Thursday, November 25, 2004


It has been a very pleasant day for us. We went to Pt. Richmond to our friends' (Barbara and Jose) house. From their place, we walked to the Methodist Church on the hill. Pt. Richmond is an adorable town, filled with Victorians and neat stores. It is on hills, and from the top of them, there is a view of San Francisco across the Bay, plus all of the bridges.

The Thanksgiving dinner was homecooked and free, with donations from all local businesses. A couple met us there and we all sat together. We had a great time, good conversation. There were not as many people in attendance as there have been in the past, and we were there at the end of serving time, therefore the church members basically insisted that we take leftovers. They gave all of us another dinner and dessert to take home. That will be for tomorrow.

Eventually, we walked back down the hill to Barbara and Jose's place, and spent time outside with a neighbor cat. Jose and I were lagging way behind Barbara and Jim. We were busy looking at plants along the way. Jose does yardwork, so he is used to dealing with flowers. He speaks more English than he did when I first met him, and we have a good time communicating. I do understand a lot of what he and Barbara talk about, though. Jose is from Peru, and my opinion is that Peruvians speak differently than Mexicans. I have known several people from Peru out here.

Yesterday was a busy day, and a filling one. It was lunch at the Senior Center, followed later in the day by Thanksgiving Dinner at Maple Hall (Civic Center). This was also a free dinner, with 200 seniors in attendance. Local stores provided the turkeys, which were cooked by the Culinary Arts Dept chefs at the local college. Other food was cooked by volunteers, including the Vice-Mayor, who had worked all afternoon on the meal. Nations, a local restaurant, provided the pies. They are noted for their great pies. We sat with friends, although we knew a good share of the people there, so everyone could be considered friends. Live music, dancing, a festive occasion, a great atmosphere - it made me happy.

The Civic Center is a splendid group of buildings of Spanish architecture, erected like a two-story hacienda around a central courtyard, with side courtyards here and there, including a liberal splashing of fountains. The gardener does a great job; there are beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers surrounding the courtyard, and the perimeters of the complex. The tile roofs, huge windows, French doors, balconies, all contribute to the luxurious feeling. The various city offices are in some sections of this grouping, and Maple Hall is at the back. Behind Maple Hall, there is a footbridge over the creek, leading to the Senior Center. There is an Art Gallery above Maple Hall. Also part of the complex is the Alvarado Adobe, a reconstruction of the home of the first governor of California. This is beautiful, and a very interesting museum.

As dusk approached, the icicle lights were turned on. They are festooned all along the edge of the roof over the walkways along each side of the courtyard. There are steps down to the central fountain, and with the lights on and the fountain in operation, it was indeed a beautiful sight. Some of the very large trees had clear lights wrapped around their trunks, so it looked very exotic. Luckily, I was seated so that I could see the lighted courtyard through the large windows, and I felt as though I just wanted to stay there. I dreamed of having a house just like the Civic Center. Wouldn't that be marvelous?


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