What Came Through the Door First Week of January

Joy and Sadness

This week two strangers received joyous news. A match was found for a new kidney. Their struggle to live under the shadow of renal failure is over. The donor was my cousin Penny, who passed from this life January 4th when her life support was disconnected. One door closing opened two others. Life passes to life. Like water, life takes many forms and shapes that are beyond our ability to see. Penny lives in our memory, and in the lives of others as well.

Quentin, Who is Two

Quentin blew through the door (accompanied by his parents). They traveled from  Canada to visit his great-grandmother Genivieve Duffin. He turned two in December, and is a full-fledged member of the tribe known the world over as “the Terrible Twos.” Watching this little guy chasing the cat, running back and forth around the living room, and grabbing for everything interesting that he saw, I found myself thinking “it is the terrible twos” because it is terrible to be two. Here are these little tykes, waking up to a bright and shiny world full of wonderful things to explore, and all they encounter are people yelling “NO” and “DON”T TOUCH, and “YOU KNOW THE RULES!” When you are two it’s only natural to explore and grab and touch and climb. How else does one learn to negotiate the world? Of course one doesn’t know the rules. Big people tell them something that makes no sense in their world, then expect them to both understand and obey immediately. At two, you are so small that people can pick you up out of the blue and carry you away right in the middle of something interesting. It takes a lot of grit to survive being two.

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No Bracelets, No Shield, and Her Uniform Made Her Look Fat

graphic photo-lyudmilla-pavlichenkoDuring World War II, when Russia, Great Britain, and the United States were allies, Eleanor Roosevelt became friends with a diminutive young woman from Russia. Her name was Lyudmilla Pavlichenko and she was a sniper with a confirmed kill count of 309.

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Speaking of Succulents

A year and a month ago, I was a posy person. Flowers meant roses, peonies, pansies, daffodils and tulips. I wouldn’t have spared a glance for succulents and their cacti cousins without giving them a glance.

Today, I walk among succulents every time I follow the walk between the patio and the carport.

The scorching summer turned me into a water brigade of one. Standing among the succulents, sprayer in hand, I see them with new eyes. First are the shapes. Some geometric: precise angles assembled by blueprint. Others artsy: imprecise curves assembled by whim. Then there are the colors: soft pastels subtly blended or layered over each other. Almost daily, there is a surprise waiting for me. Overnight something grey and spiny erupted into yellow blossoms. A plant, half-dollar sized, wears a coral button for a flower. That once overlooked and disregarded has become magical, enchanting.

All About May Game Day

The Game Day was the Sunday before Memorial Day.  Traffic wise this is the best day of a three day weekend be be negotiating Highway 101 and the 580 Freeway. Cindy hosted. She hangs out in Oakland near the crew house for the UC Berkeley Crew Team. As an aside, there is a non-fiction book “The Boys in the Boat.”

Once again, I am using pictures instead of a thousand words to share this day.  Once again used Microsoft Sway.  The more I use this, the better I like it.  So far it’s a freebie for those with a subscription to Office 365.

 

Flowers and Worms and Lizards Oh No!

New News About Living in Sonoma

Yaba! Yaba! that means “weighted by guilt” about two weeks going by without a post. Here’s the new news about living in Sonoma.

Worms

First I bought a bucket, then I bought a box: of worms. Not just any old worm, but composting worms.   The bucket of worms came from a nursery in Novato. They were dud worms. So I ordered a box of worms from a world renowned worm farmer in Alabama (naturally I found them on Amazon where else?).

Continue reading “Flowers and Worms and Lizards Oh No!”