Saturday, September 20, 2014

Highlights from Colorado

I had a grand time visiting my sister Toni in Colorado! Here are some photographic high lights.

 At Edelweiss, a German restaurant in Colorado Springs. Aren't we cute?

Sauerbraten with red cabbage, gravy and potato dumpling. Red cabbage - Yum!

Flammkuchen - a ham and cheese pizza with potatoes, onions and mushroom. From Alsace.

Salad with 5 pickled items. Das is gute!

On Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park above the tree line. Sistahs!

A chipmunk tries to compete with the view. Don’t bite me! It didn't.

Home made cinnamon rolls in the town that almost washed away in 2013. Glen Haven, Co.

Here's Toni!  At the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Made famous by the movie "The Shining".

Horses. They're everywhere in Colorado.

For my friend Roberta. Chacha Muchacha second hand store on Santa Fe Ave.

Fish tacos at Los Tres Lunas in Brighton, CO. I ate it all. Eventually. Not at one sitting.

Eldorado Canyon near Boulder, Co. Love that water!

Climbers on a sheer rock face in Eldorado Canyon. Don't worry it's not me or Toni.

Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs. In a word. Spectacular!

She who dies with the most lip balm wins! Toni loves lip balm!

Thunder storm on the plains outside of Parker, Co. Can I just take this home with me?

I'm a Californian Now

I’m from Iowa. But now I’m a Californian. I just realized this last week when I was visiting my sister in Colorado. We were talking about our dad who passed three years back and his wife who passed last year and we both realized we have no reason to go back to Iowa now. Furthermore we really don’t have the desire. Iowa is nice but what made it worthwhile was that we had my dad and his wife there. Then I started thinking about my life in California and it dawned on me that I’ve lived in California a lot longer now than I ever lived in Iowa. I lived in Iowa from the time we moved there from Chicago when I was a year old until I was 27. Now I’ve lived in California for 37 years. Ten years more than Iowa.
The metamorphosis began in 1972 when I went to Arcata to a Transcendental Meditation retreat at Humboldt State. I clearly remember the small town of Arcata and the wonderful little hippy shops and natural food found there. I also remember the smell and peace of the redwood forest. It was all so charming. I felt really good.
The next step was in 1976 when I visited San Francisco in January. I got on the plane in a blizzard and stepped off the plane into Nirvana. The view of the hummingbirds in the bougainvillea in the garden on Guerrero Street was enchanting. I thought I have to come back here. When I went back to Iowa it was freezing and as I started off down the stairs in my apartment building to my job where the boiler was out and we had to wear our winter clothes to do our work I vowed “This is the last winter I’m going to be in Iowa. I’ve had it.”
The very next year I was back in the Mission and that was that. Now I’ve lived in each section of the Bay Area and beyond. California has its congestion but that’s about the worst of it. Everything about California suits me. Before I went to Colorado I took an online test “What State Should You Be Living In?”  You guessed it. California. Maybe that and the realization that there’s no draw for Iowa anymore clinched it.
I always said you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. Now that I live in the country here in California Iowa doesn’t even have that draw. So while I’ll always be from Iowa and proud of the fact I am now a Californian and I’m very happy with that.

On the hill above our ever-dwindling lake.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Bet Many of You Share My Incredulity

Fill in the blank: “How did I get to be ____ years old?” When I fill in the blank it’s with the number 63. I still can’t believe it. I’m supposed to be more like…


Or 21

Not 63

I could even take 28.

How did I get to be 63?

Back in the day I used to look at old people and think “when is the turning point?” You know, the day they looked in the mirror and said out loud “I’m old!” My turning point was a few months ago. It is just the mirror… mostly, that announces this change. My mind is still the spring chicken it’s always been. The aches and pains I have, well, I’ve been able to blame most of those on being super sick in 2011. As in, hey, I’m going to get back my former physical glory with just a bit of patience and persistence. Mostly… this has been true. But weakness continues and now I’m wondering. Am I just old?
Whatever happened it completely snuck up on me and while I wasn’t looking I became… old!
I have a theory. I think getting old is not an overnight process. You may laugh but don’t. It’s working on you, too! It’s an insidious, inexorable, and incremental change that you don’t realize until it’s too late and there’s nothing you can do to reverse it. What happens is you don’t ski over the edge of the cliff and you hit the bottom old. No, it’s more like rolling down a very slight slope with an almost imperceptible grade. So you don’t realize you’ve been going downhill until one day you wake up and.... you’re old! 
Now what?
Well, the old adage “use it or lose it” has never been more true than when you realize you’re old. For crying out loud, don’t stop now. Just because you’re eligible for senior citizen discounts, don’t cry. Take’ em! Trust me, you’ve earned them. Just because young people treat you with more respect, don’t think they’re just up to something. Enjoy it! There are definitely perks that come along with being old. Just don’t let on that you don’t feel old. You might even want to milk it a bit. Life is supposed to be fun so why not play on the sympathy of those younger than you? By the way if you’re young and reading this just keep all these tips and tricks in mind because hopefully some day you’ll be old and then you, too, can use them!
So when you realize that the face and body don’t measure up to your good ole days, let it go. Welcome to the good ole days of now! Now you can really let your hair down and folks will just chalk it up to you being a crazy old lady (or guy). Old folks get a lot of latitude and therefore we get to exercise a lot of attitude. Come to think of it who cares about being 18 again anyway?