Above photo...This summer we haven't seen too many days like this one, had to take a photo of it. Some rainless days and sunshine will certainly help dry out our mud puddles.Just 6 days left until we leave the state of Florida and fly out to the western shores of California. In my mind southern California will always be my home and in particular the area around Ventura County. This area is blessed with Pacific beaches and views of mountain ranges. However it is 20 miles inland from the coastal city of Ventura that my heart truly rests. A picturesque mountain valley town called Ojai (pronounced; Oh Hi ), a name taken from a once indigenous Indian tribe meaning "Birds Nest" because of the way the area is nested and sheltered within rolling hills and low mountain ranges.
There is something spiritual about the Ojai Valley, so much so that it became the home of a religious cult called the "Moonies", or Harri Krishna. Ojai has also been likened to Santa Fe, New Mexico for its spiritual and magnetic energies. Perhaps this is why I am always drawn to this past childhood haunt of mine and no matter how long I am away, my return makes me feel like I am once again back home.
A change of scenery should be most welcome, but this trip is not one I'm relishing to take. This trip, unfortunately, is not solely for pleasure. Yes there will be those visits with family that I'm looking forward to, such as the time we'll be spending in Ojai, with my sister Camille. Camille owns a 9 acre organic farm and though this is extremely interesting I will not dwell on that.
Next we will head north to the San Francisco area and have a short stay with my baby sister, Norma. From north California we'll drive up through beautiful mountainous terrain into Oregon and witness marvelous forest of firs, massive sequoias and ponderosa pines. Some of you may recall the old TV show "Bonanza", the Cartwright clan lived on the Ponderosa Ranch...named for these magnificant pines that grow in the southwestern states. As we approach the high dessert area of interior Oregon, the ponderosa pine forest gives way to drier vistas and juniper trees.
It is here, in Bend, that our true mission awaits. There, in a small cemetery, rests a pewter colored urn, a burial urn which contains the remains of dear sweet Vada, my husband's mother. John and I always felt badly that Vada was alone and so far away, our visits to her resting place were few and there was no one else who came to pay their respect or to bring her flowers. So about 4 years ago we made the decision that we would relocate her ashes to Kansas and lay her to rest alongside her dearly beloved first husband. Yes 4 years ago, it was a vow we made and intended to keep and are at last following through on our promise.
One might wonder why she is being placed by her first and not her second mate ? Believe me there is a deep and very sordid tale as to why we would choose to do this. Perhaps if I get enough bravado, or have a glass or two (or three) of wine, I'll write about it in my blog...someday...but not now. Back when I wrote about "Lost Causes" there were comments about how forgiving I was and what a good person I am, how nice it was of me to not be bitter and to put the past behind me. It is said that time heals all wounds, but this is one episode in my life that I doubt there will ever be enough time to heal and my bitterness runs far too deep. The hurt is like an ugly scar that will never go away and the pain too intense for me to ever forget, let alone forgive. Even now as I write this the memories flood my thoughts, there's a tightening through my chest and my eyes well up with tears. No, definitely not today !
More, hopefully, to follow...