better than we found it

Although I realize this age and stage is barely a blink of my eye, I am enjoying the adventures I am having with my favorite son right now.

Adventures that sometimes mean long car rides, eclectic music playlists, sharing jokes and talking about almost anything and everything; because conversation with a teenaged child is, for some reason, so much easier when sitting together in the mom car while on the road.

Note: it also sometimes might test a driver’s reflexes and attention to road conditions.

Driving to his happy place this week, we talked of microclimates, current events, fidget spinners and why he should not spend ALL the money he received as graduation gifts. We discussed the universal truth that everyone is/was nervous and a little scared to start high school – even his heroes – perhaps especially his heroes. I enlightened him on the origins of the San Luis Reservoir and the fact that it is as old as I am as we motored our way through the Pacheco Pass. He might think of me as old, but he was, nevertheless, impressed. This time.

Heh.

At his happy place, together we walked along the shore sometimes talking, sometimes not. Definitely skipping stones into the surf and laughing at our dog’s reaction to the beach for the very first time. We also carried a bag and gathered up discarded cans, bottles, bits of plastic, paper and anything else that clearly did not belong here.

This place won’t stay beautiful if we don’t take care of it. Right, Mom?

Absolutely!

This time together at this age and stage of his life might be fleeting, but it is also kind of satisfying. I’m proud of the young man this favorite son of mine is becoming.

You’re welcome World!

Leave this world a little better than you found it

~ Robert Baden-Powell

40 degrees of separation

Today’s high in my neck of the woods was 106° – day 4 of 100+ temps here in the Central Valley of California. Projected forecasts promise at least six more days of the same and higher. Yes, it’s a dry heat. This week. It’s also a furnace blast of heat into your lungs kind of heat. And a turn the Big Top into a dark cave to keep the house temperature down kind of heat. And a where are all my friends with pools kind of heat. Normal here in our neck of the woods. Still, it is miserable; and we do what we must to get through our own personal kind of Hell here in the Central Valley.

Hurray for microclimates because while the Central Valley was boasting triple digits, it was 20 degrees cooler driving over the Pacheco Pass and 40 degrees cooler in Monterey.

40 degrees and we are not mad. Not. At. All.

We’re good, today.

And how was your Monday?

through all the noise and fury, we are one

An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us…
There are many memories from this day we will want to forget, and many images we will not want to see again. But there is one image in particular that this House should keep. And that is a photo I saw of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning after hearing the news…

photo credit: Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen, NV

We feel so deeply about the things we fight for and believe in. At times, our emotions can get the best of us…
For all the noise and fury, we are a family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire…
So before this House returns to its business, I want us to slow down and reflect, to think about how we are being tested right now…
I ask each of you to join me in resolving to come together…to lift each other up…and to show the country—show the world—that we are one House

I am not a fan of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. I am not supportive of his vision nor most of his rhetoric. But today, in the aftermath of the the attack on the GOP Congress baseball team, I found myself comforted, encouraged and inspired by Mr. Ryan’s speech before Congress. Not an easy task to accomplish in times of National troubles, nevertheless, it is something we look to our national leaders to do. Mr. Ryan did just that.

There was a lot of awfulness in Washington today. But, out of awfulness (almost) always comes some good. Mr. Ryan’s remarks today honoring the victims and the heroes; and urging unity very much qualifies .It’s easy to lose sight of our common humanity — whether you are a member of Congress or not. The tendency, particularly in our current national political environment, is to focus on what divides us, how different we are. Step back from that narrow focus, however, and you see we have much more in common than we differ on. Family, friends, food to eat, a place to live. Dreams and hopes. We tend, in circumstances like these, to remember the bad stuff. But, Ryan’s right. We need to push all that out and put some good images there instead.

Slow down.

Take a breath.

Realize that the goal of attacks like this is to highlight our differences. Allowing that to happen makes what the shooter did have real power. Coming together after such an attack neuters it of meaning.

It is that humanity which will win the day. It always will.

Tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, members of the House and Senate, America, we must move forward and work together for better because enough is enough. No one should ever fear being gunned down while in the workplace or at the mall or in a clinic or at church or temple or in a movie theater or a fast food restaurant or at school or on a baseball field.

No one.

Ever.

Enough.

so much cooler than we ever were

My darling daughter,, who made me a Mima, is now the mother of a nine year old. I’ll pause for a moment and let that sink in for you all.

I might need more than just a moment though.

Hollie’s closest tween and teen friend, Kirstin, nailed it stating that she’s so much cooler than we ever were. Absolutely true for me as I literally was the most awkward, frizzy-ginger haired, coke bottles, skinny 9 year old ever in the 70s. I also was the only one who was still wearing dresses – ugh! Hollie and Kirstin, on the other hand, were a different kind of cool than this cool; the kind that wrote homework in gel pens and braved the early days of entering a Hot Topic store unsupervised. 

Accurate.

Hazel is so much cooler than even the coolest 90s tweens.

So cool that when she requests turquoise hair for her birthday swag, her mother delivers because she does indeed give good hair and is a cooler mom than I could ever be.

Happy birthday my dear Hazey-Face!

Anything is possible. Anything can be.

~ Shel Silverstein