Where life's such a groove,
You blow your mind in the morning
The Sir Douglas Quintet sang that many, many years ago and in many ways it’s still true. The spectacular ocean views, the flower-covered headlands, the dark forests just on the other side of the coast highway, they're all still there. This is the view from our son and daughter-in-law’s front yard; the construction tape marks a massive landscaping project currently underway, which fortunately is mostly on the other side of the house, I say "fortunately" because it would be a shame to disrupt that view.
These seals were basking on rocks just far enough away that we could watch them (and they could watch us) without fear of actually disturbing them.
Towns like Mendocino rely on recreational shoppers and diners for their survival, and after the first time I visit a place and cruise the galleries and shops, I’m not really into that, but I do like Mendo’s local yarn store (where I got 3 skeins of gorgeous wine-colored yarn on sale for $2 each!) and bookstore, as well as Rubaiyat Beads, across from the Mendocino Bakery, where I found the perfect gift for a friend whose birthday is coming up in early August.
Mostly, though, I just like being there, and my only disappointment, as it is in most places we visit, lies in not having time to just wander and sketch and breathe. No doubt I’ll use some photos as the basis for paintings, but I’d love to have the time to just go out alone with my art supplies and real feel my surroundings and try to express them on paper. I suppose that is one of the true poverties so many people face, a poverty of time.
But our four days there were enriching and inspiring, especially the time we spent with the grandchildren. On the second sunny day, while Dante was in preschool, we took Geneva to the local cemetery, a place she’d been wanting to visit for some time. The Mendocino cemetery is beautiful in a rather gone-to-seed way that’s much more welcoming than carefully manicured acres of lawns, and it has graves dating back to the 1860s, many of Italian, Portuguese, and Irish settlers: “So and so, born in Ireland, native of County Mayo….” She said it was her first time in a cemetery, but as previous posts have shown, I like visiting them. They're peaceful, usually scenic, and you can learn a lot about a place from its graveyards. (We also went to one at Fort Bragg, just a few miles north--it was very well-kept but much less interesting.)
It seems funny to me how much I enjoy travel, and visiting family and friends, but when it’s time to leave, I’m always ready to go. I miss my house, my garden, and especially my kitchen. We returned to scorching heat and I don’t mind it – yet. Guess Dorothy was right: “It’s so good to be home.”