Thursday, February 2, 2023

My Grandmother's Journals: February, 1998

With her grandfather on Treasure Island in 1939.
I’m a bit obsessed with the dairies my grandmother kept: When she woke, what she ate, the movie she went to see, any mail and calls she received, then what she read and watched on TV before bed.
 
I find the details of her days fascinating, not only because I’m curious about the minutia of most people’s lives, but because the journals I only discovered after her death finally let me feel close to a woman I could not connect with when she was alive.

For most of the years she kept her journals, she lived alone in a mobile home park in Santa Cruz, Calif., but I wouldn't describe her as lonely. She was an extremely independent, frugal and persnickety woman whom I never knew to live with another person or even a pet. (I wrote more about her life in an earlier post.) 
 
Close to her mobile home was the famous surfing spot called Pleasure Point, and nearly every day she walked to the cliffs above the ocean to watch the waves and surfers. So when she died at 97 in 2013, I took her ashes to those waves with one of her friends, and we each dropped some ashes at the sand. A moment after I dropped mine, a surfer emerged from the water where I stood.
  
That was cool.
 
 
In February of 1998, my grandmother was not traveling, just dutifully typing letters to all her pen pals, many of whom she met abroad, staying current with the news and sports, and dutifully heading to Trader Joe's to buy me gingko biloba!

 
Sunday, February 1, 1998
Awake 7, Tea, etc. Crossword.
Raining hard.
Called Justine. Raining hard there, no driving.
Talked of her father and of meeting in San Jose, museum.
To Aptos for show, “Wag the Dog.” Late, will rent it. 
To Safeway, electricity out. 
To Albertsons, they said not to club (cashier).
Home, paid rent. 
TV: Last of Reckless, taped Jazz program.
Couldn’t sleep til 3 a.m.
 
Monday, Feb. 2, 1998
Awake 9:30, Tea, etc.
Dressed and to Drug Emporium for paper, BP. Got TV Guide.
Raining hard.
Mail: Credit Union, bill for waste allowance.
Rained almost all night, plastic wind shield blown off. Rivers rising.
Called Justine. She looks at Napa River, from 2' across to 10' across. 
 
Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1998
Awake 7:45 a.m. Tea, etc. 
Many roads closed, power outages. Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Jose considered emergency areas. Hwy 101 closed south of Salinas.
Carport at No. 1, Bebe's, blown down (part way), worker finished it. 
Her roof blew away (part way) last year.
Paid Gottschalk's, to Post Office for stamps.
To Kmart, got shirt for Lutz. Got shirt for me at Gottschalk’s.
TV: “Silent Witness.”
 
Wednesday, Feb. 4, 1998
Awake 5 a.m., back to sleep until 9:30. Chores.
Drug Emporium, BP, got “Relaxing tea.”
Post office, mailed package to Lutz.
Walked cliff. 
Got coffee/donut. Showed pictures of Bali.
Mail: Check from State Farm, insurance card.
To bank to deposit check.
Mr. Sanchez came over, cut bush.
Took Larry to doctor. 
Some TV. To bed, tired.
Up 1 a.m, washed some items.

Thursday, Feb. 5, 1998
Slept 4-9, good! Ready 10:30.
Trip to Capitola Beach. Wind bad!
To library, looked for table. Nothing. Finished “The God Hustlers.”
Ate at Burger King.
Mid-County does not want stockings.
Home, readied tapes for Mina; Science Odysessy.
WIND UP.
Some TV. Frasier, two segments. 
Caught up with papers. Bed late.
 
Friday, Feb. 6, 1998
Up Late. Radio: Ronn on Clinton again. Bad joke day.
Wrote to Andra/Lutz, wrapped videos for Mina.
Wrote Mina, note to Justine
Donut/coffee at 41st. To Longs, copied letters.
To Post Office. Home 3:30.
TV: News, Frasier, Law & Order, Ted Koppel: Blair/Clinton.
 
Saturday, Feb. 7, 1998
Awake 7:56. News, tea, etc.
To post office 9:45. Mailed letters to Mina, Justine.
Looked at Capitola Beach. Disaster. Police tape at edge of sidewalk.
Home, read papers. Wind wild.
Fire engines 1:30. Trees?
TV: Placido Domingo, Met production, 1984.
Taped: Woody Allen’s “Husbands and Wives.”
Watched: Ghost, Strangers in Good Company. (Good).
Ran “Husbands,” sewed. Bed a 1.m.
 
Sunday, Feb. 8, 1998
Tea, raining hard.
Ran tape of In Good Company, 1/2 hour.
To cliff, to sea. Watched a bit. New construction looks good.
Instead of a show, home. Raining.
Put out garbage, had mail. Letter from Masonic home.
Read some letters. Pauline died,  family asking for pix.
Olympics: Watched skating, snowboarding. 
 
Monday, Feb. 9, 1998
Awake finally 9 a.m.
Chores. Tea,  etc.
Drug Emporium: BP OK. Got TV Guide, cookies.
To show, “Replacement Killers.” Lots of digital TV scenes.
Mail from Mina, Northern Trust.
Worked on pix, Pauline.
TV: X-Files, news. Still houses full of mud.
 
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 1998
No sleep til 4 a.m. Awake 9:45. Usual.
Longs: BP, pix, cans of food, paper towels.
Gas at Beacons, 1.289/galloon.
Ross, got black ? JC Penney, got silver mylar table cover.
Home 3:15 p.m. News, mended pants, buttonhole.
Worked on gathering info for Pauline’s relatives.
Shower/hair.
Ran part of Jazz tape, watched “Bad Boys,” Will Smith, Martin Lawrence as plain clothes detectives; some funny, some dumb.
Bed. Melatonin, slept good.
 
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 1998
Up 9. Tea, etc.
Donut and coffee at 41st.
Stationary store, got paper clips, round fasteners.
Walked on cliff. Beautiful weather.
Mail: Long letter from Mina.
TV: Soul Man, Frasier, some Olympics. Skiing. Picabo Street got gold. Also man from Tiburon.
 
Thursday, Feb. 12, 1998
Up 7:30. Tea. etc.
Packed vitamins, 10 bags. 
Some chores.
McDonald’s for coffee.
To Longs for pix.
Library, 250 cars crash  in Italy.
To Wendy’s for lunch. Got salad.
Mail: Letter from Carla.
TV: Jim Lehrer hour. Olympics.
 
Friday, Feb. 13, 1998
Couldn't sleep. 8:30, Larry out hammering.
Sunny today. Out 10:30.
Donut, coffee, paper, BP.
Bank, deposited in Justine’s account.
Home, wrote to both girls.
To show, “Afterglow.” Julie Christie, Nick Nolte. Good.
TV: Olympics, some reruns, Frasier.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 1998
Awake 8:30. Tea, etc. Out 10:30.
Drug Emporium, BP OK.
Read paper in car. Raining hard.
Burger King, home.
Tennis: Sampras won, replayed Agassi. Good tennis.
Papers, news. Worked on federal taxes. Must do cap gains.
Olympics: Men's skating. Todd fell.

Sunday, Feb. 15, 1998
Up 7:30. Tea, etc.
To show, “The Apostle.” Well done. 2 hours, 10 mins.
Home 2 p.m. Tennis match.
Dinner here, called Mina. She called back, talked long.
TV: News, ran end of “A Little Romance.”
Joan McCoy called to see if I’m OK.
 
Monday, Feb. 16, 1998
Awake 7:30. Not much sleep. Listened to “Leaves of Grass” cassette.
Rain let up a bit.
To Longs, Xerox broken. Got muffins.
To Kmart for lunch. Raining hard.
Home, read paper, wrote letter to Prudy.
Called Justine 3:30 p.m.
TV: Olympics, ice dancing. Russia 1-2, France 3. Ist coach had gorgeous sable coat. Where does money come from?
 
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 1998
Awake 6:30, up 7:30. To laundromat 9:15.
Coffee and donut at 41st. 
No rain, then real rain. Caught in rain, got pants and sox wet! Hope no cold!
Finished and mailed letter to Mimi.
Olympics, women's hockey won gold. Nikki Stone, gold in aerials.
Radio: Strong Clinton speech at Pentagon, Ronn agrees.
 
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1998
Awake 6:30. Tea, etc. Sun out.
To Trader Joe's, Drug Emporium, BP; Longs, Albertsons.
Walked on cliff, lovely day.
Home, Oscar and Lois walked by with Lois' sister. Lois in therapy.
Mail from Justine, she needs gingko.
To TJ's, got two gingko & echinacea. 
TV: Olympics.
Foned Dillon.
 
Thursday, Feb. 19, 1998
Awake 6:30, some news. Dillon called.
Dressed 9 a.m. To post office, mailed GB & E to Justine.
Breakfast Kmart.
To library, returned Leaves of Grass. 
Home, news. FBI arrested two men in Law Vegas with white substance. "Media" reports allege anthrax.
Wrote Sy and Stimson. 
Left message on Justine's machine.
TV: Frasier, X-Files.
Read French.
 
Friday, Feb. 20, 1998
Up 7. Tea, etc. Expected Dillon, no. Waited til 10.
Walked on cliff. Mary there.
Got donut and coffee.
Talked to Ellie, was ill. Goes to VA Wed for tests.
Home. News, ate some veggies.
To show, “Zero Effect.” Crowded! Funny, clever.
Home 5 p.m. News, ate tuna steak, Betty Crocker potatoes.
Mina called. Chatted a bit re Kwan/Lipinski.
Bed after Olympics.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 1998
Awake 8:30. Chores.
Drug Emporium for paper.
41st for donut/coffee. Thorton died.
Home. Finished fed taxes, read paper.
Justine called. Received vitamins.
TV: Taped some skating, watched “Clear and Present Danger.”
Bed 12:30, no sleep til 2 a.m. 

Sunday, Feb. 22, 1998
Tea, etc. Chores, shower/hair.
Announced on CNN that Saddam agreed to inspection.
Mall: Paid JC. Penney, bought book.
Ate at Burger King. Got two videos at Wherehouse.
Home 3 p.m. Ran “Jade,” part of others.
Part One of Oprah Winfrey presents, “The Wedding.”

Monday, Feb. 23, 1998
Up 8:30. Tea, etc. Some slack in rain.
Returned videos, mailed state tax forms, got paper.
To Lucky, then library. 
To Longs for Xerox, paper jammed.
Home, Frasier. Some “sleeping.”

Tuesday. Feb. 24, 1998
Dinner Live Oak, Bingo.
up 7:30. Tea, etc. Drug Emporium.
Walked on cliff.
Coffeee at 41st.
Home, wrote to Mina. Some work in garden.
Read some.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

My Grandmother's Journals: January, 1998

I have a bag of small notebooks my grandmother recorded details of her daily life in: When she woke, what she ate, any movie she went to see, any mail and calls she received, then what she read and watched on TV before bed.
 
In 1998, she was 82 and living alone in a mobile home park in Santa Cruz, Calif., but I wouldn't describe her as lonely. She was an extremely independent, frugal and persnickety woman whom I never knew to live with another person or even a pet. (I wrote more about her life in an earlier post.) 
 
 
The photo at left shows her in 1940, age 25, with her lifelong friend Mina, at right. The women met as orphans being raised in a Masonic Home in Covina, Calif.
 
Close to her home was the famous surfing spot called Pleasure Point. Nearly every day she walked to the cliffs above the ocean, checking out the waves and seeing if anyone was surfing. When she died at 97 in 2013, I took her ashes to those waves with one of her friends, and we each dropped some ashes at the sand. A moment after I dropped mine, a surfer emerged from the water where I stood.
   
That was cool.  
 
 
In January of 1998, my grandmother was watching football and tennis, calling her friend Mina to talk about tennis and ice skating, carefully following the latest scandal involving President Bill Clinton, and working her way through Siskel & Ebert's list of the best films of 1997.
 
 
Thursday, Jan. 1, 1998
Awake 8, tea. 9:15, Burger King and paper.
Longs, got envelopes to mail article to Mina.
Straightened rooms.
To show, "Jackie Brown." Very good. 21/2 hours. non-stop. 
Cludy.
Made tuna salad, some TV.
Channel 54, ocean film. Diagnosis Murder.
 
Saturday, Jan. 3, 1998
Awake 7. Usual.
Called credit union for interest.
To longs, BP high.
Kmart, ate lunch. Bought hat.
To Gottschalk's, got 3 pair pants!
Home 4 p.m. Put lights in packages.
Rented video: Paris, Texas. Sad.
TV: Frasier, X-Files, news. 
Bed, read a bit.
Woke in night with gas.

Sunday, Jan. 4, 1998
Awake 5 a.m., then 8:30. Stomach not happy.
Football: Green Bay 21, Tampa 7. well-played.
Finally got the gas out. Was deep.
Dressed about 11 a.m. Ginger tea.
To Safeway, got favorite frozen dinner, milk.
Ate at Kmart. 
Home. Football, news, soup and toast.
Siskel & Ebert, 10 best films: 
Siskel: Ice Storm, LA Confidential, Wag the Dog, In The Company of Men, Eve's Bayou, Full Monty, Sweet Hereafter, Jackie Brown, As Good As It Gets. 
Ebert: Eve's Bayou, Sweet Hereafter, Boogie Nights, Jackie Brown, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control, LA Confidential, In The Company of Men, Titanic, Wag the Dog, Maborosi.
TV: Started X-Files, turned off. Read.

Monday, Jan. 5, 1998
Slept good.
Longs, BP out. Got TV Guide, fruit.
Library. To Ferrell's, donut and coffee.
Home. Tea, eye pads.
Mail: Letters from Mina and Andra.
Some TV. Tired.
Cleaned spot on carpet.
Sonny Bono killed skiing in Tahoe, hit a tree.
Michael Kennedy also killed last Wed. Same.
 
Tuesday, Jan. 6, 1998
Tea, etc. Read paper. Up 9:30.
Wrote to Dorothy. Sent back the $10.
Sent Xmas card to Gilroy.
To Burger King, fish san.
To Ross, got dress and hose for Andra.
Home, some TV. Silent Witness.
Lunar Prospector to arrive Sunday.
 
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1998
Cold in a.m. Awake 6, radio til 8.
Tea, cereal. Washed sox.
Chores, left 11 a.m.
Drug Emporium. BP (127/77), got candy. 
Stopped by Erik's at 1:30. Busy, left.
Home, ate here.
Mail: Mina, Stanford arthritis program. Returned, asked to be taken off.
Read papers, news.
TV: Frasier, part of Dharma and Greg, Forensic Detective on Discovery.

Thursday, Jan. 8, 1998
Awake 6, up 8:30.
Drug Emporium for BP.
To laundromat, then Kmart for lunch. Got cookies!
Home 1:30.
Mail: Letters from Justine, Medicare, Schwab, Andra. Living at same place, trying to get cat.
Talked to Larry, ironed.
Watched skating, Mystery, second part of "I am Guilty."
Crossword, read papers.
 
Friday, Jan. 9, 1998
Up 9. Chores, wrapped package for Andra.
To post office, mailed package. (8.40) Registered, upped to 13.25.
Home, watched golf, ate, read papers.
Rain hard about 3 p.m.
Mail: All throwaways.
TV: Report that Ted Kaczynski tried to hang himself; watched some Geraldo, Frasier.
Figure skating: Women's short, men's long.
 
Saturday, Jan. 10, 1998
Awake 6. Shower/hair, ready to leave 11.
Cold, car won't start. Idles badly.
Harry at 395 Front. Man kept kicking seats. Gross.
Golf. Mickelson 14 after today, Tiger 8.
Ate BK, chicken sandwich.
Put contact on back door, marble. 
TV: News, skating. Ladies long.

Sunday, Jan. 11, 1998
Lunar Prospector arrives.
Football: Denver 23, Steelers 21; Green Bay 23, 49ers 10.
Chores, breakfast.
Got paper, donut/coffee, bank for balance.
Walked on cliff. Chilly. Small waves, but long rides.
Took Larry to Albertsons.
Called Prudy, she OK. 
Called Justine, left message.
Finished contact paper on door.
TV: News, Siskel & Ebert. Recommend Kline for "Ice Storm."
Taped PBS, Scientific Odyssey.
No sleep til 2:30 a.m.
 
Monday, Jan. 12, 1998
Wrote two letters, Andra and Justine. 
Worked on taxes.
To Drug Emporium for BP.
Longs, got TV Guide. Xerox out.
To Soquel PO for Xerox.
TV: News, Frasier.
Carole called. Magazine, daughter disappeared. 
Watched tape of Odyssey, finished taxes.
 
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 1998
Not good sleep.
Up 9, chores. Breakfast, some wash.
To Longs, Lois there. Hip to be operated on 22nd. Ellie there also, coffee.
McDonald’s being redone.
Home, called travel agency.
Justine called, 6:30 p.m. Plan to meet 26th. She moves next Monday. 
 
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1998
Car tune-up, 10 a.m.
Tea, cereal. Got paper.
To Goodyear 9:50. Walked home.
Read papers, called Goodyear 12 p.m., car ready. $50.95.
To library. SF Chron, "Pink calendar."
Home, ran Odyessy tape.
Bed 11:30. Slept good.
 
Thursday, Jan. 15, 1998
Tea, etc. Read a bit, ready by 10:30. 
41st donut/coffee. To mall, looked for locket.
To show, "Good Will Hunting."
Home, dinner, mail.
Radio, interview of O.J.
TV: News, Frasier, Law & Order, X-Files, reruns.
Taped last of Odyssey. Had to use new tape for last 1/2 hour.

Friday, Jan. 16, 1998
Fair sleep. Up 8:30. Tea, etc. 
Larry needed ice pack. Also looked up number in fone book.
To post office, mailed letter to Justine.
To Longs. Got another box of mashed potatoes, candy.
Wherehouse, got "English Patient."
No mail.
Ran video, taped Vikings in America.

Saturday, Jan. 17. 1998
Awake 8:30. Out by 10.
Drug Emporium. BP, envelopes, paper towels.
Ate breakfast at Old Theatre Cafe. Good.
To library til 2 p.m.
Home, ran English Patient again. Took to Wherehouse.
Walked on cliff.
To mall, got McDonald's sundae.
Dinner: Liver.
TV: X-Files, List of Adrian Messenger, old movie. Kirk Douglas, George C. Scott, Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra in cameo.

Sunday, Jan. 18, 1998
Up 8:30. Tea, etc. Shower/hair.
To show, "The Sweet hereafter." Good. Secrets, children caught in bus.
Home. Rain, wind, bad.
Changed clothes.
TV: A&E, good show about Egypt.
Called Mina, she OK.
TV: News, Golden Globes.
 
Monday, Jan. 19, 1998
Raining most of night, til 10:30 a.m.
Called bank, balanced OK.
To Kmart, lunch. To bank.
John Mark called. Al's wife moved in. Al woke one nite disoriented, went to hospital. Didn't want to go home.
TV: X-Files, Discovery re El Nino. Taped A Mid-Wife Tale.
 
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 1998
Tea. ESPN, tennis. Mary Pierce, neat costume.
To mall. "Ma Vie en Rose" starts 5:20, so no go.
Mail: Letter from Mina, letter from Justine with copies of Lone letter. [Lone is my father’s sister in Denmark].
Called Mina re costume of Mary Pierce, also Ole, etc.
TV: Frasier, taped two NOVAs.
 
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 1998
Up 9:15. Tea, etc. 
Tennis, Sampras won.
Walked on cliff.
Gas station at Kmart, having new tanks?
Home, wrote Mimi. No mailing it. Keep until sorted clippings, etc. New allegations re Clinton.
TV: News, Frasier.
Read papers, ate cookies.
 
Thursday, Jan. 22, 1998
Radio full of  “new charges” against Clinton. The highest number of callers were for Clinton.
Finally slept 5 a.m. til 9:45.
Tennis, Agassi won, four sets. 6/5, 6/5, 2/6, 7/5.
Drug Emporium for BP.
Albertsons, bank, Trader Joe's.
To show, “Star Kid.” Fun. Si Fi.
TV: Most about Clinton. Finally the news is tracking this girl. She was “stalking” the president.
Had tea for sleep and did.
 
Friday, Jan. 23, 1998
To Drug Emporium. Got Osteo-Bio? Recommended for cartilege.
Penneys, got velvet pants, blue top. (Have 2 already!)
Ate chicken at Burger King.
Called Gottschalk’s. Refund going out now!
Called for a dentist. Want personal info!
Some chores.
TV: News, etc. Reruns only.
 
Saturday, Jan. 24, 1998
8 a.m. Lawn mowers woke me.
Drug Emporium. More herbs.
To Logo’s, got Japanese art book.
To show, “Ma Vie en Rose.” Nice colors, but fanciful. Some phrases I got.
To McDonald’s, chicken.
To library. Checked on CULTS, calendars. Got a book.
TV: Taped bio on Clinton, movie Rebecca. 
 
Sunday, Jan. 25, 1998
Slept 12:20 to 6:30. Tea, etc. Shower/hair.
Called Carla, talked long.
Walked on cliff. Nice day, waves small.
Reading “The God Hustlers” by Mary H. Webb.
Saw Myra put out Larry’s garbage??
“Super Bowl” 3 to 7 p.m. Denver won! Favre goofed at end. With 1:34 left he threw in crowd.
TV: Masterpiece.
 
Monday, Jan. 26, 1998
Slept 12 to 8:30! Good, neck hurt. Pillow.
Laundromat about 9:30. Very few there.
Home, called Greyhound.
Worked on closet for hose, underwear, gowns.
Called dentist, wrote check for Master Card.
Talked to Myra, Larry in hospital. Depression.
TV: Discovery (rerun), X-Files, Diagnosis Murder.

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 1998
11:15 dentist.
Up 7:30. Tea, etc.
Longs, BP.
To Gottschalk’s to check on ”bonus.” Can’t use on current charges. Mailed letter to them.
To dentist. 2 x-rays, $48 + exam.
To show, “Fallen.”
Clinton State of the Union, speech accepted well. Drama teacher on TV, affair 92-97.
 
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 1998
Took Valerian, good sleep.
Radio: Ronn analyzes Clinton speech.
Tennis, Hingis won.
Lunch at Kmart. Checked for gift for Lutz. ”Greg Norman.”
To hospital, no dice visiting Larry.
Home, tired, Effects of Valerian root?
Left message with Sanchez. He returned call. $25 to remove jasmine!
Usual TV: Frasier, 1st. Daphne just hired, first time seen by Niles.
Sleep tea, then melatonin.
 
Thursday, Jan. 29, 1998
Radio: Ronn, one caller thanked him for "a break from Clinton."
Did some typing of cult info from library.
Walked on East Cliff. Waves strong, high tide. One surfer.
To town. Greyhound for times, library for Santa Rosa Transit.
Myra was visiting Larry. I gave him a small magnifying glass, the white one.
To See’s!
Mail: Letter from Stimson, Prudy, Mina, bank statements.

Friday, Jan. 30, 1998
Awake 7. Tea, etc. Ronn back on Clinton.
Foned Gott's re lost bonus.
Mail: State Farm auto, $150.28, check for "cash back," $4.50, Schwab report.
Bought shirt for Lutz, beige one for me.
Forgot tennis at 6:30.
Called county re drain.
Bed early.

Saturday, Jan. 31, 1998
Rained in nite.
Awake 7. Tea, etc. Chores. 
9 a.m. to Trader Joe's. Checked drain.
Home. Ellie said detective here yesterday, young man hid in closet of 85-year-old woman here. To be charged with sexual assault, masturbated.
Balanced checkbook, over by $300.
Wrote letter to Carla, more items to Mimi.
Lunch, read papers.
Sanchez came by, looked at bush. Will look at pipes.
Watched KLUTE.
Mail: Ad for tours.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

“You're loved.” How I spotted this message from The Velvet Bandit just when I needed it most.

Driving home one night I was feeling sad and scared, shaken by a big change in my life.
 
Then on the highway right before my exit, something caught my eye: A rainbow on a concrete block at the end of a frontage road. 

At the time I just wanted to get home after a long drive, but something kept telling me to pull off and take a picture of the rainbow, especially since the skies behind it were so beautiful. So I did.
 
That was cool.
 
Because once I got close, I saw that written below the rainbow were the words, “You’re loved.” Which was exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it. 
 
Even cooler? Afterward I got in touch with the artist (The Velvet Bandit), who said she put up that sticker, along with many others, in an effort to “bring a little love and light to someone’s day when they come across it.” And while she had put up that rainbow in the summer for Pride Month, I hadn’t noticed it until months later, when I needed it most. And I loved being able to tell her how much it helped me.

The night I saw the sticker was a great reminder that love is everywhere, we just have to find it. And that we should always strive to put back whatever amount of love we can offer to the world, just in case even that tiny dose Is exactly what at least one person needs, delivered exactly when they need it most.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

My Grandmother's journals: December, 1997

In tiny notebooks, my grandmother wrote each day when she woke, where she ate breakfast, any movie she went to see, any mail and calls she received, then what she read and watched on TV before bed.
 
In 1997, she turned 82 while living alone in a mobile home park in Santa Cruz, Calif., but I wouldn't describe her as lonely. She was an extremely independent and persnickety woman whom I never knew to live with another person or even a pet. 
(I wrote more about her life in an earlier post.)
 
Close to her home was the famous surfing spot called Pleasure Point. Nearly every day she walked to the cliffs above the ocean, checking out the waves and seeing if anyone was surfing. When she died at 97 in 2013, I took her ashes to those waves with one of her friends, and we each dropped some ashes at the sand. A moment after I dropped mine, a surfer emerged from the water where I stood.
  
That was cool.
 
 
 
Monday, Dec. 1, 1997
Chores.
Longs, BP high. Got TV Guide, ant sticks.
To Gottschalk's, got socks.
Home: News, tea, toast.
Wrote letters to Justine, Prudy.
To J: Dina Ruiz quits job, heroin chic? Vitamins C & E.
Got fish at BK.

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1997
Tea, cereal. 
Ironed.
To office, talked to "Park Helper," not asst. manager.
Walked cliff.
To library, took Sept. 13, 14, 15.
To show, "Wings of the Dove."
Albertsons, home. Dinner.
TV: Mostly reruns. 
 
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1997
Slept poorly. Awake 7, then 9.
Tea, etc. Chores.
Walked cliff. Big tree gone.
Longs, BP better.
Home, wrote to Tin Tin market. 
Also paid garbage. No new can.
TV: News, Frasier, X-Files. 
Read papers, did crossword.
 
Thursday, Dec. 4, 1997
Awake 8 a.m. Tea, cereal.
Worked on clothes til 10:30. Walked on cliff, rough, erratic seas.
Drug Emporium, BP. Kmart, lunch. Penneys, looked around.
Gottschalk's, looked for gloves. Kmart has new type of ear muffs.
To show, "Anastasia." Color animation good, terrible historically.
Got wash ready for tomorrow.
TV: No Mystery, ABC Kennedy special, "The Dark Side of Camelot."
 
Friday, Dec. 5, 1997
Slept til 8:30. Tea, cereal.
To Longs for paper, laundromat. Two people there.
No rain, cloudy.
Gottschalk's, got London Fog, very light coat. Need to wear wool.
TV: Geraldo, Benet case. Watched Pulp Fiction. Still not sure of time sequence.
Ambulance called to #26.
Bed, news, read paper. 
Up 1 a.m. for hot milk.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 1997
Awake 7. Tea, cereal.
Called Mina, 9:30 - 10. Long.
Walked cliff. Longs, BP.
Library, got Time magazine.
To show, "Ice Storm." Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver. Good, but unresolved.
 
Sunday, Dec. 7, 1997
Awake 7, crossword.
Shower, hair, football.
Tampa Bay 6, Green Bay 17. Dilfer sprains ankle.
Laundromat and Kinko's.
Some TV: Siskel & Ebert, Amistad, Titanic got good reviews, Good Will Hunting, great.

Monday, Dec. 8, 1997
Up 6:30, tea, cereal.
Got paper.
To bank, post office, 3 stamps for post cards.
Packed, forgot cup and flashlight. 
Left 11:30, Soledad rest area, then Motel 6, 3:40 p.m.
To be cold here in Pismo. Nice sky, blue all the way.
Walked to Thrifty to get flashlight, cup.
Only two stars, moon. 
No football.
 
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1997
Ate in room. Corn flakes, milk, tea.
To Ojai, arrived 11 a.m. Forgot address book.
Plumber at Dorothy's house, new toilet.
Off to "Senior Citizen Little House." 
Took trolley ride after.
"Cal" drove us home. Talked and talked. 
Cold in night. Cat slept with me.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 1997
Dog barks a lot, cats well-behaved.
11 a.m., started out to find Bea Woods' house.
Road closed, Dot lost, never found it.
To Ventura Amtrak station, ate Mexican food.
Dot is afraid of Alzheimer's. She was 78.
Home, then left. Forgot books.
Home 10:10 p.m.,  trip 712 miles. Six hours straight home. 

Thursday, Dec. 11, 1997
Awake 8:45, tea, corn flakes.
Drug Emporium, got hair curlers for Dot, also gingko biloba.
To Longs, got soup. 
Soup for lunch.
Sent package off to Dot.
News, read, stacked up papers.
TV: Frasier, X-Files, some Diagnosis Murder.
Mail: Letter from Justine, Carole.

Friday, Dec. 12, 1997
Awake 6:30. News, tea, cereal.
Wrote two letters: Dorothy, Justine.
To post office, McDonald’s for coffee.
By Carole’s, she not home.
Bought VHS tapes, Fuji.
Mail: Visa bill, letter from Prudy. She has heart disease, Hugh has blood clot in ankle.
Bed, read, 11 p.m. news.
Called Carole, not home.
Carole called, long talk.
 
Saturday, Dec. 13, 1997
Left 10ish. By Carole's, got persimmons.
Coffee at Santa Cruz Book Shop.
To show, "Beaumarchais the Scoundrel." Beautiful.
Library, got two ballet videos.
Burger King, chicken sandwich.
Watched ballet, X-Files.
Slept good.
 
Sunday, Dec. 14, 1997
Awake 7:30, tea, etc.
To Nob Hill for groceries.
Home all day: Football, read papers, watched ballet.
Bed early.
Cold, wrote cards to five.
 
Monday, Dec. 15, 1997
Tea, chores. Mailed cards.
Ate at Kmart.
Home via 17th, stopped to see Marge. She doing fine.
49ers, Broncos, 34-17.
Called Justine, machine out.
Package from Dorothy, missing book. 
 
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 1997
Up 7:30. Tea, cereal.
Showered, hair.
To donut place, read paper, etc.
Drug Emporium, got 2 cards and candy.
To show, "Amistad." Very good.
Home 4:45 p.m. 
TV: Some Larry King, Frasier,  X-Files. 
A new Frasier at 9. Good, clever writers.
Mail: Cards from Linda, Mimi. Mina sent back the cat one.

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1997
Usual breakfast.
Checks to girls. Wrote letter, copied at Longs.
Mailed card to Mimi.
Drug Emporium, got gifts for Marge.
Justine called, called back. She feels bad, stress. Got cold. Was praised for front page.
Mail: Card from Justine, Mina sent info on Getty Museum.
To post office, book not there.
TV: X-Files, bio of Truman Capote.
 
Thursday, Dec. 18, 1997
Up 8:20. Tea, cereal. Some wash.
To Drug Emporium, got menthol-eucalyptus cough drops for Justine.
Post Office, put in request for cat book lost in mail.
Left some things at thrift store.
 
Friday, Dec. 19, 1997
Slept deep.
Longs, got envelopes, mailed cough drops to Justine. 
Mall, read papers.
Home, Lois and Oscar stopped to talk.
Balanced checkbook, OK.
Got card and letter from Dot.
TV: Frasier. Ran ballet tape.
Fone: Call regarding late book. To library.
TV: X-Files, no Scully or Mulder.
 
Saturday, Dec. 20, 1997
Up 8:30. Tea, etc. Chores.
To Sears, paid bill. To mall.
To show, "Titanic." Absorbing. Good special effects.
KFC, chicken san.
To Longs, food, candy!!
Rented and played Scream. Too much!
 
Sunday, Dec. 21, 1997
Party at Marge's.
Up 10. Game with Vikings.
Walked on cliff.
To Burger King, got fish san.
Party at Twilight Manor. Stopped at Carole's, not there.
Home 7 p.m. 
TV: Some 60 Minutes, football, X-Files. Taped Jeeves for Mina.
Wind. Power out.
 
Monday, Dec. 22, 1997
Not much sleep last night. Cold.
Radio, Art Bell: Ebola, AIDS virus. New alarmists!
Woke up? 8:50?
Tea, cereal. To Drug Emporium, BP.
Drove to Aptos, Beach Drive. Large amount of plants cleared.
To Kmart, lunch. Meat loaf.
To Twilight Manor, took Marge for ride.
Drug Emporium for BP, paper.
Ran tape of Jeeves.
TV: News, football: Miami vs.  New England, Frasier, X-Files, Cybil.
Message left on tape, no name on it. 

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1997
Up 8. Tea, cereal.
Shower, hair.
To 41st Donut, mall. Looked in bookstore.
To show, "Tomorrow Never Dies." Fast, special effects.
TV: X-Files, Frasier, part of Witness (cut it).
Tomorrow San Jose for tea?
 
Wednesday, Dec. 24, 1997
Awake 7:45. Heat, tea, cereal.
Kmart, gasoline, to San Jose.
Stopped at donut, no donuts. Got butterfly.
To 2nd Street Market. Got 3 boxes (25 tea bags) of Black Tea.
Back to Santa Cruz.
Bank for $200.
Albertsons for food.
Mail: Card from Mina.
TV: Frasier, X-Files, etc.

Thursday, Dec. 25, 1997
Awake 6:50. Heat.
Out 7:30, got paper.
Finally to Lyon's for breakfast.
Home 9:45 a.m.
Worked on summary of earnings.
Dinner, news of the day.
Forgot lights, 2nd time
TV: Watched part of Vaudeville, Frasier, X-Files, Poirot.
Cold, sunny in days though.
Some yardwork.
 
Friday, Dec. 26, 1997
Awake 8. Tea, cereal.
Longs: BP, soup, battery for smoke alarm.
McDonald's, coffee.
To Ross, looked at lots of things, bought blue top. Plus poly cutting board for sink.
Looked for knit cap: Mervyn's, Sears. Nothing.
Home. News, read papers.
TV: Frasier, X-Files, Biography Dalai Lama.
Had lights on. Off 9:30 p.m.
 
Saturday, Dec. 27, 1997
Cold! Awake 7:30, heat first. Tea, etc.  
To town 10:30, library.
To Rebecca's  for muffin, coffee.
Cold, but pretty day!
To show," "Washington Square." Very well done. 
Albert Finney, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Chaplin, Maggie Smith. All excellent.
Football: Vikings won over Giants 23-22, Broncos won 43-17.
No sleep til 3 a.m.
 
Sunday, Dec. 28, 1997
Awake 5, then 9.
Football, paper, balanced checkbook.
Dressed, to Drug Emporium. 
Ate Kmart, turkey sandwich.
BP high at both places, 155-80, 151-79. Had muffin yesterday and frozen food.
Home, Tampa Bay beat Lions, 20-18.
Rest of day here.
TV: 60 Minutes, Siskel & Ebert: liked Jackie Brown, not Mr. Magoo or The Postman.
Bed after X-Files, slept good.

Monday. Dec. 29, 1997
Awake 5, then slept til 8:30.
Longs, got echinacea for Justine, TV Guide.
To OSH. Got knife for cutting linoleum.
Mailed video to Mina.
To show, "As Good As It Gets." Dog wonderful. No name in credits. 
TV: News, Law & Order.

Tuesday, Dec. 30, 1997
Walked on cliff.
To Trader Joe's.
Stopped by Carole's.
Called John Mark, no answer.
To post office, mailed echinacea to Justine, card to Dorothy.
 
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1997
Laundromat, not many there.
9:10, men, Spanish couple. TV.
Walked on cliff, someone left cup on steps? Yogurt. Sample? To trash.
To library, got 2 books and video.
Home, shower/hair.
TV: News, bio of Nostradamus.
Steve Allen's' birthday, 75 years old.
 
Thursday, Jan. 1, 1998
Awake 8, tea. 9:15, Burger King and paper.
Longs, got envelopes to mail article to Mina.
Straightened rooms.
To show, "Jackie Brown." Very good. 2 1/2 hours. non-stop. 
Made tuna salad, some TV.
Channel 54, ocean film. Diagnosis Murder.
 
Saturday, Jan. 3, 1998
Awake 7. Usual.
Called credit union for interest.
To Longs, BP high.
Kmart, ate lunch. Bought hat.
To Gottschalk's. got 3 pair pants!
Home 4 p.m. Put lights in packages.
Rented video: Paris, Texas. Sad.
TV: Frasier, X-Files, news. 
Bed, read a bit.
Woke in night with gas. 
 
Sunday, Jan. 4, 1998
Awake 5 a.m., then 8:30. Stomach not happy.
Football: Green Bay 21, Tampa 7. well-played.
Finally got the gas out. Was deep.
Dressed about 11 a.m. Ginger tea.
To Safeway, got favorite frozen dinner, milk.
Ate at Kmart. 
Home. Football, news, soup and toast.
Siskel & Ebert, 10 best films: 
Siskel: Ice Storm, LA Confidential, Wag the Dog, In The Company of Men, Eve's Bayou, Full Monty, Sweet Hereafter, Jackie Brown, As Good As It Gets. 
Ebert: Eve's Bayou, Sweet Hereafter, Boogie Nights, Jackie Brown, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control, LA Confidential, In The Company of Men, Titanic, Wag the Dog, Maborosi.
TV: Started X-Files, turned off. Read.