Heading south by train to Los Angeles, then on by car to Palm Springs and Borrego Springs. Thanks to Julia and Hannah for getting us to the station. That bridge rising above the mess, looking like sails. Weighing anchor?
Some snippets from the past days:
12/23 – Lunch with nephew Billy Buell and his wife Sheryl Moller visiting from New York City. Every minute, every conversation, overheard, laughs, hugs, speeches (none more than half a minute but full of a lifetime of meaning) is part of us now.
The next morning: I love waking up and lying in bed letting images from the day before reconstitute themselves in my head. And I love leftovers for breakfast. The paper whites tower over my head, still smelling good, as I sit and eat my delicious, reheated Vietnamese sandwich and look out from the warm kitchen to the still snowy, monochromatic, below-freezing outdoors.
If I hadn’t walked out to get the paper, cutting up to the road through the field, letting the car sit, running, to melt the ice on the windshield, I never would have seen this Christmas Rose, in bloom in the snow. There it is, a sweet Hellebore, right by the Poetry box, where I put it, doing just what gave it its nickname.
12/21 – From the very Western rim of the country, on this Shortest Day, the sun is not yet over the rim of the horizon at 7:41 AM. But from here, a window in a hotel in Long Beach WA, we can watch the clouds brighten.
On our minds are all those people whose lives are changed (and some of them ended) because an engineer was “distracted” and was taking a train around a curve at over twice the speed limit. And also on our minds are the millions of people (including ourselves) whose livelihoods are threatened by the parts of this “tax bill” they yet barely understand: withdrawal of medical deductions is only one. But the sun still comes up. And we still dearly love our friends.
From the after 8 a.m. sunrise, we actually changed rooms: they had put us at the far back corner with a non-working elevator, and when I finally said, “Wait a minute!,” this morning, they scurried around and had us moved to a main floor, oceanside apartment in about 10 minutes. Fair enough. A 90 yr. old with about 1/4 mile plus stairs to go in case of fire did not make sense.
We spent time in a wonderful junk/antique shop, where we found just the easel we needed, and left there just as we were getting really cold (no heat in a barn-like space) to come home for our sushi lunch, brought from New Seasons yesterday. We like this place partly because the art on the walls is presentable, even nice.
12/15 – A tough little volunteer tree from our front yard, with candles to light the way, through dark times, and into light, for all of us. We’re just listening to Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” on SiriusXM. I want to tell all my friends to turn on the radio. We sang it all over Europe in the summer of 1952. One of the great choral works.
12/6 – This sculpture may not have many more years to live in its present site. The stump it lives on is 45 or so years old and has already partly fallen away from under the flat stones we capped it with. I love the way the sun lit up the insulator glass this morning.
12/4 – These are brave. Sasanqua Camellias start blooming in November and go on through snow and ice, all the way to February. A good thing to hang onto right now.
11/27 – Every once in a while, we need a dose of the Gorge, and specially now after these communities were hard hit by the fires in September and need the business. So we came up the Columbia and spent two nights in our favorite Best Western in Cascade Locks. This was the view West from our balcony, past The Bridge of the Gods, just as the sun was setting. And here we are only three weeks and a little bit till the Solstice.