When the Sun is Shining

When the sun is shining in Monterey, everyone walks around smiling. The town south of Monterey that sticks out into the ocean and gets a lot of fog is Pacific Grove, and the Methodists founded it in the 1900’s as a great place to get out of the heat. The mothers and children spent their summers there while the husbands and fathers toiled in the central valley heat.  The leaders built a fence around their town with strict curfews for anyone coming or going.

Pacific Grove was the last dry town in the U.S.A., but now there are three liquor stores.

Since the peninsula used to be a forest of trees, there are strict restrictions about cutting any down.  Even after one fell over and killed a woman. Now we can at least trim them.

I came down here to check on the work being done again. The fence guy came back and fixed the issues. The tree guy hasn’t come by, called, or emailed. I am tempted to pay him 90% of the bill to see if he will bother to respond for a few hundred dollars. His crew accidentally took out a small Magnolia when they trimmed the Monterey pine.  They cut Coastal Oak branches into stubby limbs and left the weaving limbs alone.

The wood stove insert guys did a great job and have yet to bill my credit card. Maybe because the handle is missing?

I can smell the ocean in my front yard. At night I can hear the waves crashing.

Pacific Grove is a beautiful place to live, but also a quiet one. All day long, running around, I see tourists in pairs and locals by themselves except for their little dogs. Everybody has one. I have two, so I guess I’d fit right in, but it would get lonely, especially in the winter time. The storms cause the big trees to fall down, and the above-ground wires get pulled down with them. The power can go out for hours or for days.

Maybe that’s why so many people hang out downtown at the Juice ‘n’ Java coffee house. I sometimes go there to get internet access, since I cut that off my bill years ago in order to keep two households. I even rent to friends, and have a few faithful renters who leave me bottles of wine and nice notes about their stay.

I’ve been here three times when the power has gone out. Once I was alone and twice with a group of friends. I got in my car and left when I was by myself. It was getting dark, and it felt creepy with the candles lit. The ninety-year-old house is spooky in the dark.  Once is was a Sunday morning, and we couldn’t make coffee.  One guy drove for an hour looking for a coffee place. He packed up and drove back when he didn’t find any. He had promised me kayaking that day, too. No coffee = Mr. Grumpo.

I picked up the local papers so I can get the scoop on what’s going on and also read the police log. Right now the town has Measure M up for a vote, which would limit short term vacation rentals, including airbnb if it passes, I think. The signs are confusing in everyone’s front yards.

Yes on M. No on M. Next-door neighbors at war. Why not? Everyone else is at war. Democrats and Republicans, men and women, blacks and whites, seniors and younger people, immigrants and been-here-a-while immigrants, meat eaters and vegans.

Columbus Day is replaced with Indigenous People Day in certain cities (Berkeley).  Halloween is replaced with a Harvest festival for certain Christians. Halloween is the devil’s holiday, after all.

At least I don’t get sucked into Facebook here.

It gives me more time to write.


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