Saturday, February 25, 2017

Laguna de Santa Rosa-At last

No kidding, I finally got to see the fabulous laguna with water in it. I have been trying for four years, without success, but this past few weeks everything has changed, The trees are up to their elbows with pooled water, drain off from the Russian River. Now I have to catch it at sunrise or sunset, or just create a painting with color reflections. This is a bit of a challenge, since I am still on morphine, and unable to drive. But it is less than an hour's drive and last week friend Steve took me for an  outing. (All our outings end at Super Burger, where Steve feasts on his childhood favorite, a malted milk shake, and this writer plunges into a child's size grass fed burger.
The laguna can be reached by driving or walking from Sebastopol. Many web sites describe it. There is a good environmental center there which offers classes and education on the wetlands. It may be that one can also rent kayaks to explore the bird life. I snapped a dozen or so photos from the car's front seat, which will inspire me to get out the paints.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Is It Too Late?


When is it too late to turn a child's life around?
I am writing to you, who I am advised is the basketball coach at Stanwood Hi, for advice. Since you and I are not acquainted, this is awkward. I assure you I am not writing for money, and this is not a crank letter. In fact I could contribute money to a fund if such existed.
My name is Bonnie Crosse and I live in Santa Rosa California. My life expectancy is less than a year, as at 87 I struggle with Stage 4 lung cancer.
What prompts my letter is concern for my great nephew, a freshman at your school. It was always Preston's dream to be a basketball player. but neither of his parents could get their act together to sign the application papers for him to try out at the necessary time. Therefore I understand he was denied the opportunity to try out. This may or may not be accurate.
About three years ago his parents divorced. Custody was awarded to his mom. Both parents have issues with drugs and alcohol, and Preston has little if any support. His grades plummeted. As I look  at his life I see little hope for him. He has never been in any kind of group with his peers, and pretty much navigates life alone, although he fishes and snowboards with his dad.
It is sad that he knows little or nothing about his great grandfather, Douglas Hoyt Ford. Doug was a star athlete at the University of Washington during WW2, achieving varsity in swimming, baseball, and basketball. Preston has the genes to follow in his footsteps. But no one to encourage him.
My half sister and I were raised by my father, who both loved and encouraged us, but he died when I was a sophomore in high school. I became a ward of the court and was assigned to live with my Mother. It was a pretty primitive life for two years in a log cabin in Woodinville, with neither electricity or running water. Once at the University of Washington I was blessed with a roommate from a dairy farm in E Stanwood. The Frederickson family became like second parents to me, and still remain important in my life. Most weekends I went home with my new roommate and we attended basketball games. (There were two schools then.) That is my connection with Stanwood.
So. what does this have to do with you? There must be other kids like Preston, loners and hurting. and living life without direction. If you can think of anything I can do to turn this child's life around I would sincerely appreciate it.
In my book club I recently read Boys in the Boat, and was struck again how important it is for a child to learn teamwork. Is there anything you can do or I can do to change what seems like an inevitable road to sadness and failure? Are there any other answers for Preston?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Breaking Records

Another week of rain slithering in, sometimes in torrents, and when will it stop? Yesterday morning I asked Sam, my daytime caregiver, to pop over to the cascading stream by East Rec six blocks away) and pop some photos. She was back in ten minutes with half a dozen pictures of new plant stalks wiggling from milky water. Later Beth and Barb drove up from Alameda and while Barb serenaded us on her traveling guitar Beth and I tried to interpret the stream dribs sometimes in  water color.
Not very successful for me, but at least I'm trying. Seems we are breaking all rain records, after such a  long drought. Meanwhile, Tara Vanderveer, coach of Stanford women's basketball team broke new records by coaching 1,000 winning games. Trump nominated DeVos. an out of touch millionairess to be the new secretary of education. She can't even count straight and later apologized for her boo boo. Trump also nominated Neil Gorsuch for supreme court. Oh,my....But mainly last week was a record breaker for me, as I shifted from full time care to just five  days a week. I completed my five days of chest radiation the previous Wednesday. At this time my vision is improving, and some memory is coming back, which is terrific. Last week I ventured out to open studios, the women's cancer support group, and current events. Of course others have to drive me. I was a happy but exhausted camper. What isn't good is that the pain is increasing nightly so I'm not sleeping enough. I am usually up and sitting on the couch by three. I had my first and only hallucination two weeks ago at 3 in the morning, which resulted in a fight with my caregiver. Morphine every four hours helps enormously. My appetite has improved slightly, so I have much to celebrate. At Current Events (about 70 peple, 67 democrats) they decided to quit doing nothing but trump bashing, and so we did, but it makes for a pretty  dull meeting. Lets see what records are broken this coming week.

Friday, November 25, 2016

37 last night, and it feels like winter has arrived. The Japanese maples in my front and back yard have just a smattering of leaves left. Soon my gutters will need a good blowout. I had a quiet day at home yesterday, working hard to be grateful when I actually felt little gratitude for the ongoing pain in my ribs. It seems so bizarre that my lung cancer is not growing and causes me no pain, whereas my broken ribs seem to hurt incessantly. I took an Alleve with food last night at midnight ad it made me nauseous, so mostly today I am just loafing and catching up with lost sleep. Were she still living, yesterday would have been my 60th anniversary with Lee. Not many of us get to celebrate 51 years together.
The photo is of a leaf I painted last week for a Thanksgiving card.
Oh yes. I am truly grateful for your friendship. dear reader.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Progress by Baby Steps

This week I have experienced progress in my journey to getting back to independence since my hospitalization. My legs no longer feel like old wet rubber bands and I can walk a little with just a cane, instead of a walker. I have cut my caregivers down to ten hours a day instead of 24, and this Sunday I'm going to try my first day all alone.. Though I doubt I can consider the one million womens march in Washington, this dab of progress helps me to focus on something else than Trump.
One day this week the thermometer on the deck measured 35, and my succulents are shivering. Today with Monica's help I went to the nursery and bought six cyclamen, which I will attempt to paint on Sunday. Meanwhile the falling leaves from the maples are making a thicker and thicker carpet. Here is a picture of some just before they fell.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A jumble....

Like the Japanese maple in my back yard my feelings since Tuesday are a jumble. Never having lived in the midwest or the South, I find the mentality of the electorate incomprehensible. My head tells me all these leaves will soon fall and next spring will be replaced by new green growth. But for me, I feel such deep personal sadness, and know medically I will not be around to see any of the changes I thought were coming. In a way I,m glad I wont see what happens to the supreme court, or planned parenthood, or the dreams of little girls.
Many of my married lesbian friends fear their marriages will be overturned. Anything is possible, I fear.
On the plus side, Hillary's, Obama and Elizabeth Warren's comments have been full of grace, a grace this writer does not yet embrace.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Still at home with full time caregivers who pamper me night and day. But its hard not to glue my eyes to the election polls, looking more and more scary. My friend Nancy in Denver writes she thinks Trump will win, even though he is not liked, because the Clintons are so lacking in trust. That's driving me crazy. Is most of the  country crazy? I wonder what Lucy would say? (photo of my friend Jan J at the booth.)