Dear Liza (and Jasper and Kestrel),
The very best thing about being in Salinas is seeing my old dear friends. I sometimes find them randomly. The other day a former student, Jesus, was buying cookies at Blue Aces Bakery where another old friend, Katrina, is working. Out for a walk, I ran into Mr. Rossi and his wife.
But today it was planned. I had a lunch date with Pat Van Noy, a teacher who had retired by the time I met her 15 years ago. It was cloudy as I walked down Acacia Street and Main Streets to Ellie’s All American Restaurant on South Main Street, not quite two miles away, but sunny and pretty warm by the time I got there.
Pat and I talked about her life, taking care of her son’s two chihuahuas, playing bridge, and singing in her choir. We talked about mine, getting used to teaching again and how I am adjusting to living in Salinas. We have teaching in common, so we talked about students and classroom troubles and administrators.
But it always came back to “You seem to be having such fun.” And I am. My dad always said that the world was pretty wonderful, and if you weren’t having a good time it was your own darn fault, and I feel very much the same way. I work hard…we all do. But that means we are being useful. Doing a hard job that I love keeps me mentally active and walking all over town keeps me strong.
I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to live in Salinas, then leave it, and then come back for a short stay. It gives me perspective and lets me visit the people I love.
Off for more adventures today!