In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now approaching my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
"I want to be there," said the Husband. Me, too. The other day I was missing the sight of granite, miles and miles of exposed surface of batholith mountains. In particular, the Sierra Nevada mountain range. More specifically, Desolation Wilderness in the El Dorado National Forest, west of Lake Tahoe. Every year, for nine years, the Late Great First Husband and I backpacked the Sierras. At least one trip was to our favorite spot, Pyramid Lake in Desolation Wilderness, above Horsetail Falls, off of Highway 50. These photos are from my first backpacking trip up Horsetail Falls. The original prints were overexposed. Thankfully, I kept the pictures and was able to "clean" them up a bit in Photoshop. Talk about following the First Husband with complete trust while carrying 25 pounds, more or less, of food, gear, and reading material on my back. I don't know what it's like today, but back then, once you got to the base of the falls, the way
Dear Blogging Friends, I appreciate your concern to what Jeanna nicely asks, ". . .where the hells are ya?" Time flew. Words stuttered. Thoughts blocked. Fog erased sentences. I shrugged it off by becoming a mad demon downsizing the stuff in the garage and house so that all the stuff that has been in storage for 15 years may get shoved into the garage. Of course, the decision to make this happen was three weeks before the Husband had his first cataract surgery. Once that happened, he won't be able to lift, carry, and manipulate heavy objects until June. (He has his second cataract surgery in May.) Success! Everything got moved and fit in the garage. Success! The Husband was able to read 20/25 on the eye chart with his new left lens less than 24 hours after his procedure. Pretty good from 20/800. "Keep busy" is the advice some people like to give those who recently lose someone. I didn't understand that when the First Husband died in 1995 nor
Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw. A flock of crows have been hanging around the neighborhood lately. I've watched some of them fly through the backyard, coming to rest on the tall, leafy skinny tree (possibly a birch) next door. Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw. I never paid attention to these birds until one Sunday afternoon in 1994. The First Husband and I lived in an apartment building on the northwest flank of Mt. Sutro in San Francisco. That afternoon I was home working while the First Husband was attending a powwow. While I was looking out the window, a crow landed on our balcony. I moved closer to the window. It didn't faze the crow. That crow and I gazed at each other for a long while. I felt the crow was assuring me all would be well with the First Husband who was diagnosed with cancer. Until a few weeks before he died, I saw and heard crows often. There were afternoons where I'd see a crow circling above the trees near our carport. Same crow? Maybe. Hearing or seeing a crow mell
Sewing machines, bicycles, and vehicles are the things that I like to push pedal to the metal. Here are 13 of my favorite ones from today to long ago. Kenmore portable sewing machine. About a decade ago, good friend BB gave me her 1970s portable sewing machine when I was having a sewing fix and she was in a down-sizing mood. After a thorough tune-up, the machine was good to go. Vrrrroom, vrrrooom. I'm going through another spurt (and probably last) of sewing. This morning I started sewing curtains for the upstairs hallway. Yup, that's them in "draft mode" in the above photo. Eliza Do-a-lot. Some of you know about dear 25-year old Eliza. She's a no-nonsense old lady's white sedan with hardly any blind spots. Eliza was Mama's last car. When Mama broke her hip in 1997, I started driving Eliza back and forth from El Cerrito where the Husband and I lived. By the time Mama felt confident to drive again, she needed to renew her license. She couldn'
I wanted five children. It didn't matter if they were all girls, all boys, or some kind of combination. I like to think that's happening in a parallel universe. I wonder what their names are. Even today, I'll come across a name that I think is a nice candidate for one of my would've been kids. Maeve, Emmie, Sophia, Emerson, Benjamin James. . . . I like strong, happy names. So, here I am, seven months shy of receiving Medicare, childless. Every time I thought I was pregnant, several days later, hello menses. I had an irregular cycle, so I tried fertility drugs as well as acupuncture to help get my reproductive system going. The acupuncture was a trip. When all the needles were inserted, I instantly felt like my spirit sprung out of my body and tap danced on the ceiling. In the early 1990s, during the first week of vacation in Washington, I took a home pregnancy test. Yes, by golly! The First Husband and I went immediately into let's-take-care-of-me-and-the-fet
Su-sieee! Mac, 1985. It's the letter I at ABC Wednesday . My contribution is an edited post that I originally published on April 10, 2013. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here . Thanks ABCW Team! In 1985, I spent several days camping in Havasu Canyon with the First Husband-to-be. Havasu Canyon, known for its gorgeous waterfalls that run down to the Colorado River, lies just outside of the western border of the Grand Canyon National Park. We stayed at the Havasu campground on the Havasupai Indian Reservation run by the Havasupai Tribe. (I have no idea if that's how it is today.) Havasupai means people of the green blue water. And, yes, the pools of water were a spectacular green blue color when we were there. To get to the campground back then, you either flew in on a helicopter or hiked the winding 10-mile trail down to the canyon floor. I was (and still am) a slow walker, so the First Husband-to-be got to the campground office
"Make an effort." This morning I read that line in Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith). I felt like the character, and the author, was talking to me. Please make an effort, Susie. The Mama said it another way about herself when she felt tired, which was every day for her last several years. Plain and simple, she used to say, "I push myself." After we buried the Mama this past April, the Only and Older Brother said to me, "Keep on living." I scoffed at what the Only and Older Brother said. Of course, I'd keep on living. Why would I not? Lately, though, honesty keeps trying to surface. Drat that honesty. For that matter, dang to introspection, rumination, and heart-searching that show up in my dreams. Sigh. So, this is my effort today for the letter E for this week's ABC Wednesday : a story that I shared three years ago (April 5, 2013) about an amazing thing that reminded me of the wonderful effortlessness of life.
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
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
My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been Moss Landing, California is a fishing village with over 200 residents. From the photo, it doesn't look like a quaint fishing village, but believe me it is. It has a few great antique shops and restaurants. This photo is of the harbor and the more commercial part of Moss Landing. Moss Landing is located on Highway 1, about 15 miles to the north of Monterey. It stands at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough , which is a fun place for hiking, birding, and kayaking. I have three wonderful memories of Moss Landing. Eight years ago, the Husband and I did a kayaking tour with friends on Elkhorn Slough. That was the first time we went kayaking. At one point, we paddled by a wall of pelicans. They were not fazed at all. They did not seem to move a muscle. "Yup, there go more humans." In the early 1990s, the First, Late Husband and I floated down the slough on a wildlife viewing tour. That was my introduction to Elkhorn Slough an
The morning the First Husband died, I had thought about doughnuts. Frank was 21 days into hospice care, which we elected to do at home. On that 21st day, I woke up feeling strangely relaxed. Unlike the other 20 days, I wanted to sleep a bit longer. Thump. Frank lightly tapped me on my head. Two times. I felt heartened. He had not been able to move any part of himself for days. I opened my eyes. He looked at me intensely and clearly. I smiled. He hadn't been this alert since the first few days of Hospice. "Okay, Frank, since you insist, I'm getting up," I said. I opened the blinds to the living room where we had been sleeping on the sofa bed for the last four months. "It's a beautiful day, Frank." Our morning ritual began by turning Frank onto his side, then holding a glass of water mixed with a bit of morphine for him to sip from a straw. On day one of hospice, Frank decided to stop eating to bring death on quicker. He, as well as the hospice nurses
Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . In 1985, I spent several days camping in Havasu Canyon with the First Husband-to-be. Havasu Canyon lies just outside of the western border of the Grand Canyon National Park. The Havasu campground is on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and run by the Havasupai tribe. Havasupai means people of the green blue water. Havasu Canyon is kno wn for its gorgeous waterfalls that run down to the Colorado River. And , yes, the pools of water were a spectacular green-blue color when we were there. I've seen photos on the Internet that show they stil l are. To get to the campground back then, you either flew in on a helicopter or h iked the winding 10-mile trail down to the canyon floor. I was (and still am) a slow walker, so the First Husband-to-be got to the campground office before me. The reservation was under my name so he and the office manager patiently waited for me to get there. The two men were talk
Check out other A to Z Challenge participants b y clicking here . The Loneliest Road in America truly sums up the stretch of U.S. Route 50 through ce ntral Nevada. I had no idea Nevad a had so many desert valleys until I drove this national highway. You get over one mountain range and voila ! It's deja vu—a nother endless valley floor with a mountain range staring from afar. In the late 1980s, the First Husband and I decided to drive cross-country, from San Francisco to New York. However, the first day of our adventure began with a dental emergency and a pain that would eventually make itself known as cancer for the First Husband. After several days of checking with doctors, we got in our red Mazda pick-up truck and headed east, with an open mind that we would turn back at Denver if the First Husband did not feel well. I don't remember how we decided to take U.S. 50 rather than the more direct U.S. 80 through Nevada to Utah. Most likely it was the ro