Thursday, June 27, 2013

Just Another Wednesday Night in Paradise

Welcome to Sonoma County, California, land of old hippies, some of whom became successful in other fields other than Dead-Heading. Some stayed the same and never waste an excuse to dance freely anywhere there is a band with a great beat. Some quietly tap to tunes and pretend they still have their long hair, which died of natural causes.

We had a great time last night at the Wednesday Night Market, which goes from 6 to fish every Wednesday in the downtown Santa Rosa area all summer long. I bought my favorite yellow and white peaches that come from Fresno (the season is about a month ahead of ours). I love the flirtatious Mushroom Guy who took some of my chickens and the Hummus Guy who always seems to have something new.

My grandson is learning about pointing and getting his way. My granddaughter just learns more about the exuberance of being alive, being patient waiting in line for the Jump-Up and portable slides.

Back to the band, Gator Beat. When I get rich enough to have a decent party, they are going to be my
entertainment. I've loved Zydeco music ever since I first heard it in the '70's. We saw Sir Clifton in Cotati when a washboard was something you played music on, rather than something a woman would lace her red fingernails down. Ahem.

Okay, so you know you're a little bit off the beaten path when the most popular booth is the reptile exhibit, "get to know your snakes," sort of thing, like the one my mom registered me for at the Palo Alto Children's Museum called "Snakes Alive." It didn't work then, and it didn't work for me last night, either.

There was a row of chess players nearly a block long. We had the Redwood Cloggers, the ballet schools represented, a Barbershop camp, and even a few Hells Angels. Gosh I wish they hadn't trademarked that name. Catchy title, don't you think?

The photo booth was a hit. Confirms my age and the fact that gravity is still alive and well. I came home to a nice bed and soft lighting, covered in pillows my mother made.

This morning, was up early to check on the trees we'd been removing all week to make way for our new backyard landscaping.

I was inspired by the sun, the colors, the quiet beautiful weather, the birds, and my two Dobermans who jump and chase everything from airplanes to butterflies. They greet the morning with all the enthusiasm of a small child and are a constant reminder that life is good.

All is fundamentally well, as my friend, Jacquie would say.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jumping Out of Airplanes, Replanting Hydrangeas

I got a great quote this morning from Mark Divine, former Navy SEAL and now coach and Unbeatable Mind Academy founder, "I leaped into the dark abyss. Wind whipped by me, and the velocity of my jump picked up. With my eyes popping out of my head and a joker smile, I managed one thought: "this is either going to turn out really cool, or really shitty."

This really spoke to me this morning. Several years ago now, our family visited a skydiving facility in the San Diego area to celebrate a great family victory. I decided to try to push my own personal boundaries, doing something that was so way over the top scary, even death-defying, that it would change my life forever.

And since I was going, the rest of my family went as well. Another one of Mom's crazy ideas. 

It was crazy, crazy fun. I jumped in tandem with "Tigger" my hooked up buddy, and he showed me points on the horizon after we'd pulled the chute: Mexico, the ocean, San Diego, the training facility and cars that looked like grains of white rice. I felt the cold air against me and then felt it warm as I got closer and closer to mother earth. I have to say the welcoming she did for this scared and tired traveler was inspiring.

Coach Devine goes on to say that we sometimes need to make that leap of faith, to go for it, put ourselves in failure's way, to get the prize behind the door. The unspoken part is the small print that says, "or die trying." This is something every elite warrior knows, but not anything we dwell on.

My relationship to the earth is very strong. Being an organic gardener for over 40 years has taught me things about life, while watching plants grow, thrive, and yes, die. So, when I jumped out of an airplane at 13,500 feet, though I was with someone who was very experienced, it was a disconnect from all the familiar sensations of my everyday life, and a leap into something else. 

I have these big beautiful hydrangeas in our backyard. We're in the middle of a big project to make a space we can look at through our 13' roll up glass garage door-cum-dining room window. We overlook a forest, but one that had to be pruned and thinned. We have sudden oak death around us, and the bay trees are the carrier. So, about ten big trees are being removed. And so now my beautiful hydrangeas, some of them over ten years old, have to be moved to a more shady location. I am concerned for their roots, and their relocation, just like I was when I jumped out of the airplane with no roots. I resist change and will miss them if they don't make it. They have become a part of me.

The transition from the familiar garden in my backyard to something new and miraculous is hard for me. Maybe all change is hard for me. Maybe that's why jumping out of a plane was hard for me. But do I want to live my life with the routine of the ordinary, "quiet desperation" as Coach Divine says, or embrace: 

The more capable you are as a person, the bigger the challenge you must bring to yourself.

I have to say the answer to that question on this glorious Saturday in June is, yes. Yes. Bring it on. Now, where's the airstrip?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

California Dreamin' or The Love of Muscle Cars and Chop Rods

I should be writing. Well, I am writing, but my husband and I took a detour tonight to go visit some eye candy of the motor vehicle kind. What an event. I'm sure, while I'm pounding away at the words, hubster will be back drooling and counting his pennies. That man deserves a hobby and a nice older vehicle, and we've had several. We still have the pickup he used to ride to school in some 60 years ago. Not that it runs.

But boy do these bad boys run. Beautiful as stock cars. Beautiful chopped and made into works of art, certainly not cars. The love of muscle cars and custom rods is as American as Apple Pie.

I am actually at a loss for words. So I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Sharon is working on Book 3 in the SEAL Brotherhood, a fast-paced Amazon Best-Selling series. Marliss Melton, famous for her SEAL Team 12 stories, said, "Sharon reads like rich chocolate."