California is one of those places I have a love-hate relationship with. I grew up in the Bay Area, but ran screaming, when I felt like I just couldn’t breathe anymore, to Texas in 2000 searching for open space and big skies. I love the California coast, Big Sur, Monterey, Sebastopol. I love San Francisco, although, whenever I’m there I wish it were Hitchock’s San Francisco in 1958. I hate that California has gotten so crowded and the vibe so hectic. I hate the highways and crazy traffic. I hate the harsh demanding angle of the sun in mid-summer. And I hate that so many people who I love live there.
It took my sister Suzy with her family, our folks visiting and a fair amount of organizing on her and my other sister Kathy’s part to bring the west coast Avila’s together. It was a hot Central Valley afternoon and I got to visit with folks I haven’t seen in more than 10 years. It was loud (in the best way possible), there was much wine, Portuguese conversation and food flowing freely. I spent much of the time holding back the tears and simply watching everyone interact and talk. Let’s hope it’s not another 10 years before I see everyone again. Maybe I can get them all to move to Oregon…;)