Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ojai Beckons

A few days after my last treatment, we headed for Ojai to visit with Skip and Sheila.  What a lovely break from the desert and a wonderful visit with friends.  The driveway of Skip and Sheila is flat and perfect for Thistle.  It’s almost as if we have our own condo-in-a-driveway getaway.

Ed and I spent several mornings walking to town for coffee and a pastry plus exploration.  Ojai is a charming small town, situated in a valley and surrounded by mountains.  Idealyic, might be the right word.  Of course, I have a special feeling for Ojai, because I lived here as a kid.  My memories are fond ones, and I cherish my childhood experiences of running pretty wild exploring the nooks and crannies of my east valley neighborhood.  But Ojai is not just fond childhood memories.  It is also  the welcome we receive and the outstanding hosting poured forth by Skip and Sheila.

Going back in time is always so very interesting.  What we remember and what we don’t, with the memories helped out by the trauma or attention a certain activity generated.  I remember getting in serious trouble a few times.  Once when I borrowed a horse from Thatcher School, but my mom insisted I stole the horse and I was forbidden to ever again  go to Thatcher Scool.  I also received quite a lot of attention when I helped my Dad (who was at work)  burn trash.  The fire escaped it’s container, almost scaring my mom to death.  My sister, mom and I carried buckets of water to put it out, fortunately succeeding as Ojai is a wildfire waiting to happen.  My punishment was to sit all day (which is really, really hard for a five year old) at the scene of the crime to make sure it didn’t flare up again.  And then there was the time I walked to the main road to meet my sister coming home from school but instead went home with another friend who came by.  Getting home late, I found my parents fit to be tied, waiting with both worry and anger clearly displayed on their faces.  Isolation in my room for this one.

Small towns were like this back in my childhood.  Lots and lots of roaming freedom, but the rules  were not to be broken.  We needed to be back home for meals, and on time.  We needed to tell our parents where we were going and when we’d be home.    And, as I found out we were not to steal horses or start fires or wander away with a friend.

Anyway, my memories are fond memories and our visit with Skip and Sheila was wonderful and got even better when Sharon and Charlie joined us, adding to my warm and fuzzy feelings about Ojai.

Look how green the hills are.

Riding the orange groves splendid...

Hiking the hills beautiful...

Visiting with friends devine...

And then, there’s silly Ed...


Never stop screaming, playing and laughing,
 it’s part of our childhood which will always be with us.

Romina Noriega

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