Latest News…


Let me see. Where did I last stop? Now I can’t remember, and I don’t feel like going back to check. I only remember it was a long time ago. No apologies, though…

I will just think out loud and see where this takes me.

We were 22 for Thanksgiving, and Valerie had done all the cooking. Rosana contributed her famous pies. We love their friends, and they have been very welcoming to us.  Now we have invitations to their homes, most of them in the city (“city” here means San Francisco) Among their friends, there are three architects, so Guido can feel triply accompanied.  And it didn’t feel crowded at all.

The weather continues to be mild – 40s at night and 50s to 60s during the day. No rain yet, which is quite strange. Since we moved here in May we’ve had two rainy days, and even those were mostly drizzle and not all day.  We are just “stuck” 😉  with gorgeous blue skies, and since many trees are not deciduous, we still have lots of green.  There were some whose foliage turned bright red, orange, and yellow, so we have a bit of everything.

From the windows in my room I can see the mountains.  Actually, we can see them from most rooms, but mine has huge windows. That is a feature we love about this house, among many others. The windows reach from my knees to almost the ceiling (well, that’s considering my height) and there are windows everywhere, and bay windows in the living room and what is called a “garden window” in the kitchen. It is really amazing that, in a house this old (1900), the kitchen is so well planned, with all sorts of cabinets and pull out shelves. A dream! And every room, even the laundry room, has windows.

Some features are puzzling – the stairs to the second floor (second in US standards) that lead to the three rooms and bathroom, have 19 ½ steps. Yes- the top step is half of the others. We still don’t understand why. The ceilings are quite high in the first floor, so that when we need to change a light bulb we have to ask Creg to do it, and he has to use a ladder.  The 19 steps attest to the high ceilings.  Our “old house” had 13 steps from one floor to the next.  All in all, the house is feeling “ours” more and more each day.

We don’t go out much, and I will not dwell on health issues. They are the same.  Valerie does almost all of the shopping, in addition to cooking for us almost every night. Sounds good? It is, trust me!  I love being here, at the computer, inside Facebook (I have managed to get inside – I believe in science fiction)  watching films, and reading a lot, as well as helping several writers who have entrusted me with their creations.  It all keeps me busy, and if I get bored I can go to the backyard or gaze out the windows. There are many birds of all kinds which of course I don’t recognize, but I enjoy them. No need to know what they are.

What also makes me marvel is the sky at night.  We are in a valley, and not too close to many lights. I can see the stars very clearly, and was in awe when I first saw Venus. I had never seen her (yes- she is feminine) so large and so clearly.

Something that is quite unique and new to us is the sense of community here, in San Rafael. I imagine it exists in other places too, but I had never had this before. I got this message today:

“One of the real joys of the holiday season…

…is the opportunity to give thanks. Thank you for being a member of Nextdoor and helping to bring back a sense of community to neighborhoods around the country.

Season’s greetings and best wishes for the new year from our Nextdoor family to yours.” 

It is a community site where neighbors post their concerns, objects for sale or required, anything they want or need. It brings us all together, a wonderful idea!

Thanksgivakah 2013 –
A once-in-a-lifetime event (Thanksgiving and Chanukah rarely fall on the same date) celebrated in style at the San Rafael Francescato Compound. One of Valerie’s friends even brought a menorah

And so it is goodbye for now, hoping that you are all well, and sending you my very best wishes, not just for the holiday season, but for the rest of time…



About martisima

After over 50 years of teaching literature to undergraduate and graduate students, I feel I have earned my retirement (it happened when I was 72, five years ago). I do miss the classroom, however, but not the meetings and all other requirements of the profession. I love teaching, and wish I could still do it. But now I read for pleasure, and watch films, and listen to all kinds of music (no TV, though). I love to travel, and hope I can resume doing it soon. I need to get over my health issues caused by thyroid surgery three years ago!
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4 Responses to Latest News…

  1. We have even more architect friends, they just weren’t all there on Thanksgiving! 😉 Great to have you in the Bay Area!

  2. martisima says:

    Where are all the others???? Father would love to meet them, I am sure! And I am glad we finally came here.

  3. Daughter #2 says:

    Sandra and Sergio weren’t in attendance: both architects! Yes, it’s been a good year. We’re so glad to have you here!!

  4. martisima says:

    True, Valerie. I had forgotten about them… What is it about being architects in San Francisco??? We are all much better here now, even though I tend to be a pest sometimes 😉

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