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
–Sandra Lee Smith/March 2009