As we were approaching El Centro from San Francisco I was enjoying the blessing the Lord was giving us of the beautiful countryside to drive through. I believe the extremes between northern California and Southern California with Hollywood in between is like an Oreo cookie different but it all good.
As we drove our way to San Diego we stopped quite a bit admiring the scenery and giving us the opportunity to let the kids stretch their legs. Bye this time our kids were fairly good travelers. They knew my eating habits determined our stops except bathroom emergencies. Being a diabetic didn’t make traveling any easier. We had to travel with food in the cooler all of the time.
I had a time schedule that C helped me keep balanced because of having to take insulin more than once a day. We spent three days in San Diego because C loved boats and the water. More than once he said, "I wish they had an opening in San Diego". It never happened.
As we drove on to El Centro the scenery started to change. We drove through some mountains that were just rocks and boulders no green to be seen anywhere. The people lived in houses clustered together without any signs of grass or trees anywhere. But I must admit they probably didn’t miss the trees because the boulders and mountains consumed the countryside.
The closer we got to El Centro green started to appear, not necessarily grass, but vegetation that was indigenous to the area, large and small cactus and nettles. We passed farms that were long rows of lettuce, carrots, and other low to the ground crops.
As we approached the center of town I noticed that the sides of the buildings were black and I mentioned to C what an odd color to paint the building in this heat. He laughed and I asked, “What are you laughing at?” he said, you’ll see. As we got close to the first building I saw that it was not paint, but crickets from top to bottom on the outside of the building. Every morning the business people had to sweep out the dead crickets before they could open. Crickets were everywhere. This reminded me of the green head fly season in N.J. that was yucky because the flies were so large and so many of them at a time that the businesses had to change their sticky fly catcher strips up before they could open. I have come to the conclusion every place has something to annoy you.
The time we spent in southern California was really enjoyable. We made many short sight seeing trips. My brother A. came to visit us in California and we made a special trip to Disney Land and Knotts Berry Farm that opened up about that time. We stayed at a motel that was close bye. At that time Disney Land was still in the beginning stages, of building, motels and restaurants. C had a friend that was working for Disney Land who gave us a tour of “ behind the scenes” projects just beginning and some of which were still on paper.
Walt Disney had a dream of having separate parks within the original Disney Land Park. They were already building “Frontier Land” at the time we were there. It was great seeing all this comes into existence. We toured Story Book Land by boat.
Knotts Berry Farm was a place I will always remember. Its’ theme was early America in the west. C. Always researched ahead of time places he wanted to take our family. We would plan a trip and then we would and see as much as we could in the area. When we went to Knotts Berry Farm and it was there that C. purchased a squaw dress for me.It was a two-piece outfit that was black and white trimmed in silver brick brack. The skirt was tiered in three sections making it very full. It was beautiful and it lasted many years. We took a horse and wagon ride that the kids loved. This place was truly geared for the family that had a lot of free things to do and see. As I understand it now nothing is free in those places.
We were stationed at the Naval Air Facility for 5 years and it was there we first learned to bowl in a league. One season, our team finished in first place in the couple’ league. I was the bowler that gave us a handicap that we desperately needed because all our team had high bowling averages of 180 to 245 except me I had a 110 average. We really enjoyed bowling so much that we purchased our own shoes and bowling balls. I still have mine and enjoy bowing when the opportunity arises. At this age I am glad it is only weighs ten pounds.
When my daughter and children came for a visit last year, we went bowling and one of her boys used C’s 16-pound bowling ball and did very well with it. I asked him if he wanted his grandfathers’ bowling ball and he said yes, so it is one more item I found a home for.
El Centro is right on the boarder of Mexico and Mexicali was south side. The military had incidents of men losing their automobile in Mexicali when they crossed over and they left their vehicles unattended. Also if they were ever arrested there the Mexican government never notified the United States and the word was some military men were on the record as deserters because they were not heard of again. The hand tooled leather products were inexpensive and we purchased purses for my sisters for Christmas that year and one for myself as well. The dollar exchange for the Pasco was at least ten to one that made it a good buy. Mexico also made pottery that was colorful. I had never seen anything like it before and store after store in Mexicali was selling the pottery. I purchased one piece that was olive green that looked like it was marbleized. It was a water carrier that had two handles near the top to carry it. It matched the color in the lamps on my end tables that were shaped like large gourds. They were green and mustard. I put this water jug on the floor in the living room.
When we had a small earthquake I remember I ran and grabbed the lamps, the only brand new item in the living room, so they wouldn’t fall off the tables and break. My kids laugh about it now and kid me how I ran to save the lamps that were so important to me and told them to run in the bathroom to be safe. We practiced fire drills whenever we moved into a different home and now the California earthquake drill was added to our practice of safety.
I still am amazed how patient the Lord was with me then as a “baby” Christian learning what is really in important in life. It certainly is not earthly things. Until next time, I am Immigrant Daughter.
I live in the country and am recovering from a broken hip. It keeps me inside too much. I rely on "stick Horse" which isn"t bad to get me to busy places. I find I am getting impatient with getting my balance back. My healing is fine but the process of getting back to normal and its putting me back some. I didn't expect to spent so much time inside when I moved down here. Am beginning some more physical therapy, which should help. I am thankful stickhorse started me blogging. I getting to meet some nice people.