Thursday, October 1, 2015

Unexpected Trip to California

 On August 4th, my sister lost her husband during a heart procedure. They had been married for 14 years and were crazy about each other. I took this picture of them in my backyard two years ago. Jim was a frequent visitor to our family in Indiana, although they lived in California.
After losing his previous wife to cancer, Jim organized a benefit for lymphoma research every year since 1998. It was always held on the 2nd Saturday of September. Since all of the groundwork for the benefit was completed, my sister decided to go ahead with the benefit and asked me to come to California to be with her during this time.
So, very unexpectedly, I found myself in Folsom, California for three weeks, from August 25th through September 15th. Here we are at my sister's favorite breakfast place, Mary's Goldmine.
I found out very quickly that there is a terrible drought in California. I knew it, of course, but to see it firsthand is something else. This is a picture I took on a drive in the country one day.

My niece, Kelly, came in from Japan. I hadn't seen her for six years. It was very nice to spend some quality time with her.
Kelly's sister, Bonnie, also came in town. She lives in Portland. We also spent some quality time together. This picture was taken of my sister's breezeway. While I was there I helped refresh the flowers and rearrange. Plants do not last very long because of the drought.
One of the things my sister asked me to help with was to clean out her garage. With the help of my nieces, we got it done! We are women, hear us roar! 
On a walk one day I came across some pretty leaves. I came home and made a bouquet.

We enjoyed breakfast out a lot.
Bonnie and Patsy.

Loved this giant pumpkin in front of the candy store on Sutter Street. Signs of Fall were everywhere.
Hello! We took a lot of walks. One day we encountered this fellow in the park. It's not every day you see a peacock in the park!
I do not usually notice cars, but these old cars really caught my eye. I love VW bugs!

And look at this old camper! It just screams the 70's. 
A cool old Chevy.
And another Bug!
And here we are again, enjoying the breezeway, along with Hazel.

A lot happened in the three weeks I was there. We had dinner at their wonderful neighbors', Andrea and Bill. We had Jim's sister Susan and her husband Bob over for dinner one night. And we went to Jim's daughter Kriss's house for dinner. We also went to one of my sister's best friend's house for a cookout and I met all of her work friends. And of course there was the Benefit, which was a grand event at the Moose Club. We had pedicures and a foot massage. We drove to Davis, CA, for a Farmer's Market, which I loved. We drove into gold country in the hills north of Folsom.

And it felt as if Jim was there with us, through it all. He was only 68, way too young to leave us. And we will miss him.


  1. great, you do this so well, covering it all. sweet and sad about jim.

  2. It was great seeing you! I'm finally catching up on reading blogs. Love seeing all your posts and happy to hear about your job at JoAnn's too. I bet that's fun :)

  3. This is the first time seeing this post. I am so glad you were here with me, I don't know how I would have gotten through it all. You made such a difference, and helped me through the hardest time of my life! Thank you. You are a true sister! Love you, Susan.