Last week’s column

Orange County Reg­is­ter — North County News; Date: Oct. 18, 2018; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: A4

Mak­ing our own sun­shine even as the clouds roll by

Last Sat­ur­day was Pla­cen­tia Her­itage Day. Like the rest of the city, I had made my plans. I knew how my booth would dec­o­rated, what I would give to my vis­i­tors, even what I would wear. By Octo­ber 13th, I was ready, for sun­shine and friendly faces.

The weather had other plans.

I packed my booth on Fri­day night, to the steady sound of thun­der and rain, with large dol­lops of light­ning to brighten the skies. It was beau­ti­ful, and needed, but the tim­ing couldn’t have been worse.

Were we going to have a parade, or even a festival?

As I packed, I adjusted my plan. My card­board Dean Mar­tin would not be com­ing, as wet grass destroys his Ital­ian loafers. I was tak­ing only the basics.

Sat­ur­day came, and I drove to Tri City Park, not know­ing what to expect. What I found was busi­ness as usual. I pulled in, dropped off my stuff, and parked, the way I do every year.

This year, I just did it in the rain.

Again, I found myself mak­ing adjust­ments as I set every­thing up. My ban­ner stayed in stor­age. I put out dis­play copies of each book, and kept my inven­tory safe in their plas­tic tub.

The bad part of the rain was that it forced a num­ber of bands not to march in the parade. There was a lot of grum­bling, but these bands were sup­posed to march dur­ing the thick of the rain­storm, and many instru­ments can be ruined when sub­jected to so much water.

By after­noon, we were down to the occa­sional driz­zle, which meant more peo­ple com­ing out to enjoy the food, music, and shop­ping. The Dar­den Sis­ters played on the stage, sound­ing very folksy and com­fort­ing. I almost for­got the droplets of water hit­ting me ran­domly from my water-resistant, not water­proof, canopy.

Peo­ple stopped by, strangers and friends, to tell me they love my col­umn or to gawk at all the books I’ve writ­ten, or to talk about Pla­cen­tia. They are why I have a booth each year—to chat with everyone.

One lady saw my morn­ing post on the Pla­cen­tia Buzz, and came by to say hello. She watched my booth while I ran to the restroom, and I tried to give her a book as a Thank You, but she declined, and bought one instead.

You’re the best kind of peo­ple, Sue.

Dale popped by, which allowed me to visit a few of the other booths, some­thing I nor­mally don’t get a chance to do. I got to say hello to my friends who are rais­ing money for our Pla­cen­tia Police Canine Foun­da­tion, checked out the Pla­cen­tia Library booth, and walked past all the polit­i­cal offer­ings, both can­di­dates and bal­lot measures.

I was at the library booth when I got a text from Dale. “Come back. You have a friend here.”

Of course, I scam­pered right back, and was delighted to see my friend RoseAnne. I met her last year, when she came to my booth. She is in her fash­ion­ably late 80s, and has no fam­ily, but has been adopted by her won­der­ful neigh­bors. They brought her to meet me, because she loves my writ­ing and saw I would be at the fes­ti­val. I was hum­bled by her joy­ful spirit.

We may have had clouds and rain, but every­one I met brought me plenty of sunshine.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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