Is it just me, or does time seem to fly by quicker than it ever has before?
Discovery Bay at Sunset
We went to an amazing party in Discovery Bay this past weekend. I’d never been there before and was so impressed with the quiet that I found there. It’s serene and sits out in a place where you would never expect to find waterways.
West Cliff Drive During Open Streets
Then we moved on to my hometown, Santa Cruz, CA. We went to one of my favorite lighting stores, Illuminee on Ingalls St. The owners have beautiful lights and all kinds of interesting additions for the home. We ate lunch at West End Tap. We’ve never had a bad meal there and it is filled with memories from former visits. We moved on to San Mateo and shared some time with our newlyweds. I’m (a little) sad that the weekend seemed to go by so quickly. I certainly could have used more time in all of the places that we visited. We need to move a little slower, through our quick timing.
We traveled all the way to Provence last year with the hope that we would see lavender in bloom. We saw fields of poppies and lavender with ever so tiny purple tips. I could only imagine how beautiful the fields would be in about two or three more weeks.
A private backyard outside of Seattle.
A Sequim, Washington garden created by two California transplants.
I had no idea that lavender blooms in Washington and Oregon every spring. It’s a long drive or a short plane ride from California to see these wonderful sights. The people are friendly and most everyone you bump into is there to see the lavender too. Being a transplant from Santa Cruz, I’ve got begonias growing in my backyard. I was surprised that they would grow in such a warm climate but they seem to thrive here. I think there will be lavender in that same backyard next spring. It will be like a little piece of Provence, Oregon, and Washington for me to enjoy almost all of next years summer season. Some times one of the best places you can be is in your own backyard. You can make it into, anything you like.
A couple of weeks ago we went for a glorious walk through the Sacramento, State Capitol grounds. The camellias were in full bloom and delighting us with a varied array of colorful blossoms.
I’m glad we took that stroll because just two weeks later the azaleas are starting to bloom and the various magnolias are in bloom. The camellias are all but done and their petals have fallen to the ground.
I haven’t been writing in my blog in the last month because I’ve been working on the addition that is being built onto our house. The painter was painting the walls today and the bathroom will be coming together very soon.
As a child I moved quite often, and even though I’ve lived in this home for twenty-seven years, the idea of having permanent roots is a very comforting feeling. We’re making this a place were we will spend a lot of time and create a lot of new memories. I can’t wait to get started. So like the camellias of the Capitol Garden, I too now have deep roots in a little piece of California.
I’ve been pulled away from my blog for a few weeks. We are in the process of having an addition put on our home. It takes a lot of time to find and purchase those things we need to make this project complete. So I apologize for failing to send Happy Holiday Wishes your way. I want you to know that you were in my thoughts and intentions to send greetings to. I hope you had a wonderful season filled with family and friends.
A Sierra Winter’s Lake
We have found the smallest of time to go to the Sierra Mountains and look at a Winter Wonderland. The snow has been relatively scarce and it has made the lakes available that would normally be snowed in. The sights are abundant and amazing. Winter there, feels like it is still approaching.
Fragile Ice Near The Shore
For me, looking into the shallow depths of the lake and realizing the stillness that permeates there in the winter months, calms me in a time that seems so turbulent to me. The addition will be done soon and all this will pass also. I wish you all a warm and calming winter.
A couple of weeks ago we walked the trail to Frasier Falls that was covered with snow. I didn’t realize at the time that this photo would take me to a very quiet and peaceful place during the holiday rush.
While we were there, we didn’t know that our car battery was dangerously low and about to give out completely. It would have been a very long, icy walk back to a spot where the cell phone could have found a signal to call for help. I guess someone was watching over us.
I try to reflect on the blessings from this year as I hurry to this year’s end. In the month before Christmas, it’s often hard to find a moment to be still and silent. I think it is important to carve out a little down time to help us all keep our sanity.
Shattered Ice Pond
So, I think of you as I mail my cards, wrap the boxes, and stand in the long post office lines. I think of you and hope that you have a safe and sane holiday season. I hope that you will find time to spend with family and friends ringing in the year that is soon to pass and the year that is about to be. Happy Holidays
We’ve been out on some beautiful walks over the last couple of weekends. We were fortunate enough to head up to Sardine Lake in the Lakes Basin area, up the mountain from Graeagle, California. This is the best reflection of the Sierra Buttes that I have ever captured. It was still and silent at the lake, except for the sound of the distant waterfall that echoed from across the deep blue water.
Reflection on Sardine Lake
We continued on to Sand Pond which is adjacent to Sardine Lake. We’ve never been there when you could walk through the first, fresh inches of snow. The road is usually closed all winter. The ice crystals were everywhere and I found that I couldn’t quite capture the diamond like effect that they were giving off.
Snowy Crystals at Sand Pond
As we were walking, I was thinking about my friend, Robbi, who is recovering from a fall and some broken bones. I felt like I was walking for her. She would have loved the sights and sounds during the off-season there. We’ve continued walking to other places too but you’ll have to come back to see where we’ve been. I hope you had a very Blessed Thanksgiving.
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.
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 recently went to France and stayed in Lyon as my last stop. It is a beautiful city and is the third largest city in France. I did not realize that walking about the city might lead me into neighborhoods that were not friendly to people who were not of their same religious beliefs. (I do think there should be an app for that, by the way.)
Stunning City Art
I am a firm believer in not talking about religion, politics, or weight. With that being said, I was so filled with the evil feeling that I received, I decided to write a poem about my experience. (That’s how I attempt to settle things in my mind.) I’m going to share the opening and closing stanzas with you. There are eighteen stanzas in-between as the opening and the closing stanzas are mirror images of each other.
Swans on the Rhone River
I walked the streets Of grand Lyon In a place, I, Should not have gone,
The evil that I found that day Is not a thing To wash away
This sleeping world Needs to awake, To realize What is at stake
If you would like the other eighteen stanza’s you can make a request at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to supply the entire poem for you. I am putting this out today because, as much as I tried to resolve what I felt that day by writing this poem, those feelings are still very much with me. I just can’t seem to shake them. So the moral to this blog is perhaps, as we age, we should try to stay on the main streets (when in a foreign place) as we are traveling through life.