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?

marching, not mourning

Are you in mourning?

Not today. Today was the most perfect. day to go for a walk.

A walk with one of my daughters.

From Grand Avenue…

to Broadway…

and all the way to Frank Ogawa Plaza…

encompassing the entire western shore of Lake Merritt…

and several blocks beyond because more than 60,000 women, men, mothers, daughters, sisters, sons, lovers, husbands, wives, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunties, uncles, beautiful babies, glorious women great with child, students, doctors, nurses, musicians, preachers, teachers, politicians, rocket scientists, artists and so many more walking shoulder to shoulder together could not be contained along the planned route.

Powerful, y’all. So powerful.

The streets echoed with drum beats, brass bands, guitars, BANJOES and so many stories…

so much hope…

so much love.

More than 60,000 Americans, immigrants, refugees walking together today in Oakland, California. Oakland Police report no property damage and no arrests.

Just a beautiful day, a beautiful day for a walk…together.