Saying Goodbye to Sybaritic Southern California

"Boondocking" in surburban So Cal. I never realized what a tropical paradise my hometown really was!

“Boondocking” in surburban So Cal. I never realized what a tropical paradise my hometown really was!

So, I’ve spent the last month parked in my best friend’s driveway in beautiful northern San Diego county. A month where I had all the time in the world to do pretty much anything I wanted. Did I post one single blog? No!

I WROTE a very long one but I became overwhelmed by the details and the convoluted timeline I have created here before I’ve even begun and never posted it. Am I trying to catch up with the last few months–or even the last few years, from the nascent stages of this journey? Or do I just moved forward and trust you all will follow the thread? This morning, as I prepare to leave the landscape of my youth (for I grew up here in this once rural inland valley) I have decided to take the bull by the horns and simply start where I am–on the cusp of a beginning and an ending.

A fantasy realized! I've been dreaming of walking barefooted along a warm So Cal beach since I first decided to sell my house and hit the road three long years ago!

A fantasy realized! I’ve been dreaming of walking barefooted along the beach since I first decided to hit the road three long years ago!

Despite the fact that my BFF is working insane hours at an insane, physically demanding job and is pretty much chronically sleep-deprived, we had a great time. One Sunday we drove up the luscious southern California coast in her peppy Mini-Cooper to have brunch overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach. We also stopped at Rogers Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden posing as a nursery. Yes, you can actually buy the plants, but this is obviously first and foremost a labor of love–a paean to the abundant beauty of nature and Southern California’s ability to offer a happy plant home to a wide variety of growing things.


Just one of the many idyllic corners to be found at Rogers Gardens.

We also took a hike the first weekend at the Torrey Pines Seashore just north of La Jolla. I am ashamed to admit it, but in the 15 years or more I spent growing up here, I never once visited this beautiful place. The magic of van dwelling!

A view from the trial at Torrey Pines State Park.

A view from the trail at Torrey Pines State Park.

Let me hasten to add that the whole month was not entirely taken up with idyllic walks, sipping homemade margaritas (yum–love that fresh lime!), and philosophical talks with my best friend of 40+ years (the first evening’s conversation started with the topic–“after all these years, I realize I don’t really know what love is!”–you gotta love it.)  Yes, for those of you who know something about astrology, this duo has a lot of Sagittarius (the Quest for Truth and Meaning) in their respective charts! One of us is heavily Libran (Conscious Equal Partnership) and the other heavily Aries (The Amazon Warrior defending the Cosmic Order). I’ll let you figure out which one I am. (Hint — I’m the one living in a van LOL.)

So, all was well. Except, that my intrepid Queen Maria Esmarelda had started making an ominous scraping noise as I was winding up my road trip here from Arizona. After several weeks spent in denial (fueled by my total lack of funds) I finally put on my big girl pants and drove her to Susan’s mechanic (wonderful guys–if you are ever in Escondido and need a mechanic, check out Escondido Auto Tech!). Turns out, the $800 worth of front end work I already knew I needed was the least of my worries. Rear brakes, leaking coolant, loose steering arms–it was downright dangerous! Long story short, thanks to the generosity of a friend with excellent credit, I borrowed the money (a lot of money–I will be working hard all summer to pay off the loan!) to finally fix all the major mechanical issues that have needed to be addressed since I bought her and year and a half ago.

One of the hidden gifts of this experience is that I spent the better part of 3 days hanging out in Susan’s driveway in a quiet corner of her lovely condo complex. On the surface, this is a van dweller’s nightmare: to be separated from my home and security and almost all of the worldy possessions I have left. I was spending my days in the driveway instead of my friend’s lovely condo because my intrepid traveling companion is an alpha female cat. Susan’s (alpha female) cat did not think a feline visitor was a good idea (we tried it the first evening–not pretty).

Layla makes herself at home in the driveway.

Layla makes herself at home in the driveway.

So, we sat outside and enjoyed the view. Besides a couple of kids that buzzed through on skateboards one afternoon, the neighborhood was surprisingly deserted. What a waste! Everyone is so busy working to keep a roof over their heads in this suburban paradise that it’s hard to find time to actually enjoy it. But Layla and I certainly had a lovely time listening to the woodpecker busily plying his trade in the nearby tree, stalking lizards in the bushes (Layla, not me), and enjoying the lush, moist air and the green, green, green surroundings. I even got some work done on the computer project I’m doing for a friend. And at the end of three days, The Queen Maria Esmarelda was returned to us, finally, finally driving the way I always knew she should. She actually feels safe for the first time–a revelation! We ready for the next road adventure. Home never felt so good.

My "parking pad office."

My “parking pad office.”

A few days later, here I am mid-morning in the Delights of France, the Internet Cafe on Grand Avenue in beautiful downtown Escondido. I discovered this place when I first dropped off my van at the garage around the corner and like the good Taurus that I am, have not bothered to pioneer any other hang-out in the four weeks I’ve been here. They make one of the best chocolate croissants I’ve ever tasted (and believe me, I’ve tasted quite a few!)–good dark chocolate, enough but not too much, and light flaky pastry. I should definitely already be on the road (tonight’s planned destination is 200 miles away on back roads–a good all-day drive for Esmarelda and I in my new, relaxed van dweller’s life).

But I am determined to become a writer and it starts here, and now, with this blog! I dreamed last night that I was 7 months pregnant. I mean, me, now, at almost 59 years old, not some younger, seemingly more fertile, version of myself. I was nervous and very excited all at the same time. And the night before that I dreamed I was petting a lion. I am indeed finding the courage to birth myself. As are we all!

As an astrologer, I am here to tell you that the next 5 or 6 weeks, leading up the The Grand Cross of Cosmic Change and Transformation in mid-April, is a real, in-your face time of letting go of the old to seed the new. The energies are all over the map right now–we are feeling impelled to move forward and feeling somewhat confused and stuck all at the same time. It’s OK–it’s the way it’s supposed to be. Keep taking deep breaths and asking your true soul self, what is the direction I want to go in right now? (not what my head thinks, but what my heart knows.) And then take a step in that direction. Just one step is OK right now. It may take you all day to take the step as you find the rest of the day is taken up with letting go of all the self-created obstacles of a lifetime (or many lifetimes!). But with every true-hearted intention to move forward by letting go of a slavish adherence to what you thought you were supposed to be doing, you are creating the blueprint for an accelerated future. You will be richly rewarded, I promise, in all the ways that count as our individual and collective dreams begin to manifest in late April and into May.

I still don't know what Love is but, for me, this is a big, big part of it in this lifetime! Thank you my friend.

I still don’t know what Love is but, for me, this is a big, big part of it in this lifetime! Thank you my friend.

Well, it really is past time to rescue the Princess Layla (who is waiting patiently in her neo-gypsy wagon, lounging on the bed and dreaming of Arizona desert lizards) and head on down the road. Until next time, love and blessings on your Journey!



4 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Sybaritic Southern California

  1. So glad to hear about the repairs being done. What a great feeling having confidence that you can make it to your next planned destination without breaking down or tearing up your new tires. I have to go back and read about cosmic change again. This sounds pretty exciting. Hugs

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