I’ve spent a lot of time driving I-5 from Northern to Southern California and back. During summer the center of the state bursts with flavors. I know all the nooks and crannies, the truck stops, the rest stops, and the bounty of good regional food sold at specific convenience stores along the way. Maybe someday there’ll be a song about I-5. After all, Route 66 had to wait a while before Bobby Troup sang about it.
I-5 parallels the West Coast from Mexico to Canada. There are long stretches without much to look at but signs point to quick side trips, if you’re inclined. I’ve been on this road so often I can direct you to everything from salad to dessert.
This month, a short trip off I-5, it’s the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Gilroy named itself the Garlic Capital Of The World and nobody disputes it.
When you drive I-5 you learn when crops are planted and harvested. Ahead of me I spy two crucial ingredients for great spaghetti sauce. One truck rolls along carrying garlic, followed by another with tomatoes, home-grown and soon to be shared in markets everywhere. If you’re on I-5 during summertime you don’t need to wait. There are enough roadside stands on your way home to provide everything you need for supper.
Trains contributed so much to our country’s vitality, but unlike some other nations, we almost completely abandoned ours. (Sorry Amtrak.) Now everything about training seems, once again, exotic, adventurous – and best of all, practical.
In California, we’ve been promised high speed trains many times. Finally, we voted to re-build our rail system within this state, one link at a time, but now the start date of the program, like most big statewide improvements, is uncertain.
I’m counting the days/months/years until I’ll be able to hop on a high speed express from the northern part of the state where I live, to the southern part, where the rest of my family members live.
The “high-speed” part isn’t even the most important. I won’t mind spending time in a comfortable seat watching the world go by, instead of circling to find a parking spot at the airport. I don’t mind if it takes a while longer to arrive by train than it takes to fly to the same destination.
I’m ready – really really ready.
Ó Anita Garner 2009
Either “The sky is falling” or “Every cloud has a silver lining.”
Both points of view are evenly represented among my nearest and dearest. Most days I fall into the silver lining category, which means of course I’m destined to spend much of my time with people who are always dodging chunks of the sky.
I like grey skies. I live in Northern California in a fog belt and I am (perversely, some say) not a fan of summer. I count the days until the season changes to autumn, which brings the chance of showers.
My only grandchild lives in sunny Southern California, so I spend a lot of time there. A few weeks ago, the four-year-old and I stepped outside her house and walked right into an unexpected June rain shower. She stopped and turned her face up, and as her new sundress got good and soaked she said,
“I love the rain. Free water coming down.”
That’s my girl.
Ó Anita Garner 2009