Last week was our daughter Carmel’s 50th birthday. Johnny and I can hardly believe it. We named her Carmel because we had been living in Monterey, California, not far from a quirky little community named Carmel. Clint Eastwood lived nearby and would one day be the mayor. Everyone loved artichokes and you could always get them fresh since they were grown a quick bicycle ride away. There were no street addresses. You had to write an explanation on how to get to someone’s home. “Go down three blocks from that blue house and then two blocks from there, turn left and drive until you see a barn with a Porche parked under a tree that leans sideways. Just keep on going and about five minutes later turn onto a dirt road…”
Anyway, Carmel the town was filled with unexpected and unusual fun. So, we thought that was a perfect name for our unexpected little darling. She was…and still is…beautiful, quirky, adventurous, creative, and funny...just as we expected. However, she wasn’t born in Carmel…or even in California. We discovered she was coming in San Angelo, Texas, and she was born in Austin. Even as fetus, she got around. By the time, she was one, we’d lived three different places in Austin. By the time she was pushing eighteen months old, Johnny was out of the Airforce and we’d moved back to Pittsburgh. And sometime around then, we spent a month on special assignment in Vineland, New Jersey. Nothing like wintertime at the beach.
Happy Birthday, Carmel. Stay clear of Vineland in the winter! This is where you got your first ear infection.