Sunday, August 27, 2006

Vacation Day

Not sure how it happened, really. I was working on my blogs for MediaVillage.com, and after I finished them, I just decided to shut the computer off at 8 AM. I then proceeded to pack my car with blankets, pillows, food and drink, went to my Mom's to see her off to the Senior Center, and then took off to the beach.

I think I may have pre-planned the "trip" the night before, but either way it was WONDERFUL...WONDER-FILLED.

I arrived at Charlotte Beach, which is on Ontario Lake. I took a beautiful awesome walk down the Pier. The weather was ideal. A perfect breeze; a perfect blue sky with one tranquil beaming light of sun blessing the morning. And NO ONE else was there! This Pier is approximately 1 and 1/2 miles - and NO ONE ELSE was there. I couldn't believe it.

I went up to the end of the Pier, and watched the beautiful calm waters. I mediated. I prayed. I talked aloud to God. I was still and knew God. It was just so magical.

After a bit, I turned, and walked back down the Pier to the shoreline. Went to my car, got my blanket, etc., found very Kung Fu Caine spot under a shady tree, ate a soy yogurt, read a little bit from one of my favorite Angel books (The Angels Within Us), and then took in some sun.

An hour or so later, I walked over to the "Port of Rochester," which has been completely renovated and expanded, and it's amazing. It looks like FRANCE over there. I then had another soy yogurt, went BACK to the Pier, and walked up it a SECOND time.

I then drove over to Russell Station - a prime fishing spot on Beach Avenue, and I was, of course, compelled to visit the old Pilato picnic spot at the top of what I guess could be called Charlotte Hill. The big oak tree we all used to picnic under was gone, replaced with a pretty flower bed, but that little Mom-n-Pop "anything you want" store was just across the street.

I remember how we used to pack a lunch on Sundays, and travel to the beach "all the way from our house" on Erie Street in the city (which was maybe about ten miles). Then, of course, it seemed like a thousand miles. And now, here I was, all these later, still walking up and down the hill that was broken with old sidewalk cement slates that were even old THEN. It looked like the same sand that sparkled and speckled the grass was the same sand from 1966. It sure all had the same aroma I remembered.

After my trip to the Beach, I of course had to travel to Greenleaf Meadows, which is where me, my sister and my parents moved after we left Erie Street.

Greenleaf is a beautiful townhouse/apartment home complex with a gorgeous pool, a tennis court, and a location with the beach and a golf course right up the street. Not only that, Schaler's Restaurant (which has the best hamburgs in the universe) and Abbott's Frozen Custard is not more than a half-mile away.

What else could anyone want? When we left Erie Street for Greenleaf Meadows we thought we were living at Fantasy Island. It was awesome.

So, when I went into the Greenleaf office, the manager there, Giovanna, was the same manager working that had been for twenty years. I just stopped in to say hello, and she immediately invited me to stay the day at the pool...free of charge...with a special guest pass from the office.

And I accepted.

I went to the sparkling, "olympic-sized" pool, and once more, NO ONE was there. I had it all to myself. The pool is located directly across from where our old townhome is. So as I basked some more in the sun, I listened to the teen lifeguards talk; it was all the same conversations; different kids; but the same conversations, and it was sweet. "Yeah - starting college on Friday; looking forward to it."

I just shook my head and laughed a little giggle.

I then I glanced over to my old townhome - 27-T - and remembered...remembered how my Dad used to drive home every day with my Mom, after picking her up from Number 7 School where she was the lunch lady; how they used to stop at McDonald's; after which they would always also pick something up at Wegman's Supermarket.

I remember, too, how my Mom would always bring me something home from the Number 7 School lunch room; an apple, a sandwich, whatever extra she could muster. Though I was well into my twenties and later, early thirties (when I returned to Rochester to write my first Bewitched Book), she still would bring these "sweet" foods home to me.

My parents never had a lot, and when we moved to Greenleaf, they had a little more, but their lives were always simple and they always appreciated the simple things. But man was their life happy - and FULL.

So, anyway, around 3 PM, I went back to visit Giovanna in the office, and we reminisced some more; and she still had the little white ceramic angel that I gave her when I left Greenleaf. I treasure that she treasures it.

Soon, I was off to Tops Supermarket on Mt. Read Blvd. I had to get a carrot muffin. It is one of my favorite things, and this day was turning into doing all of my favorite things, visiting all of my favorite places, and eating all of my favorite foods.

So, after I got the muffin, I drove to Brown Square Park near Erie Street, and reminisced some more.

In what seemed like only a few minutes more, I was back home at my computer, checking my email...and yet still embracing the wonderful magical spiritual "vacation day"...more of which are now scheduled on my horizon.

I ended up visiting all of my favorite places, reading one of my favorite books, and eating all of my favorite foods.

I tell ya' when it's bad, it's bad. But when it's good, it's awesome.

What a beautiful, strange and magical day.

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