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Showing posts with the label looking back

Smiling Cows in the Air

Last month, while I had Gone Reading, I came across the drawing I made in first grade that started me on my path of fear of drawing, painting, and doing anything in the fine arts. "Make the calves touch the ground," wrote First Grade Teacher. She even drew an example of a calf on the ground on my drawing. Sigh. Many moons later, I realize that First Grade Teacher was merely doing her job to make sure I knew that cows belonged on the ground and not in air. Teacher did give me an A for the assignment after all. But, it would've been nice if she had also written something like "You have a wonderful imagination, Susie." Or, "The cows look happy in the air. How would they look standing on the ground?" If only. Three or four years ago, I began to embrace art. To simply draw, paint, make collages, and whatever I feel like trying. The more I do, the less time I stay in a frozen-in-fear mode at the start of a project. Better late than never, right

A Pass to Read

Yesterday, as I was weeding out stuff I've been storing for decades, I found a hallway pass that was made out to me in my last semester of high school. The pass allowed me to go sit outside on the Senior Class benches to read my book. Yes, you read that right—a pass to read! My first period was Reading, an English elective. I loved that class. We read novels and plays of our choice in class and wrote book reports about what we read. Without that class, I doubt I would've ever read such classics as Babbitt, Our Town, Death of a Salesman, The Jungle, Winnie the Pooh, and Rabbit, Run. I don't know what it's like today, but 45 years ago when a high school senior already had her credits locked in for graduation, life was a picnic. Just as long as she didn't do something stupid, nor get caught for doing something stupid.

Recalling The Best Thing Done with Lemons

The memory of the best lemon meringue pie I ever ate Still makes me smile. Still gets me goofy with a sugar high. Still makes me feel weak at the knees. A sigh of deliciousness. That slice of the best lemon meringue pie is very long-time gone. Back in 1984. In a red building in a small shopping center in the middle of cowboy country. On The Big Island of Hawaii. A sigh of deliciousness.

Angels of All Types

Today's share is with Warm Heart Wednesday , a weekly meme hosted by the generous Jenny Matlock of Off On My Tangent. Instead of a recent happening, I'm writing about a wonderful thing that took place in the distant past, which I was reminded about last week. * * * Once upon a time when I was a young thing living in San Francisco, I commuted 36 miles across the bay to my first dream job. Twice a day, I got to drive over the seven-mile long San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. Do you know how calming it is to drive over an expansive body of water? That's another story perhaps. Today my story is about my commute home one particular late afternoon. At the time, I drove an aging red Dodge Colt that I was constantly taking into the shop for something old to fix. No doubt you know where the story is heading. After safely getting over the beautiful bridge and up the freeway to the City, the car chose to give up on the heavily traveled Sixth Street, which was then known as where a

Warm Hearts

“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” ~Anonymous, Greek proverb I read that Greek proverb this morning on Facebook. It reminded me of the Daddy when he planted peach, pear, apple, persimmon, cherry and fig saplings around the backyard of his and Mama's house. "These trees are for the grandchildren," he said. I recall thinking how lucky those kids would be to climb the trees. The Mama moved before the Only and Older Brothers' kids were old enough to try them out. I like to think that other kids did. The proverb also had me thinking of the Mama and her wonder of planting the apricot and avocado seeds from the fruit that we've harvested from her trees. This year two of the second generation apricot trees bore fruit. I have no doubt that all the other apricot and avocado trees will do the same one day. It'll be one crazy fruit forest out in the backyard when the trees grow up. I love that my par

Getting Back the Meaning of Christmas

Back in 1990 (or 1991), when I was in my mid-30s, I decided to reclaim Christmas. To celebrate it. To enjoy it. Without commercialism. But, with meaning. With joy. With fun. For years, until that moment, Christmas was something I went through. Ho, ho, humbug, ho, ho. Not totally. I enjoyed singing Christmas carols and I liked the sparkle-sparkle of the Christmas lights. And, I loved giving presents. So, you see, I wasn't a complete loss into grumpiness or miserableness around Christmas-time. I simply thought the spirit of Christmas was lost beneath all the excessive Buy! Buy! Buy! I don't recall exactly when the light bulb went over my head, but it did, thank goodness. I didn't have to be depressed about Christmas being commercial. Bingo! The first thing I did was make a fireplace to hang up Christmas socks and pin Christmas cards around. See the white sock? A yellow pterodactyl sat on top of the  sock. I put the space heater in front of the fireplace, so the Fir

When I Was Very Young

I pulled out the high school yearbook of my senior year the other evening and came across this note I wrote to myself in the book.  I must've written it days or weeks after I graduated. Warning: The grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation  may make you cringe. I'll just have to write small, for the last two hours I've gone through 4 years of yearbooks and from what I've wrote in the 1st year I am still with the same problems namely weight, vocation, myself, and etc. but I think I have changed. In fact I know I have. Especially in my grades. I resolve 'TO" keep a "B" average at least next year." Right! I resolve "To MEET the hero so I can either be disappointed or happily insane." I resolve "to shock people next year." Yearbooks are wonderful. Together you have pictures of the people you like and dislike. Ah, may life go on and good luck till you die. . . . I signed it simply "I".  Let's see. I accom

Rooty Toot Toot

A warning for delicate ears: Bodily toots are being mentioned on today's post. (giggle) Yesterday, I wrote   how I forgot the topic about which I wanted to write. Well, it came to mind last night when I saw a cartoon that a friend posted on Facebook. Thanks, Thomas. So, here's what I couldn't remember yesterday. (giggle) I'm one of those people whose body systems get all relaxed when she wanders around a bookstore. The moment I enter the door, total zen. Unfortunately for those around me, I'm one of those book browsers who not only gives the occasional loud ah! when she sees an interesting book cover, but also an occasional silent toot, leaving a lingering aroma. I try not to, but, hey better out than in. Sorry for the TMI, but it's to set you up for this next paragraph. (snort) The future-Husband and my first adventure included a visit to a used bookstore in his neighborhood. I have no idea if the shop still exists. I hope it's still there. It&


I've been seeing a lot of yellow vehicles lately—yellow sedans and sports cars, school-bus-yellow RVs and trucks, and bright-yellow vans and motorcycles. Yellow must be the new popular choice. I like that. My first car was a lemon-yellow 1971 Dodge Colt.  That was my high school graduation gift. I fell in love with it, at first sight. There were two colors available, and the Daddy liked the other one, which color I no longer remember. He was a great sport and let me have the yellow Colt. I think the Mama was disappointed that I didn't want some kind of flashy, sporty, or more feminine-looking car. The Daddy seemed to have no problem with the Colt being a boxy subcompact, as it ran perfectly and it was new. (The Daddy liked buying new vehicles.) It was also cheap. Very cheap, as I was happy with no radio, no air conditioning, no anything extra. Emeline is what I called her. We definitely had some great adventures. The first was learning how to drive her. She was a stick s


My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been Vegas as in Las Vegas. The fertile lowlands of a city that's in southern Nevada. Yes, fertile lowlands is the English translation of the Spanish plural las vegas . Hmmm, could that be why you can find quite a lot of golf courses is Vegas? Some might say that the fertile lowlands refer to something other than terrain. But, I'm not going there. I've been to Vegas four times. The first time was in 1975 when I went cross-country with a college friend. The Strip wasn't a big deal yet and Downtown Vegas was so-so, but then I was still 20 so what was the use of being there. The second time was another quick stop as the first, late dear Husband and I were driving back from our first big camping trip together. Again, yawwwwn. We had after all spent a week down in a canyon by the Colorado River. In the late 1990s, the Husband and I spent a few days in Vegas and by then the Strip was a very big surreal deal. The p

Up in the Sky

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been Look up in the sky. Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No. It's Su- sieee! Mac. Nine years ago, I fell through the sky with my fellow Jumping Beans Jeanette, Jennifer, and Charlie. That was our big thing to mark being in our 50s. Yes, yes, I know. I've mentioned my jump before in other posts.  But, I haven't ever described being up in the sky, free-falling, and then floating downward. It only took nine years to write about it. Jennifer, Jeanette, Su- sieee! Mac , and Charlie photo courtesy of Lisa Q. We, jumping beans, waited four hours one Sunday afternoon to board a small plane, get attached to a professional skydiver, be dropped off at a certain point in the sky, and fall, then float, within minutes to the drop zone. Interestingly, none of our significant others wanted to experience it all with us. Charlie and I opted to fall from the highest altitude—18,000 feet.  Gulp. I just came back from figuring how hi

Imitating -- Quack! Quack!

I simply stood there, mesmerized by the yellow duckies floating in a carnival booth at the county fair. I had no idea what the game was. I didn't even care since it probably meant having to pay five bucks to play it. Then I noticed a guy taking a photo of the duckies and walking away.  So, of course, I took a photo. Quack! Quack! That reminds me of when I was younger thing. A friend and I paddled a patched up rubber raft in a rubber ducky race. We were fortunate to make it to finish line without sinking.

Between Lovers Point and Cannery Row

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been Lovers Point in Pacific Grove is about 1.25 miles to the west from Cannery Row in Monterey via the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. It's a fun, lovely trail to take however way you choose to travel it—walking, jogging, or pedaling a two-wheeler or a four-wheel surrey bike. Lovers Point is a popular city park and beach to both locals and tourists. It's a great place to picnic, stroll, swim, or simply sit and enjoy the amazing Monterey Bay views. When you're there, don't be surprised if you happen upon a wedding ceremony. The Husband and I walked the trail between Lovers Point and Cannery Row with friends on New Year's Day 2014. We started from Lovers Point, where we had a picnic and remembered our friend Charlie who had passed away the previous year. The walk back from Cannery Row was tough. My knee protested every step back. Thank goodness for the camera, which distracted me as I clicked away. L


My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been We've all traveled somewhere via our imagination. Maybe after we read or listened to a grand story, saw a wonderful movie or TV show, or heard an amazing song or sound. Until I was grounded with a serious job (translate: heavy responsibilities) in my 20s, I had a rich, vivid imagination. With each, and even more, serious job or work project, my imagination seemed to get duller and duller. When I feel low on imagination, I visit a particular memory. And, slowly I feel my imagination edging back.  Many years ago while visiting the Only and Older Brother and his family,  Youngest Niece asked me to make stuff out of play dough with her. "Sorry," I said, flopped out on the couch. "My imagination isn't working today. There's nothing inside my head." "You can borrow some of mine," the five-year-old sweetie said. She pressed her fingertips on her forehead, then pressed them on mine. How cou

First Time Hawa'ii

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been I visited Hawaii for the first time in Fall 1984. A girlfriend and I had plans to backpack the trail in Kauai, but she dropped out a few weeks before our departure. My vacation days were already set, so, I took the plunge and went to Hawaii by myself. The moment I stepped off the plane in Honolulu, I felt like I'd come home. The warm breeze, swaying palms, the sultry air, the local people. They all spoke to my being. Unlike the Philippines that I'd visited 10 years earlier. Unlike Hollister where I was born and raised. Unlike San Francisco where I was then living. The first time I drove into a sugar cane field, I wondered if the Daddy may have worked there long ago. The Daddy lived in Hawaii from his early 20s to his early 40s. I asked him once, "Where did you live?" "All over," he said. "Maui. Hilo. Kauai. Oahu. All over." He signed a three-year contract to work in the Hawaiian sug

Baker, California

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been The Husband and I stopped in Baker, California fifteen years ago around this time of the year. Baker is a small town located at the point where Interstate 15 and California State Route 127 meet. Highway 127 takes you to Death Valley National Park, while Interstate 15 heads to Las Vegas. Each place extreme in its own way. We were heading back home from Las Vegas, which was our first visit there together. Talk about surrealism. Las Vegas, that is. But, that's for another day. Baker is in the Mojave Desert. It's known for having the tallest thermometer in the world—134 feet high.  The electric sign was built in the early 1990s to memorialize when Death Valley recorded 134 degrees Fahrenheit on July 10, 1913. You've heard the saying, "It's so hot you could fry an egg on a sidewalk." Standing next to the thermometer is a sculpture of a pan of fried eggs. How appropriate. Alphabe Thursday i