California Dreamin’ On Such A Winter’s Day

We had only been married a couple of years when we decided to take a trip across the country to visit Tom’s parents. I was a Florida girl, born and raised, and had heard about California my whole life, but had never been. I had watched all the Gidget movies growing up and knew all about the great waves drawing surfers from all parts of the world. I also knew all the Beach Boys hits by heart and would swoon over lifeguards and the whole beach vibe as a teenaged girl.

But I was now married and all of 22 years old. What would California be like for me at this time in my life? I was soon to find out.


  • Sailed on Tom’s uncle’s boat under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
  • Spent a day in Yosemite National Park – just enough to realize how big God is.
  • Experienced our first earthquake (although I slept through it!)
  • Toured Universal Studios Hollywood and walked the sidewalk in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
  • Went to Del Coronado where I realized how cold the Pacific Ocean really is. There would be no bikinis worn in that cold water–wet suits would be necessary if you were to avoid hyperthermia.
  • Visited the San Diego Zoo and Tijuana, Mexico.

We were only there two weeks, but we literally saw it all. I realized what a blessing it was to have married a man who loved to travel and visit new places as much as I did. That was almost 40 years ago, but the the memories are as fresh today as they were then.

The best part of this trip? It was planned three months after losing our first baby to miscarriage. We needed time away to help us think about other things, and California Dreaming fit the bill. What we didn’t know was that we would conceive our first-born son while there. It’s ironic that he has loved California his whole life as well–including being an avid fan of the San Diego Chargers, that is until they moved to LA. A sad day in our family.

Today we played a game introduced to us while on our trip in 1981–Rummikub. Not only is this the game we played, it is also the exact game pieces we learned to play on this trip decades ago. Tom’s dad recently moved in with us from San Diego and while helping him clean out his home of 45 years, I found this gem! I hadn’t thought of it in years, but today it all came back.

What things did you do in your early years of marriage that you haven’t thought of in years? Spend time reminiscing and realize how much history you share together. It is our memories that make our marriage unique. No one else shares your stories. You don’t even have to talk about the details. Often it’s a knowing look that brings much of what you experienced together back to life.

For us California dreaming on this winter’s day brought an afternoon challenge of Rummikub. Who won? Well–I’m not saying. I was always told it isn’t nice to brag.

About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
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7 Responses to California Dreamin’ On Such A Winter’s Day

  1. I’m not one for memory;
    the dead inter their dead,
    and I look forward eagerly
    to the days ahead,
    but it may now come to pass
    that this paradigm must fail,
    for I may well have been an ass
    in throwing out the mail
    sent lovingly from olden days
    to the man I would become,
    in the knowledge that not always
    I could be forever young,
    but it’s too late, and in this night
    I must keep tomorrow’s dreams in sight.


  2. Bob and Laurie Walter says:

    Hi, Debi & Tom:
    The picture at the top of your post today gave us a smile to start our day. We had run across it going through my Dad’s stuff this past fall. He loved to share his love of sailing.
    Thanks for reminding us to spend some time reminiscing. After thirty years we are very aware of how much every one of those years contributes to who we are today as a couple.
    God bless…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this. It’s the perfect time to remember. Anytime that we still can remember is good I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debi Walter says:

      Absolutely. Actually this is encouraged in the Bible:

      5I remember the days of old;
      I meditate on all that you have done;
      “I ponder the work of your hands.
      I stretch out my hands to you;
      my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah” Psalm 143:5-6 ESV 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

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