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.

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My Memory Chest

I’m someone who has a hard time letting go. So I keep items that have value to nobody but me. These mementos reside in a cedar “memory chest” in my spare room upstairs. When I kick the bucket, one of my executors (Sue, Sharon or Pam) gets the thrill of going through my things and deciding what to toss. I’m betting it’s going to be a busy day for the garbage man.

cedar chest

Now don’t get me wrong; my friends can do whatever they’d like with my possessions. I won’t care if they dump sentimental items I can’t part with yet. After all, I’ll be dead, remember? But just for the fun of it, I’ll probably haunt whomever draws the short straw for that task.

Grandpa had the cedar chest carved in Thailand for Nana around 80 years ago, back when he was an importer/exporter traveling the world. I think of them whenever I open the chest and the essence of cedar escapes, filling the room with memories. That’s why I love the smell of cedar.

Nana & Grandpa

So when rain finally arrived this week, giving me an excuse to stay home, I went through the chest for the first time in years. I could easily spend a day reminiscing in there but I managed to keep it to a couple hours. After all, my to-do list awaits and one can’t dilly dally long or the list invariably grows. Continue reading

A Memorable Weekend

Here’s one of the first blog posts I wrote back in 2012…

I went on an adventure this past weekend without ever leaving the house. Well, actually, it was the garage. I finally decided to delve into the stacks of old boxes filled with long-forgotten papers, dig into shelves of stored-away treasures and clean out musty cupboards…you get the idea.

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a pack rat, although I save memories, not junk (as some would say). So, with the exclusive goal of one day being able to squeeze something other than one car into a two-car garage, I threw on my sweats, some gloves, and armed myself with large green garbage bags. Then I dug in. Continue reading

A Memorable Weekend

I went on an adventure this past weekend without ever leaving the house. Well, actually, it was the garage. I finally decided to delve into the stacks of old boxes filled with long-forgotten papers, dig into shelves of stored-away treasures and clean out musty cupboards…you get the idea.

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a pack rat, although I save memories, not junk (as some would say). So, with the exclusive goal of one day being able to squeeze something other than one car into a two-car garage, I threw on my sweats, some gloves, and armed myself with large green garbage bags. Then I dug in. Continue reading