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Showing posts from August, 2015

Eternally Examining

O, that all of life could be a vacation, a breakfast of bacon and eggs and pots of tea at 11 am. A leisure stroll down the beach among tide pools where depressions in the rock cradle a cornucopia of textures and colors. And I with my journal have nothing calling upon my attentions but the beauty in these still pools left behind by the receding tide. O, that I could study these pools of life and discover the names of all the creatures within. What are their names? What do they eat? What do they do when the tide comes rolling in over their heads, pulling and pushing like a tug-o-war of water. Hello, limpets upon limpet. Hello, crab with the beady eyes hiding in the crevice between the purple spiked urchins.  Do you know about the waves crashing nearby, little crab? Do you know that we humans up here are frolicking in the same water that brings you lunch. Yes, we are. We just made sport of it. I don't suppose you do that do you? Alas, I cannot study you little crab

The Small in the Sea

I spy the black and white striped legs of a hermit crab traversing the course sand and broken pieces of shells. I spy his sister two inches from his antennae, and there are their parents watching, and a distant in-law who has just returned from a vacation to South Pool where silver and orange shell-polish is in vogue. And off to the left is Tiny Tim, just a whipper snapper learning to lug his home across the terrain. They gather around Aunt Elma's empty house to decide if it's worth moving into themselves. But no, the interior decorating is a bit too eccentric for anyone in this hermit crab family. They prefer midnight brown with spires or gold and silver. Maybe the distant in-law will want this house.  In the shallows of the tide pools I find numerous quantities of these little creatures. They pick through the tentacles of a sea anemone or riffle the long lobes of sea lettuce. They look like groupings of tubby old men trying to find their spectacles and maintain the

Surprised by Gratitude

1. Children calmly deposited with Mama Mina 2. Parched brush on the brown hills that smell of sage and Coyote Bush 3. Driving through ponds of morning fog still clinging to the coastline 4. White cliffs separating our CRV from the sea 5. Santa Barbara's Spanish architecture 6. Bree cheese melting in my sandwich at a hippy-cupcake cafe 7. Sweet texts of busy children faring well miles behind us  8. Meandering down isles of nursery plants while Phil speaks Latin 9. Our $12 check-in fee at Cambria Pines Lodge thanks to a gift certificate from the Stevens 10. Chasing retreating waves and kicking up yellow sea foam 11. Abrading our feet on the pocked sandstone cliffs that we climbed  12. Dolphin sightings amidst pelican and seagull's mad diving 13. Dashing through calf-deep water to scramble up a rock outcropping surrounded by ebbing waters 14. Feeling the mist on my face from the crashing waves that slam against my mounted rock 15. Footprints of childre

Granada Heights Friends Church

Church is a complex thing. It’s full of arms that rocked me in a room once painted with bible murals. It’s full of hands that gave me donuts and Big Sticks, and lifted me onto the organ bench so I could run my fingers over the keys. It’s full of familiar voices that preached and performed and lead children in singing, “Johnny works with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer. Johnny works with one hammer, then he works with two.”  It is full of closets storing the paraphernalia from Wacky Wednesdays and Joy Bells and START. It’s full of remodels that left doors in hidden places and made rooftops accessible through oddly placed windows, and left patches of ground between rising buildings, patches of ground loved and attended and then left to the weeds only to be rediscovered, torn up, planted, and loved all over again. Granada is a complex thing. As a child of the 80’s and 90’s, I could see no end to the love my elders gave me at church: a prayer, a role in the Christmas play, carp

How to Raise the Perfect Child

It’s possible! But you’ve got to do things right. Perfect children are made by walking a fine line between many mistakes. 1. First, properly deal with the crying. Refrain from always rushing to your child’s side when they’re crying. If you don’t refrain, they’ll learn that the best way to get what they want is through crying. This becomes a form of manipulation. So let the baby cry it out. But not all the time. If you don’t comfort your child enough, they might grow up to be a fearful, insecure, little creature who isn’t sure of your love. And you know where loveless teens turn. Yep, to drugs and alcohol. 2. Dress your children well. By well I mean not immaculate lest they become vain or develop a rebellious disregard for personal appearance. But don’t let them wear dirty or mismatched clothes either. Then they’ll never learn to dress professionally and they’ll end up collecting aluminum cans for a living. 3. Don’t do everything for your children or they won’t learn to do