Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer in Full Swing

Even though I took this photo a few years ago at the Alameda County Fair, I imagine there is a similar scene at the Sonoma County Fair opening here on Tuesday. What is more adorable than baby farm animals? I just may have to paint them...
Meanwhile astronomers at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View yesterday announced a new planet, a close cousin to earth, dubbed Kepler 452B. It orbits its star about the same distance as the earth orbits its sun, so there is  likely water there. I wonder if there are little piglets too? Considering that there are not just thousands but millions of other galaxies, isn't it silly of us to think that we are the only one to sustain life.
Last Tuesday I discovered the quail in my back yard hatched a second clutch of eggs, and nine little furry spots looking like postage stamps took their first wavering steps under a rose bush near my pear tree. They weren't three feet from my dining room chair. What made me discover them? Daddy quail was patrolling the fence and trying with all his wits to fend off the neighbor's cat. I joined him in the task, many times that day. I haven't seen the babies again. I'm pretending mama quail moved them, because I can't cheerfully entertain the alternative.
Last night my book club, which has taken to eating out together once a month met at the Barlow in Sebastopol. On Thursday summer nights they have many free bands in a park like setting, and gourmet food trucks. It was such fun. A treat to see families dancing and kids of all ages jumping around joyfully. The air was cool and full of pollen. I took many pictures. I can hardly breathe today with allergies, but it was all together worth it.
As soon as I figure out Apple's new operating system, I'll be posting many new pictures. Happy summer!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Starting on 86

When Dolores Crowley (left), Shirley Frederickson (center) and I (right) entered the University of Washington in 1948 there were no dorms available for girls. The campus was exploding with WW2 vets attending on the GI bill, so to find a place to sleep a girl had to pledge a sorority. Thus three unlikely pledges from very different worlds were thrown into the same room on the third floor of Delta Zeta sorority. We suffered through memorizing all the names of the founders and sitting every night from 7-10 in the moldy dark basement at study table. We learned to pour demitasse coffee and rules of etiquette for a real lady...I failed at this. We wore white gloves most everywhere, except to classes. At all times we were instructed never to wear more than three points of jewelry at a time, which is to say if you wore a wrist watch and pearls you could wear one ring,  But if you wore earrings (pierced ears were considered vulgar, by the way) that was two points, and you could only add a watch. You got demerits for certain infractions, and after so many points you were confined in the house from 5pm Friday night to 8am Monday morning. Who would have imagined that 67 years later we three would remain dear close friends, all living in California. So last Tuesday I was honored by them at lunch here at one of my favorite restaurants, Sea Thai Bistro. After exchanging aches and pain stories we got down to the serious business of recalling life in the sorority. What seemed so serious then seems so funny now. I confided that one of the house boys, Pat, used to open his basement window so I could crawl in after hours. They remembered different things, all of which seem ridiculous and funny now. It was a wonderful addendum to my whopping big 4th of July party.
That same night my friend Chuck visiting from Guadalajara (and 4 years my junior) took me to dinner here at the golf course. Chuck and I go back about 50 years, so more nostalgia hit the airways. Yesterday my friend Jan Jobert from Oakland spent the night. Jan and I only go back eight years, but we are also dear friends. Last night we viewed the new Pixar film Inside Out. My opinion? With 85 years under my bulging belt, two masters degrees and a doctorate Im still not savvy enough to figure out all the complex layers of it.
Happy aging to you all.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Reflections on Turning 85, almost.

Today along with the country I celebrate my 85th only for me it is three days before the actual date. Who would have ever guessed I'd live so long or that I would also be celebrating the supreme court decisions in the last few weeks to uphold the affordable care act and to allow same sex marraige throughout the country.  When I was little my mother always told me that I would have been born on the fourth of July, except the obstetrician went on a fishing trip over the holiday so I wasn't born till the 7th. I guess I was ten or twelve before I figured out that was another of her fantasies along with the goal that I would inherit her looks (gorgeous)  and talents (arty and sexy)  and ambitions (join the merchant marine and travel the world). Instead I inherited my father's physique (flat footed, webbed toes on both feet, myopic eyes) a home body with simple aspirations including love of books and nature.
When Lee came into my life at 26 I dreamed we would grow old together and magically pass into oblivion in the same breath. We bought the house of our dreams with an indoor swimming pool and a sweeping bay view and lived in mostly bliss for 51 years. How lucky can a girl get. After her death eight years ago I gradually transitioned to acceptance and almost three years ago purchased this house in Oakmont. Of course I didn't know it would coincide with a broken hip and a warehouse flood which destroyed half my belongings. With the special help of my old bay area friends and Oakmont friends Sue Dibble and Jeanne DeJoseph and caring support of Catherine Dodd and Mary Foley I made it through, which is a big miracle in itself. My niece Cheari and her husband Alvie from Arlington, Washington pitched in enormously as well.
So today I thank my mostly new Oakmont friends, 25 of you. If the house were bigger I would have invited a hundred. No kidding. Oakmont and Santa Rosa has been warm and welcoming, especially Rainbow Women. In the old days we would have skinny dipped (lots of us had cute figures) and then gathered on the deck on Cathy Lane, forty or fifty of us, to watch the fireworks and drink champagne. Today we eat hot dogs and drink bottled water and mostly watch our calories. I'm blessed with a big bank of old memories and a heart full of new ones.