Friday, August 26, 2011

California. Random thoughts thus far.

6:30am and 77 degrees.

Fescue covered lawns covered in oranges - juicy play things for large, gray squirrels.

Blue waters reflect cloudless skies.

Adobe tiled roofs on stucco walls.

Sycamores. Jade, lavender, star jasmine, sage, tea roses, birds of paradise.

Familiar birds call above the drone of traffic.


Fifteen degree fluctuations in temperature - from season to season.

The wry irony of an elaborate weather station in my parents' backyard.

Fences - picket, privacy, wrought iron, cedar walls, chain link - hide homes from neighbors.

Riotous color - skin, clothes, cars, homes, flowers, billboards, lights.

 Cars. A lot of cars. A lot of old cars. And Toyota Tacoma trucks. From the 80's.

Heat radiating from asphalt and cement, distorts the view of expansive parking lots. "Step on the white lines", I told my son who had removed his shoes while walking back to the car.

Sound - language, laughter, music, construction, dogs, crosswalks, buses, trucks - wait...and birds. Lots of birds.

My childhood home looks exactly the same. Minus the lush green lawn and the elm tree that shaded our front door.

Stories of old friends - married, divorced, careers, scandals, too fat, too skinny, plastic surgery and obvious attempts at retaining our youth, bankruptcy, foreclosures, moved away and moving home. No one has died though.

The warm familiarity of pushy Korean women who feed you too much and talk too loudly. Korean men sit silent and apart, but the women - they poke, pull, gesture, cluck and smile...always smile.

Hot, spicy, sweet, sour, grilled, creamy - bulgolgi, galbi, kimchi, carne asada, avocados, fresh tortillas, fruit everyday, wilted greens.

Year-round patio furniture.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Running down a dirt road this morning, taking in the sun as it rose above the clouds from last night's storm, I watched from a distance a mother and her small son jog playfully along the side of the road with their dog. With their backs to me, their silhouettes glowed with the morning light and I was painfully aware of my loud, hard breathing and the slap of my shoes on the road. Yet, as I got closer, the boy, all of 2 or 3 years old with a mop of blonde hair, turned to watch me, finger in his nose, as fascinated with my approach as I was of theirs.

Next thing I knew, the boy was running alongside, picking up his pace to match mine while I slowed down to match his. He laughed, I laughed and then let him surge ahead of me just before getting to the post at his driveway. With a wiggly little dance and arms raised like a victor, he shouted to his mom that he "won". I kept going, waving good-bye and picked up my pace to take on the hill in front of me.

A little competition is a good reminder of how far we've come...and how much further we still have yet to go.