It was cloudy and overcast in Redondo Beach as we celebrated my father’s 86th birthday by the back yard pool. Dad said he was up early to rake the yard and clean the pool for this gathering. Hmm? I thought this was a surprise party? Dad winked at me and said,”With all the baking going on in this house, I knew something was up!”
The birthday brunch was yummy with home-made biscuits, gravy, Quiche, and the greatest pies made from scratch! Chocolate, lemon meringue, berry and peach pies using a secret German crust recipe handed down through the generations with many 1st place blue ribbon bragging rights.
Surrounded with kids, grandkids and toddlers, Mom (age 83) and Dad were thrilled as any great-grandparents could be. Both are still very active with volunteering and they feel this is the secret to a long and happy life. Having been married for over 45 years, they still continue to sing in the church choir, volunteer at the homeless shelter, usher at the Performing Arts Center and dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus at Christmas. At the age of 80 they decided to join a gym to maintain their balance and avoid losing any muscle mass. My grandfather lived to be 90 years old and my great-grandfather (on Dad’s side) lived to be 103. I guess it has a lot to do with the genes.
I drove to Redondo with a friend of mine who also claims Orange County as her stomping grounds when she was younger before ending up here in the desert. On our way home, she wanted to buy a new laptop and was my co-pilot to Fry’s Electronics. I stayed in the car to take a power nap and re-charge my batteries. She was in the store for over an hour selecting the perfect laptop and was bitten by the shopping bug. She was itching to visit South Coast Plaza, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, maybe Barnes and Noble? We ended up at Nordstrom’s Rack which was next to Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks kiosk inside. This location was determined by the available space we were lucky to secure in a crowded parking lot. Recession you say? We didn’t see any signs of it here. Low income in this area is $60,000 as a gardener.
Believe it or not, I am not a shopper. I know of those who may dream about their next outing to go shopping, I am looking forward to return back home. My friend was all aglow like a lighted bejeweled Christmas tree and I could not help but share her joy browsing the great selection of shoes, jewelry and clothing. Besides, our first stop was Starbucks and I was now super charged with caffeine and a power nap….bring it on!
After observing all walks of life shopping at Nordstrom’s Rack, I have reached the conclusion this will never happen here in the Morongo Basin. We are not able to compete with the crisscrossing of easy freeway access and our community is made up of retirement citizens. Heading back towards Yucca Valley, we hit some stop n’ go traffic on the I15 and as I choked on the exhaust fumes from the car ahead of us I was reminded of the many reasons to live here. Away from the fast pace, high cost of living, polluted air and concrete cities, we are very blessed to be living here.
I urge you to go outside in the evening and count your lucky stars for the natural beauty of our skies and clean air. If you must go shopping at Saks, let me know and I will Map Quest it for you. Better yet, move to Orange County and ya’all can come back here as tourists to de-compress, ya’ hear?
It’s nice to go on the road but “There’s no place like home!’ Happy Birthday Daddy!