Saturday, July 23, 2011

A memorial garden for Brian.

Janet, Brian's fiancee, has designed and organized a memorial garden in Brian's name. His friends and co-workers have donated time and resources to make this garden a reality in just a few days.  At the end of the week, after the official service on Saturday, everyone will  share parting thoughts by recording them on wood planks that will become a memorial boardwalk, guiding visitors through the  garden.

Each person can choose a message, can choose a plant, can donate money for amendments or other supplies, can join  the work crew and remember the friend Brian was in his/her life.

The project is designed, organized and coordinated by Janet Lee.
Visit her Facebook page for details, or follow the link below:
brian's memorial garden


Search for Brian's memorial Garden

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some losses...

This is my youngest son Brian, and his beautiful fiancee Janet, during the weekend of July 4th. This is the last picture I took of him. We talked about wedding plans at the lake.

He passed away last Sunday.

We are all in shock. Nothing in the world prepares for this.
Some losses are too great to bear.
All who loved him and knew him will miss him so.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Be prepared with a traveling kit.

See this outgrowth from the big log? It reminds me that strange things can happen to you at the most inopportune moments.
My husband's first visit to a doctor after we retired occurred as a result of us not being prepared. We had gone out to eat at a seafood place in Florence, Oregon, with the entire family. Seeing that oysters were fresh and reasonably priced, he ordered and consumed way too many of them, in various combinations.  By bed time, his face had begun to change shape, growing unusual protrusions and changing colors.  He was having a mean allergic reaction and we rushed to the hospital.

There, he spent a night being cared for, medicated and watched over.
Since then, he has given up oysters, but I still carry something in my purse for such an eventuality.

Back pain, allergies, headaches and stomachache can interfere with your daily life away from home.
So, what do I carry in my purse at all times?

1. Aspirin
2. Benadryl for allergies
3. A list of medicines and doctors
4. A snack
5. A water bottle

Sure, the car has a first aid kit too. But, I could be stuck on an elevator, and having an aspirin, a snack and water can sure make my/his wait for help a lot more enjoyable.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What happens when you age too fast and...

You can't bend.You can't push.You can't work the way you used to.
This is not the way this place should look, with weeds and brambles taking over the docks. We try, Hubby and I. We go out and pull weeds, cut vegetation, trim the rambling vines.

We work an hour or so, with hoe, pruners, weed-wacking machine, hands and shoulders, legs and hips.
Soon, everything aches.
 Not enough to make us cry; but enough to stop us in our pursuits. Sorry, we say to ourselves. Sorry, we say to each other. We have abused our muscles and joints enough for one day.

The rest of the day is shot too. The tiredness pins us down for a few hours, through a meal and a nap. And it still lingers in our bodies through the night.  The only thing that helps is a hot bath or a massage. The bath is not so easy to get in and out; and the massage requires fingers and muscles from someone else who is strong and invincible.

Do we age faster after a certain age?
Or, have we neglected our bodies to the point where this decline is  inevitable?
I used to....
I wish I could still...
The irony is blatant: Now that we have time, we lack energy and stamina.

And tomorrow does not look any brighter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A fuzzy paradise.

This is all I see on a bright summer day from my perch above this garden, after a glass of wine, a good meal, lovely conversation, an unsteady hold on the viewfinder.

Yet, this is all I need to see on this day. It's enough!
My adult child, her dog,  a peaceful day in the garden.
I'm contented just to be witnessing this moment.
I know storms will arrive late in December and this garden will be battered, inundated, thrashed. Mush, debris, broken branches and soggy ground will prevent me from visiting this area for  many months, erasing hope, burying all seeds of future joy and comfort.

I'm in rhythm with this life more than ever at this time in my life, knowing things change.
In the distance, storms are gathering. In the depths, continents are grating against each other. On any one of the 365 days, I could find myself battered too.  I may find myself wishing  for a bit of scampering in this garden of earthly delights, in this walled, wish-fulfilling garden.

It must be this consciousness, this temporal perception that helps us create and transcend the present, invent stories and legends, dream big dreams of a paradise with no pain, no wants.
It must also be what helps us  design, plot and plunder anyone who has this paradise all the time.

Oh how fuzzy our lives can be.
Thank heavens, the calendar marches on.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It just takes one!

One person stepping in unknown territory.
Then, another.
A third.
A group of scouts stomping along.
Soon, the path is beaten and becomes recognizable to the rest of the tribe.
Soon, everyone will automatically choose this path.
Tomorrow, we'll all be scampering around on our merry way, not giving even one thought of how this path was once unknown territory.

Got an idea?
To improve your world?
To forge a new direction?
Take the first step forward.
Tell someone.
Who will tell another one.
And the world will soon find  a new path started by one person.

Just a few years ago we used to fish until there were no more fish. Now, we have marine reserves in place, lists of sustainable fish, incentives to support and manage a healthy fishing industry.  So, it should be with all of our consumption.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dreams are the plans you make for the future.

This is my rock, my neighborhood, my sand dune, my paradise.
I breathe this in and rejoice.
I pinch myself everyday and declare: Life is Good!
How did we end up here?

We took few vacations all our working years. We were busy most weekends with children's activities, sports, art, music, dancing, plays, 4H, girl and boy scouts. We shopped for necessities; we cleaned and prepared for the following week. Any leisure time we had  was spent shuffling our children to their activities, or spent volunteering, as coaches, referees, supervisors, fund-raisers, feeders, drivers and all around cheer-leaders.

Most summers I  went to school to get another degree, or taught, attended or organized workshops, planned and prepared materials for my classes. As an administrator, I worked twelve months with a few weeks of vacation when both Hubby and the children were available.  We squeezed in reunion visits to family in Montana, Washington State, Italy.

Our most memorable times? The times we spent in a forest, by a creek, camping,in a cottage by the sea.

Our vacations drove us to cooler places, like Northern California, or Oregon.
Oregon was where Hubby spent his childhood, and had many wonderful memories of vacations on the beaches, camping, rock hunting.

When we planned to retire, we knew we wanted to leave Los Angeles and live in a small cottage with an ocean breeze. We began looking just north of San Francisco, and kept looking until we found a place we could afford.
I tell this story often.
I can't believe we are here already, I add.

Yes, we had dreamed about this place. We had also kept that dream alive for decades, constantly alive, like an all night fire, watched and fed, taking turns when things were dark and scary, when possibilities were scarce for advancement and savings, when earthquakes, fires and emergencies seemed to be forever in our present.

We kept watch. We kept feeding those possibilities.