I knew when I decided I needed to take a break from my routine blogging schedule I was going to be away for at least a couple of weeks. I didn’t count on a six-week shutdown. I really do enjoy the rhythms of writing, posting and responding to fellow-readers and bloggers, but I had to wait until the creativity and inspiration kicked back in. I must have truly been out of steam.
I previously shared some of the stressors that derailed me in April, but what I had not mentioned was that after 43 years as a Southern Pacific turned Union Pacific railroad switchman with a secondary “full-time” 24-year position as Union Chairman, Jay finally retired.
It was simply time. In case you’ve been sleeping for the past few years you may be surprised to learn that the corporate climate surrounding a headstrong workers rights/labor activist isn’t a perennially warm and cozy affair. After a few choice incidents, my sometimes very humorous husband–funniest when he doesn’t know he’s being funny– turned to me and said, “I think I’ve outstayed my welcome.”
That seemed clear to me, too, so we chose the Ides of March as the day to adapt to new freedom and take the opportunity to see what life on the other side of employment could offer.
We just returned from visiting our son and daughter-in-law in Oakland, and I thought to ask Flat Stanley to help share a little bit of what we enjoy about Oakland.
Do you know Flat Stanley? He offers a very creative way to teach children about geography and social studies while also involving them in a simple writing project. Karina’s first grade teacher encouraged the children to send a letter to special people in their lives requesting participation in their classroom Flat Stanley project.
To better explain, I’m sharing what Flat Stanley had to say upon his trip to Oakland. I’ll have more photos from our trip soon. Enjoy, and have a great week. It’s good to be back sharing with you again.
Flat Stanley’s Oaklandish Adventure
It is so great to be back to your school and to see all of you again. I just got back from Northern California, where I visited Karina’s Uncle Jonathan and Auntie Liz. They live in Oakland, which is located in a part of California known as the Bay Area. Here is a picture of the bay!
Before leaving the house I put on some new clothes so I could fit in with the Bay Area locals. I wore a baseball cap for the home team, the Oakland A’s. I also wore a sweater with a symbol of an oak tree. The city of Oakland is named after the native oak trees that once filled the area. The oak tree symbol is so common it is even on the street signs! I also had to wear a scarf because it can get chilly in the Bay Area. And I grew a beard.
One of the best ways to see the San Francisco Bay is to visit one of the several islands in the middle of it. To get to the islands you have to either drive across a bridge or take a boat.
We drove our car across the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island!
Here is a picture of me in the car with Uncle Jonathan and Auntie Liz’s dog, Obi, on our way to Treasure Island.
From Treasure Island I could see the entire bay, and the bridge we drove across. Behind me you
can see where the bridge connects directly to the island!
We also saw Golden Poppy, the official California state flower!
If we had stayed on the bridge instead of stopping on Treasure Island we could have driven all the way across the bay into San Francisco. Here is a picture of the other half of the bridge. You can see San Francisco behind me!
On the way back from Treasure Island we stopped at the Port of Oakland to see the giant cranes. These cranes are used to move large shipping containers on and off boats arriving
in Oakland from the bay. They look like the AT-ATs from Star Wars!
Finally, on the way home we stopped at Lake Merritt in Oakland to enjoy the sunset. Although it is called Lake Merritt, it is actually a tidal lagoon that receives ocean water from the bay and rises each day with the tides. Lake Merritt is a favorite spot for Oaklanders to have a picnic, walk their dog or go for a jog.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures in Oakland and my trip to Treasure Island to see the San Francisco Bay! I can’t wait to come back and visit my friend, Obi!