Friday, October 19, 2018


Waking up with Lucy is always a pleasure.  Often, she will have her head above the covers, on a pillow.  She is toasty warm and radiating heat as if she were a 100 pound dog instead of a 5.5 pounder.  How does that work?

I'm so used to sleeping with her that I never worry I will roll over and crush her.  She puts up with my frequent night time forays to the bathroom by crawling into my warm spot while I am gone.  When I plop myself back into bed, she magically and quickly moves back to her position, never to be squashed like a bug.  Her favorite sleeping positions, other than 'head on pillow' is tucked up into my armpit, or firmly wedged into the small of my back.

Here we are, well into October, and the weather is finally beginning to cool.  The trees are slowly turning to yellow, orange and gold before dropping their leaves.  Leaf piles are now a sight along our roads.  As the season progresses, parking your car on the street becomes next to impossible for all the piles waiting for the next city leaf pick up.  Just as in the city of Sacramento, 20 miles to the east, we are a town of shade trees.  With summer temperatures usually in triple digits, the original white settlers and town founders, knew they needed something to mitigate the summer sun.  Now we have air conditioning to help us through, but it must have been rough in extremis to live here before swamp coolers or air.  Fans were the only way of moving the (hot) air.  Ick.

I took the dogs out for a real walk yesterday afternoon.  More than just a short romp in the rose garden outside our back door.  That's all my health has been allowing, and Steve is the one to get them out in the greenbelt of late.

When we went out the back gate to the trail, the dogs immediately spotted our friend Claudio walking towards us.  You can't really see him in this photo, but he's there.  He's just very far away.  They see him, and want to wait (we were going in the other direction).  It's a love fest whenever they get together.

Claudio had us over for lunch the other day, and was disappointed we did not bring the dogs.  We explained that, just like having children, keeping an eye on the pups while enjoying food and company is tricky and often stressful thing.

It was a wonderful lunch, a pot luck under the gazebo with several of his friends and neighbors.  They live in a retirement facility next door to ours that was built when ours was, and was a requirement for the project to go through 19 years ago.  As with many housing developments these days, cities are requiring a certain number of "affordable" units to be a part of the deal.  

Claudio made a giant pot of meatballs and rigatoni (he once owned three restaurants!), one gal brought delicious vegetable wraps with spicy peanut sauce and some Kung Pao noodles, a another made a beautiful and bountiful green salad with all kinds of goodies in it.  We brought a bottle of wine.  Claudio's wife held court at the head of the table; she is confined to a wheelchair and an oxygen tank, but nevertheless was the hostess.  With wine lubricating the conversation, we discovered that folks at this facility really do feel like the poor cousins to their more wealthy neighbors (us).  I tried to wave it off, but it was there front and center.  The thing is, they have full access to 'our' facilities, gardens, the pools, etc. etc. and various committees have performed outreach (we recently had an ice cream social specifically for our neighbors) to help them feel welcome.  But, alas, it's difficult.  When Claudio and I spoke on our walk today, we agreed more lunches were in order.  Maybe that will help knock down the barriers between us.  Besides, it was just plain old good fun sitting around enjoying the day while chatting and eating.

Everyone would benefit from doing more of that.  Engaging with your neighbors.  Breaking bread al fresco. It aids in the digestion, don't you know?

Hope you have a lovely and engaging weekend ahead.


  1. In this post, I can feel that your health is continuing to return. That's a beautiful portrait of Lucy! Just as robin andrea's photos evoke Arcata and Humboldt County for me on a cellular level, your photos evoke the Central Valley. Right now I am experiencing your October air, the sounds, the sunlight and shadows, the green green grass, the dry ground, the plants, all that was impressed on me during my formative years, growing up in California. Thank you for sharing your neighbors and your neighborhood!

    1. yes, I love the regional differences in the seasons. When I lived on the coast, I love coming up here in the fall (often for Halloween with my girl and nieces and nephews in Sac) to experience a 'real' autumn.

  2. Love seeing these photos. As am wrote in her comment, these photos really do evoke the sense of fall in the central valley, still warm and beautifully sunlit. Interesting story about the neighbors in the complex next door. Money is really such a weird barometer, and yet it is used to measure so many things.

    1. agree with you on the money thing. Having lived a rather spartan life, it is now doubly strange to have someone perceive me as wealthy.


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