grove. We took turns driving. I got to drive down the coast and Larry got to be the Looky Lou and take pics of the ocean. It was a great way to wrap up my last full day in Northern California. Sarah Anderson and Julie Salzman were my only friends that stopped over on Sunday. They gave us a lovely Sonoma County dish towel for the Airstream and a Route 66 air freshener for the truck. So Awesome! These two wonderful women of some of my best friends ever. They are very supportive of all of my crazy adventures!
I made a tasty pasta dinner for my last meal on Lanyard Court. Jill, Riley, Larry, and I all had a fabulous feast in the Airstream. We had a group cuddle on our queen size bed for desert. Jill and Riley left at 3:30 am to catch a plane back to Phoenix. Larry and I drove out of Lanyard Court on Monday, June 29th around 8:15 am. Jordann and Remy were there saying their last goodbyes for a while.
Here we go…...driving Lucy Love to Canada!!