No Place Like Home

Re-posted from 2013.

I love to travel, experience different cultures, see how the rest of the world lives. There are many fascinating places I want to visit before I become too decrepit in mind, body or spirit to pack my suitcase. But I also enjoy vacationing in the good-old-USA. Even northern California offers so much that I sometimes wonder why I venture anywhere else.

Recently, I went to Spain, where my godson Eric is a college exchange student in San Sebastian. Talk about a picturesque place. He lives just a couple blocks from La Concha Beach, with golden sand like superfine sugar.

La Concha Beach

La Concha Beach

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Who You Callin’ an Adrenaline Junkie?

An encore posting from 2013…

I wouldn’t say I’m an adrenaline junkie but I’m game for almost anything involving adventure. “No” simply isn’t in my vocabulary when something exhilarating is in the offing. This tendency for thrills sometimes causes me to make stupid decisions. It’s then that I wonder, often too late, what I was thinking. Take our white water rafting trip…

Previously, I’d only experienced rafting on the gentle Truckee River. That’s like wading in the kiddie pool. Now don’t get me wrong; the Truckee offers an enjoyable float down a calm, scenic river, but nothing that makes you nearly pee your pants from excitement. And that, my friends, is what I’m seeking. Continue reading

Tequila and Pork Chops

I have two words for you: LAKE TAHOE. That  means I didn’t get any writing done this week. But here’s a post from 2012 that you won’t remember because, well, it was 6 years ago! Happy reading…

There are few things of which I’ve been certain. I’m the queen of indecisiveness. Mexican or Italian for dinner? Hmm…maybe Italian? Wear the beige or blue skirt? I guess the beige? What color should we paint the house? Don’t even go there.

In fact, one decision that actually came easy for me was to adopt our buff-colored Cocker Spaniel, Tequila. I suppose, to be truthful, it wasn’t actually my decision. Knowing my history and the fact that I would waver between dogs for days, my husband picked her and I nodded in agreement and relief. Good choice, Jim.

We had good intentions from the get-go and decided not to feed her fattening table scraps. We bought the best dog food we could find and congratulated ourselves on not giving in to those pleading brown eyes under the dinner table.

Cocker Spaniel puppy

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In My Mind’s Eye: Remembering Dad

Here’s my annual Father’s Day post, adapted from an article I wrote in 1997 for the San Francisco Chronicle about the relationship I shared with my dad. Here’s to fathers everywhere…There’s an image I have captured in my mind. I’m in my car in front of the home my parents have shared for most of their 45 married years. Mom and Dad are standing on the front porch.

From the street, I can see the huge eucalyptus tree in their backyard, silhouetted against the evening sky. It’s gently swaying in the warm breeze while the full moon illuminates the manicured lawn. My parents are smiling and waving as I drive away after a visit.

Mom lives alone now that Dad is in an Alzheimer’s nursing facility, so that scenario has changed. But it never does in my mind. My parents always stood on the porch to wave good-bye when I left. Even in pouring rain, they still stood in the open doorway together. I always looked back and returned their waves. Continue reading

The Sweetest Gift

Mother’s Day is my annual tribute to my mom, the most important woman in my life…an exceptionally thoughtful, giving and loving person who also happened to be my best friend. How lucky was I?

My mom, Loretta Rose, with Bailey

She gave me love as well as life; so whatever goodness I may bring to Earth began with the gift of my mother’s heart…

At some point in our relationship, my mom transitioned from being my parent to also being a great friend. I’d say it happened in 1985, when she was diagnosed with incurable, inoperable  lung cancer. Continue reading