Dept. of Alternative Facts: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving (n): traditional holiday in USA on which we contemplate what we are grateful for in our lives, usually followed by lots of food and family fun Continue reading

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Faith of Our Fathers (and Mothers)

Spending a week with one’s parents as they age, helping with meals, running errands, and keeping up with family and friends, walking alone from home to Dad’s assisted living facility twice each day, and waking up on East Coast time, leaves plenty of time for reflection and contemplation, two of my favorite activities.  Faith, what we believe and why we act.  For my father, faith always came back to God, Jesus’ crucifixion, and eternal life.  For my mother faith is about relationships.  For me, faith is something that I have struggled with since my youth.  I shied away from the sense of commitment that I viewed faith as needing.  I could see too many sides of any issue to stand on this-or-that position. Continue reading

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Kindling the Fires of Friendship

On my last day with my mother (sorry, readers, I wrote this a week ago, but have not been on-line since getting home…), she wanted to visit a college friend, who lives a few towns north toward San Francisco.  The friend had a luncheon engagement, but suggested dropping by mid-morning for coffee.  She lives in an area with redwood trees and slopes which go into the Santa Cruz mountains.  Grass, oak trees, shrubs, narrow roads, hundreds of houses, lots of retired people: a fire-trap in the making and fire fighters nightmare to try to protect.  Winds were whipping up as they crossed the Bay and hit those hills.  Do you recall the power-outages from the day before? Continue reading

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Merry-Go-Round

As I have mentioned in this series of posts, one of my objectives for this trip to visit my parents was to be my mother’s transportation for the days that I was at home.   She had decided to stop driving about a month ago.  On her “bucket list” was to go to Santa Cruz Boardwalk to ride the Merry-Go-Round.  What could be better then mounting a wooden horse with the Wurlitzer Music swirling around you with your 86 year old mother on the horse next to you?! Continue reading

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Expiration Date

Everything has an ending these days.  By the folklore of computer technology (e.g. built in obsolescence, 18 month life span, etc.) this computer has lived several lives since we purchased it for our trip to South Africa in 2012.  I noticed that the power cord was fussy recently, as then the frayed insolation and exposed wiring was evident a couple of days ago (that was one of the errands that I did to replace the cord).  Food comes with “best used by” dates.  And California is burning up in less-than geologic time (Sonoma County is under evacuation, the smoke is setting off the alarm in my mother’s home, and the power in Marin County was turned off this afternoon)… well I’ll stay away from discussing the demise of western civilization.  Our expiration is usually a little more personal. Continue reading

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Generations Crossing

Our generation is called “The Sandwich Generation”, for the implied dual responsibilities of rearing children and caring for aging parents.  I had not pursued the former, and accepted the later as an eventual duty of a son for parents.  If you read my last post, you know now that’s going.  Then my nephew’s wife called up.  She had to work and their 3 year-old daughter could not go to day care.  Sure, we’ll take her for the day. Continue reading

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Life in the Slow Lane

My older brother is my parents’ primary care provider these days.  According to our conversations, he has coffee and breakfast with our mother, then heads over to the assisted living facility where our father lives to sit with him during breakfast.  Until recently, he headed to work.  When medical appointments or health crises arose, he took off from work.  Evenings were check-in time, and taking care of the bills.  He is quite accepting of this “season of life” and refers to it as “life in the slow lane”.  He does not have lots of opportunities to be off for the evening or weekends.  He appears content with staying close to home.  He retired recently. Continue reading

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