A Good Dog Neighbor

(re-run) Yesterday my son and I had lunch at the local sandwich shop. He brought his little dog, half Chihuahua, half terrier. I fed Violet scraps of lettuce under the table while we ate. She thinks she’s a vegetarian. Afterward, we followed the usual routine and came back to my house, where Violet could run… Continue reading A Good Dog Neighbor

No Christmas Tree for Me

(re-run) Eight Christmases in this house and only two trees. Both were living, and they got planted in my yard. Guess what? My yard is full. That’s what happens when you get rid of your grass, fire your gardener, and watch volunteer trees grow on their own, self-planting trees with a little help from the… Continue reading No Christmas Tree for Me

Another Brush with Nature

(re-run) My beach town has a state-run conference center in it, with rustic buildings designed by the architect, Julia Morgan. It’s what got me here back in the late 80s and 90s, attending a writer’s conference next to the ocean. Over the years. I’ve seen brown state-issued signs posted for mountain lion sightings. I’ve never… Continue reading Another Brush with Nature

Don’t Judge a Book

(re-run) Of all the pick-up lines I’ve ever heard, the best one came yesterday at the Walnut Creek Octoberfest. “Now those are some sensible shoes.” Yes, I had on one-inch-heel black booties because I was dressed as a German beer garden maid, and they were the best shoes with white knee socks. “They’re good for… Continue reading Don’t Judge a Book

The Dancing Tribe

Different town. Different band. Same faces. We are the tribe of dancers, mostly in our fifties, sixties, and seventies, following rock and roll music wherever it goes.  We might not know each other’s names, but we smile and wave. It’s been two years since some of us have seen each other. Last summer all the… Continue reading The Dancing Tribe

Be Careful Who You Hike With

First of all, the title should be Be Careful with Whom You Hike, but I figured only English teachers would read the post if I did it that way. An old bf asked me to go on a hike with him. I said yes a little too quickly. Looking back, Bob (not his real name)… Continue reading Be Careful Who You Hike With

The Red-tailed Hawk and the Toddler Fence

I am a bird lover. I feed the song birds and the finches. I have an ongoing water supply in the form of a fountain in my back yard. I’ve planted native plants for the hummingbirds. When I hike, I am thrilled to find a hawk feather to add to my hat. Twenty-odd years ago,… Continue reading The Red-tailed Hawk and the Toddler Fence

Father’s Day Hike

(re-run) Several years ago on Father’s Day, my three kids went with to their dad’s for a bbq, and I went on a late-day hike with my (now ex) boyfriend. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t believe in rules and always thinks his way is the best way. We took a hike on the… Continue reading Father’s Day Hike

The Power of Nature

(re-run) Sun, trees, dirt, flowers — my nose is full of the smell of Eucalyptus leaves. I used to hike twice a month with my senior hiking group called DASH. Then my sis moved in with me so that I could be her care giver. My hiking days stopped except for once last summer when… Continue reading The Power of Nature

Be Careful What You Wish For

(re-run) I’ve lived in my little house for seven years and four months. The neighborhood is about 48 years old, and the trees that are here are huge. My pie-shaped lot is wide and shallow in the back.  Las Trampas Ridge is due west, beyond the freeway, but I could not see it because of… Continue reading Be Careful What You Wish For