Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Ocean at the End of the Trail

 
I think everyone has a place or space that gives them energy.  Mine is water; I'm a water baby.  Rivers.  Waterfalls.  Oceans.  Especially the ocean.  I can feel completely overwhelmed and the combination of the sand and the salt and the sea will remind me that my problems are nothing compared to nature.  All that vastness.

After six weeks apart, Doug and I decided to take the weekend together at the coast.  This time we went to Seaside, Oregon.  We usually go to Lincoln City but decided to mix things up.  In fact, we sent the pup to visit with our grandgirl for the night and had the whole time to ourselves.

The views:  Our hotel was right on the promenade and sand and the views of the ocean were wonderful. 

We knew the weather was going to be wet, so we were not surprised that the skies opened up as we walked along the boardwalk.  This iconic sight of Seaside shows the result of a lava flow, now covered with 
Looks lonely in want of children
trees and bushes.  Notice the beach is nearly empty.  Wet days will do that to a beach :)

There are more people walking the beach in the other direction, but it was very empty.  The day before with sunshine showed everyone out and about.


And I love the look of a grassy knoll at the beach.  So eastern U.S. beaches.






The Boardwalk and Promenade: Seaside is the official "End of the Lewis and Clark Trail," from their expedition in search of a NW passage in 1806.  We have all things Lewis and Clark all over the place along the Columbia River and the northern coast.  

We visited one art gallery along the boardwalk--The Oregon Gallery--and fell in love with paintings and photography throughout the showroom.  We bought a couple of things and while the gallery clerk wrapped them, she and I chatted about red hair, politics, and fun art.  

The Hotel:  We stayed at the Seashore Inn.  I had stayed there once before with my sister and  remembered it was a friendly nice place.  Apparently the sheets and such are special because we found this sign on the bathroom mirror:



While the sheets were nice, I can't imagine wanting to take them home with us.  So no sale there ;)  I told the desk clerks I wasn't interested in a new pillow, so we left them there.  They were very nice about it :)


The Easter Brunch Buffet:  We ate at the Boardwalk Restaurant for Easter brunch.  Good food and great service.  So many choices.  I have missed a Sunday brunch here in Portland.  Two we used to go to have now closed.  But Easter Sunday at the coast we delish.  And the view from our table...the best. 



It was a perfect weekend get-away.  Time spent together and re-energized from the ocean.  Great walks.  Great talks.  Fun art.  Good food.


peace~~~


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Painting Picture-Perfect Maps

Mathew Cusick, Course of Empire Mixmaster 1.
There I am in younger days stargazing
painting picture-perfect maps
how my life and love would be
not counting the unmarked paths of misdirection
my compass, faith and love's perfection
I missed a million miles of road I should have seen
          -Indigo Girls Love’s Recovery
Across the dirt road is forty-acres of Mr. Cooper’s farm, the old barn and the walnut trees defining his property.  With acres of orange trees and the eucalyptus standing sentinel, the farm house is hidden by the 10-foot hedge where we could play hide-and-seek by night.  The fields sport their irrigated streams floating our boats as we splash the sauna days away.

Standing at the edge of the driveway, I entertain long twilight shadows with songs and stories while dreaming of another world.  Looking around at an audience unseen I enact the plays I create as I dance.  Ambition softened by the desire to have children, to cook, to read, to sew, to be a mother.

Bike-hikes taking me miles and miles across roads, walking riding walking riding until I find a place safe and secluded to eat my tuna and potato chip sandwich.  Walnut trees to climb and ride walk ride walk ride home again.  There are always roads to take.

Kisses sweet in the car home by midnight until mom flashes the porch light to come in.  Football games and cruising the strip and driving the Volkswagen yellow bug across miles of vineyards.  Tokin’  groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon feelin groovy.  There are always roads to take.

No college for me; education is wasted with my desire to grow up and move on.  Children holding onto my neck, soft wet snotty noses pressed against my arms as I read to them while they grow sleepy.  I lay them down only to look at their precious faces angelic.  His fist flashes fast staggering me back and I crawl to their room to sit close to their angelic faces as they sleep.  Hiding in the bathroom when he leaves and silently beating my head against the wall.  Cold and alone I dance to the music in my head and entertain the shadows in my mind as I sing to the plays created for me.  I missed a million miles of road I should have seen.

There are parts of the Mother Road which have washed away over the years from lack of use.  But if you carefully follow the red cement and tolerate the bushes growing through the asphalt cracks along the path, listen for the thump thump humming as you drive, you can meander your way from Chicago to Santa Monica.  Such was my journey out of hell.  There are always roads to take.

My life meanders along this road and while I have access to the map I choose to follow this path and then that path as it comes.  Adventures occur when wandering is allowed.  Sweet kisses on my Valentine’s lips.  And now I sing and dance in the plays I create as I entertain the sun warm with glorious joy.

There are always roads to take. 

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in over 170 languages.

peace~~~

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Weird Portland Wednesday: Walking the Mounts


Portland has had mounted police as part of our police bureau since around 1875.  There is nothing weird about that.  By 1890, Portland had three horses on record.  They built a barn for them.  In 1891, the count jumped to five horses.  According to the Portland Police Mounted Patrol website, "During President Harrison’s visit [in 1991], 'four mounted police rode one block in advance to clear the streets.  Chief of Police Parrish, mounted on his sorrel charger' led the marching police platoon."  In another year, we had 10 horses in the patrol.

1892
Sadly, the count dropped back down to four horses a year later because of the depression.  And for the next 94 years the numbers jumped up and down, up and down in a similar fashion, hitting the amount of 20 horses and their owners in 1950.
Portland Rose Festival 1912



In 1985, budget cuts threatened to cut the Mounties but the People of Portland went to  bat for our horse patrol and the horses remained.  Remained, but cut down to one sergeant, four officers and five horses.  

Today the threat to cut is once again upon Portlandia.  Even with a new barn facility,  with one sergeant, six officers and seven horses, those unaware of the importance of mounted patrol in City Council are talking cutting the program.  It won't happen...Portland people will once again fight for the status quo.  And the numbers will increase at some point...and drop.

Our love of horses and patrolling could be why I recently saw this scene out my sewing area window. 

Why yes, they are out walking their horse.  All in the name of Keeping Portland Weird.

peace~~~

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Peace, I Swear It's Not Too Late

The day after we invaded Afghanistan in October 2011, I put on the peace pin I had worn back in 1968.  You know the old pins with the long pin stick that could impale you if you bend over.  

Unfortunately I lost it the very next day when I tried on a sweater and it was pulled out and gone by the time I returned.  But I found another pin and have worn it every day since.  In fact, I also bought a bunch of little peace pins and handed them out to my students.  

On this day, grieving the loss of lives from the bombing in Brussels, I feel the need to talk about peace.  I want to rid myself of the helpless, powerless feelings and talking about peace, of love and flowers and good things, may help me achieve it.

The peace sign was originally designed in 1958 by British artist Gerald Holtom for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.  According to teachpeace.com, the symbol is a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for "nuclear disarmament".  In semaphore, the letter "N" is formed by a person holding two flags in an inverted "V," and the letter "D" is formed by holding one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down.


The symbol was not copyrighted and was used for disarmament protests within the United States in the early 60s.  By the end of the decade, the symbol had been adopted as a generic peace sign.

Are we still in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting for whatever we are fighting for?  Yes;  thus, I continue to wear my peace pin every day.  My grandgirl gives me things with peace signs.  I give my grandgirl things with peace signs.
 
Mother Theresa once said that a smile is the beginning of peace.  John Lennon said we should give peace a chance.  And Pete Seeger, well Seeger said that he swears it's not too late.  Word.

peace~~~


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Raining Colors

Raining Colors quilt top
This past six weeks has been a real adventure for me.  Coming down to my mother's area to an apartment has been great.  It is definitely better for me to stay down in Southern California for a longer period of time rather than driving back and forth from Oregon to California every 20 days, staying a week, and driving back.  Plus I don't have to put my life on hold while I am here.

I have been able to make four quilt tops, many single blocks, start an appliqu├ęd wallhanging.  The pup and I have taken many walks every day.  Mom and I have taken many walks all over the Health Center complex--inside and out.  I have read many articles and stories to her in the time I have been here.  And I have read three books for myself plus watched Netflix streaming in evenings.

I have been able to visit a few friends, have a sleepover with one of my BFFs (but we didn't curl hair or do one another's nails.  I had looked forward to that :( ), gone to the movies to see some classic films with my longest school friend (since 1st grade).  Was able to have a mani/pedi with my eldest niece, played with my great nephews, and had some fun with my sister.
Can you see where my pup will be sitting?

So now I am hitting the road again, heading north to my sweetie and kitties and water bed and rain.  Not much rain down here but it is raining colors on my design wall.  

Only three more sleeps and I'll be home. 

peace~~ 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Never The Twain Shall Meet


The Mother Road: Route 66
I love to explore old highways and routes.  I love to look down the highway to see what incredible adventures I can find.  One of my all time favorite roads is to travel Route 66.  I have driven the entire length once from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA and almost always take a portion of it on any roadtrip.  In fact, my apartment in Upland is only a bit south of the route and I drive it almost every day.

So when I find a new old highway, I am happy.  I am actually living along one of the oldest auto trails in the states: Arrowhead Trail.  It was the first all-weather road connecting Los Angeles to Salt Lake City through Las Vegas.  It was built primarily through the 1910s and was replaced when they came up with the number highway system in the 20s.  And then portions of it were named U.S. Route 91.  In it's hayday until the early 70s, U.S. Route 91 went from Long Beach, CA through Montana to the Canadian border. Now the only Rte 91 connection to the original trail is in Utah.  But all is not lost...many of the town and cities that were once along the original Arrowhead Trail have continued to keep the road name of Arrow Highway.  Imagine my delight to find that I live along this road when in California.  I think this old road will be my next major roadtrip.

Arrow Highway in parts of California are marked as such, but the confusion comes at the connection between Montclair/Pomona/La Verne and Upland.  For instance, there are two Arrow Highways in the area.  Looking in to this question of why there is at least one too many Arrow Highways is Joe Blackstock, who is an Inland Valley Daily Bulletin columnist.  Blackstock says:

Traveling east through Los Angeles County and then into Montclair, Arrow reaches Benson Avenue and Upland and magically becomes Eighth Street.

Ah, but a half-mile north is Arrow Route, which starts at the county line and heads east through Upland. It transforms into a new Arrow Highway when it crosses Benson, then becomes Arrow Route again in Rancho Cucamonga and finally Arrow Boulevard in Fontana.

The lunacy of all this is that motorists traveling south on Central or Monte Vista avenues from Foothill Boulevard cross streets called Arrow twice within a half-mile.

So here's the scoop of what happened in this area.  By 1925, San Bernardino County had already laid out and often completed an unpaved Arrow Route almost to the county line, which is Claremont Boulevard. From the west, the route was laid out to San Dimas.  Getting the east and west together was originally planned to use Bonita Avenue as the connecting point.  Didn't happen.  Apparently Claremont objected, saying it did not want a major highway running through the middle of its expanding college campuses (Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, and Pitzer College).  The decision of the 1925 meeting was to create a committee to figure out how to connect the two parts. And, as with many committees, nothing much happened. 

They tried again in 1937.  Same result.  And again in the late 40s.  Same result every time.  So confusion continues to this day.

To get to my mom's place, I take Arrow Highway and then Arrow Route to Claremont Avenue, where it turns into Sixth Street.  I follow Sixth through the colleges--and may I say that those college students don't even LOOK as they cross the street.  And I swear they come out of the bushes like ants from an invaded anthill, stopping traffic and ignoring the world.  And all you can do it wait...wait...wait.

If I want to avoid the college, I could take Claremont Avenue south to the other Arrow Highway.  But then I have to return north to Bonita Avenue.  Or I can go north to Foothill (Route 66) and then south again to Bonita Avenue.

Face it, there is no quick way through Claremont.  

That's the scoop.  Arrow Highway and Arrow Highway are two different roads that will never meet as one.  And who's to blame for this confusion?  As Blackstock said, "Dunno."

Now on to my desired roadtrip.  I'd start in Los Angeles and head up through to Salt Lake City.  Nothing can beat Route 66, but I still think it would be fun.  Anyone want to join me?

peace~~~


Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Pluthera of Excuses

photography by Hannah Garland
Spring is poking her head out to the world all over.  Even in spots that are still watching snow fall have some beautiful colors showing here and there.  Here in Southern California I see bright purples and reds and yellows, soft lavenders and pinks and whites.  It is glorious to walk with my mom all around her home.  The gardeners are clipping and raking and gathering.  The infrequent rain storms only add to the beauty.


Photo by
"It's so beautiful outside!  I love this season.  Can you believe it...it's almost Easter! I love Easter candy :)  Those Cadbury eggs only come once a year.  I should to eat some while I can."

"There is so much happening in my apartment complex; I have had so much stress.  I am too tired to make dinner.  What should I do?  Oh yeah!  EZ-Burger across the street has garden burgers.  I'm going WILD with it."

"Hmmmm...I am passing the donut shop and they have such great apple fritters.  I deserve one of those, even though I know the yeast doesn't agree with me...it would be good to have while I wait for Mom's lunch to be over."

"I deserve it."
"I need it."
"It is much easier."


Image from www.fanpop.com
I listened to the excuses my sweet tormented manipulative alcoholic neighbor had while drinking and shook my head.  Poor thang.  He can say this is all about his pain but we all know this is just an excuse.  And then I thought about my own excuses to overeat or to eat unhealthily...  And while how I eat doesn't fall under the clinical term "food addiction," it manifests itself in many of the same ways.


The excuses...I deserve this.  I earned this.  I don't have a problem; I just like to eat.  I'll go back to Weight Watchers on Monday.  One piece of cake won't be a problem.
Photo from Lou Paun/garden.lovetoknow.com
I quit smoking in 2001.  Cold turkey.  Almost three packs a day cold turkey.  Over Spring Break.  I had just got up one morning and said, "That's it."  I liked smoking.  I wasn't concerned with health issues.  I just woke up and decided it was time to stop.  Wasn't easy (for me or for Doug :) ) but it happened.

Thinking back on my 33 year addiction to smoking, I never used excuses.  I just smoked.  It was socially acceptable to smoke, that is until it wasn't.  Not long after I quit, my college no longer allowed smoking on campus.  That would have been a bummer for me as smoking was the only break time I ever took.  Oh wait...I never again took breaks after I quilt, either.


Excuses are excuses and until we come to realize that is all they are, and recognize them when they jump into our heads, nothing is going to change.  I don't deserve anything food wise.  I like things...I can choose to eat them...but I don't deserve them because I'm tired or stressed, just like my sweet tormented manipulative alcoholic neighbor kid doesn't drink for the pain.  The pain is only...yeah, it's only an excuse.

Happy spring.
peace~~~ 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

See Her Rolling Down the Track

Newest quilt top: Engineer Bill
See her rolling down the track
See her puffing smoke so black
Who's at the throttle?
That's Engineer Bill!

See those drivers whirlin' 'round
See that engine cover ground
Who's at the throttle?
That's Engineer Bill!
 

From the round-house every day
He always get the right of way
Folks all know the whistle's cry
Means Engineer Bill is passing by

See her steamin' into town 
From the cab who's wavin' down
Who's at the throttle?
That's Engineer Bill!

When I was a little girl, there were three cartoon shows.  Captain Kangaroo was mornings.  Sheriff John was at his lunchtime brigade.  And the afternoon cartoon show to watch was Engineer Bill.  He hosted a plethora of cartoons from Betty Boop to Felix the Cat to Mighty Mouse to Heckle and Jeckle.  Oh, can't forget Popeye.  He also had the Red Light Green Light game, where we would drink a glass of milk to the lights...green means go!  Red means stop.


My latest quilt top reminds me of delightful television for Los Angeles area kiddies back in the fifties.  This top joins the others to be quilted when I go home next week.

peace~~~

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Real Neighbors of Upland

"Modern Mash-Up," my latest quilt top
I have been trying to sew most days but life hasn't been as cooperative as it could be.  I mean...

Drama to the right of me...drama to the left of me...into the valley of drama goes Dori and her pup.

Apartment living is more interesting than watching television.  I think when we live in a house surrounded by lawns and fences that we get into our own lives so deeply that we sometimes forgetting there are others out there living their own lives.  Can't do that if you live in an apartment.  Nope, they are living their lives right outside your front door.  Yeppers, these are the real neighbors of Upland.

Sunday was not a day of rest.  My neighbor upstairs came knocking at my door early...just a bit before 7 am.  He was in terrible shape and shaking.  I knew he had been ill as his mother had been coming over to help him for the past week.  He said he lost his phone somewhere in his house and would I please come up and call it so he can find it? And thus began a full day of the kid knocking at my door, wanting to use my phone to call his mom.  Her answering once and then not again as his language became more and more abusive.  It took me a while but I realized he was drunk.  I'm sometimes slow at the uptake.  I set boundaries--he had none--and stopped listening to his ramblings of poor him, no one cared, he was going to die.  Each time after that first day I would tell him I cared very much but he was not coming into my house  until he stopped drinking. He was welcome any other time, not in this state.

This continued Monday and Tuesday.  The guy was drinking, had been for over a week with no food.  Just beer.  Unfortunately there is a liquor store across the street.  He walked there multiple times a day.  Multiple times the police came, the EMTs came, the ambulance came...he always returned later the same day.  He was like the Energizer Bunny.

Last night he went off to rehab.  Suitcase and radio and all.  His parents had worked hard to find the right place and were able to bypass the waitlist because it was an emergency.  This kid was not going to be alive in a few days if he didn't get some help.

Saddest thing...saddest thing.  Sweet kid.  Sweet manipulative abusive alcoholic kid.  I wish him well.

Drama is all around us but we often don't see it because we are insulated by our homes.  But this is apartment living! These are the lives of the real neighbors of Upland.

peace~~~

Friday, March 04, 2016

My Exciting Life

Winter in Southern California...this is the way it rolls down here.  This is lovely McCarthy Park in Upland.  It chilled nicely last night--down to mid-50s.  I felt like home!  They keep saying it is going to rain, but the clear blue skies belie this statement.

While I wait for the bug guys to finish spraying, bombing and generally ridding my apartment of roaches, I have many things I can do.  Well, nit really because my life's adventures are rather slim today...  

First, I emptied the cupboards in the bathroom and kitchen of everything, wrapping stuff in plastic bags.  I took off the sheets and quilts and general stuff so I don't have to sleep on bug-bombed linens tonight.  Everything is in the center of the living area, on the couch and on the bed.  Secondly, my sister is allowing my pup and me to stay at her place for the day.  The bug guys said they would be there between 8-10...I had to leave for a meeting at 7:30 so the earliest I can go home is maybe 3:00.

So I have the day away from the apartment today!  Since it is laundry day, I am doing my laundry at my sisters :)  Gotta love not needing quarters, although I should offer her some.  In just a few minutes, I will be heading over to see Mom.  More roach saga to share with her.  She hates hearing about the roaches and I love tormenting her with them :)  Don't have to exaggerate that I now have five more dead ones in the lightbox.  YippeeSkippee!

I hope to meet up with friends for lunch and then will hang out until dinner with my sis and her husband and the neighbors.  Then home to redesign the little apartment.  Oh yeah...might have to get more bags for trash.

My exciting life :)
peace~~~

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

A Creek Runs Through It


Right outside my apartment area is a creek.  It runs throughout the complex.  It is delightful to listen to the running water, little bubbling waterfalls.  Birds fly to it, sitting on the rocks and drinking or bathing.  The sun is warm on the stones.  So, between the creek and the tall trees and the green grass, this small apartment complex is very pleasing.

Well, except for the water roaches...

Since I am gone from the apartment six weeks at a time, when I return I have found a bug or two in the sink or tub.  They climb up the pipes and get stuck in the smooth-surfaced as they can't climb up smooth surfaces.  I give a little shriek and pour hot water down the drain.  Instant death and then it flows down the drain.  Buh Bye~~~

These ugly creatures are generally not a problem.  I haven't seen any since the first day back.  That is until Saturday night.

I'm sitting at the little counter, facing into the little kitchen.  The kitchen light is on.  It is one of those older valance fixtures that uses fluorescent tubes.  It has a box around it and a piece of pokey plastic cover. And as I look up at the light, I see one of those ugly roaches scampering across, inside the plastic cover.  I get up and look at it closer and see it's two inches of tummy right above my head.  I am trying to figure out how to KILL IT! but am concerned that taking off the cover, it will fall on my head or the floor and scamper away.  So I think, "Two people can be better at this than one!" and I hurried upstairs to Anthony's apartment.  He lives above me.

Knock Knock.  "Anthony I need help."  I can see he is ready to help any way he can... "I have this bug..."  And he starts shaking his head no no no.  

"I don't do bugs!" No no no, his hands pushing against the air like he wants to get away from me and shut the door.  

"I just need someone to hold the plastic so I can get it without..." 

"You have a husband!  Why isn't HE here to take care of the bugs for you?!?!"  He was still shaking his head no no no, so I stop my plea and say it's okay.  Don't worry; I can take care of it.  "Just spray the hell out of that bug; that's what I do!"

"Do you have any bug spray?"

"No, sorry."  He's much calmer now.  Okay, I say...and head back downstairs.

When I return to the kitchen, I check the lightbox and THE ROACH ISN'T THERE!  Oh good gawd...  I poke the plastic cover trying to get it to come back into view.  I figure it's hiding in the valance somewhere.  I realize nothing can get out of the box, so I go back to my laptop, keeping an eye on the light.  

Suddenly there is a knock on the door.  Between the knock and the pup barking and growling her little head off, I jump startled.  It was Anthony with a spray bottle of bug juice.  "Okay, where's your bug?" he says, holding the bottle like a weapon.  I show him where it was and that it is gone.  He is totally relieved, hands me the bottle and turns toward the door.  "Good luck with that," he says as he runs out the door.  Sweet kid :)

So I take down the pokey plastic cover and start spraying the hell out of the valance.  Bug juice is dripping down on the floor, on my head, but I keep spraying.  I run and get a big towel for the floor (because I am not smart enough to get one first) and continue to spray and drip.  As I come around the inside of the valance, I see how the bug got there and where it went. A gaping hole where the valance was connected.  I spray the hell out of the hole.  I then put the pokey plastic cover back into the box, cracking it a bit because it is brittle--the 70s were a long time ago--and let it continue to drip onto the plastic.  I go to bed.


The next morning I immediately looked at the light box and found not one but two almost dead bugs.  Both were about two inches long and twitching on their backs.  One was just twitch  twitch  twitch and the other was twitchtwitchtwitchtwitch flapping his little bug feet in the air.  "Let then suffer!" I said to myself.  I couldn't stop watching them and finally had to give all of us some peace.  So I took down the pokey plastic cover (careful not to let the twitchers slide off) and SPRAYED THE HELL OUT OF THEM.  If they could have swam, they would have swam across the pokey plastic thing.  The slow twitcher stopped.  The fast twitchers flapped his little bug feet a few times and slowed his twitching until one last twitch and then done.


I flushed them down the toilet.  Yeah, they like water so much, they can have it!  Then I resprayed the pokey plastic thing and let it dry and replaced it into the light box.  Of course, I broke a corner piece when I did that, so I had to glue it back onto place without removing it (cause I would have broken more if I removed it).  I should be good for at least a month :)

On my way home from visiting my mom, I stopped at Target and bought more bug spray--one bottle for my hesitant hero Anthony and one for me.  All's right with the world.  

peace~~~

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

We Are Waving Hello


I haven't been sewing since I came down to stay longer at my Mom's area.  It seems every day is packed.   Morning consists of walking the dog, laundry, cleaning, breakfast.  Then heading over to Mom's and on the way home I stop to pick up things I still need for the apartment.  Or groceries.  So the day is pretty well shot by the time I get home.  Then walking the dog and eating lunch or making dinner.  So this week I made a vow to finish one quilt top. 

My good friend Vicki loves Minions.  They make her happy.  In her honor, I bought a Minion panel and planned to create the borders.  The panel has been up on my wall beside my bed for weeks.  Those cute Minions have been waving to me every morning when I wake and when I go to bed.  I finally made the borders and reached my goal to complete one quilt top.  I will quilt it when I get back to Portland.

Every day when I visit Mom, I see my other friends who also live at her Health Center.  There are the Sunny Outside Greeters, a few friends who sit outside in the morning sun and solve world problems.  There are J and B and J2 and R.  B moved back into Assisted Living but he comes over to see his friends frequently.  J2 and R have been married over 75 years.  When R needed 24/7 care, J2 moved with her--they have never been apart.  I love talking with J2.  So intelligent and warm and funny.

Inside the Center are the Inside Greeters.  There is great activity around the Nurse's Station and many of the residents are brought around to be part of the activities.  Two of my favorite people are J3 and W.  W has the prettiest smile that lights up her face when she interacts with others. 

We talk about her sons and every day things.  We hug and laugh.  When she isn't feeling well, I just sit with her for a bit and then let her nap.  

J3 is another matter.  J3 doesn't talk.  Mostly he stares at me.  He will often laugh at me or get teary as we interacted.  But I had no idea how much he comprehended.  And then one day as we talked (okay, I talked and he looked at me), I asked him if he played baseball as a kid.  He nodded.  And then--this was even bigger--he put his hands together and raised his arms a bit like he was holding a bat.  Wow!  That was when I knew he comprehended every thing. Now I talk about anything and every thing and ask him yes and no questions when possible.  He told me loved chocolate and chocolate ice cream :)   

And I can't forget L!  He and his wife raised some 40 kids--their own and Foster Kids, all who still live close by and visit.  One is a professional football player.  One is a professional baseball player.  He is 88 and his wife, he told me, is 93.  I would never have guessed her age as 93.  L says with some pride, "She looks maybe 65, doesn't she?"  He is the sweetest, one of the most delightful persons in the Center.

It is difficult when a friend of mine passes away.  I look around for them and they are not there.  I have to ask...so sad.  I miss them because they gave me so much love and  delight.  There was D, who's face lit up like a Christmas tree when I said hello.  She rarely talked but she adored my pup and talked to her like an old friend as she rubbed her face and ears. I miss her still.

So many people in my life waving hello, enriching me, adding to my adventures.
peace~~~