Posted by: GeekHiker | June 4, 2008

Good Memories, New And Old

Memorial Day weekend was, for me, pretty uneventful. I would have blogged it sooner, had not this blasted cold intervened.

The one eventful, uh, event of the weekend was journeying up to Oxnard to visit with fellow blogger Homer-Dog. We had met before, last February, and this was our last ditch effort to see each other before he and his wife leave California permanently for the Midwest.

Homer-Dog is a fellow hiker as well (with some awfully nice pictures on his hiking posts), and I’m a bit sad that we were never able to schedule in a hike before his departure. Unfortunately, our best opportunity probably slipped away at the same time the trail did when I busted my knee last month.

But we were able to have lunch and see Indiana Jones together, and spend an enormous amount of time chatting. I’ll admit it, I’m a rather simple guy, and chatting with friends, although not “exciting” the LA-sense of the word, is one of my favorite ways to pass the time.

Who knows when or where or in what context I shall see them again. It’s rather a shame that we didn’t know of each other sooner, having lived so relatively close for so long. But that’s the way of our complex world sometimes. I wish them the best of luck in their move, and look forward to our paths crossing again one day.

* * *

On the way up to see them, I was able to stop by The Secret Spot (which I originally wrote about here, with updates here and here). Already the hillsides are turning summer gold:

Secret Spot Compare 03
Blackened hillside just after the fire

Secret Spot May 08 02
Hillside now, with spring’s green already turned golden

But inside, the trees are starting to recover:

Entrance Road
Burnt hillside and trees just after the fire

Secret Spot May 08 01
Recovered trees just inside the park entrance now

Soon I’ll be back to make new memories there…

* * *

After departing from the theatre, I headed out to the beach, keen on seeing the sunset. I headed to the one beach I knew, Hollywood Beach, near Port Hueneme. I arrived just in time, standing in the wind, photographing the sunset as it slipped away:

Hollywood Beach Sunset
Hollywood Beach sunset

Behind me stood a housing development and large hotel. And a lot of memories.

It occurred to me that, while I haven’t spent a huge amount of time dwelling on The Ex Girlfriend here on the site, what time I have probably hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive. I’m sure if one were to lump all the posts together, one might ask “why the hell did he stay with her for almost five years?”

But there were good times, a lot of good times, and some of them were there.

When we first started dating, her parent’s owned a small, two bedroom condo there that they would let us use. I still remember our first drive up there: at night, in December, in a driving rain up the coast route. I still remember leaning forward in the little Corolla’s driver’s seat, straining to see the non-existent striping, and praying I wouldn’t run off the road.

We arrived safely, bought Chinese food, and headed back to the condo to dry out, eating lemon chicken in front of the fire before heading over to warm up in the hot tub.

We would go up there occasionally for the next two years, a little mini-vacation where we could leave the troubles of the world behind and pretend we were rich enough to live a five minute walk from the beach.

Often, since she was a teacher, we would drive up separately, with her arriving early and picking up some groceries. I would arrive in the late evening, always bringing flowers for her that I picked up just before I drove into the complex.

Weekends were lazy. There was no TV there (her parent’s were never there enough to make cable worthwhile), so there was reading, watching the occasional video, relaxing on the beach, BBQing on the patio, swimming in the complex pool.

Sunday mornings were spent sprawled out on the living room floor with the Sunday Paper, something which I don’t often do (my multiple interests make it a half-day event every time), but which fit perfectly into the pace of a weekend at the condo.

The end of the weekend was always summed up by cleaning. It was her Mom’s place, primarily, and she kept it neat, so we always left it spotless. One Sunday, having come down with a severe case of food poisoning, the Ex did all of the cleaning herself while I laid in front of the fire between frequent trips to the bathroom. She poo-poohed the fact that I felt guilty for not helping out.

There were cold winter trips and warm summer ones. A spring one where we traveled out to Anacapa Island for the day. A July 4th watching fireworks from the bridge over the harbor. They were great weekends away.

After her Mom succumbed to cancer, her father sold the place pretty quickly. It was understandable: it was always more her place than his anyway. With her gone it was little more than a painful reminder of their own days spend by the sea, and so it was quickly dispensed with.

In the end, that’s okay. There are good memories there.

It’s nice to have one place, one single location like that. One where the memories are good, happy. Maybe it didn’t work out between her and I, but it’s nice to be able to think back on those times without regret.

Well, maybe the food poisoning, but that’s it, really.

Of course, that isn’t to say that I wouldn’t mind having someone new, at some point, to take relaxing weekends away with, to make new memories with.

Not at all.



  1. I had to double-check as I read that last bit to make sure I wasn’t on Mel’s site. I always love that point in time when you can look back on life/relationships and enjoy what you had and be glad that you have those memories, while at the same time looking forward, that is the place to be. And speaking of food poisoning, just got back from the Sex and the City movie – I think that was my favorite part of the movie. Laughed until I cried! I said that I wouldn’t cry at the beginning of the movie, but was pleasantly surprised to be wiping tears away… oh the joys, a little stomach pain can bring to others!

  2. That sounds like an amazing retreat. Despite whatever else happened it is truly nice that you can see a place located somewhere so beautiful (noce photo by the way!) and know that there is no negativity attached to it.

    Just caught up on all your posts! Phew!

  3. It sounds like you two were kind to each other and enjoyed each other’s company.
    How did you meet?

    My impression from you blog was simply that you didn’t talk much about that relationship.

    It’s nice to be in a place where you can reflect on the good times. After a relationship is over, I tend to think more about the bad times/reason for the split instead of the good times.

    Beautiful sunset picture!

  4. Oh GeekH, this post made me sad. I’m a big sap for good memories. I’ve been known to cry just thinking about good times in my past lives. I’m glad you have some to look back on with the ex. And that’s great you got to spend time with Homer and his hubby before they leave.

    Now, when are you coming hiking with me and Alysha? 😉

  5. I was at Yellowstone a few years before the massive fire and when I went back a few years later, my heart just ached at how much had been destroyed. I wish I had taken before and after pictures to gauge the recovery process.

    It seems as if you are taking your snapshots of your own recovery period.

  6. I enjoy a good chat. I’ve been known to sit around for hours just shooting the sh!t with people.

    I’m glad to see that your secret spot is healing quickly. I was hoping to join you at your secret spot once it healed. It’s too bad about not fitting in a hike. I guess some things are not meant to be.

    Maybe you can visit the Wife and I in Omaha and we can do RAGBRAI (a Bicycle tour across Iowa). IF you are in the area, drop me an e-mail and I’ll get the guest room ready.

    The sunset picture, practically taken in my back yard, is amazing. Great job!

    The Wife likes to ride her bike around your ex’s place was. She usually rests on a bench dedicated to Florence Saperstein. That is a nice beach. I can understand having a lot of good memories there.

    Mel Heth: It’s Homer and his wife. 🙂

  7. The sunset is fabulous.

  8. Ahh… the story of ‘your spot’ with your ex made me start feeling all nostalgic. Thanks for sharing your memories…

  9. It’s so nice to reminisce about good memories sometimes. Even if a relationship didn’t end up lasting, it’s good to remember that every person that crosses our path brings us something that we carry with us. That spot sounds so wonderful…I think I could use a special spot like that (and maybe someone special to share it with, while we’re at it.) 🙂

  10. Aly – It is a good place to be. Can’t really comment on that movie, as I doubt I’ll see it…

    Backpackermomma – Missed you! You always leave the nicest comments.

    Hadley – Online dating, believe it or not! No, don’t talk about it much here, for just that reason: it’s too easy to let one’s thoughts concentrate only on the bad times.

    Mel Heth – Oh, you shouldn’t be sad. It’s a nice memory, and I do miss being able to do those kind of things, but that’s the way things are sometimes. Heh, see Homer’s comment below!

    Dingo – I remember going to Yellowstone as a kid before and after the 89 fires. I do remember the destruction, but I also remember the new wildflowers growing in the burnt areas. Sometimes, new growth starts small.

    Homer-Dog – It is a shame it’s not open yet! Perhaps I will join you for that bike ride some day!

    Just A Girl – Thanks!

    Desireenb – Nice to see you! You’re welcome. It was nice to share them, and to know that I could remember them without bitterness.

    SingleFabulous – All true, everything you say. I look forward to that day myself, for both of us!

  11. I love this post!! 🙂

  12. It took me awhile to get past my “aw, he took her flowers” reaction, but I loved the post as well as the pics. Great Sunset! I am also glad your secret spot is starting to heal.

  13. *kb* – Thanks! You’ll have to tell me why at some point…

    dobegil – Heh, I can be a bit of a romantic… 😉

  14. That sunset picture is stunning. I would make it my wallpaper and look at it all day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: