Happy Easter to all of you this beautiful Sunday morning! I write you once again from the East Bay town of Union City, California having recently arrived from Hawaii and my final gig there in Waialua, Oahu. Just in case you’re wondering about my last post, I’m using my grandson’s laptop to post this blog.
I wasn’t trying to be funny or mysterious but unfortunately for me everything was going just perfect in Hawaii until I accidently spilled my coffee cup on the table as I wrote you and just a few drops landed on the key board, but it was just enough to render it useless for the rest of the journey. I tried to dry it out in the sun but the lower bottom keys do not function, luckily for me all the hundreds of pictures, videos and data are safe. Add a new computer to the list of things I desperately need: contacts, tires, cellphone, massage and sleep!
I do want to say a few words about my time here in Union City and my son’s home. As you know I’ve been using it as a staging area while I flew to Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii. I am so grateful for these kids for putting up with me during my stay and working situation. I arrived back in February on Super Bowl day and have been back and forth ever since then. They have three kids of their own and two jobs as well, so taking on another mouth to feed has been a challenge for sure, but they have lovingly attended to my needs very well. I will miss them and the kids as well as my sister Ester who lives across the bay in S.F. She has also helped me along the way since the beginning and has picked me up from every flight, sometimes at the most inopportune times. The joy of having a family who cares for me just made my travelling condition so much better, especially now that I’m running on empty, physically and financially; a true blessing for sure!
I also wanted to thank a very special couple who I met and have worked for most of my time here. Their name is Lynn and Gary who live in Los Gatos just outside of San Jose to the south of here. These wonderful people hired me off of the Craigslist ad they posted right after I completed my California Gig with Kale in near by Gilroy. They experienced a catastrophic event during those heavy storms from a couple months ago and needed help with clean-up and repairs. I have seen them first hand suffer through the heartache and head ache of dealing with their insurance company and countless parade of contractors in order to try to get their claim and home back to normal. They rent out various room of their large house and the most damaged part of their home has displaced one of their renters, adding to the pressure and stress of getting the repairs done as quickly as possible. It’s been 2 months now since the damaged occurred and they are still trying to get resolution, meanwhile the roof remains covered with tarps and the dollar amount rises as the rain continues to fall.
True it’s not a life or death scenario but the anguish and red tape this couple have had to endure with this crisis would have broken far lesser folks. It’s hard for them to see a dream they home built with sweat and tears and enriched with the love of God, people and neighbors, and at the same time feel frustrated and hapless. To face every day with a smile and positive outlook despite broken promises, no-shows and endless requirements from the local county codes and insurance adjusters won my envy and respect. I never heard a bad word or witnessed a moment of outrage from them during my whole time there, heck even I wanted to choke some of these idiots myself when I saw and heard their smug and indifferent attitudes. They are enduring their own trial and keeping their head up largely in part to their enormous faith in God and the strong love they have for each other, a three-cord bond is stronger than two, they are living proof.
They are California natives and have two married children, one who lives on site. Gary is a college professor of religious studies and is pretty handy himself with a great many of the skills in the trades like me. An intelligent soft spoken man with a sharpe sense of humor and good nature. Lynn works out of the compound and stays busy dealing with all it takes to run a property that large and deal with the numerous tenants and issues that never seem to end. She is as friendly and happy as you will ever find on this planet and her sweet smile and soothing voice made her a joy to work for. But her grace and charm are quite balanced with her wit and determination to get things done exactly as she wants them. She knows her stuff and is not shy about asking all the right questions or even getting her hands dirty with any task.
We shared many hours discussing life, children and my tour just for starters and I was happy to find out that they are also members of the fifty-state club as I have recently become. They also have seen a lot of the world as well and have invited me back any time I’m in the area again. I also want to send a shout out to a young hard working man named David I had the opportunity to work with on occasion there and enjoyed showing him a thing or two about the trade world.
Yes friends California, Los Gatos especially was my longest stop and one of the most memorable because of my family and these fine people. I will depart for Southern Cali tomorrow for a brief visit with some relatives then on to Arizona where I started almost a year ago. I will add the Tuck family to the long list of new friends I’ve made on this journey and hope to keep forever!
Thanks for checking in on me and for your support throughout. 867 miles to go!