Lynnie lives in a small town, Livermore http://www.ci.livermore.ca.us/ , which sort of reminds me of the town in the movie Doc Hollywood, but with much higher property values and a more diverse population.
Livermore is in a canyon and from her backyard bridge (her husband Mark is a good builder, one of his many talents) I watched unbelievable sunsets over the distant mountains. I didn’t capture the view with my camera (duh) so I’ll have to ask her to send my some photos so that I can post them.
Lynnie and Mark have 2 children, the lovely Lorraine (named after the writer Hansbury) and Mark, Jr., who showed me cool-Cali teen mode for most of my visit. Rainie is outspoken and straightforward but also very sweet and funny. Mark, Jr. doesn’t break character too often but once and a while he drops the cool and he’s a sweetheart too.
Mark’s mother Christine lives with the family and she and I hit it off immediately. We share the love of coffee and ciggies first thing in the morning so it became our routine for the week I was there. It’s great to make a new friend!
My sister and I look alike (so we’ve been told) and we love each other, but we are very different. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years and wasn’t sure how a whole week together would work out.
Lynnie is settled and mature and plans things. I’m immature and spontaneous. Lynda has been married once and is determined to make it last forever and she’s very happy. I’ve been divorced twice so far, lived with others, and dated a few more and I’m very happy. She goes to Bible study – I go to Open Mic nights. She goes to church every Sunday – I roller skate religiously.
We both love to read and Lynda told me that she’s joined a writers group at her church so there are things we have in common. We also share memories of our family vacations and family arguments. We spent quite a bit of time saying, “…remember the time Grandma said…” or “…remember the time you snuck out and got busted…” and laughing or crying at those memories. We pulled out her VOLUMES (maybe 8 or 9) of photos and sat together laughing and crying again, reliving days that touched us both.
We are orphans now (we both say this). My dad died in 1982 and my mom in 2000. Our elder sister, Jackie has been gone since 2003. We are all that are left of our immediate family and I’m glad that, despite our differences, we were able to enjoy each other for a whole week.
I’ll tell you about my travel next – being a cheapskate is tough on the bootie!