By: Diane Sawdon
I have absolutely no idea what made me do it. We were sitting in our room at The Little River Inn this past January and I was fooling around with the Roommate’s laptop. Not positive that it was divine intervention or just my nosey nature and the reading of too many mystery novels, but I slid the Mouse up to Google and typed in an address from my past. It is an address that I will never forget. I can draw the footprint of the entire house and plot out the steps leading down to the front patio. This was my “happy place,” my “safe zone.”
9397 Rio Vista Road~~~~the home of my Grandparents. These two people probably had more of an impact on the person I am today than any other people in my family. With the death of my Father at the age of forty, my Mother was left to raise two daughters. My sister was a teenager in every sense of the word and I was eight years old and wondering what the hell just happend to my life. Enter Mema and Poppy who stepped in to support the crumbling foundation of our family life.
My Grandparents were both Italian Immigrants who came to the United States as little children. My Grandfather, Poppy, was raised on the grounds of the Italian Swiss Colony Winery in Asti, California. The house he grew up in was still standing in the 1960s, but I believe it was torn down some years ago. He graduated from Cogswell School of Engineering and spent his adult life working at Cyclops Iron Works in San Francisco. My Grandmother, Mema, never went beyond Second Grade in school, but in her late twenties, she opened up The Style Shop in Mill Valley, California with her sister. Is was not until the 1930s that they purchased the property on Rio Vista Road and built their vacation home which turned into their retirement home and my “safe haven.”
All of this information is just a quick background into my journey. You see, for many years I have wanted to return to the house where I spent so many joyful hours. I did return in the late 1970s and the house and grounds were a disaster. I did not even tell my Grandmother that I had seen the house. But, on the evening of my Google Search (Bless the Internet) I saw pictures of the house and someone has attempted to return it to it’s former glory. Having a husband in Real Estate helps in gathering information, and I now know the owner of the home. Here comes the difficult part for me~~~I have been staring at the name for almost two months. Do I attempt to contact this person and explain my quest for closure? Not wanting to appear like a stalker, I feel the need to tread lightly. I also know that if I do not do it, I will regret it for the rest of my days on Mother Earth. So, at the top of my Bucket List are the words, “Write letter and mail it.” Wish me luck. I know Mema and Poppy will be with me should I go to visit. I promise to fess up with whatever my decision will be.
It is Spring, the sun is out, the sky is blue and it just might be the perfect time for a Sentimental Journey.