Sam's partner's death on his boat between California and Catalina Island was a shock. It ended our Northern California life. Sam had to fly down to Los Angeles every Friday to handle the business at the Furniture Mart. He wanted me to fly with him so we could find a place where we could live. I had strict rules about where to look. It had to be with-in so many miles of the Furniture Mart for Sam did not want too long a commute to work. It was not an easy time for Sam for he had to learn a whole new territory. But I remember how tough a time it was for me. We rented a car each Friday at the air port. Sam drove us into the city, got out of the car at the mart, and said "I'll see you at 5.30. Good Luck." I felt as if I'd landed on Mars. The freeways, on the map, looked like a plate full of spaghetti. Seeing them in real life was like Alice in wonderland, you in your car driving around in the spaghetti, hoping somehow to get out of the mess. And that last directive of Sam's. I'll see you at 5.30. meant I had to return through the spaghetti on time, or we'd loose our reservations for the flight home.
I had been promised we could live near the water. So each Fridays, I just looked for the town in which we'd be happy. Never went to see a realtor. From Long Beach (there's no there, like Oakland) I was not so sure that was true and went back a couple of times but then found out the Schools were not as good as what we were leaving. We had three more years of high school left. One year for our nr. three child and two for the last one. I went up the coast each friday and suddenly found myself too far North for my orders. I got back to the Mart and Sam was waiting and took over the driving chore and said, "I saw a customer of mine in the elevator down, who said we should look in Laguna Beach. A great art community." I said, I'll look there next week"
What a relief. I had always known that Laguna Beach would be the perfect place to live. But it was way out of my boundaries. I hated to make Sam's life more miserable but it was his idea. That night I slept like a baby. My trial was over.
The following Friday the car went as by itself straight to Laguna Beach. I had promised I would look the community over before contacting a realtor. The car stopped on the main street into town. I got out and realized I was parked in front of a Real Estate office. I went in and asked the elderly man who greeted me if there was anyone who could show me the town. He said he would be happy to do it. He took me to the South end of town, he took me to the Top of the World area, and he took me up the Canyon, and then he said "I'll show you were I live." It was at the north end of town, on the water, and in a gated place called Emerald Bay. I did not want to see any more. I knew where we were going to live.
I asked if there were any places we could rent until we sold our house, and he said he would look into it. he drove me back town to my car. My job was done.
Next issue of this saga will be about our garage sales, one at the house and the other at my studio. It was sad, for we had so many good friends where we had lived over 20 years but it was exciting starting a new life.