Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Middle Summer

Blackberry, where are you?

Have you noticed all the signs for lost pets lately? Postings started on July 4 and haven't stopped; every telephone pole in my Northeast LA neighborhood is covered with messages of the missing. I was walking this morning at the top of my hill and heard a woman calling, "Lucky, Lucky, Luuucccky?" as she looked for her dog. Right there and then, I resolved never to call a pet Lucky. Once I saw a sign for a lost parrot who was blind in one eye, had a busted wing and a nervous condition that required meds. That bird was called Lucky too. 

Talking about lucky, I feel extraordinarily lucky having my daughter home for a week before she goes back to college. 

On Thursday, I drove up to San Luis Obispo with my old friend Hudson, which got me halfway to seeing Maya who'd been away all summer. That night we stayed at the Peach Tree Inn, a throw back to the sixties, and ate at The Range in Santa Margarita (a small restaurant in the middle of nowhere that deserves an enthusiastic 5-stars!). In the morning, we explored the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, founded by Junipero Serra in 1772, the fifth California mission to bring the Catholic faith to the area's native inhabitants. 

The mission's sanctuary branches off into an "L," and as we walked around I wondered about its odd shape. Did Spanish landowners pray in one arm of the "L," and Indians, out of sight, in the other? A little museum sits off the sanctuary, with numerous Indian and Spanish artifacts, certain evidence that native peoples' mission life wasn't pretty; those that survived were forced to give up their language, their religion and their freedom. In the early 2000's, a local artist painted the sanctuary walls with an array of decorative birds and flowers, a beautiful whitewash over a cruel, earlier history.


The next day I said good-bye to my friend and drove to Oakland to retrieve Maya at Mills College. Here are a few highlights of the trip:

Seeing Maya for the first time in 7-wks and hearing a mellifluous, fluid French spill out of her mouth! 

Seeing Mills again, one of the most beautiful campuses in California.

Bakesale Betty's: What looks like a pop-up storefront is the wildly popular eatery in the Temescal and Telegraph Ave district of Oakland. Food constructionists whip up fried chicken sandwiches with spicy coleslaw or the vegan version with fried tofu, and strawberry shortcake, on a daily basis. The bake goods are out of this world. 

 Food constructionists at work in Bakesale Betty's

Outside, long lines waiting for Betty; notice the ironing board tables.

Telegraph Road: There's so much on this road to recommend; I was eager to go back to the Restaurante Dona Tomas, but we ended up at Lane Splitter's Pizza and Pub. Maggie, who'd come over from San Fran to spend the day with Maya, joined us for lunch. Maggie and Maya hadn't seen each other all summer and watching them giggle and chatter was half the fun. Here they are letting me take their picture:

It's wonderful having Maya home for a week, but then she goes away again. (and again...and again...) I'm used to it by now, or maybe, it's just that all my defenses have been shattered. It's still not easy to see her go. 

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