Monday, November 20, 2017

The First Half Of The Journey Home

There was a time when two 350 mile days of highways didn't knock us out as much as they do now. We have to take a day between to let our bodies recover from such an uncomfortable hurling trip on old roadways. So, we headed out on Friday from southern CA back to the beach house. We usually stop about 100 miles into the trip at the Gaviota Rest Stop. But on the way south we noticed that it was closed in both directions, so we knew we had to make other plans for the trip back. We decided to stop at Refugio State Park for our morning break to snack on our homemade granola with raisins, apples, and yogurt. We never go to restaurants, so when we paid the $10 entry fee for our brief half hour stay, we figured it was less than what we would pay for a breakfast at a roadside restaurant. When we arrived at the picnic area we fell in love.
This was just about the most wonderful place to unwind and relax. It was quiet, no sound of the roaring highway, just the rolling waves and gulls calling.
This is the view looking south.
The view looking north, curlews at the surf and oil rigs at the horizon
We sat  delighted with the choice to stop here and knew that we would do this whenever we travel these roads. Breakfast at the beach and a two minute drive back to the freeway.

From here we drove up through the Salinas Valley. It was such a beautiful day with the sun shining and the hills bathed in light. The grape vines were yellowing  in the autumn air. I took photos while we zoomed through at 75 mph. I think you can see the calm beauty of the moment. It looked like this for a hundred miles.

This was the first half of our journey north to Capitola. All the way, all the way I kept saying, "I love California. I just love California." It's true.



Monday, November 13, 2017

700 Miles Later

We finally were able to make the journey south. We hit the road on Friday and drove 350 miles to Roger's family beach house. Roger has been coming to this house since before he was born. And now, he's been there every year for the past 75. I can't even imagine what that must feel like, 75 years of history in one place. It's always so beautiful there. The moment we walk in the door, I run and open the blinds and look out to the bay, then open the door to the deck and go out to breathe the ocean air. The 350 miles slip away in an instant. The ocean always says Be Here Now.
We woke Saturday morning to this lovely sunrise.
And later in the day walked down to the wharf and watched this Snowy Egret contemplating the tide coming in.
Sunday morning we headed south for the second half of the journey. It's another 350 miles, but very different from the first half of the trip. This one always has traffic jams in the last 75 miles that come to a full stop and inch along mile after mile. We're always so relieved to get out of the car and finally be done with it.

And then this happens, and all those miles just slip away. We go to see my mom in the memory care facility, and she was so happy to see us. It always makes our hearts soar to be with her. We're staying until Friday, so there will be lots of time for all this love.


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Tuesday's Sky

We're expecting big rains over the next few days. Tuesday's sky told us this story.




Monday, November 06, 2017

Lookin' Out The Window

Life gets pretty small when you're sick. The view is limited. The perspective framed by glass and windowpanes. It had been foggy for days again, and then the rains came. It was boring as could be, but then I noticed this.
The yard was filling up with birds flitting about from fence to tree, from tree to garden and then back. I was delighted watching them. There were so many different species I was actually surprised. There were, of course, the usual hummingbirds and their territorial confrontations. It was this bird, the Fox Sparrow that caught my attention. At first I thought it was a Hermit's Thrush (and that's probably because my twin brother had just sent me a photo of the one he saw in his yard). So I got distracted by trying to identify it. That took time, and that was fun.
Then this lovely little Black-capped Chickadee showed up. It climbed up the tree trunk like a woodpecker, and even moved up and down the fence boards like a ninja. I loved watching it. It didn't stay still long enough for a good photo, but it took my attention, and that was fun.
I'd been noticing this Black Phoebe hunting insects in the yard for days. I love when it sits on the wheelbarrow wheel like this. I had the time to wait for it to pose, and when it did, I clicked. That was fun.

The next morning, before sunrise I saw the full moon in the western sky. Oh that halo was such a lovely sight after all the days of fog and rain. I grabbed the camera with my heart full of joy, and that was fun.

The sun came out. Oh, it was beautiful. I could see all the spider webs everywhere between the fence boards. We had no idea how removing every other fence board would create such lush spider habitat, but it did. They are such tireless little spinners. And their work is really quite lovely when lit by the morning sun. Yes, I had fun.
Even the tired old rose hips took on a look of webbed beauty after the spiders' spinning magic. I enjoyed the view even if it did remind me that I needed to go out and deadhead the roses again. Ah, when I'm feeling better I promised myself. And I will, and it will be fun.

PS- I'm getting better! My voice is a little raspy and I croak like a frog when I try to talk very much, but I am on the way to good health. Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful good wishes. I appreciated every word.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Sidetracked By Life


Foggy foggy day at the marsh
We were supposed to be on the road heading south, but yet again the trip got sidetracked. This time it's by my suddenly very crappy health. I don't know why, but I have something that I have diagnosed as GERD via my relentless online sleuthing. This is a true painful burning fist in the chest bummer. Now I wonder about every bit of food I put in mouth. I wonder if I'm eating too much, eating too spicy, eating too acidic, eating too much chocolate (is there such a thing?), drinking too much wine (seriously I drink less than a full glass of wine that I DILUTE!)? I haven't figured out the triggers yet, but I'm definitely working on it. And, on top of that nightmare, I also seem to have picked up a nice little virus when I spent the morning at the hospital waiting for Roger to have his most-excellent colonoscopy. Scratchy throat, persistent cough, lots of sneezing and whining about everything.
Teasel with drops
I spoke with my mom and coughed my way through a conversation about why we weren't coming down, yet again. She said, "Please don't come until you are COMPLETELY better." I said, "Okay, mom." We had a delightful conversation. I asked her if she received the card I sent with the photo of Roger's homemade wooden sun. She said she had. She told me when we do come down she wanted Roger to sign the card as the "artist." We had a good laugh about that. I told her how much we miss her and love her. She said she knew. She said "Our whole family loves each other. We're a bunch of nuts!" We laughed about that too. I love laughing with her. It makes my day, especially when I'm feeling as crappy as I am right now.
Sweet potatoes
I had a different post partially written for today. Then I got sidetracked looking for family photos to post with it. It's about my older brother Marc who I hardly ever write about here. He lives in Virginia on his beautiful 80 acres where he gardens madly, raises cows and chickens, and cooks homegrown organic everything. The thing that inspired me was a photo he sent with a some of the 322 pounds of sweet potatoes he had harvested. It made me think about how he's lived on the east coast 3000 miles away all these past 45 years, and we hardly ever get to see him except for those rare full family gatherings. He's not much of a traveler and neither am I. But there is something about family love that truly spans the distance of time and space. So, expect to see that post in the near future.

Until then, I'm going to watch what I eat and hope for the best. Hey universe, I sure wouldn't mind a break, thank you.