Big Bear Birthday Trip!

Hi all– Just back from a quick trip up the mountain to Big Bear for a little post birthday celebration for my Mom’s 85th birthday.  It was tons of fun.  Here is some of the things we did:

Who wouldn’t want to hang out with these two?  We tried to stick to the family vacation rule– Eat an ice cream every day of your trip!

We kicked back in the cabin– reading in the sunshine on the back porch under the pine trees, daily rounds of Bananagrams, mugs of tea and an afternoon of  looking through old family slides.
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Morning “hikes” to get us going.  We walked along the boardwalk that used to pass over the edge of the lake.  But due to the drought, now it sits along a grassland.  (The “No Boating…” sign used to be at the waters edge on a little beach– now no water in sight!)  Hoping for rain this winter!!

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And we rounded out our time with a little shopping at a favorite Antique/Junk Shop.  We can always find something we need (??) there!  I’m in the first photo camera in hand–in the mirror!
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It was a fine full time together– talking over every little thing, sitting down to quiet meals together and lapping up the blue skies, tall pines and fresh air.  Thanks Mom and Lulu.  You’re the best!!
I have to confess– this last photo is from a previous trip to Big Bear.  Mom, Lu and I did not make it up this high on the mountain this time!!  We spent less time rock climbing and more time sitting and talking!!


Aging Well

That’s my mom, Lorraine, on the right and my daughter Ani with her precious little armful of a niece. 

Hello friends–  I spent the weekend with my mom.  At 84 she’s still bright and intrepid.  We drove up the state to San Francisco so she could meet her newest great grand-boy. I can’t say how much I love and admire her.  She’s aged so gracefully.

It made me think back on this list I had started earlier– about aging well.  It seems easy to become one of those grumbly little old ladies.  But I’d rather be one of the bright and vibrant kind.  So here’s my current list to help me through my 60’s and beyond…

Twelve ideas (more suggestions that rules) to help me “Age Well.”

1.  Eat a little more healthily than I would want to (more lima beans, less chocolate cake?!).
2. Stay active– even my puny little morning exercise gets the day going.
3. Befriend younger people– You have a lot to give them and they keep you young.
4. Continue to be productive every day–bake a cake, write a poem, paint a picture, stitch a quilt, plant a garden, write a letter…
5. Read widely –and keep on talking over those books with Jenni & the Lit Group
6.  Pray– for my kids, for friends, for people afar who I don’t even know, quiet my soul every day before God and honor him.
7.  Make plans, Big plans!! (right Laurel?)– travels, adventures, house projects, days with friends…  Fill all those days and years.
8.  Forgive completely– choose grace and love and joy over bitterness.
9. Use the gifts God gives (baking, growing flowers, reading to children, organizing, taking all those photos, teaching???) and use them to care for other people.
10. Always show more and more kindness to the people I love in what I do, in what I say.
11.  Be open to change (this one is hardest for me).
12. Know and love God more with each passing day, find my rest in him.

Here’s a quote I’ve posted before– Edith Wharton, on living intentionally, living well into an old age.  A lot of wisdom:

“In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ones.”

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

P.S.– and thank you Alexa for the photo.  You summon up the most tender, brilliant portarits.  And especially love this one.


A Week

A view along the way at Corona Del Mar on our Valentines Day walk yesterday

Hi friends–  It’s been a week.  No involved details, but my mother had her hip replaced on Monday.  I’ve always known that woman was intrepid, but she’s been unswervingly brave through all this– giving it her all to get recovered and back home.  So my brother and I have pretty much been at hospitals most of the week. He’s been a rock.  But a week like this puts a lot of things in perspective– what’s real, what’s true, what’s important…

“The length of our days is seventy years–of eighty, if we have the strength;…for they quickly pass, and we fly away.  … Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”     –Psalm 90:10-12

A hard week, a good week, to number days, to check my heart, to talk & talk with my brother, to love my amazing mom… God is good.

P.S.  Ended the week with a Valentines Day picnic on the bluff over Corona Del Mar on a picture perfect February afternoon with Larry, my valentine of 40 years.

My Mighty Mom


Hi there–that’s her, my Mom, over there on the left.  She’s the 80 year old hiker, about ready to trek off around the lake with some of her favorite people.  There are honestly hundreds of reasons I love/admire/enjoy my mom– But I’ll just give you my top ten:

#1. She’s just plain fun to hang out with.
#2. She was always there when I needed her to pack me up for a new move ahead in life.
#3. She taught me how to cook.
#4. She loves God plain and simple
#5. She serves–at church, the Nixon Library, the thrift store, in the family, her friends…
#6. She is my “techie” hero –she’s an iPad whiz!
#7. She stood with my Dad through over 20 years of cancer treatment.
#8. She is a super Grandma–traveling to China to hang out with her great-grand girls, inviting a grandson to live at her house til her gets settled, giving wedding showers, commenting on every grandkid Facebook post…
#9. She’ll listen to me whine for hours, sympathetically
#10. She knows who she is and what she values.

She’s my mom.  I’m trying to be just like her.
Love you mom.  Happy Mothers’ Day!