As some of you know, after college, I moved to California (or as Arnold Schwarzenegger says, ‘kali-fo-nia’…) where life just happened.
Over the past number of years, I’ve taken the Mrs. there to celebrate our anniversary and visit family & friends. The photo today was taken while we were eating dinner at Rose’s Bar & Grill on their balcony overlooking Morrow Bay.
Outside of the beautiful sunset over the water, the most pronounced thing about Morrow Bay that day was the mammoth rock that stands nearly 600 feet tall and is, actually, a remnant of an extinct volcano (comforting… I know).
Yeah, ‘Gee honey, how about a toast to that volcano thingy not going off before the sun sets…?’ Regardless of the volcano rock in the water, we enjoyed the view (the food… meh).
It was during the 90’s when I spent my time in California. I lived in Anaheim, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Turlock, Modesto, and Foster City. So, basically, all over the state. Not to mention that my Naval reserve unit was assigned to the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego where I had a chance to train.
What I loved about California was, not only the natural beauty, but the idea, or dream, of California. Growing up, we watched all the shows about LA (Chips, etc.), San Francisco (Streets of San Francisco), and dreamed about Hollywood. It seemed like another planet to a child growing up in a small town of four-thousand in West Michigan. Another show (movie) I enjoyed that was filmed in San Francisco, was the movie Dirty Harry. Who could forget the famous, ‘Go ahead, make my day line?’
Sadly, California didn’t live up to the dreams of that young boy. In fact, California hit me right between my crossed eyes and didn’t look back. Not that it was ‘California’ to blame, but just life. Looking back, I can say that it could have been Montana or New Jersey just as easily. It reminds me of a girl I had a crush on in college who decided to leave and move away saying, ‘Tulsa hasn’t treated Christy (her name) very well…’
For good or for bad, California is where my two beautiful girls were born, some of my best friends live, and is home to family. In fact, we’re planning a trip back there in a few months, so, lots of pictures on the way. And, despite political opinions (left or right), California is a place of dreamers still. One of my favorite songs, California Dreamin’, I still love to this day.
It has taken time to overcome the heart aches to still see the good about the 90s. When our dreams are crushed and abandoned, it can be a long climb up out of that hole. Some people, sadly, never recover. The streets of Hollywood are full of people who sold everything to go there so they could be a ‘star,’ only to end up on the streets or working three part-time jobs just to make it.
I know, this is not a spiritual thing, but one of the things that helped me get through some of those times was watching Seinfeld. The situational humor and laughing at life helped me to heal and realize I shouldn’t take things too seriously. So, today, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite themes from Seinfeld (yes, I know it was supposed to be in New York, but humor me…) that expresses how I felt.
Serenity Now! … my friends,