12 July 2008

Z is for Zane Grey

My old college roomie Gloria is one of my top five friends in the world. She is fun, brilliant, goofy, and a perfect hostess. On occasion, I find myself with a Boog-free weekend. Boog's dad will have him for a weekend with his parents, and I will have time to have a lazy sleepover with Glo at her house.

She loves having guests and I always feel like I'm spending a weekend at a Bed & Breakfast. She and her fiance Steve feed me dinner, fill me with wine and good, grown-up conversations, I collapse in a private room with private bath and sleep for hours and hours with no alarm or child to disturb my sweet, sweet slumber. Then I wander downstairs and once everyone's awake, we have breakfast and cappuccinos and healthy smoothies. And then we waste a whole day just hanging out together, with either retail therapy or a trip to the botanical gardens or whatever.

And by the way: Gloria and Steve live in the historic Zane Grey Estate.

22,000 square feet of amazing room after amazing room. And it's all so unassuming that it's easy to get accustomed to being there very quickly. We usually eat in the kitchen and then we "retire" to the living room where there is a big fireplace, a sofa and some comfy armchairs. And a kitty that makes himself at home in your lap. I find myself forgetting that I'm in this crazy big house made from poured concrete because the wife of the first owner was petrified of fires.

I remember Gloria taking me on a tour of the house the first time I visited her there. It took about an hour. Here's a partial picture of the "West Wing" taken from the back of the main house:

They just planted a mini vineyard in the back, as you can see at the bottom right of the picture above. The property is so large that they can only afford to tackle one project at a time, most recently the roof and the enormous expense of repairing it. This weekend they are having an estate sale, selling big roomfuls of stuff that they've spent the past couple of years clearing out as they work from room to room.

I love visiting that place, mostly because Gloria lives there, but also because really people: how often can you take advantage of such an opportunity? And also, it gives me an appreciation for my tiny one-bedroom apartment and the simplicity that accompanies it.

1 comment:

Skeeter said...

Hooray! What an ending it is too! Zane Grey is right up their in the royal family of western writers ... with guys like louis lamour. With "... 22,000 square feet of amazing room after amazing room ..." I guess that's why he had to write so many westerns.

It was a great run coming with you from A to Z dear. It was a lot of fun.

I know its hard going through a divorce and all that goes with it. You have friends.