What a neat day. I had no problem driving to Oakview and got to Nancy's about 10:00. She introduced me to her son, Richard, and showed me around her tiny place. I knew Richard had converted his garage for her and I expected--well, a bare bones kind a thing. It's anything but. Nancy likes to cook and bake and Richard installed a full kitchen, which probably takes up about a third of the total space. The appliances are all new and the counter tops granite. He even fashioned spice racks set into the wall, put in a double sink, and a fair amount of storage. A small table is at one end and can be opened out to seat four. Next to that is the--well, I guess living room, although it contains only a leather sofa and table with a television screen, but along one wall, Richard put in a floor to ceiling bookcase and that opens it up considerably. Behind that is Nancy's bedroom/bath, which contains a single bed, a very small sink and a toilet behind a partition. We laughed at the fact that her "closet"--really just an alcove with a folding screen in front--is actually a little smaller than mine. It's decorated with some of Nancy's art--she does mostly water paints--and I was blown away at how good they are. I think she's very talented.
There's no shower inside, but there's actually is one, fully enclosed with cedar outside next to the hot tub It's just a few steps from Nancy's door and she can bathe there or at the main house. That's a wonderful, quintessentially California mission-style adobe house, built in 1929, where Richard and his wife, Erin, live. I was taken in to see that, too, and Richard is doing a fabulous job in upgrading it.
Richard himself is a terrific guy. Considering Nancy doesn't even top five feet, it's funny that he's six foot three. He's very outgoing, warm, articulate, and obviously intelligent--so engaging. He owns a silk screen business in Ojai and seems to be doing pretty well. The property is quite large--I'd say half an acre--and he's planning to add lots of other amenities to it.
After, Nancy and I drove the few miles to the Ojai Beverage Company restaurant and met the other Beach Cities Golden Girls, about fifteen of them. The menu looked yummy and, of course, there was a huge selection of beer and wine. I had one with a German name, but not a dark beer--very good.
It took forever for our orders to be taken, then twice forever to actually get the food. They had only one server for all of us--and the rest of the many lunch-goers--and the kitchen seems to have been on strike, considering the time it took. They wouldn't do separate checks, so poor Cheryl, who organized the group, spent at least a half hour trying to sort everybody's orders and charges out. There's no reason in the world why a patron should have to do that and she probably should have refused.
Nevertheless, it was great fun talking and laughing with women I'm now getting to know from before (three of us are also in the widder group). We were there for three hours and had a ball.
When I got back to Ventura, I stopped at the library, as I had promised the branch manager, Lori, I would donate the Ma Duncan* book there once I read it. I did read it, gave it to her and she was very appreciative.
After dinner, I called Betty to see if they had floated away, but she said it didn't flood as much as had been predicted. Called my former neighbor, Susan, to see what Little Egg got; she said only about four inches and they didn't have much problem. I know others got more--my friend, Jim Z., who lives in the middle of Jersey--got two feet, five inches--wow!
Anyway, I'm happy to be here, where it got to 68 degrees and the sun shone down on me.
*Elizabeth Duncan was the last woman executed in California. She had hired two men to kill her pregnant daughter-in-law because she didn't want to "lose" her son. The son, an attorney, is still practicing law in L.A.