Last weekend we fled to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get out of the smoke in the valley. There was some smoke lingering there too, but it was a good reminder that a colorful Fall is here, the skies are still blue, and the air is breathable. The reflection on Sand Pond at Sardine Lake was still and peaceful with no mosquitos in sight.
Peaceful Sand Pond
This last week we voluntarily moved all those things we thought were important to us but had to leave one very precious thing behind. The Atlas Fire was on the ridge, not terribly far from the neighborhood we live in. I said goodbye to this item I had to leave behind and said I would be back, but it made me realize how very much I take this piece for granted and what tremendous pleasure this thing has yielded me over the course of about thirty years. I hadn’t even given this prized possession a name. So before anymore time passes, here is the name; Beauty. You see, Beauty fully fills my life with joy, peace, and a tranquility that few other things can offer. My black Knabe grand piano has given me Beauty, fully for years and never asked for anything in return except a yearly tuning. Beauty fully was too large to pack in the car. You see, everything you need, or is very important to you, can fit in a car. It was a lightbulb moment for me. If my family were still living with us, we’d pack them in first and possibly leave everything else behind. All that is important to you, fits in your car. That means we have many creature comforts that don’t hold much value in our hearts. When it comes to what’s important, family is at the very top of my list, and I think it is at the top of yours too. Don’t forget to let those family members know the depth of the Beauty they fully bring to you.
I’m not very far from the horrific firestorm in Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Rosa. It’s hard to believe because we were having lunch in Sausalito at Le Garage on Saturday. The bay was so very serene and calm. Fleet Week was happening in The San Francisco Bay, the jets were flying in beautiful formations overhead, and many boats were leaving their docks to sail out in the still waters. We left there and went to Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma because we’d never been there before and we wanted to check it out. The day was so lovely that we continued on and took a short walk up to Buena Vista Winery to catch the shadows and the colorful changing leaves just before closing time. It was beautiful.
View From Le Garage
Buena Vista Closing Time
View From The Park
Smoke Settles In The Suisun Valley
Sunday came and the winds started to pick up. We were on our way up to Sacramento when we saw a plume of smoke on the other side of the hills. We had dinner outside at the Center For Land Based Learning fundraiser. The wind was from the north and strengthening. Monday we went for a walk and the air was thick with smoke, but not as thick as it is today. Last night a friend spent the night at our home, as there was a mandatory evacuation put in place in his neighborhood. He only lives eight miles away. The winds are calm now but are supposed to return, but from a different direction. This is very scary and I am so sad for all the people caught up in this rapidly moving, wind-swept firestorm. Please pray for these people, their counties, and some containment before the next winds pick-up.
Just over a week ago, we were fortunate enough to be asked to attend the Tower Bridge Dinner, that takes place on the bridge that spans the Sacramento River, in Sacramento. I never thought I’d get to go to this event. The tickets are very hard to come by and sell out immediately. When we got the call, we dropped everything else we were doing and said, “Yes!” It was a Farm to Fork event and the weather, people, and sunset couldn’t have been better. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it was taken with a phone but I hope you can see the magnitude of the event and get a feel for the good time that was being had by everyone.
Tower Bridge Dinner
Going to Seed in Explosive Fashion
What a difference a week makes. The tragedy in Las Vegas is now weighing on all our minds. I can’t make sense of it. It makes me force myself to listen to my own words. My poem, Daffodil Spring, has a final stanza that goes like this: So I give to my children Advice through their years, “Look for life’s colors, Lest you drown in life’s tears.” I leave you with that thought, and this photo, taken last weekend in the Sierra’s. What an explosive sight, this weed going to seed, gives off. So try to remember that the world, though it may be cruel, is also a magnificent place.
I have been waiting for this day for the entire Summer. Cool, slowing, lazy, Fall days. I thought they’d never get here. I couldn’t go towards the coast enough days last Summer. I kept thinking that we would get one more round of hot weather.
Fall In The Sierra Mountains
Leaf Peeping In Delaware
Then it snowed yesterday in the Sierra’s and I knew that Fall was finally upon us. I can’t remember a summer that was hotter than the one we just had. Maybe I’m getting older and less tolerant of the climate changes, season to season. There have been times, recently, that I have thought of the seasons, liking them to the seasons of our lives. If this were the case then I think that Spring would be our baby, toddler, elementary school years. Summer would be our teens and twenties or even our early thirties. Fall would last a very long time before Winter would creep in coldly somewhere around our late sixties and beyond. The changing seasons, you can’t ignore them, they’re upon us any way we may look at them.
I’m hoping that all of us have a very long and glorious Fall Season.
I haven’t written in my blog for quiet some time. I am sorry for this but the heat in California has been constant this summer and oppressive. We’ve now added to that by having large sections of the state on fire.
This has all left me a bit unable to find the beautiful color in the world around me. I know that sounds crazy but I’ve always tried to find the bright side of any circumstance and here I am, a little gloomy.
Color’s Coming Back
I do feel that the temperatures are moving into a Fall like pattern, so the cooler air should help the fire fighters and it will surely lift my spirits which will result in causing me to view the world in my usual way. Hooray!
Dahlia’s In Full Bloom & Color
There you have it. The world in full color, courtesy of the garden in our own backyard. Go out and smell the flowers. It will make you feel better.
(Could have gone way beyond “heat and smoke” with all the craziness that is going on in the world today. I decided to tackle one thing at a time, mainly those things that I might have a little control over.) Have a Very Happy Weekend!
On our way back from Canada, we stopped at Snoqualmie Washington and went to this old mill-pond where I had taken a favorite photo before. It looked so different and mysterious on this cloudy day and I didn’t think the reflection was as good as the photo I had taken about three years prior. There is a certain stillness that fills this photo though and I’m glad we stopped and didn’t just disregard the moment.
Mysterious Old Mill Road
We returned the following day with the hope for a better reflection. The sun was out and shining but the reflection wasn’t nearly as good. It’s the same place only so very different from the previous day. Once again I took photos and found that quiet stillness in the mill-pond surroundings.
Morning Old Mill Road
I like the first one best, well that, and the one I took three years ago. I’ve learned over time that I should always stop and try to capture what my mind is telling me is worthy of a picture. Life is a little that way too, I should always listen to my heart and move forward on those things I think I should pursue. As we age, we realize the importance in fully living each and every day.
While we were in Canada we decided to go for a bike ride on the Kettle Valley Railway Trestles. The view from there was magnificent and the story behind the bike/walking trail is a testimony to the goodwill that lives in so many of us.
There are eighteen trestles and two tunnels. In 2002 there was a lightning strike that started a huge wildfire. It damaged or destroyed sixteen of the eighteen trestles and you can see how large the fire was nearly every place that you go in and around Kelowna. I didn’t notice where the fire had been until I road across the trestles and became aware of the burnt tree stumps that still remain standing today. The Canadian people have lovingly rebuilt this lovely trail and these trestles. We were lucky enough to come upon it just before they stopped renting bikes for the season. It is a place where you want to linger and take in all the beauty that the hills and valleys have to offer. The fact that Fall was setting in only enhanced the beauty of the countryside. Should you ever venture to Kelowna British Columbia, please don’t miss the opportunity to ride along this mesmerizing trestle trail.
Last week we took a trip to Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada. We just happened to be there while the trees were turning golden. It was quiet and slow-paced, as the summer tourists had returned home. It was the perfect Fall vacation.
From Kelowna’s Lakeside
Setting Sun Across Golf Course
View At Quails’ Gate
Fallen Park Leaves
We were staying in Kelowna, near the Lakeshore Wine Route. We didn’t have a meal that wasn’t spectacular, the locals were friendly, and the weather was wonderful. This is a place I want to return to someday, perhaps at another time of the year so we can experience it during a different season. We traveled there with friends, took in wineries, (accidentally) saw Will & Kate’s motorcade and Kate’s waving hand, sipped and painted on the deck, and played cards. We came back fully refreshed. I realized that you don’t have to go very far to find a place that rejuvenates you with its stunning silence and beauty. You just have to look and listen.
I know it’s early, but I hope everyone reading this has a Splendid Thanksgiving. I know that these turkeys will have a Happy Thanksgiving running about the hills where I live. They are wild, free, and hanging with friends.