Tag Archives: San Francisco

God laughs when we make plans

I wrote these words two years ago, after attending City Summit 2013. Right now, City Summit 2015 is in full swing but I didn’t sign up this year as I have been too busy doing the work I first learned about at the 2013 conference–school chaplain. Funny how life turns out.

 

I have read many books over the years, attended many conferences, presented to many groups, taught in an inner city school, lead in an inner city church, cooked for a women’s shelter, raised awareness for a number of local organizations that help the poor, the downtrodden, the less affluent, all the time wanting to learn more about how to do a better job in making a difference. Terry and I have also volunteered in San Francisco, at Glide Memorial, Year Up, Emerge, and Rebuilding Together San Francisco. While living in San Francisco, the homeless were camping right below our apartment and so I packed meals and distributed them as I walked the streets.

My goal, upon retiring from the inner city high school, was to work for a nonprofit in San Francisco, helping those in need. I applied to every organization that had a job listing where my skills could be used. I got one interview out of the whole lot and was told I would be bored. Finally, I gave up, left San Francisco, and returned to volunteer in Fresno where the unemployment rates are high, the poverty rates even higher, and the needs are overwhelming. But, our home is paid for, unlike in San Francisco where the rent on our tiny studio apartment was $2400 a month, so I don’t need a salary. There are many agencies to whom I can give my time and skills.

This is a bit of advice I follow: Do not lose heart,; do not become faint. When you seek to perform a good work that God asks of you, you will always find an ample supply of God’s grace to sustain you.

A day in the city

After depositing the grandchildren back with their parents, Terry and I spent the following day in San Francisco, my favorite city.

I had heard, for years, about Glen Park, a stop along the Bart line from Millbrae. It’s a small neighborhood in the big city. Terry and I got off here and wandered for awhile, stopping at a corner coffee shop. Terry likes to try the locals wherever he goes.

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We got back on the train and went downtown, having lunch at Nordstrom Bistro with this view;

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The Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is being remodeled so we checked on the progress:

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Looks like it will be awhile before we are looking at art here.

There is a tremendous amount of building going on in San Francisco. Streets are closed. Cranes everywhere. Towers reaching for the sky. More and more people with buckets of money are moving in. The cost of everything has gone like those buildings, skyward.

We made it all the way to the Ferry Building, walking on crowded sidewalks, dashing across heavily traveled streets. I loved every minute.

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We caught a train at Embarcadero Bart station to head back to the kids’ house for one final dinner to wrap up the holiday season. Now back to normal, whatever that means.

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A respite from the heat

and a birthday celebration…

Terry and I took off midweek to spend time in the Bay Area. We stopped at Stanford University, at the Cantor Art Center, to see an exhibit of Carleton Watkins photos. Watkins photographed Yosemite and the photos were sent back to Washington D.C. which lead to the founding of the National Parks. Watkins’ business was in San Francisco, on Montgomery Street, and after viewing some of the photos he had done of home interiors in the 1880s, I had to wonder if M. Theo Kearney had hired him to do the photos of Kearney Mansion and surrounding areas of Fresno as the style was much the same. I checked with the museum director while still in the Art Center, but she said there is no name on the photos and no record of who took them.

We spent time at Stanford Shopping Center after lunching at Max’s Opera Cafe and before heading on to see our grandchildren. That evening was spent at San Mateo’s Central Park at the weekly Concert in the Park. Our daughter was away at a youth camp with kids from her church so we missed seeing her but we had a great time with Leeya, Judah, and Chad.

The next day Terry and I got to escort Leeya to her new kindergarten class and see her new school. It’s a delightful neighborhood school, just not in our kids’ neighborhood, but clear across town. San Mateo does their school allotment in a very strange way. Most of the students do not go to neighborhood schools. Leeya does get to attend school with a girl from her preschool class, though, so that’s a nice benefit.

We took BART into San Francisco and spent most of the day in and around our old stomping ground. Had a delicious BLT from Prather Ranch Meat Company where I used to buy bacon ends to put in my beans when we lived just around the corner from the Ferry Building. They had cooked up the bacon ends, sliced heirloom tomatoes, slathered an aoli on a soft bun, and topped it with Romaine lettuce. And they threw in a pickle spear. Washed down by a birch beer.

Since it was my birthday, and a rather important one, I stopped on the way back into San Mateo at Draeger’s Market and bought a delicious lemon cake to share with my grandchildren. They don’t usually get butter cream frosting.

It was a great time had by all, especially the birthday girl who got to spend the day in her favorite city with her favorite husband, and to have cake with her favorite grandchildren.

Wearing bright colors

When we lived in San Francisco right after I retired, I took only dark clothing to hang in the one closet in the 525 square foot studio. Mostly pants, with two straight skirts, one navy, one black. Even in the summer, San Francisco is chilly so no lightweight full skirts that would provide that Marilyn Monroe effect as I made my way up Market Street or purchased produce at the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building.
All my bright colors were left in Fresno, to be worn on my occasional trips home.

Now that we are permanently back in Fresno, I’m glad I didn’t give away those clothes as the weather here, along with the more relaxed lifestyle, makes them perfect. Especially now that spring has arrived. I was so tired of wearing pants, that I made sure to wear a skirt for our beautiful warm Easter Sunday. And then the weather turned cold, windy, and wet so that by the next Sunday I was reverting back to pants. But not the dark colors.

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The forecast calls for 90 degree days this week, and I have numerous events to attend so I am planning to make good use of my bright colored skirts. I am so tired of pants. And dark colors.

Taking the F-Line

When requests were originally made for us to have the grandkids here last week, our daughter and son-in-law had planned to be on a mission trip. We would pick up the grandkids on Sunday from their house and return them on the following Saturday. The mission trip got cancelled due to a flu outbreak at the destination and so our daughter and son-in-law had a week to themselves as well as being able to pick up their children a couple of days early. I was really pleased as we had never had the little ones for more than four nights. The grandkids, though, are thrilled to be here. It’s just that the grandparents get TIRED.

Since the original plan had included taking the kids home, we had made hotel reservations so as to stay overnight and rest before the return trip. We decided to keep the reservations and go into San Francisco on Sunday. Which really worked perfectly because that day there was a vintage trolley tour from the Railway Museum that I really wanted to do. Terry was able to get tickets for us SONY DSCand so we got up early, took BART from the Millbrae station and enjoyed a cool, overcast day in San Francisco.

You can see from my picture, taken on Car #1, built in 1912, and the one we toured on, just how happy this made me: SONY DSC

The car we had been scheduled to take, built in 1914, was unable to make the trip. I was beyond enthused to get to go on Car #1, the oldest trolley in San Francisco. These vintage cars have been lovingly restored, this one to the tune of $1.2 million, to their original glory, and are used on the F-Line, down Market Street and over to Fisherman’s Wharf. Since the Railway Museum is just a block from the high-rise in which we lived while in San Francisco for 15 months, we have visited it as well as taken trolleys to and from the Wharf. I like the Milan cars as they are quite noisy and you can certainly feel like you’re on a trolley.SONY DSC

Car#1, however, was very smooth, in comparison. Some of the vintage cars have wooden seats which can be a bit hard on a long trip. This car, though, had restored wicker seats. The inside of the car, with rosewood trim, is quite beautiful and makes for a very enjoyable ride down Market Street, across town on Church, through Dolores Park, all the way to the maintenance yard and back.

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There were a few spots where the trolley stopped and we were allowed to get out and photograph the scenery. When we got to the maintenance building, we all got out and walked around, looking at all the vintage cars in different states of renovation.

 

 

 

 

 

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It was a drizzly Sunday but we were quite snug in our own trolley car. The trip was planned to take two hours, but it was almost three hours, what with all the traffic on Market. When we got back to the museum, I went in to pick up our souvenir posters while Terry snapped one more photo of Car #1.

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Continuing to work for the good of the city

When it came time to do my student teaching, the supervisor from the university suggested a high school in the neighboring town in a district known for its well behaved, high scoring, white students. I rejected his suggestion and requested the school on the opposite side of our town where the kids are poor, less well behaved, and minority. Although I got what I wanted, it made my supervisor very uncomfortable. He visited my classrooms twice and then told me he wouldn’t be returning as the students were very badly behaved. They weren’t. As I continued in the teaching profession, years later I would see students who made those first ones look like scholarly angels. I kept wishing that university supervisor could see what I was doing now.

My passion has always been for the less fortunate, the ones with fewer opportunities, the ones who live where many refuse to go. I want to change the world for everyone and that’s why I wanted that school across town for my student teaching assignment. When I recently wrote about a conference I had attended, City Summit 2013, DJan asked how I would be using the information I had gleaned from the workshops. The same way I have been using the information I have gathered for the past twenty five years, to build on my experience and my ability to help others. I want as much knowledge as I can get to use in all that I choose to do.

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I have read many books over the years, attended many conferences, presented to many groups, taught in an inner city school, lead in an inner city church, cooked for a women’s shelter, raised awareness for a number of local organizations that help the poor, the downtrodden, the less affluent, all the time wanting to learn more about how to do a better job in making a difference. Terry and I have also volunteered in San Francisco, at Glide Memorial, Year Up, Emerge, and Rebuilding Together San Francisco. While living in San Francisco, the homeless were camping right below our apartment and so I packed meals and distributed them as I walked the streets.

My goal, upon retiring from the inner city high school, was to work for a nonprofit in San Francisco, helping those in need. I applied to every organization that had a job listing where my skills could be used. I got one interview out of the whole lot and was told I would be bored. Finally, I gave up, left San Francisco, and returned to volunteer in Fresno where the unemployment rates are high, the poverty rates even higher, and the needs are overwhelming. But, our home is paid for, unlike in San Francisco where the rent on our tiny studio apartment was $2400 a month, so I don’t need a salary. There are many agencies to whom I can give my time and skills.

This is a bit of advice I follow: Do not lose heart,; do not become faint. When you seek to perform a good work that God asks of you, you will always find an ample supply of God’s grace to sustain you.

This week in San Francisco

This week I am in San Francisco, Bernal Heights to be exact, housesitting for a friend. Actually, I am cat sitting as the house would be just fine with no one here. There is no yard or other things to tend to, just the cat. This is his morning activity:

Rough life, heh?

This is sort of roughing it for me as there is no wifi here, but there is a modem that will keep me tethered in one spot, and there is no dishwasher. Those are the two major conveniences I like to have in my life. If I was going to be here for more than a week, I might also be bummed that there is no clothes dryer, but I haven’t any clothes to wash, so no problem.

I have a list of projects to work on as well as the Bernal Heights neighborhood to explore.

We were here

My daughter’s high school friends had a small reunion a few weeks ago in San Francisco. She has learned that many of her classmates live in the Bay Area and thought it would be fun for them to reconnect in their new home town. One of the girls has a large home on the south end of town, close to a small park, and she offered it for the gathering.

I was fortunate to get to go along.  Mainly my purpose was to navigate and to help with the two children. It was a joyful afternoon event, spent with good friends, reminiscing about old times mixed with stories of current lives. I sat on the periphery, listening, just as I had done when Jennifer would spend time with these wonderful girls in high school.

I wandered out on the balcony, this was the view:

This was the view on the inside:

Twenty years ago, my daughter and her friends were high school freshmen. Now they are young career women with their small children. We were there, but now, we are here. Lives have changed.

There’s just something about San Francisco

Our tax preparer lives in San Francisco, on a hill in Bernal Heights. I have known Gretchen for about 18 years. We met, online, back in the day of Compuserve Forums. When my tax man of over 30 years was hauled off to prison for fraud, I was at a loss as to what to do about my taxes. Gretchen said, “send them to me,” and for years that’s what I did. Then we went to live in San Francisco and I took her the papers, to her third floor walkup in Bernal Heights. She gives fair warning. If you cannot walk three flights of stairs, and if you are allergic to cat hair, then she will meet you elsewhere. I can and I’m not, so I go to her apartment.

She tells me she has not been to India, a favorite place, for awhile because she cannot find a housesitter. She goes for months at a time and needs someone to live with her cats while she’s away. It occurs to me, I could do this. Our kitties have all passed on. There is nothing keeping me in Fresno. And I love San Francisco. A three month stint as a housesitter would be a great way to get back to San Francisco. Gretchen’s apartment sits beside a main thoroughfare so I could sit by the window and watch the world go by. Or walk across the street and catch Muni and go anywhere in the city. I think it would be grand. We’ll see if she decides to make the trip. I’m hoping she does and that she takes me up on my offer to housesit.

Back in the Mission

During our recent trip to the Mission District in San Francisco, Terry and I spent some time around the actual mission–Dolores and Dolores Park.

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It was such a lovely day and the views were magnificent. People love to bring their dogs to Dolores Park and that day was a particular favorite. We sat for awhile and got a good dog fix, something we cat-lovers enjoy now and then.

The park overlooks Mission High School: 

We had lunch at Tacolicious, just up the street, where we saw the mural of the high school painted by Paul Madonna, the artist who does All Over Coffee.