In June, Frank and I went up the coast to Monterey with Kathy and
Katyana. Kathy was speaking for a conference of English professors,
and we stayed together in the hotel where the conference was being
held at the north end of Monterey.
I was thankful just to be there. We had planned to do the same thing
for the conference the previous year, but I had just gotten home from
the hospital after my surgery. I was feeling fine, so I told Frank to go
on with the girls. I’d stay here with Robert and take it easy.
It didn’t work that way. I had a seizure and ended up back in the
hospital. Robert’s fast action probably saved my life, and for that I'm
Frank, Kathy and Katyana had reached Santa Barbara on their way
home when Robert called them with the news. Frank broke the speed
limit getting back to L.A. When I woke up in the hospital, I was so
thankful to have them home.
This year, I was able to look back in gratitude at the recovery the year
had brought, and I was able to make the trip we’d planned the
We took highway 101, El Camino Real. Frank and Kathy took turns
driving, while I rode in the back with Katyana, noting the distinctive
bells along the highway, hills, crops, farm animals and, as we neared
our destination, the giant plywood statues of workers in the fields.
Frank and I took care of Katyana while Kathy participated in the
conference. We bought food and made a picnic lunch to eat at Dennis
the Menace Park. Katyana played on the playground equipment with
the kids there and stuck her head in the lion's mouth to drink from the
water fountain. Hank Ketcham, the creator of Dennis the Menace and
a long-time Monterey resident, helped create the colorful park
When the conference was over for the day, we met Kathy at the pool.
Later, we had dinner on Old Fisherman’s Wharf, which was built in
1845. We ate to the barking of sea lions before returning to our hotel
to watch the sun set over the ocean.
Before we came home, we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium at
historic Cannery Row, immortalized by another Monterey resident,
John Steinbeck, in his 1945 novel Cannery Row.
I was grateful for the mysterious and delightful undersea world God
had made. And I was thankful for a slow-paced, restful weekend and
the chance to get out of town with my family.
Life-size replicas of whales and dolphins hang from the ceiling at
the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Katyana drinks from the lion
fountain at Dennis the Menace park.
She swims in the hotel pool.
I relax and watch the sunset.
Katyana asks the docent a question about the touch pool at the aquarium.
Sea lions bark outside our restaurant.