Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, December 6, 2008


One frosty morning I found this bumblebee on a mum in the lower garden. It was cold, wet and not moving or flying.

So I reached down and held my hand close to it and ,amazingly, it crawled up onto my hand.
I walked back up to the house and put it on a rose near my front porch. It was warmer there and drier.

In an hour or so I went back to see if it was all right and the bee was gone. I sat on the porch and, as I listened to the beginnings of the day, I thought I heard a small voice somewhere say,"Thank you, Farmlady."

"You're welcome, Bumblebee."
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Interview with an old person

December 4, 2008
Rockefeller Plaza
(in front of the christmas tree)

Matt L.: "We have a story coming out of Northern California this morning. This lady standing next to me is a native Californian that has spent her whole life there and since we didn't have any real news this morning, we thought we'd interview her and get her perspective on growing up in the golden state and what it's like to get old there. Well, Farmlady, happy birthday."

Farmlady: "Well, thank you Matt. I'm..."

M.L.: "So what's it like to be an old person? Is there a different way of looking at things when you turn 64?" ( the song "When I'm Sixty Four", by the Beatles, starts to play in the background.)

Farmlady: " I don't really consider myself a really old person. It's a frame of mind that..."

M.L.: But, seriously, don't you feel that by the time you get to your 60,s you're bucking the odds so to speak?..., that it's all down hill?"

Farmlady: " No, Matt, I don't. Now that I'm retired I find life is even more interesting than...."

M.L.: " What do you think of New York City? Is it a very different place than, say, Los Angeles?"

Farmlady: "I don't live in Los Angeles, but it's definitely colder here. I was raised in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay area and..."

M.L.: " Isn't it all the same there? Lots of liberals and earthquakes?"

Farmlady: "No..., but it's warmer. We don't have earthquakes all the time but we do have too many..."

M, L.: " So what your saying is that you think California is too radical and politicians are too moderate?"

Farmlady: "I didn't say that. I thought I was suppose to talk about...."

M.L.: " So is there anything else you would like to say about being 64 years old?"

Farmlady: " Well, I love my life and my family..., and thank you all the same, but I ..., excuse me Matt,please don't interrupt me again..., I think I'll go back to California and thaw out a bit."

M.L.: (Looks at the camera.) " This has been one person's views on being an older person in our society. Now back to Meredith, inside the studio."

The music fades and someone rushes over with a cup of coffee and an extra coat for Mr. L.
who grumbles something about this being a tough interview.

Farmlady smiles and thinks to herself that being 64 isn't that bad. It's 42 acres of oak trees and manzanita, 8 chickens, 4 goats, 2 old dogs, family and her bambinos, wonderful friends, and a husband that has loved her for 44 years...., and, when all is said and done, Life is not only what happens to you, it's how you play the hand that you're dealt and how you continue to do your best. No, 64 years is not bad at all.

"Send me a postcard,
drop me a line,
Stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore.
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

~the Beatles~

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I've never been outside the United States except for a trip to Vancouver and Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada..., oh, and a trip over the border to Tijuana once so we could say we had been in Mexico.
A few years ago we were given a very special gift cruise to Alaska( from our family ) for our 40th wedding anniversary which was one of the highlights of our lives. The family took turns staying up here and taking care of the farm. We could not have left if they hadn't been here to watch over everything for us.
The Prospector and I are not "well traveled" folks. We will probably never see Europe, China or Africa, but that's ok. You see, when you have a small farm and farm animals you can't just leave whenever you like. We also have two very old dogs that don't travel very well, and are kind of spoiled ( they sleep inside at night, yes they do. ). We have one neighbor within sight( although at quite a distance ) and lots of "carpe diem" beasts waiting in the bushes that wait for us to leave our animals to their skillful predatory ways.
So we take DAY TRIPS; and in this beautiful state, you don't have to go very far to find somewhere that takes your breath away. You just have to get in the car and drive a few miles in any direction. Sunday we did just that.

Sunday morning we drove south on Highway 49 to Sonora and then east into the mountains to PINECREST LAKE. The Prospector was "scouting a campsite" for next summer's fishing trip. Yes, it's an obsession on his part, but it's also a necessity because reservations open for July camping in February and you can't find a good , long multi car, trailer, people site in 10 feet of snow. So we took a drive up to the lake for the day and what a beautiful day it was. Don't ask me why the boys don't scout the "perfect" site during the summer, WHEN THEY ARE CAMPING, but I think it's part of some family ritual that goes way back before I was a part of all this. It's all about the quest for the "Perfect" place to spend that one week in the summer with fathers, sons and daughters. It's about TRADITION.

The Prospector walked through the empty campground (that is closed for the season) and looked for long, open sites that could accommodate 4 vehicles, a tent trailer, a boat and 7 to 10 people. I took pictures with my new Nikon (I should be getting a kickback from Nikon for all this free advertising) and walked, with wonder, around this beautiful place that has always been such a part of our lives.
We camped up here ,when we were first married, 40 some years ago, and as much as I give my husband and his brother a bad time about all the pre-planning and strategic groundwork that surrounds this week in the summer, I do understand. The rivers and lake are so clear, the mountains so close, the trees reach heaven and the world of Pinecrest Lake shines a little more brightly than most other places on earth...., and then, of course, there's the family history. Their father brought them here. The prospector brought our sons here...., and, for the first time last summer, our son brought his first born up here. The tradition continues. It's important..., its about continuity, love of a special place and memories.

( Please click on photos for a closer view. )

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