Returning to an unknown place…


Another chapter in the saga of changing places; I was fortunate to have a good friend and a good reason to visit in California. I flew from Denver to Sacramento for a few days during spring break. Denver International was stressful. There is this need to leave Colorado Springs extra early in the dawn of the day to make a flight, including the jingle jingle underground ride from the big white circus-tent peaks to far away gates. I was so lucky to be there when my letter and number echoed through the carpet-plastic-steel-glass finger of DIA that connects the terminal to Southwest aircraft. It was worth it, though, to see the real peaks spread out below the plane, stretching in unending eruption across the backbone of America.

I knew it would be raining in California, but it still amazed me to leave the crisp tan landscape of Colorado and deplane into a lush mush that was everywhere in the Sacramento Valley. I spent four days in this rain and hungered for the magic attached to each drop to enter me that I might take the precipitation home to Colorado. We need rain on the Front Range.

I was excited to see my son and grandchildren. I was anxious to find my way to old friends. I called people randomly, drove all over downtown and took a spin through the university where I spent so much time and learned my craft, and then made my way to my son’s house in the early afternoon. My grandkids were there, Megan and Adam. My son, Erik, proposed dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. It was memorable, to say the very least. I felt like I might not want to eat again for days, but it was scrumptious. I brought home a tee shirt and a great memory. Gave Megan a quilt that I had made for her. Wish I had taken a picture before I gave it to her. Perhaps she will send a picture to me.

Later, found Jan and Scott’s house in Orangevale. What a lovely house! But the rain, oh the rain!!! This was a weeping dusk with wind and water hiding all that should have been familiar to me. I found that I could not remember how to get from one place to another, even though I have driven those streets for years. My sense of place has silently shifted. I almost got lost.

The next day, with more light but no less rain, I was able to navigate a bit better. It was so strange how a street sign would loom before me, popping the dream with recognition. Ah! I know that street!!! And that one. And the next one. Sunrise Blvd. No kidding! How could this seem like a foreign place to me, after only three years.

Driving past Sac State choked me up inside.  Going to school has always been such a huge part of my life.  I have many memories lingering under the giant redwood trees at Sac State.

Jan and I went to Beverly’s Fabrics to get supplies and then to the Summer Porch (dumb name) which really ought to have been called French Linens.  I bought a very blue sugar bowl to put on the table in my kitchen, and a framed French print.  We did some serious sewing in her warm house while it rained and rained outside.

I guess, in the end, I had to admit that my map has shifted. I watched the weather on TV and looked for Wyoming at the top of the map. I read signs on buildings as I drove around and looked for King Soopers, not Bel Aire. I scanned the horizon and saw turbulent cloudy sky. No skyline. No purple mountains majesty. It was a good visit because I found friends again. But I was happy to go home.

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