Friday, September 28, 2007

Bouncing from Coast to Coast

a welcoming glowBy the time I arrived at the lovely B&B in Berkeley last Friday night, the sun had just about set. The cottage was located behind the main house, so I asked the shuttle driver to wait until I found my way. This welcoming light was all I needed (well that and the key), to know that I was "home". Being a quasi flower child of the 60s, I was excited to be staying in Berkeley. I had not realized that the East Bay Heritage Quilters were actually located in Berkeley - that some of their founding members were women that had inspired me when I started quilting in the 70s. I felt I had stepped back in time, both of the town and my own quilting history.

beautiful, historic campusI love college campuses, so when Roberta Horton said she would drive me through the campus, I was thrilled. A campus is like a bookstore - full of possibility and knowledge. And this one was full of history as well. I went to the campus bookstore and got the requisite college t-shirt for my son (who has recovered 100%, amen) and strolled through the gate to the plaza where so many protests took place. Back in the car, we drove past the Greek Theater where throngs of hippies from 16 to 66 were flocking, lining up for some event. In clothing I had not seen since the 60s, they came from every direction. I shouted out, "Who's here?" The reply was "Phil Lesh." And that meant nothing to me nor Roberta, nor a few others I asked that weekend. I had to Google him. When I was telling this to my son Chris last night, he knew instantly who Phil Lesh was....a founding member and base guitarist of the GRATEFUL DEAD. Deadheads! Darn. I would have loved to be there.

BerkeleyRoberta's tour took me to the top of the Berkeley hills where I could have a panoramic, yet foggy view of the Bay. Standing up there near the fault line, breathing in the scent of the eucalyptus trees, I wondered what it was like to live in a house hanging on the edge of a cliff in earthquake territory - and paying over a million dollars to do so! Give me my wooded east coast gently rolling hills any day.

a view into my retro cottage kitchenSo back to the was so charming. A blend of retro 30s and contemporary comfort, just 2 blocks for the "Gourmet Ghetto" on Shattuck, home to Chez Panisse, born in 1971, birthplace of the fresh, organic, California food movement. I was lucky enough to be treated to dinner there by Lorri Scott, fellow artist, teacher and friend. It was a welcome pleasure on a beautiful Saturday night after a day of teaching wonderful and talented students. My sightseeing day with Roberta was on Sunday and I taught again on Monday - another class full of talent and charm. The trip was capped off with a lecture to the guild (including some familiar faces) on Monday evening, back on top of the Berkeley Hills overlooking the sunset on the Bay. Could it get any better?

As I am writing this, my mother is still in post-op after successful surgery today to fuse fractured back vertebrae. As I said to her, I am sorry for all the cracks I stepped on which have now resulted in her broken back. It has been a long day at the hospital. Surgery was originally scheduled for 1:30 pm. Dad called at 9 to say they moved it to 10 and then they showed up for her at 1:30. After spending 2 hours with her in pre-op, they finally took her to the OR at 3:30. Now my sister & dad stand by awaiting her awakening. I have come home to tend my own little flock and try to do some organization and preparation for my next cross-country trip to Art & Soul in Portland, OR. Mom should go home on Monday and I board a plane on Wednesday. Huff, puff, huff, puff.


Pamela Taylor said...

I am so glad your son and mom are doing is difficult to be creative when your heart is torn in different directions. I envy all the students you are teaching in this whirlwind tour! Have fun in Oregon--I know it will go great!

nina said...

why can't we be staying in a cottage like that instead of an airport hotel in portland?! :( things would be much more restful, wouldn't they?
glad to hear that your mother's surgery went well - now, try to get some rest between now and wednesday....x

claudine hellmuth said...

sending good thoughts to your mommy!

Melanie Sage said...

Hi Lesley! I am in your Monday class, and I could not find a way to email you. I teach a college class in the morning and won't get to class until about 10:30- I'll be quiet and join in where I am if that's ok! :) Looking forward to it- I am also taking your Sunday class! yay!
melanie sage

Loretta said...

Lesley, so glad to hear your mother is doing well. Berkely is a magical place. We were there once when we lived in California and I remember looking for a fabric shop near the campus.