Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good Food and Good Fortune(s)

Next week this time, I will live in San Francisco. I won’t have an apartment yet, of course, but I will likely be out looking!

A few posts ago, I wondered aloud how to leave all the people here that I care about. Now I know – at parties, over coffee, during lunch, throughout dinner. I have not eaten a meal at home for nearly three weeks! Every gathering, no matter how small or large, has been wonderful, warm and loving and reassuring.

And the gifts! Along with a boat-load of “We’ll miss you,” I got an “I am proud of you.” I got a “Good for you – this is a bold step, and you can do it.” And I got a profound observation from a friend. First, he noted that he wants in front of him what he likes and what he knows. Then this: “You have an interest in and curiosity about all 360 degrees, and San Francisco can offer you something at every point on the circle. This is a great move for you.”

One dear friend surprised me with a family-themed photo frame, a gift for the future. My Five Favorite Female Friends popped for a last-minute massage with Yue Ma at the J, a gift for right now. My water exercise buddies bought me an exquisite leather-bound journal from Italy. My Jewish Chinese medicine man gave me contact info for two of his friends in San Francisco. “You’ll like both of them – be sure to call,” he said.

And everybody who has met me for coffee, lunch and dinner these past three weeks has picked up the tab, so I have saved a lot of grocery money while out eating orecchiette a la Nonna at Paul Manno’s Café, the fabulous burger at Cardwell’s, roasted chicken at Mai Lee, a selection of small plates at Remy’s, homemade whole wheat bread and great guacamole at Carolyn’s, gyros at L’Ecole Culinaire, the pork chop at Duff’s, Sicilian deep dish pizza at Adriana’s, shrimp and fresh vegetables at Macaroni Grill, grilled pork loin at Beth’s, a taste of Tim’s flatbread at Robust, meatball pizza from Dewey’s, and lots of skinny vanilla lattes.

When not eating, I’ve been darting around picking up medical records, emptying the safe deposit box, making copies of my rental application, returning books to friends, shredding old receipts, filing new receipts, exploring San Francisco neighborhoods on CraigsList, getting my hair cut and – ever so occasionally – packing. I even had a job interview, for a freelance gig in San Francisco. I got it!

And I took time to meet for coffee with a friend who has been thinking about moving to the Bay Area for a couple of years, at least. “Just do it,” I said. Then I emptied my purse of tiny crumpled fortunes, fortunes I’ve been collecting from cookies for months, fortunes that seemed to encourage me to Go West. “Take my fortunes,” I said. “They can all be true for you, too.”

A few hours after that coffee date, I was at an appointment. I picked up a book in the waiting room and leafed through it. The book fell open to this: "The most difficult thing is the decision to act -- the rest is merely tenacity. You can do anything you decide to do.” The quote was attributed to Amelia Earhart. When I got home, I sent it to Greg, as follow-up to the little stack of fortunes. The quote echoes the theme of the sign-off I use at the bottom of my emails:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain said that. You know he’s right.


  1. you might enjoy this quote
    "To change one's life: 1. Start immediately. 2. Do it flamboyantly. 3. No exceptions."– William James, 1842-1910,
    American psychologist and philosopher William James, explored a range of issues from a theory of emotion to a philosophy of history. His brother was the author Henry James.

  2. Best of luck as the reality begins. I know it's going to be just right for you.

  3. And NOW...RIGHT're there! Can't wait for your next post! WHOOHOO! This is all so exciting! Don't keep us waiting too long!