Friday, January 8, 2021

Book Reading Season Starts In December

I read books year-around but I really pile-on beginning in December. Donna Tartt's GOLDFINCH, an 800 page epic about art theft got me started while I simultaneously read SPHERE by Michael Crichton. PRACTICLE DEMONKEEPING by Christopher Moore and VILLA INCOGNITO BY Tom Robbins have launched me into 2021. Most of the books I read these days come from the communal-share Little Free Libraries we contribute to and mine in Sacramento, Chico and Burbank. This is one of the riskiest exposures we have in the age of COVID 19. We wear masks and gloves when leaning into these little roadside boxes. The Elmhurst neighborhood next to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, with it's numerous Little Free Libraries, has been a treasure trove for interesting books. I really don't set goals to read specific genres or titles or authors each year...the books I read actually find me. I recognize certain authors that I've had a good experience with so, I'm quick to pick them up when I see them, but I really don't make a "to read" list. I suppose reading is a form of escapism from the realities that hammer on us everyday, but I appreciate the offtime and relaxation it offers my body...and the worry centers of my brain...which explains why I don't read murder mysteries or "who done it" crime stories, as a rule.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Did You Ever Just Want To Pack Up Your Bicycle And Go?

Not actually the right season for such a move but oh, so tempting. We've done this a half dozen times, for months at a time. We didn't have smart phones or laptops with us and we only knew what was going on in the "news world" by glancing at the headlines as seen through the scratched plexiglass of newspaper stands. It really didn't matter what was going on in the world of politics or pandemics or Panda naming. No newscasts from magazines, radio or television. No Facebook or Instagram and no special apps for searching. We weren't searching. We were spontaneously pedaling and rolling, looking for the next campsite and skinny-dipping hole. We did enjoy using our camera to document the experience but, we never saw the pictures until we had them developed through the home drugstore....after our journey was completed. Times have changed, and in a very big hurry. We communed with nature. We marveled at the purity of forests, rivers and wild animal behaviors. We meditated while watching sunrises and cloud movements. We thought a lot about the "bigger world" and how we were just mobile little specs on our two wheels. We didn't have any big ideas that our opinions mattered and needed to be entered on an electronic gadget. We actually never searched for a recharge from a 110 outlet or mother computer. We did need petrol or propane for our little backpacking stove and we frequented grocery stores and fruit stands. Hard to imagine doing this now...life has become so complicated. However, I do believe it can still be done. I'd have to arrange for someone to pay my bills...because, no one can live life without bills. Now I see what I am doing...I am lusting for a simpler life and my experience has shown that it comes with mounting a bicycle and riding off into the sunset.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Drive Less, Breathe Deeper, Ride A Bicycle!

I've been a "driving fool" these last several months. I'm still driving far less miles than the average "Out West" American but about ten times as far as I'm used to driving. After a couple dozen four hour (each way) journeys to Sacramento for health scans and doctor visits, I must say I'm getting pretty good at timing and 'going with the flow' of crazy Californian motorists. In a quest to keep each other healthy and extend our lives several more months we drive through unprecidented forest fire smoke, extreme heat and a spat of unpredictable freeway shootings. It really doesn't make much sense, on the surface. After a couple of successful surgeries and excellent follow-up care, I have to say it's worth it. For sure it's the price we pay for living in the California Outback (Where the water is pure and the cycling is excellent.) Now I own two "Bread Box/ Toaster" vehicles and both beg for attention and workouts "To lube the seals", our mechanic advises. Looking forward to the day when we can be far less 'virus paranoid'. We love wandering the desert and we've really missed hearing the Pacific Ocean crash in to the continent on the Left Coast. Our bicycles and our Labrador travel in comfort with us to unbelievably remote locations throughout the West. We are not all that fond of being around other humans but, I have to say, Those humans who work at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento are a Godsend. Thank you so very much for accepting us into your workplace.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Honestly Puzzled

I thought I knew things...like, how the country works, how the body works, what's fair and what's not fair. I have always thought that honesty...from and by everyone was the pinnacle of character. We want to be around people who are honest and I know that honesty is the Hallmark of great relationships. People will want to be around me, to associate with me, if I am 100% honest, make that HONEST. After 70 years on the Big Blue Ball, I'm wondering, didn't I learn anything? I'm also puzzled by the human body. We have always thought that the best "health plan" was to stay active, (very active) and to treat our bodies as health santuaries not as garbage cans. No smoking, few drugs (moderate caffeine and alcohol)...but, there are glitches that can affect the body or the mind that you can't control. Genetic glitches that eventually show up no matter how conscientious you are. Fair or not, we have to deal with these incidents as graciously as we can. We need to lean on each other...and we will, and I am really thankful to have had a lifelong partner. Somebody once called me a "Know it all!"...whoa, I must have been quite young and pretentious... because, the older I get the less I know. I can see that now.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Ding Dong The Joker Is Gone

Not quite yet, I know. Can you believe 70 million people in our nation wanted Trump insanity to continue? Truly, the man is off his rocker...from so many angles. Now we can count the ways we ducked several Presidentially-fired bullets and historians will be recounting how perverse the dude was and the unbelievable fact that he was at the helm for four full years. The Donald Trump story is not over, I realize, but he will never be in charge of our nation or given the respect, that he never earned, again. Relief is what I'm feeling a degree of right now. We still have the Covid !9 and some crazy personal health challenges to recover from but at least our country isn't spinning clockwise down the toilet hole of untruths and international disrespect. Let's tighten our suspenders and begin an impressive recovery of honor, legitimacy and compassion for those who were temporarily bullwinkled by this out-of-control meteorite and cult leading whacko...DT (delirium tremens).

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Trick or Treat...Enough Already

We've had some mean tricks played on us lately...I'm ready for some normalcy. Covid has found Plumas County here in October and more to the center of the target, it has found Chester, California...ten cases in the last 24 hours! We have several reasons to be afraid of this nasty bug and I am even questioning the wisdom of opening my business three days a week. "Don't let it dominate your lives."says the Joker. Guess what, It is a shadow over the health and well being of all of us and we cannot afford to deal with it. Every Halloween for the last 26 years we have handed out treats to at least 450 little gremlins from the front door of the bicycle shop here in Chester. I remember nasty encounters with the flu...haven't had any during the last decade, which is a miracle because I've only opted for a flu shot twice over that period. We now have pre-existing conditions (being 70 years old is one) that could result in serious setbacks for our happy life here in Chester. I am increasingly taken aback when someone dashes into my store without a mask and not a clue about the consequences of their carelessness. It happens...and I've started to show my frustration with this behavior in a ways inconsistant with my peaceful reputation as a caring and laid back downtown merchant. We have some hurdles to cross this Autumn and Winter and I am looking forward to a return of the good times that months of responsible diligence can bring.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Truth, Honesty, Integrity, Sincereness and Love.

The virtues I value the most. You don't even have to be a giver to your community or overflowing with generosity. {Which would make you an exceptional human being}. All I need to be your friend is straight forward honesty and sincerity in your dealings with me. We don't have to agree on the issues of the day, though that might be comforting. All I ask from my neighbors is Truth, Honesty and Integrity. America used to be overflowing with these qualities. Now, I'm afraid we don't see these virtues automatically in the people who surround us. As you know, we don't get to pick our neighbors but we do get to pick our friends...and we have some power(not much) in choosing our political representatives. I'm hoping a majority of voters value the same virtues that I am glorifying here. We don't really expect our politicians to change the world but, we should demand that they present us with the truth and not spend their time feeding their own narcissistic faces. Most of us have already voted in Plumas County and we are in a very conservative corner of California but I am keeping my fingers crossed that we install some persons of integrity in the offices that need to be filled in January 2021.