Little could we guess that August

would be the calm before the storm,

As I danced through a whirlwind

of photographs for my  godchild’s wedding,

followed a few days later by the arrival

of my Canadian girlfriend

with whom I gaily packed up the car

to take a Great California Adventure;

We drove up the coast and visited

some of my favorite places, Ventura,

Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach, where

we luxuriated in a Pismo Sunset at my

favorite Dolphin Cove Motel.

We visited San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay,

and Hearst Castle and drove hairpin curves

to Big Sur and beyond.

We played Scrabble every night and

watched the Olympics on TV,

treating ourselves to delicious meals

at sometimes quaint and curious restaurants.

We continued north to the Redwoods and

spent two breathtaking days amongst the

giant trees and barren black sand beaches

before we reached the town of Auburn,

and then south again until we reached

Yosemite Park, crowded with tourists

under beautiful sunny skies;

We saw Half Dome and Sequoia trees

and took about a thousand photographs

to remember the day . We were in the village

in Yosemite when I called my son, Steve, to

wish him a happy birthday.

Eventually  we returned to civilization

On route 99 and Bakersfields,

and then returned to the mountains

to visit my friends in Pine Mountain.

It was a vacation of a lifetime,

many  places I had not visited before,

despite having lived in California

most of my life.

We relished every moment and

I never imagined that I was

living in the Calm before the Storm

that would be a cloudburst upon me

in September.


–Sandra Lee Smith/March 2009



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