Friday, June 23, 2017


This has been one of the hottest weeks on record. Daytime temps of 104 - 111.  Nighttime temps of 90.  Deep bows to the air conditioning unit!  This is all so unbelievable.  We're trying to stay occupied in the confines of our house because going outside is just too painful.  I've lost a few potted plants to the searing heat, even though I moved them to shady spots and have kept them well watered.  (Talked with Richard, our exceptional mail carrier.  He served in the Middle East.  He's got this.  Starts shift earlier, carriers frozen water bottles, wears long sleeves and a giant straw hat.)

Video series such as Imperial Beach and I Love Dick provide entertainment (Amazon).  Calling my daughter for a good long chat provided much needed human contact.  I'm also keenly aware that in a few days she will be arriving to nest with us while her husband packs up their apartment and heads off to their new home in Colorado.  I fly out with my daughter and the kids in early July.  I'm taking deep breaths when this realization hits me.  Panic, unbidden and unwelcome, will overtake me unless I manage my stress around this whole move thing.  I keep reminding myself that I will still see and talk to them regularly, and that this new phase of their live is a wonderful adventure for all of them.  I am only a plane ride away.

Earlier in the week, we went to a computer repair shop in Sacramento.  While it was 104 degrees outside.  Steve talked me into it, because I really don't like venturing out on these hot days.  But he was so sweet, and smiled so nicely, I could not resist.  The road was congested at 1 in the afternoon!  Deep bows to the car's a/c!  The shop was air conditioned as well, and packed with customers.  I took a seat on a bench next to a couple of gals of a certain age, and we had a fun conversation about the vicissitudes of modern tech life.  They were really clever, and friendly.  While I was talking to them I had a sudden realization:  I knew them!  In my former life at the university.  The head honcho and her second in command.  Hit me like a thunderclap.  I didn't let on, since I did not want to revisit those tortured times with them.  University life can be like shark invested waters after the chum has been dropped.  I knew them as "the suits," the "bad guys" and duplicitous mother fockers.  I did not like them, Sam I Am.  I did not like them with green eggs and ham.

So imagine my surprise 12 or so years down the line to find myself completely enjoying their company.  I went out to our car, turned on the a/c and immediately called a good friend from those university days.  "YOU WONT BELIEVE WHO I AM CHATTING WITH AT THE COMPUTER REPAIR STORE!"  Needless to say, I made her day.  Life is so damned strange.  My PTSD almost kicked in when I figured out who I was talking with.  My phone call to Robin brought me back to center.  We had a good laugh about it all.  Whew.  I was terrified that they would recognize me, but then remembered I was an extremely low person on the totem pole of the university hierarchy.  Thank Goddess for that.

How's that for strange?  What a week.  Christ on a Bike.

And I ain't even talking about the mess in D.C.  No, not gonna go there.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday Musings

The party's over.  The guests have all gone home.  The house is so very hushed.  I am left surrounded by beautiful flowers, bottles of wine and olive oil, jars of bath salts, and a very pretty scarf around my shoulders.  People were so generous, not only with gifts (which I asked them not to bring!), but with heartfelt cards, toasts, driving from far away and staying the night in a hotel, away from their comfy beds at home.

Throwing a large party is not my specialty, and so I was a tad nervous about how it would all work out.  I was so pleased, then, to look around when the place was packed and see people happily engaged with one another, sharing laughs and stories of how they met me/knew me.  Sparks were flying, people were eating delicious food (thanks to a spectacular caterer) and the weather was cooperative in the extreme.  Since it was an outdoor party, this was particularly helpful.  (The day after the party, we had thunder storms with hail.)

To cap the night off, my friend Adam had been tracking the space station with an app on his phone.  He alerted us to its presence in the sky and we all looked up to see a very bright object moving at a good rate of speed.  This was happening as many were saying their good-byes, and when we found out what a treat was coming, people stayed put.  Perfect nightcap to a perfect evening.

I am struck, once again, by the wonderful people who call me 'friend.'  This 60th birthday party brought together folks from many different parts of my life who hadn't met many others until that night.  How seamless it all was -- how friendly and inquisitive and funny people were with each other.  I have some friends who, like me. are not party goers, but they came because of me.  And as one of them said, she figured it would be a good party because she knows I have good friends.  What could go wrong?  Even for the nervous among us?  My sister came down from Washington, and knew hardly anyone there, and even she had a good time.  People were delighted to meet my daughter and her family, and of course there were those who gladly held baby Dylan for most of the night so her mom could sit down and eat dinner, and enjoy the party.  My husband's 'kids' stopped by on their way home from a day trip to San Francisco, and so that was a happy event midway through the festivities.

I will remember this special night for years and years to come.  The singing, the toasting, the hugging and the love.  I'm so happy I did this despite my trepidation.  So glad that my friend Paul pushed me to hire a caterer so I could relax and really enjoy the night.  I'm just filled with joy, and continue to pull up snapshots in my mind of big and little moments of the evening.

Maybe I'll do this again in 10 years.  Yes.  Yes, I will.

Friday, June 2, 2017


Oh lordy, what a week.  My violent feelings towards our administration grows daily.  My disgust with those who voted them in (President and congress) knows no bounds.  I was conversing with fellow treadmillers at the gym and we were of like mind.  Hysterical laughter followed by deep sighs.  So many of us are filled with anxiety and deep sadness.  Thank goodness for the healing powers of exercise and companionship.

There are also healing powers in just taking good care of yourself in general:  eating well, getting enough sleep, taking time to unplug, connecting with friends.  We had a new hot tub installed today and we plan to get a lot of use out of it.  There are a few things that can transport me to a place of peace and relaxation, and soaking in hot water is one of them.  Another is walking in the woods.  Or on a mountain, or near water.  Rocking in my hammock on a summer day, with a book in hand.

Puttering in my garden is also good soul food.  So many greens, and pinks, purples, reds, yellows, whites and the cooling shade of our cedar tree.

I was visiting the folks the other day, and for a change they did not turn off the national Faux News channel while I was there.  I kept my lip zipped but was fuming inside at all the bullshit.  When I left I was depleted.  Same as it ever was.  They are in their 80s and I cannot hope to change them.  It is no wonder there is a large base of support for this administration.  They listen to garbage like Fox News.  Noise. Misdirection.  Out and out deceit.

I'm hearing from friends who were active in the protests of the 60s and 70s.  We are dismayed that we have regressed this far.  We thought we were making a difference, but now it doesn't feel like that at all.  Racism is alive and well.  Income inequality is even bigger than it was then.  We're still fighting in unjust wars.  Sometimes it is just too much for this gal.

And then I see this, and am infinitely relieved and amused:

I will be forever grateful to Leonard Cohen for his wisdom and his humor.  

Be here now (thank you, Ram Dass).  And know that you are not alone.  Many of us are suffering and finding our sanity and comfort in small and big ways.  Big love to you all.

You Can Go Home Again

 I took a vacation in the first week of May.  I went back to my high school and college stomping grounds, still populated by many friends of...