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Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category

I spent several days in Fortuna, Eureka and Arcata. I attended a Center for Spiritual Living service Sunday, where I met a lot of friendly energetic folks. My hotel was definitely bare bones, so they dropped the price for me. I went to Humboldt State University, and asked around for my friend, Aman Mellow Blume to no avail. I did drive on the walkways though, following (or so I thought) the map Admissions Office provided me. Luckily, it was summer session, so just a few people had to get out of my way…joke. Later I visited with the good people at US Servas headquarters in Arcata. Amy, Shelly, and Laura were pleased to see a traveler drop by. Of course. I’m feeling a bit road weary, for lack of a better term. No melt down, but something to keep in mind. Then I stopped at a rest stop on my way to Crescent City, and it all cleared up. What has Nature wrought?

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I’ve been staying at my brother Barry’s home for the past four days, and enjoying the weather; coastal, breezy, sunny. I visited with my niece, Shani, her husband Clint, and my first grandnephew, Logan. Barry, Margaret and I went to Ivy Lawn Memorial Cemetery and tried to locate Dr. Ethyl Percy Andrus’ mausoleum but ran out of time, as the maintenance crew had to ready to grounds for Memorial Day. Back at their home, we had a wonderful try-tip steak with rice and steamed spinach. I’m packing up tomorrow to return to another leg of my road trip. My next week or two will center around getting my car repaired. The fender and parts will be here next week while I am up by Santa Cruz. Then I will return to Oxnard and spend three more days with the car in the shop. Then back up north I go again, this time to continue with the “gray road experience.” It will be interesting to see how this all works out, as making firm arrangements is problematic to say the least. Oh well, it’s all good.

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friends & faces

These past few days in Southern California have been very emotional for me. Seeing and staying with my sister, Megan, after three years. Seeing and saying with Tangie after Lord knows how many years. Visiting and “being” with Phillip, reading a passage from 1Q84. And today, visiting Ken & Suzie K. in Newport Beach.

Ken, Suzie, and me

The memories and stories flow like the river of life that they are. Laughter and good food and a beer or two the norm. I’ll add an anecdote or two to this entry after i get some sleep, but for now, Ken and I meandered all over Memory Lane; four-wheeling in Baja, parties on Williams Place, friends at LA County Engineer, and updates galore to our respective family trees. The photos are of the Newport back harbor, with the harbor itself, and the Pacific, to the left. To think that this area, now a conservancy, was almost “developed” into homes on man-made islands. Life is for the birds, sometimes, like these. Good night.

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May(day) 10th, 2012

You know you’re in Nebraska when your GPS, mounted on the windscreen, doesn’t change one whit. (See photo).

One of the main presumptions I made about my road trip, was ubiquitous cell phone coverage, no matter my location. Here I am, racing to Southern California, traveling nothing but Interstates, and the coverage? Zip. I mean, I would pass obvious cell towers, and my little icon blinked back at me, mute. When I got to a metro area, quick as a rabbit, I’d call my sons to check in. (Getting them to pick up was another matter). I can just imagine, when they tried to call back, straight to voice mail. One explanation that came to me: is that there is nothing happening in Iowa or Nebraska.

Omaha = Obama…

After ten hours of driving across the platens we call “The Midwest,” my mind begins (sic) to wander. There, high above me, the contrails of  a western bound jet. Truth be known, I would give anything to be on board. Anything, you understand! Center seat, rear of plane, across from the lavatory, anything!

Note to self: I-80, Nebraska, mileage marker 119 – feed lot. Close all fresh ari vents beforehand. I’ve been warned.

I think the “end-of-time” people have a point. Here it is, 2012 CE, and the evidence is all around us. To wit: wind-power towers. There are so many now, that some time later this year, the our good ol’ US of A will be ripped from our ancestral moorings, and launched into oblivion. A kind of geophysical “rapture.” (Just you wait and see, it’ll happen, and bed sheets do not parachutes make.)

…later (much later) that day…

Arrived at my motel, a Super 8, in Sterling, CO, 800 miles from home. There’s a prison right next door, and its presence added to the bleakness of the area.

Sterling is northwest of Denver by about two hours, and my plan was to rise early, and – wait for it – go through Denver at rush hour. Bad plan. I waited in Sterling, puttering around until rush hour passed, and that worked just fine – and I flew through the metro. I had made reservations for the motel, on the fly, somewhere in Nebraska, at a gas stop. Hotels.com took my Amex card, but when I went to check out, someone else’s Mastercard was used, and for $20 less(?). Ah, technology. I’ll figure it our later…

The advertised “internet service” must have been dial-up, because I had very sporadic access. I was unable to get my blog updated until today (Sunday, May 13th) and so it goes. While traveling, cell phone coverage was also sporadic, but I think my car’s link and my cell were having a hissy fit. I think it’s fixed now. That said, I want to thank NPR for their talk shows, especially Public Radio Remix. Having voice in the car made me feel less a solo act. Yes, I have the “me, myself, and I” voices in my head, but that can carry me only so far! When the chats were enough, I would wander over to either Watercolors, or Spa, on Sirius satellite radio. In any event, it made the time fly by.

I did stop here and there, and sometimes you can see some pretty things.

May 12th

On my way to southwest Utah, I gave my US Servas/host family listings a shot. While at a lunch stop, I searched the rather sparse Utah hosts, and googled their cities. Bingo! Ivins, UT. Never heard of it, but the zip code was for St. George, UT. I called and talked with Sanjoy, who was most encouraging, and said he would call me back after talking with his wife, Benita. I hadn’t driving five minutes and he said that my spur of the moment request for a visit would be quite all right. Unbelievable! And this was in the afternoon, and I was 400 miles away, and would not be arriving until 9:00 p.m. or so. He suggested (and I’m glad I did) that I call from Cedar City, and hour away form their home for directions. I was received most warmly, and made to feel immediately at home. And what a lovely home it is. We chatted for an hour or so (truth be known I rambled rather than talked, but after another 800 mile day, what did I expect?) and I slept very soundly. In the morning Benita suggested we visist the amphitheater where there was a farmer’s market and car show going on in the parking area. The gem of the tour was the amphitheater itself: seating 2,000 with state of the art audio/video facilities, it is nestled between two gigantic bluffs (all bluffs in UT are gigantic, then again, coming from MN, what do you expect?).

Sanjoy and I then had a walk-around of their “zero-landscape” gardens – minimal watering required. I’ll let the pictures do the talking here, but I was most fortunate to see these wonderful, ancient plants in various stages of blossoming. I felt transported to an ancient time, where the environment was harsh and unforgiving.

 

 

 

 

Sanjoy & Benita – my wonderful hosts

May 13th

Getting to Las Vegas was a breeze. From Vegas to LA was another matter. Several 20 mile sections of interstate had a speed limit of 60, which I dropped down to 65 or so, thinking road construction or ??? Nobody else did however, and I almost got run over doing so. Back up to 78 mph I went. In the 400 mile run to LA, I saw three CHP troopers, all on the other side of the freeway. (I just saw the headlines here in CA: “Another financial crisis – $16B deficit”). With gas prices at $4.70/gallon I think they want me to fix it while I’m here.

Coming over the hill (I had been dropping in elevation) I saw a vision of hell: smog and power lines and stop and go traffic heading towards Vegas. Thank heavens Margie lives close to the ocean. With my white knuckles on the wheel, I’m perversely glad I couldn’t/wouldn’t take a picture.

Then the Garmin started sending me hither and yon. So I cobbled together a path that eventually got me to her home. I even went by my alma mater: Cal State Los Angeles. Long story short: I took Rosecrans Ave for nine miles across LA bypassing the 105. So what if it was stop and go, the air kept clearing, and the temperature kept dropping. And here I am, typing away.

Happy trails everyone – I’m off to the races!

[Note from editor: future postings will have, for the most part, slide shows instead of individual photos – I think they’re easier to view. We’ll “see”. For practice, here are ALL the photos from the last three days in slide show format.]

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Our business was quite good this year. so good, we received a number of late orders, and I had to go to the factory to pick up the wreaths for Fort Snelling National Cemetery. These are interior shots taken after most of the seasonal workers have left for warmer climes I’m sure. And that huge green pile is the resource from which the wreaths are made: it must have covered an acre or so.

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Bit and the Butterfly

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