June 2013

Yesterday was summer-hot here and the beaches were packed, so I waited until night when I could visit by myself, and went down to the water. It was no-moon dark. It was vast no-horizon. It was a little mist and a lot of stars. Just me and all that space. I walked and then sat by the water in only a long sleeve top, curling my arms around my legs and settled into the comfort that is all that dark and the susurrus of the surf. Satisfied in the quiet. It confirmed that my happys back. Been at my side pretty regular for a few weeks now, so I’m feelin’ I can count on it. So grateful! The ladies in the photos below are to be thanked immensely.

We ladies in fact had a wonderful time together last weekend at the Patty Griffin concert.? Of course her bus would be gorgeous. I tried to honor the occasion in a lovely dress and laughed to find that it matched the wallpaper at the historic Coconut Grove.? The super Strawberry Moon rose above the water out the windows of the place. What could be better? Oh, Patty at Fall Strawberry this year!? I can’t wait. And tonight’s cowboy country eve with Janell and Chad dinnering at the 19th Hole and then trolling the San Benito County Rodeo shouldn’t be too bad either. I’ve got my short shorts and my tall boots packed and ready to go.

…then everything gets done.

Today I processed and froze a half flat of strawberries and a bunch of bananas for smoothies. Harvested, washed and stored snap peas, what appears to be the last of the main batch of strawberries, beets, lettuce, italian arugula and fava beans.? I tidied the potted plants and flower beds, wrangling the spearmint back, and then made a mint simple syrup. Got a dozen new flowering plants in the ground for a super late summer show.? Now, the afternoon breeze sings deep in my windchimes. And still it is light. I look for a summer poem to include here, but its hiding in the dense shadow of the nectarine tree.

(Yes that beet is the size of my head!)

…and dusk on the water.

The San Lorenzo between solstice and night.

Night In Day

The night never wants to end, to give itself over

to light. So it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows.

Even on summer solstice, the day of light’s great

triumph, where fields of sunflowers guzzle in the sun –

we break open the watermelon and spit out

black seeds, bits of night glistening on the grass.

– Joseph Stroud

Big grins for Amee Chapman, as ever, for getting me out late on a school night. Its my birthday week, so why not got big? She and her boys sounded great. Lucky Tubb showed up with his Troubadors from Texas offering an authentic country sound to our sea shanty town, and some serious bass fiddle slappin’ rythyms to boot.

When I bought my place, I felt I’d married the town in a way. Said “YES you have been good to me and I can see that continuing”. Saying “I DO want to be part of this place and always have a place to come back to”. There have been a few days I felt let down, when I doubted this commitment, but they have been few amidst so many deeply satisfying ones living here on the Central Coast with so many of my lovely tribe.

Headed after work today up the coast not far from this town I love with a good bottle of red and a Picnic Basket dinner in the back. We watched as the fog rolled in toward us and then motored on through it for awhile looking for sun that never reappeared.? Disappointment turned into a joyful discovery of something new in my old backyard I had not known before; a steep pull up a bumpy country road led us to? a picnic in the sun overlooking golden fields quiet except for birdsong and a deep spring reservoir reflecting rock walls as if in a mountain canyon.

It reminded me how much I don’t know, how I should always approach those we think we know with a fresh view, when a long time love surprises as my hometown did tonight.

This last weekend I so enjoyed our little hometown Redwood Mountain Faire. Two small stages with nice acts, quality crafts, friendly food vendors with great eats and local wine and beer all staged in a sunny redwood surrounded meadow with trains rolling through and benefiting local nonprofits to boot.? Great to lounge around listening and visiting with friends who were unable to make it to Strawberry.? And, at this point, the Bean is a total pro at this stuff.

And the whole thing reminded me of a little Strawberry which I had just enjoyed (mostly) the week before. This year was interesting:

– The logo was a snow globe but it actually was sunny, dry and fairly warm the whole time.

– Great line up of bands, and being kid-free we got to hang out in front row chairs for the likes of Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands.? We really enjoyed the return of Birds of Chicago who upgraded to a mainstage evening act this year (and followed that a week later at our Redwood Fair!), and a new to us group the Black Lilies.

– I got a wicked cold and was tucked away in my van for most of the first three days, in bed by 8 PM most nights. No fun.

– Our camp was small, but mighty, as many have fled the cold weather for Fall. Still, we had quality pickers and enjoyed some sweet camp jams and wandering to other camps to meet new folks too.

– Amee brought her stove oven and we made delish blueberry scones for breaky.

– Heather brought Sydney for his first camp trip and a first Strawb for both of them – a great success!

Festival gates open in another 84 days for Fall and Patty Griffin will be there – so I will too! See you there on the flip side of summer.

Full pics here, and a few below.

The thousands of Color Runners probably did not know this Happiest 5K is very likely based on the Hindu Holi Festival.? If you had to guess what the Holi festival celebrates with its tossing of colors, you’d likely guess the return of Spring, and you would be right.? Well, mostly right (it is the Hindu Pantheon after all, so its more complicated that that), but definitely return of spring and goodness are key elements.

We ran it in May starting at the Shark Tank in San Jose and it was indeed Happy and Fun – Holly and her daughter Sarah, Aleah, Anna and I. Afterwards we pigged out and beered up at Gordon Beirsch and took the bus home.? My first several miler since starting PT and I could feel the difference.? I really would love to take the nephews on this crazy fun run, but the next one nearby is in Sacramento in August, which doesn’t sound so fun. Stay tuned to where we’ll show up next all rainbowed out.