Monday, October 31, 2011

Where the forest meets the sea.

This is not where I grew up or even where I lived most of my life. But this is where I feel most at home.

How is that, you ask?

I can't explain it with reasonable answers. I can only say that the first time I saw the sea, when I was twelve, I marveled at its beauty,  immense horizon,  infinite mystery. That sense of wonder and calm never left me. Whenever I needed to feel restored, I made my way to the waterfront, walked on the beach, got myself cold and wet and totally immersed in a life force bigger than anything else.

We moved here to Oregon, from Southern California, trekking up the coast all the way, looking for a small village where we could just settle down and enjoy the last chapter of our life, for a small cottage  isolated from the hustle and bustle of big city lights, a place where, at night, we could sit outside and stare at the sky. I hoped to find a water feature nearby. If not, a bird-bath would suffice.

The place we found here in Port Orford spoke to me the instant we got out of the car and looked across the back yard.  In front of us a fresh water lake. Across the lake, the Pacific, waves lapping on the dunes, gently caressing the lake here and there.

I turned to my husband, before we even saw the house, and I said, Honey, make them an offer!
When he asked that I look at the place and evaluate it, I scoffed. This is it, I stated, with utter certainty.
Hubby had to figure out all that needed done, as I was so smitten with that water view that nothing could detract me.

A few months of negotiation, and we quit our jobs, gave away our possessions, and drove ourselves and a few boxes of books, the 800 miles on Hwy 101 to reach our new destination.  Hubby had made a couple of extra trips ahead of me, to get the house painted, the beds bought, the utilities turned on. He chose his office with the view of the forest. I chose mine with the water view. We have furnished the place simply.  We remodeled the kitchen, added a sun room, modernized the baths and the flooring, made the place comfortable.  

Did I mention that my husband is a tree lover? That he had missed his forests when we lived in Southern California? That he took us camping and hiking any chance he had? That he would go to the beach in California only rarely?  This place of ours is perfectly matched to our personalities. It is cool year round, as he likes it. It has plenty of forests, trees, ranch land, as he likes it. It is isolated and rural, as he likes it.  And it has the Ocean, and plenty of space for gardening, as I like it!

What about you?
What do you like about your place?

Friday, October 28, 2011

BlogWorld Fest 2011

Dear Blogger,
I'm glad I caught some of these blooms on camera, and now, as the sky darkens, I can upload into this post, and share them with the world. Without you, these beauties would never travel.

Thank you for such an opportunity.
Thank you for making this process fairly easy!

When I started I was sixtyfive; hence the title!
When I started, I wrote for almost a year without a single follower.
When I started, I didn't know how to copy, paste, upload, etc.
I still have lots of trouble.

Yet, the process was intuitive enough for an old-timer like me; I kept making mistakes, getting advice, trying to maneuver.  As of today, Blogger catches my errors automatically, informs me of new applications, even invites me to a Blogfest right down Hwy 101!  Now, that's some service!

So, if you are anywhere near Los Angeles early in November, go and participate in BlogWorld Fest and  blog about it so those of us who are too far, or too busy, or too embarrassed to show up at such event can still partake of its riches.

After all, haven't we shared world events with each other before?
Haven't we provided the local stories to the big media outfits?
Without our singular perspective, our homey-styled output, Blogger wouldn't be loved as much as it is!

Keep us informed, Blogger.
And keep the program free!
aka Lakeviewer

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The next stage.

It's Fall, and the rains have not arrived yet.  Everything is drying, except the morning fog over the ocean and the lake. Lights from crab boats bob through the night on the Ocean, like stars in the sky. Overhead, the sky is calm. Winds are soft whispers.

This is a false lull.
We're anticipating furious storms any day now, storms that will shut us in the house for hours and days. Newkie, our new cat, will be shocked at the violence of the winds. She'll have to become an indoor cat exclusively.

We've been on curvy and treacherous  roads since July. Literally.Metaphorically. Roads with names like Shock, Grief, Funeral, Memorial, Probate, District Attorney, Crime Unit Investigations. We are tired and worn out. We sleep poorly. Our  patterns have changed. Our foundation has shifted.

There will be a next stage.

But, as in an earthquake, the next stage is the mess you alone deal with. Everybody else will have moved on. You deal with the clean up,  the re-building, the healing.

As long as you have life, you will have stages.
Like seasons, they each bring new perspectives and new challenges.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

This season, it's raining hunger everywhere.

Pines, oaks, and assorted grasses and vines cover the grounds of public places here in Oregon. It is the end of the dry season. Soon, everyone will don their rain gear, and trek through these paths more cautiously,  with sturdy shoes instead of tennis shoes, with many layers and gloves and extra socks.
Many will attempt to make a living by foraging here in the woods, looking for mushrooms that will bring in good money.
Many will camp out here and there, out of the wind and the rain and the cold, hoping soon to find a job that can help them get out of the rain.

We have colonized the entire Earth, every latitude and longitude, by land and by sea. We have adapted the topography to fit our needs. We have moved earth, damned rivers and opened up channels to keep things flowing the way we want.We have reshaped the nature of matter, bent physical laws of the Universe. We invent ways to work less, and ways to experience more.

Our knees and hips and cornea can be replaced. Our hair and skin and body fat can be tempered.At the doctor's office our chemistry is analyzed and problems are identified. With a few pills and injections,  we can all live past our anticipated calendar years. We live in the richest country in the world.

So, what's our biggest issue?
Too many are jobless, with no resources.
Too many are losing their homes.
We have never seen so many hungry people line up at food pantries!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

What's on your "bucket" list?

Bucket lists are ultimate lists, things we all want to do before we die.  This picture, taken at a friend's house reminds me of the bucket list we had back then.

!. Top on the list, traveling!
 Here in this living room, we learned about China and how we could jump in and join the rest of our family, (in the mirror) who were about to take that plunge.  That summer, 2007 our roof had to be replaced, and we never took that China trip.

2. Get Healthy!
This item has moved up to #1. It is not one activity, but a whole life choices of activities, including many decisions that seem unrelated. Buying a new mattress, for instance, comes under this item on the list, as sleeping through the night becomes more and more of a dream.

3. Conserve our money!
This is counter-intuitive! We are no longer wage-earners, no longer anticipating stock growth or big windfalls from promotions. Our expenses seem to get bigger, not less with age. Instead of how do we give away or spend our money, we have to practice frugality. Again!

4.Stay engaged!
When we were working stiffs, our goal was to have enough money to escape somewhere, away from everything and everyone, on a cruise without people, a tourist attraction without tourists. Now, we have to concoct ways to meet new people, make new connections, stay on top of the news, involved with our communities, with worldly issues.

5. Pass on the wisdom.
How do we tell our children to work hard, but not to forgo pleasures and trips that will enhance their lives; how to listen to their inner dreams and make them live dreams.  From where we sit, life doesn't give you unlimited chances.

Yes, the bucket list is now a to do list for Today.
What can I do now!


Monday, October 10, 2011

There is a whole world we haven't explored yet.

I follow Newkie outdoors, as she beckons me, becoming a follower when called, a stroker when approached.
I become an observer of shadows, as she does, the dancing light attracting us for a while.
Chasing a leaf, she jumps on rails and skitters twenty feet in no time.

I tiptoe gently behind her.
We explore. She disappears in the underbrush and I start my way to the garden,  down to the lake.
She reappears.
She whines, You come back to me! she seems to say.

I cajole her.
I walk up to her and show her that  I can get down and up to the garden space below. She could follow me and play and explore while I gather apples that have fallen.

She sits, watches me from the deck, crying for me to return.

She frets, moves from one end of the deck to the other.
I hurry as though a storm is approaching.

Her cry is my new weather vane.

I want to un-kinck my  whole body the way she does, rolling on the grass, or the carpet edges, reach out and pull myself through and through.
I wonder how she manages her tail when she rolls.

One minute she is running all over the place.
The next, she is in a closet, behind clothes, all in a ball, napping away.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This time last year.

A year ago today, out apple trees and pear trees were laden with sweet fruit.
I made applesauce, apple pies, pear tarts.
My friends and neighbors were showered with fruit products.
Relatives from Washington State spent the weekend with us, and we planned a bigger family reunion  with the rest of the troupe for 2011.

Well, here is October 2011, and we are all scattered to the four winds, bent and busy, barren and beaten.

It turned out that Brian's Memorial Ceremony reunited most  of the relatives, and friends we had not seen since we left Los Angeles ten years ago.  We promised each other to make an effort to come together for joyful occasions, the way God and Patriarchs had intended.

My relatives in Italy, however, will still be missing.

When people left to seek their fortunes on another continent, the send-off was very much like a funeral. People did not return for decades, sometimes never again. Few people have the resources to visit regularly.

Do keep in touch with your loved ones. Time is a precious commodity.