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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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

What Was I Thinking?

I ask you…what the hell was I thinking

Life was rolling along nice and easy. Well, easy is not the correct adjective. Let’s just say life was rolling along. The thing is, I have 8 animals, run a nonprofit, trap feral cats throughout the week, relocate those that need new homes, help care for my disabled sister, play team tennis and am nursing a pesky sciatica which, like a jilted lover, is having trouble letting go.

just let go

Dear sciatica…

So I don’t know what I was thinking deciding to have my hardwood floors refinished last week. Had I forgotten it was a pain in the keister 13 years ago when it was last done? Apparently so, otherwise I wouldn’t be blogging about it today.

Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not like my floors were embarrassingly scratched and faded, causing me to refuse entry to family and friends. No doubt theirs, too, are scratched and faded. Whose aren’t? Especially those of us with pets that refuse to let us clip their nails without being in a straight jacket or heavily sedated. Continue reading

An Evening at Home

Let’s set the scene…cue the music, dim the lights, pour the wine…

It’s a crisp but clear evening. Temperatures are falling into the low 40s and it’s only 9:00 p.m. Inside it’s toasty warm from the family room fireplace and the Christmas tree lights are aglow because that’s what they say at Christmas. Not, the lights on the tree are glowing. They are aglow. Don’t ask me why.

tree-aglow

Anyway, I’m watching Love Actually, the perfect holiday movie and, I hear, a chick flick. If you happen to be a guy, check it out anyway. It’s funny yet surprisingly touching with different stories happening simultaneously. I particularly like the end, right before the credits, when they show people (not actors) greeting each other in an airport. The expression on their faces is a true picture of love, actually. Pun intended.

Continue reading

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