The Sweetest Gift

Here is my annual tribute to my mom, my best friend and the greatest lady I’ve ever known. How lucky was I? Happy Mother’s Day!

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……Robert Sexton

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

Down Memory Lane

Last week I had occasion to visit the neighborhood where I grew up in Santa Venetia, also derogatorily known as Scabo. I’m not sure what that stands for but since it’s an ugly word, I’m guessing it wasn’t known as the most desirable place to live. But I beg to differ.

Santa Venetia

Kids don’t know they don’t live in a mansion. I certainly didn’t. We had 4 bedrooms that weren’t much bigger than some large walk-in closets and closets not much wider than a refrigerator. Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t care one bit. I had what I needed and that was enough.

our house

Our little house

To me, our Doughboy Pool was the bomb (better known as groovy back then). Other neighborhood dads helped my dad install it. That’s how it was; neighbors helping neighbors. On summer afternoons, being in that pool or playing ping pong on the patio were my favorite places to be.

me in pool

Even as a teen, still in the pool

Continue reading

All Grown Up

You know, time clicks by at a pace way too fast for those of us with skin more closely resembling a Shar-Pei rather than the supple, collagen-filled flesh of our youth. As we of this age know, when we’re young, time seems to move slower than molasses in January.

Well, I’ve learned a few things about that subject, like how youth is totally wasted on the young. I think we should be born old and live our lives in reverse, age-wise, like Brad Pitt in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Imagine being able to snowboard at age 90 without a single thought of potentially breaking every bone in our body. And wouldn’t it be nice to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny late in life instead of them only being a memory from the magical world in which we once lived?

And speaking of memory, it’s such a shame to lose it as we age because it’s an essential prerequisite to reminiscing. And what are we without our memories? When we can no longer take a 50 mile bike ride or go on a camping safari in Tanzania because we’re ancient, our memories are what we rely on to remind us we actually had a pretty great life.

Continue reading

Our New Normal

Even if you don’t live here, you might know about the wildfires we’re experiencing in California this year. And last year. And the year before. Unfortunately, it’s our new normal. And that sucks. Some of my friends had to evacuate from their homes in hills where fire overtook hundreds of acres. Thankfully, nobody I know lost their home or their life.

Nature is unpredictable, especially these days. Not knowing when or if another fire will break out is stressful. Which direction will it travel? How many acres will it burn? How many homes will be destroyed? How many lives lost? Who knows. But one thing is certain: it will happen again.

I used to think people were crazy who feared living in California because of earthquakes. Seriously, how many earthquakes do we have (very few) compared to the devastation eastern and southern coastal states endure from yearly hurricanes and tornadoes? But with fires being an annual thing now, there may be reason to fear living here, especially near hills and mountains.

Continue reading

The Sweetest Gift

Here is my annual tribute to my mom, my best friend and the greatest lady I’ve ever known. How lucky was I? Happy Mother’s Day!

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……Robert Sexton

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