Two Thousand Eleven?! Oh my!
My brother always says the key to a good blog is to have something to write about. Yep, I would say that's true. I have no big stories to tell. January and 2011 has held work, a day trip to Sonoma, some time in the City (San Fran) and a head cold, like the rest of the Bay Area. This last week, however, included the exploration of the town of Sonoma and Sonoma Valley. Sonoma is where the Bear Flag Revolt occurred and Californians declared independence from Mexico in 1846. California was even it's own republic for less than a month before it was annexed to the States! But, Sonoma has much to offer the history buff, with preserved hotels during the mining days, old barracks, the last Spanish Mission built, and General Vallejo's home, who was a very prominent and prestigious figure in Sonoma after the revolt. If you ever come to Northern California and are looking for a nice day of learning about the history of the area, Sonoma is a charming and fun old town to visit. Of course there many wineries to visit and taste wine at and the valley is beautiful. It's a good country kind of day to have.
The next day, my friend, Angie and I went into SF and visited the Palace of Fine Arts, which was built in 1915 originally for the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Rebuilt in 1965, it is the only remaining structure from the expo. It is quite impressive and grande. Also worth the visit.
See Angie?! She's short compared to the Dome!
On a more personal note: Settling into living here grants me mixed feelings. As I was walking into the coffee shop with my flip flops on in the sunshine and 70 degree weather, I thought, "I love it here!" But, then, I still miss Texas and the goodtimes had in Texas. I miss family and being closer to family, especially when grandparents experience ill health. Determining the balance of actively living life versus hanging back for things that may or may not happen is an ongoing internal conflict that all who move away from home probably experience. I have found myself missing times in the past like when all my grandparents were around, all the grandkids were slamming the doors running in and out of Granny and PaPa's house, and how I would be sitting at the bar, swinging my legs and licking my lips while Granny made chocolate gravy, anticipating when she finally said it was okay to "dig in!" My dreams take me back there, at times. Maybe I'm just missing Granny and how our family was more intentionally united by her presence. Those were fun times and good memories. Life marches on, but, a part of me will always long to go back there and enjoy the smell of bacon and hear it sizzling in the pan, while the kitchen bustled with people "doing chores" and chomping at their bits for Granny's cookin'. After breakfast, we went out to feed the dogs or play with the puppies (Granny and PaPa had a greyhound farm). After that, we would play Nintendo, or ride horses or ride the Odyssey dune-buggy. There was never a shortage of fun to be had at Granny and PaPa's and with 10+ grandkids there at a time. There was never a dull moment or a time when you couldn't hear somebody hollerin' or laughing. Good times, indeed.
Be blessed, people! And enjoy the bustle of a house full of family!