Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Farewell lunch to Sister Linda's for Raymond

Raymond took me over to my sister Linda's where he is storing some of his belongings until he finds an apartment in Los Angeles. He and I and Linda had a wonderful talk for over two hours, and then Linda served us some delicious vegetarian burritoes. And Raymond started off on his trip to Los Angeles in as good as spirits as I have seen him for a long time. His mood was far different than when he came to Phoenix thinking he would stay here. I think Los Angeles is just the challenge for him right now. Linda's son Scott has been down there a number of months meeting interesting people and exploring what Los Angeles has to offer. On all my moves to Los Angeles I never stopped marveling at the variety of experiences to be had in this huge sprawling city, and yes, disasters were always a part of our experience, including firestorms, torrential rain and ensuing mud slides, and the San Fernando earthquake which I will never forget it shook us up so badly. Thank God they have not found anyone dead in this last firestorm, but a lot of people are left with no homes and that has got to be a terrible experience.
Linda lived in Los Angeles around ten years straight, when she married her husband down there and they made it their home and had their two children, Tano and Carissa. Now Linda is trying to decide whether she should move to San Francisco where her daughter now lives, so she can take part in taking care of her two grand children. Her house is full of her art work and books, and her second husband was an antique and junk collector, so the back yard is full of 'stuff.' Stuff does tend to slow down those who would move, so she debates with herself back and forth.
I just read a wonderful memoir written by Isabel Allende, a transplanted Chilean, called "The Sum of Our Days." She has lived with her second husband and her 'tribe' in San Francisco for years. She wrote "House of Spirits" and many more novels and has lived the kind of life I once envisioned for myself. She has gone on a number of tours selling her books, but all this I finally realized was beyond my stength with a body that had become so allergic to stress. But sadly she lost her daughter to a genetic condition called poryphia which caused a fatal pneumonia at 28, and this memoir is addressed to her. She has grieved for years over her death, and fears for her son who also inherited the condition, but in much less severe form. She has the trait of the Spanish of wanting her family all around her, living with her if possible, but she knows she cannot take her mother away from her beloved Chile so she settles for faxing her a letter every day! Isabel Allende has a wonderful sense of humour, too, and I loved reading about her relationship with her second husband Willie, a lawyer mostly for the down and out, and how they made their marriage work when they are so different. I must tell my niece Carissa in San Francisco about this book, as I just loved reading some of Isabel's take on that fascinating city, one of the most picturesque in the world to my mind. Carissa buys books by the ton. She gobbles books.


Missie said...

I wish Raymond lots of luck!

sober white women said...

I will be following Raymond. I do hope that all goes well for him. Yes, there are a lot of people out here that are homeless because of the fires.


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