Rediscovering My Home Town

Today was a surprise.  First the sun shined all day after a couple days of blustery storms.  I had one thing on my calendar:  going to a mental health fair that my friend Stephanie organized for Sacramento County.  My friend Sheila volunteered to go with me and offered to drive.  So we headed off to South Sacramento. I grew up in Northeast Sacramento and worked downtown so anything past Sutterville Road is terra incognito.  We submitted to the Android GPS and found the Sam Parnell Community Center and participated in a great event.  There were terrific speakers--although 2 or 3 too many--and so many community resources with booths to be able to get materials, information and learn about resources.  There were hundreds of people participating.   It was fun.  Stephanie and the team did a super job.

Afterward, we asked Android to tell us where a Chipotle restaurant was located and--ta da!--it led us right to one.  My first burrito since arriving back in the states!  Sheila and I had a great heart to heart conversation and sat way beyond our chip supply talking.  She dropped me off at home and the sun was still shining.

I hitched up Radar and decided to walk to the post office by a new route.  I used Map My Ride to find an alternate way to walk that looked slightly shorter and definitely more pleasant.  For an older dog Radar is still game.  He is the model of Rin Tin Tin:  chest puffed out, head high, nose and mouth taking in every smell, big pointy ears constantly rotating.  Oh that we should experience our environment as well as he does! Since I returned and he's been my companion on my non-car trips, he's become much more calm about meeting other dogs and crossing Highway 50 via the overpass.  He is still stressed about being tied up while I run in and get the mail and he does not like the busier streets.  Who does?  Cars are a stressor when you are on a bike or on foot.  Those drivers... who knows what they are thinking?

There were many lovely surprises on the new route.  First we walked through the UC Davis Medical Center Campus--past the Mind Institute, past the Kiwanis Family Center, past the Ronald McDonald House.  With the Shriner's Children's Hospital visible a block away I marveled at the wealth of resources available to families with sick children because of philanthropy.  And if you stick to the east side of 50th and 49th Streets, it is very pretty and park like.  Then we zigged over to 51st and V Streets and discovered Cottage Market.  I made a note that they were open until 5:30 on Saturday and determined to stop for coffee on the return.

What a great Elmhurst neighborhood treasure!  It was quiet so I stuck my head in the door of Cottage Market to see if the proprietor could take my latte order while I waited outside with Radar.  He was happy to oblige.  His family has operated this beautiful market and deli for 28 years.  Who knew?  (Apparently people who work at the Med Center).  The coffee was delicious.  Of course I could have sat in the courtyard just beyond the market and enjoyed my coffee but Radar was looking at me like, really?  So I sipped enough to not spill and we continued our way home.

Just a block or two from home I saw a touching tableau.  Two parents walking with their two small children. The daughter, about 5, was wearing a princess ballerina dress that is the new uniform of American girls and riding her Razor scooter.  She may have even had a tiara.  She was clearly anxious to show off to me and would have impressed if she hadn't hit that tuft of grass.  Always the graceful princess she recovered nicely.  Her little brother, about 3, wasn't having as much fun.  Lost on him was the sunshine, the fact that his intact family was on a nice stroll together, or that he too had a Razor scooter.  He was whimpering and whining.  Just about the time I was going to think something... I heard his Dad say out loud, "Turn it off already, buddy."  I almost applauded.

All in all a great day and a great example of what I will discover while continuing my redesign in Sacramento.

P.S.  I have not yet heard back on Job Possibility 1 in the State Senate.  I have a second interview with Job Possibility 2 with a water agency.