Every time I doubt that all of this is for real, and that I am really happy, I ask myself this question. Seriously, how long am i going to wait to be happy? Every life has drawbacks, and my life has very few these days, especially because of the way i choose to see it and embrace it.
I am finally where i want to be each day, and on the road to building a new life out here on the west coast. I have been given a second, a third, and even a fourth chance at a life lived well. Everything points me in that direction. All i have to do is relax into the wind and let go of the idea that suffering is necessary, because it is not. And even if it was necessary, I have done my share into perpetuity.
Today is sunny and cold, and the brisk air makes me feel really emboldened and full of vitality.
Things are moving on the substitute teaching front. I go for a background check and finger printing next Monday, along with my negative TB test results.
I have an interview at a deli out in Sonoma this afternoon, thirty-five miles away. I'll go for the interview, but it might be too far. I will keep an open mind.
But the most wonderful thing that has happened is that I have made some friends, people who are not related to me. Richard and Gregory are twin brothers and I met them, and their sweet dogs, Kate and Spencer, on the crazy beautiful Mare Island Preserve Trail. I found the most amazingly beautiful trail to the top of the hill, and they were hiking behind me. We talked when we all stopped in a clearing, and, after assuring me that they were not murderers, they offered to show me some more beautiful trails. And so we went.
They kept their promise. They did not murder me and they did show me the most beautiful trails that led to high, high spots overlooking the bay. Richard pointed out Mount Diablo, and Gregory informed me that the Mount Tam legend I heard from local a few weeks ago was made up by a bunch of boy scouts in the early 1900s.
They invited me to go with them on another walk on Sunday, out in the Suisin Valley. It was a spectacular day, what with the blazing wine colored foliage, the rolling hills, and the snappy weather. The hills were steep, but the twins, who are way over 6 foot, took them easily. I did not, but that was ok. Kate, a really nice woman who came with us, told me that she does hills by taking really small steps, standing up straight, and not giving a shit about the time it takes.
We walked for over an hour, and then Richard invited me to their house for an oyster roast on Sunday night. Just when it could not get any better, BAM! It does.
Richard and Gregory live in the house they grew up in, in a sweet neighborhood on top of a very high hill. The house was built in 1938 and is full of the original woodwork. Richard lives upstairs and Gregory lives downstairs, in the in-law suite. It's a magical place. There is a gorgeous bottle trumpet lily tree in the front yard, and an artistic array of succulents on the entry porch.
Inside, the house is really exquisite, comfortable, and colorful. It is a deja vu kind of place, dreamy and surreal.
The food was delicious and homey, served in such an elegant way. Gold chargers gave the table a regal feel, even though we were eating the most incredibly tasty oyster bisque i have ever eaten. Richard is a chef at a B&B in Napa, and they must love his cooking, because this was really a treat.
The centerpiece was the soup, a creamy tomato based bisque with a nice horseradish kick, like cocktail sauce. In the center of each soup bowl were five plump lightly poached, tender pacific oysters just waiting to be devoured. The spinach for the salad, as is the case with all the produce i have eaten out here, was picked that morning, and so was the pineapple Gregory served with a glorious pineapple upside down cake for dessert.
It was a really lovely evening, and I hated to leave, but poor Richard had to get up at the crack of dawn to cook breakfast.