Tag Archive: Friends


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Little Treasures

Here’s the view out my window.

My view out the window in the morning

My view out the window in the morning

Lee’s home has little treasures one discovers, she says she’s not an artist as she hasn’t the creativity. From what I see she is a true artist  Her projects aim to delight and express color, line and shape. The sky participates with dramatic thunder clouds, the water in the pool throws reflections, it’s all meant to delight. Here are just a few little treasures, there are many more, and many more to come… photos taken with a whitish not raining sky. Everything’s damp and cool, bit of sun warms everything then fades in and out.

Globes, balls and statutes amid the plants

Globes, balls and statutes amid the plants

treasures4

Twirlies to fly in the wind :)

Twirlies to fly in the wind 🙂

The Gazebo in the woods

The Gabezo in the woods

Wallets, Windows and Welcomes

The dogs and I headed north Good Friday Morning.

I woke at something like 5 am from my usual head spinning with too much stuff. At a quarter to six I bumped out of bed, at 7:30 I was sitting in the driver seat, dogs in their spruced “car beds” for a little more padding against the rough ride. Mason adored his, Olympia, hard to tell, she wound up sleeping on the edge of her bed kinda hunkered over with her head hanging down draped over the edge although at times she managed to fill the entire curve. Her bed is too small but its fits perfectly in the space she insists is the only place when the LT is in motion…. closest to me between the two captain chairs. She is fairly well wedged, Mason rides on the passenger seat which I’ve turned to face away from the windshield with back dropped against the dashboard…. not legal for humans to ride backwards. I should probably strap him in but he likes to get up from time to time to have a drink of water, on rough roads he prefers the floor next to Olympia or behind her in the walkway. I’ve considered crating them but they both rate riding in the rear where there’d be room for the crates or on the rear bed as undoable, the vibration must be horrific back there.

For amusement I’ve begun to snap shots of pet rest areas. We stop at about 1 to 3 out of 4. We’ve learned a neat trick, what I do as I pull in I try to discern the pet area so I can park as far from it as possible. This way we get a nice long walk on a clean path and over some soft grass to get to the pet area. Same on the way back. The pet areas are  filled with stickers, weeds, rough gravel which Mason will not walk on, and worse dog’s piles which their owners leave for other dog owners. The pet area tends to be stuck on the edges in dangerous corners with collections of snakes, spiders, bees, suspicious strangers; dry, hot, hard on the paws and barren. Thank you so much rest area guys, we know how you value us. To make it worse there are never any tie-outs to leave your pooch outside the human restrooms, so if it’s hot only the 4-legged ones get to relieve themselves. At times I’ve run to the restroom leaving the dogs with the overhead fan spinning and the windows open, only to find a line!!! Not much time to wait; in full sun I count the minutes until it gets too hot, I go quick and race back to the LT, much easier when it’s cool. Yes I have a micro-mini bathroom on board but sometimes I don’t want to deal with black water.

Okay, thanks for providing a sign but a bit limiting isn'tit?

Okay, thanks for providing a sign but a bit limiting isn’tit?

Rattlers and dogs, now that makes a good combo

Rattlers and dogs, now that makes a good combo

Ah, the fire hydrant!

Along with my new arrangement for the dogs, I’ve simplified the contents and layout of the LT. Less is more and all, so at one point or another I moved my wallet to a place where it cannot be seen. I’m sure I thought it out clearly, what a good idea it was. When I returned from my human potty visit, I sat for a bit, I was tired, I reached for my wallet thinking of several of the must do now things on my list and it was gone!  I mean gone! Nowhere! Frantically I re-opened the bits of windows the overhead fan racing back to the commode…..there was a long long line. I didn’t really believe I could have dropped it and not noticed yet I stood there in front of the line next the one I’d been in telling anyone who’d listen that I wasn’t cutting in but that I had to get in there and see if my wallet was in there. Vaguely there was a shadow in my head saying I was wasting time over a false panic but I couldn’t help it. Usually I carry enough cash for tank of gas in a secret location, I hadn’t done that this time. The flash went through my head, me sitting at a gas station or some lonely on ramp with the two dogs on my lap and my pathetic sign: Need cash for gas! Sure, right lady, my foot, you need money for your RV, get real!”

Nothing in the commode area, the poor lady in there, said, “don’t look at me, I didn’t touch anything, I don’t have your wallet!” ….  Okay I was talking kinda loud, half asleep as I was. As an excuse I can say there was no one to hold my hand and calm me down. I chased down the worker, who in broken English told me to knock on the door to the office down by the pet area. There was a guy in there having lunch, he got up and checked in a drawer, I could see a few things, sunglasses, a cap, maybe a man’s black billfold, a few keys. He was nice, I liked him, but I didn’t want to talk, he walked with me a bit but I rushed away back to the LT wondering if I had enough gas and enough strength to go back to the last rest area some several hours away. Since I had nothing else to do except think how my trip would be very short after I bummed $$$$ for gas, and how I’d have to abort my just started trip, I just sat there. Who was gonna give me $80? Maybe Mom could give the gas station her credit card number over the phone? I needed a banana chip, the dogs are used to my stressing out and were trying to ignore me, I’d torn through the LT looking for that wallet upsetting the happy calm of the day. Thank goodness I was hungry…..where I never ever put my wallet, because it’s nicely out of sight, not too far from the banana chips, you got it, my wallet. I stuffed the darn thing where it usually goes, so someone could see it if they tried, like me! Well, trip back on.

The work on the LT was great, the engine has tons of power, no more overheating and no more limping up hills. It cruised along perfectly at 75 and when I wasn’t paying attention at 80 along I-5. I took the north route from Santa Barbara and cut across Hwy 41 to I-5. I drove on parts of Hwy 41 I didn’t remember thanks to my GPS, it was lovely and almost devoid of traffic, then I joined all the crazy holiday traffic.

I arrived in Placerville around 5 pm. A little over 8 hours maybe 8.5: 2 gas stations, 4 rest stops, plenty of road construction, heavy traffic, a few dead slow trucks.

Tired but happy I reached Craig and Lee’s house, I love their place. Zak and Olympia did their battle thing but Lee is so cool, she could handle it and the dogs… Zak and Toby are the residents; Olympia and Mason were soooo happy, my two think this is heaven on earth!

Lee showed me all the work done since last summer, lovely fireplace replacement, bookshelves, pool all spruced up, super cool garden art, paint coming. We tromped down to the new gazebo…..all gorgeous but I couldn’t concentrate on any of it….no, my trip was ruined for the second time that day. The passenger window on the LT had made a strange sound…. I’d attached a shade suction device on it for Mason. The sun was beating on him. The window was stuck a little way up but wouldn’t budge, I pressed it down thinking it would re catch and tried the switch again, what a stupid thing. I started berating myself, I might have been able to pull it up and just leave it up but now it was gone into depths of the door leaving a big hole in my plans. Lee’s friends, David and Louie installing the great projects like the beautiful gazebo and the bookcase were still there. I wanted the guys to fix the window. They didn’t want to, it would take a body shop, maybe a window shop, an RV shop, whatever… sure, I thought, 5 pm Fri of Easter weekend, sure I’m gonna find someone to fix this….  So it was back to aborting my trip. Somehow we’d get home, the wind and rain soaking us soon to be chilled to the bone travelers. I called Frans, he knows what to do, right? I stomped around the van and tried to get the window to do something, the motor was pumping but no window; the guys were looking at tree that needed trimming to unblock the view from the gazebo. I was pacing with my phone in my hand like I do. Lee was on the computer and her phone trying to get help for me. “Don’t worry, we’ll get it taken care of,” No, I wasn’t going to go to the glass fusing class tomorrow after all, how could I with my little house open to the world. The guys coming up the driveway hearing all this fuss did a turn around. I was surprised, it’s been an eons since I’ve come across these sweetheart types. Yes I was a damsel in distress and Yep, they fixed it!!!! I was sure they were gonna to pull the wrong thing, shred something in the door listening to their work it out banter, but they didn’t. The track bar holding the window had fallen off. That nifty kit of tools that Frans gave me got a nice workout. Wow. I put everything back and gave the guys some cookies, a hug and a kiss.

The next day I woke up too early, Olympia needed to go out, her stomach was a bit upset; I couldn’t get back to sleep. Lee, Mary Peters and I headed to the glass fusing workshop, me mostly brain-dead from lack of sleep and left-over stress. There’s been stuff going wrong for weeks, months, actually make that years. I was worried the workshop was gonna be stressful, turned out the three of us were the only attendees, it was great. We had fun, Lee said it was a birthday gift, lunch too, dinner with Craig too. Am very happy to be here, I love these friends, there’s so much space, trees, grassy areas, flowers, craft and art, music, delicious food, conversation, busy active people, the dogs are crazy happy. My old stomping ground on the rivers nearby.

Mary Peter's creation:  waiting for firing and slumping.

Mary Peter’s creation: waiting for firing and slumping.

My round one... will be a bowl, Lee's will be a sushi plate

My round one… will be a bowl, Lee’s will be a sushi plate

The craft studio in Placerville, CA

The craft studio in Placerville, CA

We cleaned up our work area and put all our tools in the bucket. LOL they said we didn't have to do that!

We cleaned up our work area and put all our tools in the bucket. LOL they said we didn’t have to do that!

North Fork to Placerville

North Fork to Placerville

Via CA-49 N or CA-99 N

I was treated to the epitome of friendship at the home of Lee and her husband Craig in Placerville CA.

The sun shines, the pool sparkles, the dogs play and bark. The food is good, the companionship excellent.

Simple presence is a luxury.

 

 

I love the space of their home, light, airy. . .the air conditioner its own blessing. Trees, art, music, dogs barking and playing, the visiting deer. Peaches, peach pie, peach ice-cream, chocolate ice cream, homemade pizza, an open house with great apple and chicken sausage  Shish- kabobs – chicken and pineapple too!  The fun restaurants, the apple orchards, exploring the lakes and rivers. The watermelon is delicious. Watching the TiVo on a perfect screen, dogs with balls and toys all around.

 

 

It is hot here, too hot for me, too hot for the LT, yet I am full, I am content…  and Olympia learned to swim!!!

Here’s a slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have in my possession two of the saddest letters. . . even re-reading them, they gripe my heart. They are written by my Cousin Byron Raphael; the one who looked after Elvis in his early years in the mid ’50’s, to my Aunt Hermione, his mother. In the letters he is 55 telling of hardships: I hate the mindless opening of x number of cartons and the grind of cleaning up after somebody who’s had one too many. But, let’s face it, I have no skills or craft and this is the best I’m going to get. . . he speaks of his menial job where he is berated although his boss knows of his illness and how his wife works a menial job where she is propositioned by her boss. He says: I always had my dreams, my plan, my hopes and my tomorrows. But those are things I can only read about in books now. It’s the time in one’s life when you accept that your deepest dreams are gone. That, I find is the true death because it’s the time one stops living and stops feeling so the pain is stilled. I feel like a man standing high on a cliff overlooking his life and feeling forgotten but not yet gone. He ends that letter oddly by telling him his mother, my aunt to give a greeting to my father and his family but not to share his condition.

The other letter is worse:. . .Please believe me that I am not afraid of being ill and only the heavy pain gives me anxious feelings. . . . he tells how his Buick brunt out, and selling the last of his stocks at a loss. His wild life demolished, his career gone, his health is terrible and he can find no income other than as a bag boy or a dishwasher, yet his wife stays close working at a coffee shop and traveling by bus. He wishes better for her. I hate myself when I see Cherie come home from a job that she’s so much better than. I don’t have the guts to walk in front of a speeding car but I have stopped taking medications and I’m hoping that if something happens I don’t linger and make it worse for everyone. Page two of this letter is not in my possession; most of my aunt’s personal papers were strangely absent from her home after her death. Someone simply missed these two pages.

Byron is gone. Before his death he wrote the expose that many did not like about Elvis, I know it brought him money. I want to honor him. I never knew him well; he and I seem to have been similar. He  had a highly sensitive system; unable to handle medications, inflicted by terrors and bad reactions to drugs and the environment at a time when such sensitivity was not accepted. He suffered bad luck, bad choices, poor decisions, bad advice…. I do not know. When I read his letters I do know that I have not been wrong to not cave to my own illnesses nor loss of my income and career. He reminds me that blind acceptance is hitting the dark wall of the maze. One needs to hold to dreams and to take chances. It’s better to fall in the midst of reaching for what you want, like Forrest who at last had his land, than to become mired in the grind for the ordinary. No one should be bereft of innate joy. And no one of us should be unable to carry the light to others, no one should turn aside for we are all one people, one experience in a zillion voices.  Our strengths are different, our weakness effects us in ways we may not share. He says, life holds nothing for me now except Cherie and she must not spend any more of her best years with someone like me. My Dear Cousin in that you are wrong. ….

My next post will be full of photos I took at a wonderful friend’s home in Placerville.
Kudos to true friendship and enough money to make life work.

The Memorial for Forrest Lewis was the largest gathering Three Springs has hosted. I heard some 200 people in attendance. Tears, laughter, rituals, food, memories, Forrest songs and stories carpeted the community; there was even a skit and a telling of Forrest jokes. Everytime I turned I swore I saw my friend and was about to tap him on the shoulder, give him a hug, tell him how much I missed him and what did he think of this big party in his honor? I sat in the spot that I’d known him to occupy, waited till the end when the kitchen was empty just as he would have done to snack on the plethora of potluck dishes. I met more of his friends that day than I have ever known; shared with his family and faces I’d not seen in an eon. I told my story and was gifted with hugs. They filled me where I was hungry, with questions, with comments, “oh that’s what Forrest was like before I met him, before he came here, before his transplant,” they told me their stories, they gave me their love. I connected with his world, the people he loved; our loss blended into celebration of how he’d come and gone.

The North Fork (and surrounding) community is strong, living among them would be an experience yet I couldn’t help consider talks with Forrest, his disappointments and joys and compare them to the remembrances of the day. I tried on his eyes, his feet wandering, gazing at the land. What Forrest would think, what he would say? I think I know.

I left late, retrieving Olympia and Mason, busy rummaging among the snacks, yanking a hundred stickers and burrs from Olympia’s coat, pulled on the LT headlights which were dim. I was moving, and pulled again, now the road ahead was inky. A car passed and I darted behind it pulling and twisting the headlight knob recklessly. A strange sensation swept me. I chased the only other car on the road, holding to its ray of light. I knew it was foolish, like a Disneyland ride, the Mad Hatter or some evil ghost the kind that I’d been afraid of as a child. Afraid of the dark. Felt like Forrest was sitting on my shoulder, playing one of his games, saying, go ahead now; you go and keep up with him. There was wind coming from the wing window but I hadn’t remembered I opened it as I groped in the dark flipping switches and driving faster than I had any right to hearing the sound of loose gravel past curves and shadowy trees. When my GPS beeped the turn-off for Matt’s house and I was alone in empty darkness checking my eyesight for the rough dirt road I couldn’t see, I pulled once more just for the heck of it, wondering if I could use my flashlight strapped to the front bumper to find the way, and wolla the lights popped on, the brakes responded with a musical groan.

Something told me it was a right of passage, a parting gift from my dear friend, a heralding of all friends; I shouldn’t forget that the road holds surprises, that an ending is fantasy given the point of observation from which we view time, that fear of the unknowing (darkness) may be nothing at all, that we are closer now with space dissolved, with the mortal parts of us in the past.

…………………………… Word Press Trouble: Trouble seems to be in the new update for Firefox not loading the javascript windows . . .anyone know how to fix this???? Am using a differnt browser temporarly but this one is acting weird very hard to use… need a fix for Firefox

On The Porch at Matt’s house in North Fork, CA

A sweet cat, a friendly goat, chickens. . .lots to explore. Was very very hot.

My best friend died the day before yesterday. He was 47 years old and had a liver transplant having been diagnosed with a rare disease Primary sclerosing cholangitis sometime around 1994-5. Forgive me if I don’t remember the exact date; he and I were classmates at the University of California in Santa Barbara studying geography at one of the best geography campus in the country. We took all the earth system science classes before climate change hit the news ways. Forrest was brilliant, acing the complicated interweaving of our planet’s physical systems. His shortcoming was computers, but everything else melded together in perfect symmetry—he’d explain things to me, we studied together. Turned out he had a crush on me. We’d lope across campus at a quick pace to cover the distance between classes. It was there, right at the bike crossing when he told me about the diagnosis: PSC, but he made me say the whole name.

I got hit by a bicycle and bruised my arm and nicked my ankle.

Forrest was hit by something much worse.

The treatment for PSC is liver transplant.

Years passed with the diagnoses locking down. Lots of drugs and hospitals all of which Forrest hated. He sickened turned yellow, actually orange, bloated, weak, was often in pain, could barely eat, yet he’d smile, he’d laugh, he’d get out the telescope to study the sky. He was a geographer to the core. He never missed listening to Car Talk or watching an episode of Jeopardy. He had a child that loved dinosaurs. He moved to North Fork to be near his son and lived his life. He got sicker, and sicker and sicker. The medical social system was cruel. He had to fight for everything and Forrest is not a fighter, he was made of love and curiosity. They make you wait when you need a liver transplant until you’re almost dead before your turn is approved for the surgery. Forrest almost died on the table, we didn’t think he’d survive but he did.

He did!!! We were overjoyed! But recovery was difficult, Forrest needed frequent aftercare treatment, he needed a lot of pills….pills he didn’t want to take. He developed severe depression.  In a man who was inherently cheerful and full of life this was a shock. It was bio-chemical but it changed Forrest. They treated the depression and it helped but he wasn’t the same, he started to worry and fret about things. He started to over-do, he was everyone’s fix it guy, especially if it was mechanical. His collection of cars were like living creatures to him–each with their own soul, their complicated history that he cherished.

He finally found love, he was missing this for a very long time…romantic love.

A few years ago I was ready to purchase the 6 acres that Forrest lived on in North Fork. We decided to share the place. I wanted land and a home, Forrest wanted to remain where he was in an aging double wide on a gorgeous parcel. He’d help me build a house and he’d pay me rent. I made the seller / landlady a good offer, she laughed at me, demanding an inflated price which she never got (her final sale years later was lower than my offer.)  Lots of bad things happened, she drove Forrest off his home, she showed us how evil lurks waiting for expression, her devilment was the death of her husband, it unleashed a raging greed. Forrest had to leave and that drove him nearly crazy, he went to live with his girlfriend but was forced to give away too many of his precious cars and other vehicles and equipment. Honestly the place was a mess; Forrest had lost his neat gene, it  dissolved with toxic accumulation of ongoing medications and treatments. The place could have been cleaned up with some help. Believe me, I know how hard it is to do everything yourself, on your own.

Forrest and me looking at property for me to buy

Then finally things started to really improve, Forrest was able to buy a plot of land with the help of his folks. Forrest could not work a traditional money earning job, nor pursue a vocation, nor utilize his brilliant mind because of the enormous cost of medical treatments…it was necessary that he remain on funded aide to pay those bills. He dreamed of doing his masters, maybe more but it didn’t happen. Getting the land was an anxiety ridden tortuous process but he preserved. The land was inexpensive as it needed extensive clean up. He toiled, he labored, he joined work parties and shared, he did everything for others in the hopes they’d do a little for him. He’s the collective, cooperative, potluck, home-grown local music and drum circle bonfires with friends type. Honest, sincere, he meditates in silence; yes, sometimes moody and sensitive. He’s a go-getter…. oh I keep forgetting to say “was” Forrest will always be alive to me.

Forrest really hears a person when they speak, he asks questions rather than dictating what another thinks, he weighs things before giving an idea and his ideas tend to be brilliant or at least in line with a persons true self. There is laughter and goodness. He pays attention and uses his brain, his shortcomings revolve on his internal processes. I’ve seen him get bogged down working himself into an endless loop with a problem that requires a solution he doesn’t like.

So once he obtained his property something wonderful happened. Forrest became Forrest again, there was ground under his feet. Something to give him pride and confidence. This happened recently; he showed me how he cleaned up the parcels…two of them together making a 5 acre spread right in the center of California in North Fork. He had everything to live for, things were smoothing out with his girl friend, the future was looking bright. The last conversation he and I will ever have, he told me that I too needed to get property, it made all the difference, it gave him happiness and he was sure it was what I needed too. Working on your own place, building what you want, what you need.

Not yesterday, but the day before he planted roses on his land, he worked hard in the sun. It’s hot in North Fork this time of year; there was a lot of hard labor to be done. He came home to take a nap, woke around 8 o’clock feeling dizzy, then he lost consciousness. His girlfriend performed CPR heroically until the medics arrived; she was there with him, she said it was a peaceful death.

There are scores of us in shock, maybe hundreds, Forrest was well loved.

He got to see the LT, he liked it. I expected him to be around to continue to read my blog, to continue to share his rants, his joys, his discoveries, to continue to listen when I felt lost, to be the one who knows all about me and who understands. His girlfriend’s home is crowded, her family have gathered ’round, friends are pouring in support. I am alone. I miss Forrest and it’s only the beginning.

Only one more thing, Forrest and I had a falling out. there was a long time when we didn’t talk every week or every other week.  It only ended recently, I was sad about it, but now I know it was practice, it gave me practice for the long haul ahead.

Yes these walls are made of Straw Bale!

In his youth

He kept that look all his life. . . it would turn into a smile 🙂

Marriage 11.11.11

The dogs and I packed off to Phoenix to celebrate a wedding. We arrived the day before invited to the rehearsal dinner. I’m parked in the LT with Olympia and Mason, after first checking into another La Quinta since they graciously accept dogs and are not too expensive, cleaning up a little wondering how I’ll fit in when the groom himself gently knocks on the van inviting me to hurry in and join the party. I remember the bride from schooldays, Girl Scouts and having crushes on the Monkees. We’d been out of touch a long time, she says, with a nod, it’s been 20 years—the allowed give away—but it’s been a lot longer than that. I’m greeted and introduced so very warmly, really I was charmed. Lindsey’s mother immediately recognizes me and is delighted. So am I.  Her sister remembers me too! Family, I am to learn, and special friends, are very important to this couple.

The time of Lindsey & Bruce’s ceremony is 11-11-11 at 11 a.m. All those ones add up to a couple intent living life as “we.” It’s a very happy day: a perfect ceremony, the church parking lot is spotted with corvettes (these great cars are a big part of this couple’s life.) Then we head to the Embassy Suites, Scottsdale for a lunch party reception where the couple sports a tango until the bride’s shoes give out; someone gives her a rose to hold in her teeth. Each table has its own racing inspired cake as center celebration of love and those beautiful cars, there are white roses and bouquets, it is simple and beautiful. We make a circle on the dance floor, all of us, arms around our neighbor we sing while kicking up our feet, ‘Cause I’ve got friends in low places where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away, but I’ll be okay. Now I’m not big on social graces. Think I’ll slip on down to the oasis, oh, I’ve got friends, in low places. . .

This wedding is fun. We eat, drink and appreciate. As the guest leave I take a break walking the dogs across the road to the Biltmore Fashion Park… one bookstore welcomes dogs and people make a fuss over them. Later the wedding party crowds into the couples 5th floor suite above the golf course for snacks, drinks and camaraderie. Bruce pulls out the champagne, gives us all a glass, corks flying out the window. Then dinner downstairs in a private room and an invitation to finish with more cake and champagne. For the first time in a long time I feel belonging, compassion, warmth . . . talking with the moms and another high school friend I hadn’t remembered . . . making new friends that will last. I am the only Democrat in the inner group and certainly the only one crazy enough to bring her dogs to a wedding but the pups are welcome. Different guests come with me to play with the dogs parked in LT outside in the shade on that nice cool day. I find I am happy, even given that a long-time love of mine is marrying his sweetheart on this same day and that Jolyon is far off in Las Vegas at his son’s marriage and that my brother has recently married a woman who scorns family and keeps us apart… it all floats with an outpouring of wisdom that I’ve discovered here in Phoenix. I also discovered how much I enjoy being a part of things.

I accepted Lindsey’s invitation to stay in their home. It is much nicer than the La Quinta. I might have stayed longer but both my dogs became increasingly agitated by one of their birds, a keen African Gray (sorry I forget your name) with a repertoire of wine cork popping sounds, dog barking, whistling and a stunningly loud (and scary) bang. Yes, my dogs were afraid of a bird. Mason, would crowd the door attempting to run to his safe LT. The day before I left I had to carry him into the house. He’d frozen on the lawn and would not budge after a day out sightseeing. Even Sam, the elderly Corgi mystified Mason. Mase would bark away at Sam refusing to make friends, I could see his disbelief in the ravages of old age. Olympia on the other hand showed none of her typical jealousy, instead she she’d toss her tennis ball to Sam who, of course, did not respond, but she kept trying. As it was both dogs insisted on being in my lap or never more than ½ inch from my feet. I tried lifting the dogs up so they could see that it was a friendly bird causing the noise, nothing to worry about. Very cool birds in the house. The African Gray gave the dogs a piercing curious stare that only furthered my dogs suspicious. Ultimately I missed Lindsey and Bruce (off on their honeymoon) and the gaiety of family and friends. As well, every time I went out thinking the nice cool would hold so I could explore a museum the sun would appear heating the van fiercely…too hot for the dogs, so it was time to go.

I did agree though, the dogs and I need a Corvette! And friends and family to sing with. I will be back to visit.

The LT seems to purr these days. The wind barley bothers me. I have to fight to keep her speed down; she swallows gasoline like crystal wine. I’d intended to extend my travels to Flagstaff or maybe Tucson but wound up heading back to Santa Barbara only stopping for an hour or so in Quartzsite. January seems the time for Quartzsite. I was tired. It was a good trip. I missed checking on my storage and seeing folks in Cathedral City…  so another trip will be soon….hope to hear from all the happy new married couples as well.