Sunset on Lake Monterey
Yep that’s my picture. Yep I took it. Yep, yep, yep.
There is a place on the west side of this beautiful state that I also call home. That I love. That I’ve been going to since my babies were well, babies. I remember the first time I went to Sandy Pines. It was with my mom, my friend Jean, niece, nephew, Meggie, and Adam Boy. My mom’s place was small. Only one bedroom. We arrived late so we made up the beds and crashed. We couldn’t wait to start our adventure the next day. I slept with all four babies on a pullout couch. It wasn’t the best night sleep, but with four little ones who the hell gets much sleep anyway? The next morning we got on the golf cart and drove around the park. We saw beaches, a golf course, restaurants, pools. Even an ice cream shop. I fell in love with the place. We swam, ate ice cream, drove everywhere on golf carts. Meg was three and quite the determined little girl. She got on the golf cart and smashed it into my mom’s house. OOPS! But no worries. We just made sure to remove the keys when the little ones decided they just had to play on the carts.
It was difficult to convince Roger Darling to visit the place. But once I got him there, he was hooked. My grandparents owned a place down the street from my momma’s. They offered to sell it to us and we greedily snatched it up. We started with a little place. One bedroom. The kids slept on the hide a bed in the living room. As they grew so did our house. We bought a three bedroom park model home. The kids had little bunk rooms, our bed was jammed up against a wall and we just fell into it at night. There wasn’t much room to walk around. That was okay though. We were outside most of the time anyway. The kids were always outside when they were little. We could let them run the streets. There was no worry of losing them. Our neighbors made sure of that. Plus they wanted to find kids to play with, dogs to pet, trouble to get into. When the kids became teenagers we upgraded again to a bigger home with two lofts. Thank God the kids weren’t on the same floor as us anymore. Unfortunately they brought all of their friends home with them. All the damn time! I didn’t mind though. It was fun having them around.
We built gardens, patios, decks, a shed. Beautified every inch of our lot. Roger Darling always wanted to change things up though. He was always puttering around with something. Me, I just wanted to go to the beach. Read a book. Visit with the neighbors. Run. Rog want’s to do all that too, plus rebuild the damn flower gardens!
Our neighborhood is wonderful. We have the best neighbors. There’s the hippies, the Republicans, the Democrats, the lesbian couple down the street, the quiet ones, the loud ones. I think we are the loud family. It’s a melting pot of people. We’re nice to each other, because our homes are so close together. We help each other out when necessary. We have a corner lot so there are a lot of parties on our patio too. They usually start mid afternoon when the work is done and it’s time for a cocktail. Everyone comes to Rog and Nae’s. It’s kind of like the place to be. We talk politics, food, family. Hell, even sex. We talk about sad things, happy things and about the occasionally shitty day. Sometimes the parties end early and we head inside to watch a movie. Or we could be up till two or three in the morning just laughing and chatting.
Meg found her first love there. Ah Matthew. What a sweet boy. I loved him when he was 13 and enamored with my daughter. Love him now when he’s all grown up and in the service. Meg and Adam found plenty of friends there. Drove golf carts everywhere! There was sadness and anger and fights but mostly love, smiles and happiness. And campfires. Meg worked there for three summers during and just after high school. Meg and Adam both worked there last summer as life guards, camp counselor, and herders of small children. They even created and coached a swim team there.
I love our life there. I love our home. I just love it in the Pines…..