By Raven West
Only a few weeks ago taking a simple walk around the block was considered life-threatening.
While we all needed to be “safe-at-home”, bodies also need sunshine, fresh air and movement. So, after being held prisoner by fear since the middle of March, I put on my “protective gear” and went outside.
On any other Sunday afternoon, kids would be outside playing in the yard, or riding their bikes, scooters or skateboards. Sounds of laughter would be coming from the playgrounds to the rhythm of tennis balls bounding on rubber courts. But this was no ordinary Sunday afternoon.
Parks were vacant, sidewalks were empty of pedestrians, and abandoned vehicles lined the curbs. The quiet was deafening. A darkness hung over the city, even under the bright sunshine of a spring day.
On the other hand, there were also signs of hope and optimism; lawn signs congratulating the 2020 Senior class who, when they began their final year back in 2019, had no idea that they would become part of history generations will read about.
A “Heroes Work Here” sign posted at the entrance of Royal Gardens of Camarillo, an assisted living facility, for professionals who never expected to have that word become part of their title.
I give a “Thank You thumbs up” to passing UPS, UPS, and Fedex “masked” truck drivers who give me a wave and (I guess) a smile in return. It was a nice to stop and, literally “smell the roses” and enjoy the aroma of a freshly mowed lawn.
Then, the news we were all waiting for finally started to give us some hope; 40 of California’s 58 counties, including Ventura, had received state approval to more quickly reopen certain businesses!
After months of stores being closed and residents locked inside their homes, Camarillo is slowly and safely coming back to life.
This weekend when I took that same walk, I stopped at the park where a small church group was meeting. Tennis balls were once again flying through the air while picnickers were watching on the lawn. Parents wiped down the playground equipment so their kids could swing and slide and laugh with delight while their exhausted parents sat and watched.
At Carmen Plaza, men and boys were lined up in front of Sport Clips barbershop for a special father and son day of haircuts and beard trims. (Image Resorts Day Spa & Salon for the ladies will open for business on Monday).
Spencer Makenzie’s and Braxton’s Kitchen are now open with both outside and inside (with some restrictions) seating. Nothing like sitting outside sharing a cold beer with a friend on a hot June day!
Looking toward a bright future, Anthony Peneschi will be opening a new location for Phenix Salon Suites. “We just signed the lease,” Peneschi said. “We’re looking forward to opening in October with 24 new independent businesses that will cater to the growing spa industry.”
Although we can’t predict what will happen in the future, it is very comforting to know that in Camarillo, we have a future to look forward to!
Photo Credits: Raven West
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Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.Named in the TOP 50 Authors by Authorsdb.com