Friday, June 30, 2006

The Joy of Being Found

Tomorrow I leave for Phoenix to spend three days and two nights with a childhood friend whom I have not seen or talked to in 40 years. If I'm going to Phoenix in July this has got to be very important to me. Her name is Cathy. I know, it looks funny without the "k". Late last year and early this year I kept thinking about her. I Googled and found nothing. I didn't know her married name which turned out to be so common that I never would have found her. And I was spelling her maiden name wrong or I would have found her brothers.

Turns out she had been thinking about me during the same time frame. My last name, however, is not owned by thousands so I was easily found on Google. She found my phone number in the Bay Area and called it. I don't live there any more. When I moved from that address I kept my office phone number and had it forwarded to my new office line just in case a former client tried to reach me. Over the past three years it has paid off. But it also worked for me to be found by Cathy. She call about six weeks ago. I was in a rental car driving from San Diego to El Centro. When I'm out of the office I forward my office line to my cell. So when she called, the number she dialed was first forwarded to my current office and then on to my cell phone. When she told me her name I nearly drove off the road. What a gift from the Universe.

Once I got home from that trip we talked for nearly two hours. Then she told me her husband was going to be away the Fourth of July weekend. While I want her to meet my partner and I want to meet her husband, she and I just need to yak away for a couple of days non-stop. Then we can get to know the guys. So I suggested that I visit her while her husband is away. With a free ticket from Southwest, a Super Shuttle ride to her house, and an air bed to sleep on, we will be together once again.

I have known Cathy since I was four and she was five. Her life changed dramatically when she got polio at age eight. This was pre-vaccine. I remember her being gone for a long time and then being home in bed and having lots of surgeries. Her family was so nice. In fact, looking back I would like to have been adopted by them. She went to parochial school: I went to public school. She went to Catholic colleges; I went to the University of Minnesota. The last time I saw her was at the wake for her mother. I was about 22 then. She was devastated by her mother's death at such a young age. I knew she became an occupational therapist and moved to Phoenix. But that information is at least 35 years old.

So tomorrow we begin a new adventure. When two people send the same signal to the Universe and the Universe responds...well I can't even describe how that feels. It's like all this time we have been moving toward each other without really realizing it.

So, I thank the Universe for bringing us together. More to report when I return next week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Soaring Lessons Anyone....

 As many of you know, my favorite breed of dog is the Golden Retriever. But not far behind is the border collie. I've had both. My friend Doug has a border collie named Kate. She is just wonderful. Smart as a whip. Goldens are smart too but they don't necessarily want everyone to know that. You might raise your expectations about them, and then they would feel the pressure of performing or obeying. Border collies are not like that. They live to obey. Kate is like that. When Doug goes to Burning man in late August, we get to keep Kate while he is gone. Burning Man is not for the refined taste and sensitivites of someone like Kate. Since losing my Golden Emily, Kate's visit is my favorite time of the year. Her owner likes to go soaring but as you can see from the picture Kate could soar without need of a craft of any kind. I will spoil her rotten while she's here. Counting the days. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

Another Part Of Imperial County

 I found this photo of the Algodones Dunes on the internet. They are on the opposite edge of Imperial County from all the rocks. Much of the Dunes was recently closed to off-road vehicles, much to the chagrin of the off-roaders. They love to ride around and rip things up. Drunk and disorderly is another term for them. The dunes are absolutely beautiful. In the summer, the waves of heat shimmer just above the sand and give off an intense light whose brightness can hurt your eyes. Lots of critters and plants live there. Wanted to show that there is some beauty in the county. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Duckling Update

Almost forgot. Olivia, who laid and hatched her eggs on the roof, is wearing a black wing band. All of her children were eaten by other, bigger critters. She and Larry are back to wandering around the property and swimming in the irrigation ditch. She might lay again, because it's pretty early in the breeding season. Just thought you'd like to know. You can send memorial donations to the Sierra Club or Ducks Unlimited. The latter wants to make sure there are lots of ducks to "harvest" every hunting season. Olivia is not doing her part. But I guess there isn't a shortage of mallards.

The Road to Imperial County: Rocks And More Rocks

Have been really busy. Between traveling to El Centro (near the Mexican border in Imperial County) and our social life, there hasn't been much time for anything else. Oh and bookgroup too. So here I am after quite a hiatus.

The thing that comes to mind is the landscape of the area I travel to on a weekly basis. The photos are from the drive I took from San Diego to El Centro a few weeks ago. El Centro is low desert, below sea level in fact. As you enter the valley you go through an area that is just piles of jumbled rocks. It's very weird looking. I've been doing this drive for my client for the past six years. I'm pretty numb to the scenery, but I did snap a few pictures last time. The old road in one picture is the old highway before the Interstate. You go over 4,400 foot summits to get to the valley so your body experiences a little bit of everything.

I have to say, however, that the people there are wonderful, well with one exception. He will remain nameless but he's an elected official who makes my job more challenging. I usually stay in Calexico, which is south of El Centro right on the Mexican border. The whole population of the county is probably about 155,000. But right across the border is Mexicali with a population of well over a million people. Imperial County makes lots of money from Mexicans who come to the county to shop. It's not that difficult to get across the border to Mexico. It's the getting out of Mexico that can take hours.

I've never been to Mexicali. It's famous for kidnappings. Just recently someone ambushed the head of security for Baja California right downtown Mexicali. Lots of guns were fired but no one was hurt. That's why I stay on my side of the border. I'm rambling but I think this is all for tonight. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

An Old Bird Joins The Flock

I have been driving past the store, Il Giardino, where this rooster has lived for the past few weeks. Everytime I see him I think "I've got to have him." Today I finally stopped and bought him. He is 5'4" tall and is made out of scrap metal that is welded together. You definitely need a tetanus shot before you touch him. The shopkeeper and I tried in vain to get him in the back of my SUV. That must have been a funny sight. Finally, I came home and asked Kerry to take the truck and go pick him up. Right now he's under the oak tree in the front yard. We are trying him out there for a while. We'd like to name him so any and all name suggestions would be appreciated.

A Bumper Crop Of Lizards

 Lizards were on our property long before our house was even built, but this year we seem to have a bigger crop than usual and they seem to be much bigger than last year. Comet, our cat, delights in chasing them both inside and outside the house. She usually loses interest long before she inflicts the deadly blow. That means the lizards hang out in the house if this is where she played with them. Yesterday I was sitting in the wicker chair in my office looking through some photos. I put my hand down to my left and felt something move. I leaped up and shrieked. It was a lizard who had been sitting right next to me. Kerry quickly responded and took the lizard outside. This morning Comet was chasing another lizard under my desk so I was trying to keep my feet up off the floor while typing. They are cute at a distance. The underbelly of our lizards is this luminous aqua blue. The top is just plain lizard. They seem to spend a lot of time doing push ups or at least something that looks like push ups. Maybe they are getting in shape to taunt Comet. They seem to live in every crack and cranny on the property. It's fun to watch them scurry when either Kerry or I go out on the deck. Posted by Picasa