I am back from my visit with family and friends in Lodi, California. What a great time I had. Here is all the news from the hometown:
Attended my folks 62nd High School reunion, after that we went here:
We sat and listened to Kim Nejak at the Wine and Roses Country Inn lounge play request after request, she was amazing and played everything we threw at her with the most gracious, warm and friendly manner from classical to broadway. Her Uncle came and sat with us too, it was like an old fashioned family reunion. Once Kim found out my Mom sang, she invited her to sit with her at the piano and sing some songs. What a special evening it was. I remember getting married there years ago, and though my husband has been in Heaven 22 years now, the place holds very wonderful memories for me. I am so glad I went. The Inn is doing very well now and has gone through some major renovations over the years, but it has retained its victorian charm while adding beautiful touches of elegance and style. I heartily recommend it to anyone traveling through the Lodi area.
All the kids started school, including my niece Lauryn who proudly had a new uniform and haircut for the special day. We were all worried about her having such a long day and getting back in the routine for school, but PRAYER WORKS because she didn't even mind when we left the second day. She is usually very resistant to change, but she breezed right through it. (Kind of blurry, click to enlarge)
One night I met up with an old high school friend and we went downtown for Farmer's Market. We had a great dinner at the Rosewood Grill outside where we watched all the people strolling by, many with their dogs. A band was playing, old friends greeting one another, a very relaxing way to spend a gorgeous summer evening. I actually ran into my Sunday School teacher I had in high school and his wife, what a nice surprize to see them!
I spent some time one day at Lodi Lake, a little lake right in the middle of town that the Mokelumne River feeds into. It has been a hangout since my Mom and Dad were in high school, where teens used to cruise the lake to see and be seen. Nice to know that families are still enjoying it, although the geese are plentiful. You have to watch where you walk and swallowing the water is not a good idea. I had a great time watching Lauryn swim and together we made "sand cakes" on the beach.
I got caught up with everything that is happening on Glenhurst Drive. My folks live in a very unusual neighborhood. The neighbors actually know each other! On summer evenings all the kids are out in front, as well as the parents and grandparents, just like we used to do years ago. Many times they end up in my folks yard because of the swing out front, and the picnic table that my Mom insisted be put in front because as she says, "everyone in America hides out in their backyard."
Many times an impromtu barbeque will take place, with grills firing up, many times my brother at the helm; other times George or J.P. with all the women bringing sides, desserts and staying out front until after dark laughing and catching up on all that's going on in the neighborhood.
I never know exactly what time it is at my folks house, because they don't sync all the clocks. My Mom knows exactly which ones are accurate and she will be quick to tell me! Also, I learned to be careful with my Mom's dryer. She is the only one I know that has a dryer that doesn't stop spinning when you open the door. In her words, "I just turn it off when I get the clothes out." She is the hardest working woman I know, and at 80 years of age, I don't know of many 60 year olds that could keep up with her. My Dad hardly sits down, and at 81 he is a marvel to all their friends.
He and I got to stroll downtown one day and visit Tom's Used Books, below. It was a beautiful day, green trees all along the street stirring in the breeze. The downtown area is close to the train tracks, so usually you hear the mournful whistle every half hour or so, trains laden with fruit and other goods from the packing sheds. We escaped with one book apiece. Neither one of us needs another book, but they were cheap so it was justified.
Glenhurst Drive has the same mailman they have had since I can remember. George still walks the route, hand-delivering door to door. If you happen to be outside while he comes by, he will usually stop for a moment and chat being the friendly guy he is. No impersonal gangboxes here; What a novelty.......
And then there is the mystery of the ottoman. Stephanie and her husband had a garage sale for a couple days. They live across the street a few doors down in the house that my brother bought and rents to them. Shelly and J.P. (Stephanie's parents) live across the street from my Mom and Dad. I noticed an ottoman at the garage sale and it looked antique. Something about it looked vaguely familar, and I thought about buying it. My brother swears up and down it was an ottoman from my Aunt's house of many years ago. My Mom can't imagine how they got it, but it didn't sell, so later on that day, J.P. carried it over to Sandy's house because she said she would take it. So the ottoman that started out at Shelley's house, next went to Stephanie's house, and now is at neighbor Sandy's house. My Mom is still not sure if it was her sister's, but my brother is. My Mom is going to ask Sandy about it, so maybe then we will have our answer.....
That is all the news fit to print from Lodi, California where there is a church on just about every corner and the Lodi City Council still opens the sessions by praying in Jesus name, though it may not be for long go here for story.