Traveling through

Wednesday night, arrived in El Cerrito, CA. Marian had pasta on the stove to meet me with. It didn’t take long for her to get out the map to see what my trip to Baja entailed. She eagerly pin dropped my stops along the way. Hence the completed map, you see featured on this blog. I think she’s got the travel bug now. Maybe, I’ll be lucky enough to see her and Tupelo down there at some point.

Thursday, we walked the streets of Fourth Street Shopping, Berkeley I caved in and spent all little money on some skin products that were on sale. Ate some delicious tacos at Tacubaya

Made it to San Mateo Thursday night for a stay with my nephew, his beautiful wife and nearly one year old daughter. I just got to meet my new great-niece the day after Thanksgiving when they were in Eugene. She is absolutely precious with her 1/2 Italian and 1/2 Mexican blood. They live near my niece in law’s parents who are lucky enough to be invited over to say goodnight to their granddaughter most nights. Hard to fight back the tears, seeing this ideal world of grandparents being in their grandchildren’s life. This is how it should be. So happy for them and further confused about why I am no longer in my grandchildren’s life.  Traveling through the heart ache today.

Tupelo in El Cerrito
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Balls in Berkeley C9CA75C1-D420-4420-BC00-2D90B40BEC18

This Journey’s Theme Song

U2’s Walk On from the album All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

Thanks Marian

Lyrics:

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring…
And love is not the easy thing….
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can’t steal it
No they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on…
Stay safe tonight

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you’ve got they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it, can’t buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Home, hard to know what it is if you’ve never had one
Home, I can’t say where it is but I know I’m going home
That’s where the hurt is

I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme.

No Goodbyes

Took my time leaving Eugene today. Got in a few more, until we meet again, hugs. Annie served up some lentils and rice to fill me up for the short trip to Ashland. Lovely drive, the sun was shining as Mt. McLoughin came into view. Arrived in Ashland, home of the  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival just before nightfall. It is my goal to avoid driving at night if at all possible throughout this trip.

I’m treating myself to a stay at Lithia Springs Resort. I got a deal, after asking about every discount available. The room has a soaking tub fed by mineral springs. My body could use the health benefits of the mineral water. I’ve had a soak, a little cry and now off to bed. I turned on the TV for a bit but there were too many commercials with happy families gathered around the Christmas tree, holiday table or somewhere that makes them look perfectly happy.

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Love with your heart, Catherine’s door137D908A-D233-40F4-82FB-C6DBF855DC55.jpeg

Gifts from friends who know you.

Getting ready to leave the Eugene cocoon. In fact, I delayed leaving by a day. It’s been so comforting and good for the soul to be here. After living here before for 20 years, some strong authentic friendships developed. Friendships were made from different places of work, from the childcare I ran for several years, from raising my daughter in this community and from the women’s theater group I took part in for several years.

The women’s theater group, Get Down with Your Sweet Self, created theater pieces from personal story. In a safe space, we shared life stories that were heart warming, heartbreaking and sometimes comical. Tight bonds were established. With many of these friends and friends from other areas of life here,  we reunite and it’s as if no time has passed while getting to the heart of the matter. We’ve held each other up during hard times and created some hysterically fun times together. During my stay this week, they have held me in my grief. The grief of losing connection with my daughter and my 3-year-old twin grandchildren. A choice my daughter feels is right for her. So I am honoring her choice and honoring my own loss of her and my grandchildren.

Tomorrow, I’ll travel to Ashland, Oregon for the night. Then ease myself out of this cocoon with a stay in San Francisco with my dear friend, Marian. Stay tuned, probably a week away from crossing the border.

Gifts from a friend

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Connecting talented friends

Helping out at Annie Heron’s studio sale this afternoon. Annie Heron Ceramics

Playing music by Missoula’s Caroline Keys. Caroline Keys, Mean to Stay

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I have twinkle lights and greeting cards at Annies. F47524AF-A187-4111-ACFB-044877E4AE89.jpeg

It’s a rainy day in Eugene. Eugenians might want to stop by Annie’s then head over to Holiday Market to see what’s new at Joule Art, booth #3.