Wednesday, August 3, 2022

My Gratitude Journal: “I'm grateful for my cat, green olives, baking soda, photographs”

More entries from the Gratitude Journal I started keeping after my college graduation:

January 24, 2997

I forgot yesterday, and even though I just cried my eyes out and soaked my pillow, here it is:

1.  I’m grateful S didn’t yell at me, not really.
2. I’m grateful N and her boyfriend didn’t come back.
3. I’m grateful it’s artichoke season, and I got some damn good ones.
4. I’m grateful that I have the house to myself, so I can sob as loudly as I want.
5. Again, I’m grateful for music, for a good song and dancing can usually make me forget about anything.
6. I’m grateful that I don’t have to work with him anymore, because I just can’t help myself.
February 18, 1997

1. I’m grateful for books like “The Bean Trees” that I can escape into time and again.
2. I’m grateful for all the Texas sheet cake that Karen’s mom sends her home with.
3. I’m grateful that I had the balls to call Vallejo.
4. I’m grateful that J convinced me to call.
5. I’m grateful that I actually have a place like M & M’s to go to, even if it is reluctantly.
6. I’m grateful for purple, flowery skirts and that I have nice legs. Thanks, mom.
February 23, 1997

1. Once again, I’m grateful for music, and songs like “Crash” by The Dave Matthews Band, that can articulate and begin feelings inexpressible.
2. I’m grateful I still live near the ocean so I can watch the waves and be calmed, cleaned.
3. I’m grateful for my cat, someone warm to love and cuddle up with every night.
4. I’m grateful for green olives, so good and salty and spicy.
5. I’m grateful for baking soda, it’s cheap and good for so many things, like easing heartburn from drinking spicy Bloody Mary mix late at night.
6. I’m grateful for pictures. What would our world be without them? What is our world like because of them? What if we couldn’t look at the faces of loved ones gone again?
Would we forget our lives? How would we show each other our past? That’s who they’re for — to communicate to others who weren’t there. It is an invaluable form of communication, showing images that would otherwise only exist in the minds of those who saw it, and how do you impart that information?
Some of my favorite photographs were taken by my friend Nathan, who discovered his love of traveling and taking pictures after meeting his father and taking road trips together

Monday, August 1, 2022

My Grandmother's Journals: August, 1997

My grandmother in Toledo, Spain, 1968.
My grandmother kept track of her days in tiny notebooks, writing down when she woke up, what she ate, what movies she went to see and what she watched on TV, which was a lot of news, sports and Star Trek.
In August of 1997 at 81, she was exchanging letters and phone calls weekly with Mina, a woman she met while both were being raised in a Masonic home in Covina, Calif., while still battling ants in her kitchen and fretting about having to take a test to renew her driver's license. 
Unfortunately, she was also still avoiding the donut shop where she had befriended the owners and most of the other regulars. More on that in the July entries.

Friday, Aug. 1, 1997
Walked on West Cliff.
To Longs for BP, paper.
McDonald's, got coffee & muffin (mall).
To Credit Union, put $5,000 in CD for 3 years, 6.5%
Forgot rent. She leaves at 3 p.m.
TV: Star Trek, TNG.

Saturday, Aug. 2, 1997
Up 7:30, tea.
Called Mina, talked 1 hour. She stopped taking blood thinner.
Wrote more of letter, sent article on HMO.
To Longs, BP, paper.
To library, got video: “When the Cat’s Away.” Some fun, but main girl dumb.
Home, lawn. Read papers.

Sunday, Aug. 3, 1997
Put up new shades on two windows. First goofed, second no problem.
TV: Dodgers vs. Cubs, some 60 Minutes, X-Files, La Femme Nikita.
Monday, Aug. 4, 1997
Call at 3:33 a.m. Did not answer.
Not best sleep. Sun bright.
Cleaned kitchen sinks with Pine-Sol, hope keeps ants away.
Longs, paper & BP.
Safeway, corn, zucchini, forgot deodorant spray.
Put up two more shades , then vacuumed some walls and floor. Moved bookcase in bedroom, swapped TV and shoes.
TV: News, Poirot, Miss Marple, Suddenly Susan, Cybill, TNG.
Full day.

Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1997
Up 8. Tea.
Some cobweb cleaning. Watered lawn.
Shower, hair.
To Longs 11:45, Vibol in parking lot. Said hello.
Got Osteo check at Longs, 30% down on bone mass.
Ran Morse tape, Law & Order new to me.
Wednesday, Aug. 6, 1997
Up 8:30. Radio static. To Myra’s, tried radio.
Some housework.
To Longs, got cans of Mandarin oranges.
To Wherehouse, got two videos.
To library, read on Osteo.
To “English Patient” again.
To market, got a few nectarines and peaches.
Ran “Lost Boys.” Loud. 
Bed, no sleep til 2 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 9, 1997
Tea, cereal here.
Walked on East Cliff, some high waves.
Longs, BP, etc.
To Gembrokers, appraisal. Nice man.
Got fish and chips!!
TV: 49ers over Seahawks.
French, news, Faulty Towers.
Sunday, Aug. 10, 1997
Up 8:30. No electric blanket. Radio static. 
Walked, many in surf, parking lot full.
Tennis: Sampras, Seles won.
Some golf, wrote letters.
TV: News, Siskel & Ebert, Silk Stalkings.
Monday, Aug. 11, 1997
Wrote checks for girls.
Longs, BP. Bank, post office.
Planted Lobellia and Forget-me-nots.
Talked to Margaret.
Warm. Larry cut Myra’s grass. Cutters came same day, swept.
TV: News, Poirot, Marple, Cybill, TNG.
Sleep 11:30-1:45-3:30-7:30
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 1997
Watered lawn with fertilizer.
Ronn in LA, good talk.
Shower, hair.
Longs, BP.
To show, “George of the Jungle.” Some fun.
Home, washed white curtains.
Mary to Marie Callender’s. Soup, pie.
Home, ironed curtains.
TV: Morse, Law & Order. Fraiser, TNG. Only watched 1/2 hour, tired.
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 1997
Slept 10:30-1:30-3:30-6:30.
Radio, tea, cereal. Ronn controversial.
Washed middle room windows, put up curtains. 
Kmart, checked BP, got chicken sandwich. Gave boy seven cents.
Got ankle hose, TV Guide.
Mail: Letter from Mina.
TV: News, Dodgers lost, Giants lost.
Star Trek Voyager, TNG.
Thursday, Aug. 14, 1997
Slept good.
Washed car & hosed west side of mobile home.
Longs, BP, then Albertsons and Trader Joe’s, got ginko for Mina.
Home, golf. To bank to deposit Mina’s check, $14.81.
DMV, made appt for license. 
TV: News, some Benny Goodman program.

Friday, Aug. 15, 1997
Next door yelling at 7 a.m.
Up 9:05, tea.
Golf, Tiger to start at 10.
To Longs, BP, got Kleenex and muffins.
Mall, looked for “Polish cloth.” Got scarf, black hat, purse.
Paper, crossword.
News at 11, UPS scandal.
Saturday, Aug. 16, 1997
Not good sleep.
Longs, BP + paper.
Home, message from Carol. Sentinel has article on Vibol.
Golf: Tiger not putting good, anxious.
Kmart, got wipes and dish soap.
To show, “Shall we Dance?”
Sears, got coin purse. Almost got purse.
Library, got 3 videos. 

Sunday, Aug. 17, 1997
Up 8, golf.
To Albertsons, got lettuce, peaches.
Called Carol to thank her for calling yesterday. She getting ready for art showing.
TV: “Great Moments of Opera,” checked 60 Minutes. 
To Trader Joe’s, more fish.
Not good sleep, Larry up calling, "Kitty."
Monday, Aug. 18, 1997
Awake 7, up 9. Ronn had psychic.
Longs, BP, Valerian, cayenne/garlic.
Wrote Mimi, Mina.
Football: 49ers lost to Jacksonville.
Saw MIR pass over 9:29 p.m., moon bright.
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 1997
Up 9, ate here. 
Some chores, watered lawns.
Shower, hair.
To show, “Conspiracy Theory.” Good, Mel Gibson gives good performance. Patrick Stewart is “bad” man. Show long.
TV: Taped Mad About You, Frasier. Watched X-Files rerun.
Bed, news, Letterman.

Wednesday, Aug. 20, 1997
Awake 7, up 9:40. Slept again.
Tea, walked. Felt dull.
To Longs, BP out of order.
To DMV. Passed written, but eye test difficult.
To Kmart, ice cream.

Thursday, Aug. 21, 1997
Worked in yard. Put plastic green between Larry and me.
Longs, BP still out of order.
To Beacon to put air in tires.
To Kmart, ate lunch, got “Gum-out.”
Two hours to write letter to Prudy, big, sent Justine's card.

Sunday, Aug. 24, 1997
Up 8:30. Breakfast McDonald’s!
BP at Longs.
Walked on East Cliff. 
Hot today. Beautiful day!
TV: 60 Minutes, part of “Man Without a Face.”
Bed late!
Monday, Aug. 25, 1997
Up 7:30, watered lawn. Some chores.
To Longs, BP low. Got TV Guide, fruit.
To McDonald's, had decaf and muffin.
To Kmart, got gas and BP.
Looked for cardboard box, changed car box -- oil, etc. -- into new box.
Cleaned shelves a bit, took to dump.
Bed 10:30, tired.

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 1997
Awake 5, back to sleep. Up 9.
Tea, cereal, walked.
Wrote girls re no deposit 9/1.
To post office, got stamps.
To Trader Joe's, got sorbet.
TV: Tennis, NOVA, Frasier, TNG.
Read paper.

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 1997
Good sleep.
Up 7:15, awake 6.
Checked oil, talked to Eloise.
Breakfast Kmart.
Justine called, changed number.
Changed pots and plants around.
Larry home, talked a bit.
TV: More tennis, TNG.

Thursday, Aug. 28, 1997
Watered back, weeded.
Tennis rain delay.
Longs BP out of order again!
To mall, Lily there. Eye trouble, growth on nose. Will not have it removed.
Gottschalk’s, sale on: Got denims, matching top.
To library, returned videos.
To show, “Mrs. Brown.” Good, need to know history!
TV: Tennis, Diagnosis Murder, TNG. 
11 news: Dog who sniffs termites!
Friday, Aug. 29, 1997
Rent Monday!
Up 8:30, ate here, low-fat muffin.
Longs BP OK.
Home 2 p.m. News, typed report of arthritis.
TV: Tennis, Dodgers vs A’s. Dodgers won in 10th inning. 5-4.
Saturday, Aug. 30, 1997
Breakfast Egg McMuffin.
Walked East Cliff 9 - 9:15.
Checked Thrifty for purses, none.
Longs, BP out of order.
To Kmart for eggs, ham, muffin.
News: Princess Diana killed in car accident in Paris, in Tunnel Pont de Alma. Chauffeur also killed. Watched TV til 1 a.m. Radio also.

Sunday, Aug. 31, 1997
Rent tomorrow.
Awake 7 a.m., up 8:30.
Radio a bit. 
Tennis: Seles won, Venus Williams won, Agassi won.
Changed coolant, watered lawn. Talked to Eloise next-door.
TV: 60 Minutes devoted to Diana, car traveling in excess of 100 mph.
More on my grandmother: In 1997, she was 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.)