My three days in California were packed full. I enjoyed every minute, but I think if I had stayed another day, I would have died. You can’t run on 3 hours of sleep a night for very long.
My flight left DTW (Detroit) at 6:40 a.m. in the morning. (The Hunni always says, “Why did you say “a.m.” then add “in the morning?” And my answer always will be, “Because mornings are so hard for me, I just need the double emphasis.) So there you have it, 6:40 a.m. in the morning. I thought I could arrive at the airport one hour early and be fine, however, my pilot Hunni said, “DTW is packed at that time. You need an hour and a half.” (And of course he was right.) Add to that the 20 minutes needed to arrive to the airport and the hour needed to shower and get dressed, and I had to set my alarm for 4:00 a.m. in the morning.
Of course, I didn’t get in bed before midnight.
I arrived at LAX (Los Angeles) at 11:50 a.m. (or 2:50 p.m. my time), rented a car, and drove down to Oceanside, CA. I arrived just before 3:00 (or 6:00 p.m. my time). Other than the Starbucks coffee and pastry and two bags of peanuts, I hadn’t eaten all day. I was starving hungry when I arrived in Oceanside, so I took Madeline out for a late lunch and inhaled my food. Once my blood sugar returned to normal, I could stop shivering and enjoy the gorgeous California sunshine.
(An aside: This wasn’t the Mexican restaurant where we ate, but I forgot to take a photo, so I snapped this one while driving my rental car when I was leaving Oceanside. Don’t worry, I had collision insurance. The Hunni made sure of that!!)
Madeline and I spent the rest of the day together at her studio making decisions and working out the details. It was a wonderful and creatively charged time.
I left Oceanside for San Diego to have supper and spend the night with my friend (and bridesmaid) whom I hadn’t seen in about 10 years. I hadn’t been able to attend her wedding as I was either about to have a baby or there was no money for a ticket. I can’t remember which, but I missed several weddings I would have liked to attend for one of those reasons.
I didn’t leave the studio until 4:45 (7:45 my time), and it took me over two hours to reach Julie’s house. I was tired when I arrived, but immediately revived when I gave her a hug. IT WAS WONDERFUL TO SEE HER AGAIN!!! I can’t describe the feeling other than to say, “I thought we might have changed too much in the intervening 10 years, but instead we were probably closer.”
Julie is a cook. Not just a cook, but a COOK! She used to run her own catering business, and she can make meatloaf look and taste gourmet. So I had dinner at their place. Actually, I should say I had DINNER at their place because it was a delicious pasta meal.
I also was privileged to met her husband for the first time. I can’t wait until My Hunni gets to meet hers as I know they would get along. He was very kind and took the two girls all evening, so that Julie and I could get in 10 years of catching up.
Julie has two girls, and is expecting a third. So far, she has a dark model and a red-headed model. I hope she gets a blonde model for her next one. The girls won my heart. Julie’s red-headed model came into the room sobbing while we were visiting. As a mom, I could tell the sobs were not from a little squabble, but from a broken heart. I wondered what had happened, and this is what she sobbed. “Daddy. . .Daddy. . .D.a.d.d.y. . .Daddy said. . . he said that I couldn’t. . . He said that (sob, sob) I couldn’t sleep with Rebecca tonight!!!!!” MELT MY HEART! I just wanted to take her up in my arms and squeeze her, except that her mommy was already doing just that. For about the 100th time that trip, I wished that I had brought at least one of my daughters.
Here is the red-headed model (takes after her mom.)
And here is the brunette-model–looks like her dad.
Julie and I had a lot of catching up to do, so we visited until half an hour past midnight (which is 3:30 a.m. my time). AND we could have visited longer except that I was beginning to fade. I had been up for 23 1/2 hours.
I crawled into a very cozy bed, but before drifting off, I said, “Thank you so much FATHER. Thank you so much.”
I had to leave Julie’s at 8:00 in order to be at the studio at 9:00, which meant that I had to set my alarm for 6:30. Except I hit snooze, and then hit it again. Then I heard a little mousey sound, and I saw my bedroom door open just a teensy-tiny bit. I couldn’t see anything, but I had the distinct sensation that a little red-headed mouse had just entered the room. Then on the other side of the bed popped up a little red-head. Without a word, she crawled into bed with me. I wish I could have stayed snuggled under the beautiful quilt, but I had a full day ahead of me.
I tucked the little red-headed mouse in, and got up. And wished for the 200th time, that I had brought at least one of my girls along. All the girls could have played together. I remember the first time I met Julie, we played dolls, so we had to be quite young. I wish for same for our girls.
When I got up, I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the day as I was so tired, but when I walked into Julie’s kitchen, she had the perfect breakfast–nothing heavy, nothing too sweet.
PERFECT. A smoothie, scone, and some eggs. The smoothie cooled my headache and gave me a badly needed vitamin dose. The scone soothed my funny feeling stomach with something warm, comforting, and delicious, and the eggs gave me the protein I needed for the day. Add to that a cup of coffee, and suddenly 5 hours of sleep in 48 hours was okay.
The sunshine was streaming in the window, so I stepped outside, and. . .
. . .and inhaled. I inhaled fresh morning air that smelled like Eucalyptus. The birds were all chattering away loudly, and I thought, “OH it is so beautiful! I am so glad Julie gets to see this every day!”
(Now if Julie were writing this, she would tell you that a bulldozer just finished moving earth around, and that it isn’t landscaped yet. But since I get to write this, I will tell you that it is just Southern California at its best! Pepper trees in containers, bouganvilla climbing up the walls, an enclosed central patio, pines, palms, and eucalyptus!
It was hard to say good-bye, as I don’t know when I will see her again. Detroit and San Diego are kind-a far apart.
But next time I come. . .
I am bringing my girls.
Then Julie’s girls and my girls can play dolls together.
And can start their friendships,
That somehow will last 30 years and 3,000 miles.
A Prayer: “Thank you so much FATHER! Thank you so much.”
P.S. I will write more about the Ypsi Doll business next time.