Sunday, June 7, 2020

I found a time machine on the Mendocino County line: The Gualala River

Last summer I went camping with family and stepped back in time.

With no Internet or cell service at our campground, we had no screens to look at. So when I walked to the river, the youngest camper in our group, a nine-year-old girl, followed me down to the water. I watched the birds, she dipped in her toes, and as we stood there quietly, not doing much of anything but enjoying being outside, I floated back to 1979.

That was cool.
The Gualala River, July of 2019

In 1979 I would have been that nine-year-old girl, and that summer I would have gone to Yosemite with my mother and sister for our annual camping trip. Most days camping my mother took off birding, leaving my sister to take me fishing at the creek. Bored by sitting, I would walk through the water, loving to watch the tiny fish swim past my feet.

The Internet and cell phones hadn't been invented when I was a kid, and I'm so grateful. I'm even grateful that I grew up without a television, though I hated it at the time

But now I can appreciate being forced to become bored and learn how to entertain myself with my surroundings. Lie in the grass and watch the bugs on the ground, the birds and clouds in the sky. Hold races with the leaves floating down the rain gutter.

And I loved how 40 years later I could have that again with another kid: Spend an afternoon just walking through the water and watching whatever nature sent floating by.


Monday, June 1, 2020

My Grandmother's Journals: June, 1995

Every day my grandmother wrote down what time she woke up, where she ate breakfast, what movie she went to see, what mail and phone calls she received, then what she read and watched on TV before going to sleep.
My grandmother and grandfather in June of 1962, in Los Angeles. Taken by my mother, it is the only photo I found of them together.

In 1995, she was 79 years old 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 and persnickety woman whom I never knew to live with another person or even a pet.

In her late 70s she was still traveling alone, corresponding with people across the globe she befriended on her trips, and always keeping up with current events. (I wrote more about her life in an earlier post.)  

Close to her home was the famous surfing spot called Pleasure Point, and she loved walking to the ocean and watching the surfers. When she died at 97 in 2013, I took her ashes to those waves with a friend of hers and we each dropped some at the sand. A moment after I dropped mine, a surfer emerged from the water where I stood.

That was cool.

In June of 1995, she was still watching the O.J. Simpson trial and shows like Star Trek:The Next Generation. She liked Patrick Stewart, who played Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, so much that bought a commemorative plate that she put on the wall near her refrigerator. On the refrigerator she put a photo of Gillian Anderson of the X-Files that she had cut out of TV Guide.

Thursday, June 1, 1995
To Burger King, 8:30.
Then laundromat, washed wool sweater, poncho and blue shawl. No one there but one woman and one man, took Gap sweater!
To Post Office, mailed package to Justine with candy, toothbrush and floss.
To show, "While You Were Sleeping." Good, fun.
Justine called, talked long. She moving 24th.
Watched Prime Suspect, two hours.

Friday, June 2, 1995
Up 8:30, breakfast at McDonald's.
Home, put Clorox on termites, many in shed.
Started cleaning, Larry talked.
To office at 11, Mary there, talked til 12.
Some food (cereal.)
Cleaned shed, sprayed with ant/roach killer. Waited two hours, then put things back!
Forgot to watch tennis!
Paper, X-Files. Taped "Due South."
Bed 11 p.m.

Saturday, June 3, 1995
Up 7:30. Watered lawns, breakfast McDonald's -- hot cakes!
Home, took some weeds out.
To Penney's, got knee highs; Gottschalks, earrings and pin; Drug Emporium, aspirin and diuretic (2) and sweets.
Home 12 p.m., tennis. Ran tape of "Due South."
Watched Larroquette Show, Law and Order. Bed 11 p.m.

Sunday, June 4, 1995
Awake 5:30, back to sleep til 8. Donut shop 10 a.m.
Tennis, Becker out! So is Courier, 19-year-olds beat both. Agassi in.
Shower, washed hair.
To mall, got fish and malt at Carl's Jr. Suffered later.
Got card for Noble.
Bed 9 p.m., read. Wind came up in evening.

Monday, June 5, 1995
Awake 6:55, up 7:20. Breakfast McDonald's. No toilet paper, toilets don't flush.
Got Santa Cruz t-shirt- $14.95!
Mailed card to Noble, also to Yvonne and Sy!
Mail from DMV, needs reg and smog.

Tuesday, June 6, 1995
Up 7:30. Breakfast McDonald's.
Car to Watsonville to clear fumes. Passed smog check, but new tube needed. $46.80
Agassi lost, hip injury.
To library, got "Cat Who Wasn't There."
Tried to find parking for "Tales from the Hood," but none!
Home, read papers. Bed 10 p.m., up and read 1 -2 a.m.
Must vacuum and clean and dust!

Wednesday, June 7, 1995
Up 8. Breakfast Carl's Jr.
To Gottschalk's, got 2 rings. Home, some tennis.
Watered lawn before breakfast, cleaned under bed - dust.
Got some wash ready, changed sheets.
To show, "Bridges of Madison County." Meryl good, Italy accent.
Home, read, some TV. Eyes burn!

Thursday, June 8, 1995
Up 8:30. Breakfast McDonald's.
Laundry, to IRS for instructions, out of date. Corrected form, mailed.
Thrifty, got tissue, soap. Home, got gas.
Read, eyes hurt.
Lost pilot found, Scott O'Grady. Six nights, shot 6/2, picked up a.m. Thursday! Teaches survival techniques.

Saturday, June 10, 1995
Up 7. Breakfast McDonald's. Home, cleaned kitchen and sinks.
To Longs for cholesterol check, report not good!
Graf over Arantxa Vicario, 7/5, 6/4, 6/0. Played well. (She cried at ceremony.)

Monday, June 12, 1995
Up 7:30. Right eye stuck. Breakfast Lyon's.
Drug Emporium, got vitamin A and B-12.
Dusted outside windows, wiped inside. Water shut off.
Wrote to Mina, took to mailbox. Water back on 1 p.m.
Washed bedroom curtains, read book.
Ate beef stew. Larry cut lawn.
Ironed curtains, watered lawn, raked. Some TV, Star Trek.

Tuesday, June 13, 1995
Up 7:45. Breakfast McDonald's.
To library, had soup for lunch at Erik's (Deli).
To show, "Tales from the Hood." Morals. Much violence.
Mail from McCoys, pictures of me (2).
Gargled with sodium perborate. Medical dictionary says is antiseptic.

Wednesday, June 14, 1995
Up 7:30. Breakfast McDonald's. Rained, washed car.
Cleaned clothes closet, insects in it!
Vacuumed, took three hours.
Read, then put clothes back. Next more curtains.
6 p.m., scattered seed on lawn, plus dry fertilizer.
Watched Diane Sawyer interview with {Michael} Jackson & wife {Lisa Marie Presley.} Much criticism on KGO in a.m.

Thursday, June 15, 1995
Up 8:30. Breakfast Carl's Jr. To Penney's, got skirt, long.
Home, some yard work. Rained in night, soft ground, pulled weeds.
To Drug Emporium, got crackers, cookies and candy!
Watched O.J. trial, tried on glove! Big show about not fitting!
Gargled twice.

Saturday, June 17, 1995
Slept good. Perborate seems to be helping infection in membranes.
Some vacuuming in dining area.
To show 12:30 after shower/hair wash.
Got salad at McDonald's. Home 3:30 p.m. after library.
Eye damage from insect spray?

Sunday, June 18, 1995
Up 8:30. Breakfast McDonald's. Walked in Brown Ranch.
Drug Emporium, got Head & Shoulders, candy and cookies.
Home, Dodgers vs. Cubs. Dodgers won 6 - 0. Piazza home run with 3 on base! {Isn't that a Grand Slam?}

Tuesday, June 20, 1995
Up 8:30. Ironed blouse.
Breakfast at Carl's. Breakfast too much!
Washed curtains in dinette, kitchen, etc. Argued with man who closed dryer. He scared of drugs!
To Longs, TV Guide, cough drops, candy. Checked blood pressure, talked to nurse.
Ironed curtains, watched NYPD Blue, Koppel.

Wednesday, June 21, 1995
Up 8:30. Breakfast McDonald's. Got Lotto ticket.
Penney's, knee highs; Payless Shoes, denims, heel grips.
Finished putting curtains up, lunch here.
Some O.J. trial.
Mall, got shower liner and faucet.
Put liner up, read papers, watched opera.
Mary C. home!

Thursday, June 22, 1995
Up 8:30. Breakfast Carl's Jr. Message on phone from Mary, went to hear about trip. Her eyes bad, she had friend fly up to drive her home!
Shower, washed hair with Head & Shoulders.
Mall, glasses aligned. To show, "Red." Good, film half hour late.
No mail, got Greek salad at Pizza My Heart.
Call from Mary Cooper, slight stroke.

Friday, June 23, 1995
Up 7:30. Awake 4 a.m. Breakfast McDonald's.
Talked to Mary C, taking blood thinners, needs to have blood test Monday.
Washed four curtains from front, still need three big ones.
Usual TV, Dodgers beat Giants at L.A. 7-2!
Broke glasses frame, right corner.
Mail, letter from Justine, moving this weekend.

Monday, June 26, 1995
Mary to doctor at 8 a.m., waited until almost 9 a.m., doctor had not signed slip for Mary's blood test.
Breakfast at McDonald's, Mary paid.
Ordered muffler at Toyota, not in stock.
Wrote letter to Justine.
Some yard work, washed two shirts for thrift shop.

Tuesday, June 27, 1995
Awoke 3:30 a.m. Usual problems, no sleep after.
Up 8 a.m., breakfast Lyon's. Ate too much. Walked a bit.
Bank, Longs, got TV Guide, Kleenex. Also at Thrifty's, plus Vick's.
Rented Demolition Man! "Rat Burger," violent, but S S {Sylvester Stallone} doesn't lose his cap!
Bed 11:15. Not able to sleep until 2 a.m.

Wednesday, June 28, 1995
Awake 7, up 8. Breakfast Carl's Jr.
Mall, walked around. Turned in video.
Home, rearranged one small closet.
Mary C. came by, needs another blood test.
Read until 12:30. No Nightline?
Took Actifed and aspirin.

Thursday, June 29, 1995
Up 9:30. Breakfast Kmart. Bought pants and lingerie.
To San Jose, got gas at Arco, $116.9/gal. To Emporium, then Nordstrom's, got pink jacket.
Trader Joe's, got coffee for Justine.
Collapse of wing of department store in Seoul, South Korea.
Read late, couldn't sleep.

Friday, June 30, 1995
Up 7:30, got paper. Mary ready (for appointment). To McDonald's, she paid.
Home, watered lawn, roses fertilized.
Read, hemmed beige pants. Haircut 4 p.m.
Diagnosis Murder, X-Files re-runs.
Bed, 10 p.m. Tired.