July 01, 2014


A dear friend is writing a book.

He is an excellent writer.

He put off penning his book until he finished his Bachelor's Degree.

To feed-the-need to write in the meantime, he has posted regularly on his blog.

To feed-the-need to read intelligent, interesting material, I read his blog.

My friend graduated and received his degree.

Apparently, he is now working on his book (good for him) but, more importantly, WHAT ABOUT ME!!!!

He is not posting to his blog as often and I miss it.

Dear Friend,

Finish the frickin' book already and get back to your blog!

Just Me

Filling My Cup

Shouldn't one have to purchase a ticket, stand in line and willingly board a roller coaster if they want a ride?

Life has a habit now and then of grabbing one by the scruff of the neck (or elsewhere), tossing and buckling you into the back seat of a chute-the-chute; then standing back to watch the show.

The final two weeks of June, 2014 was filled with ups and downs and twists and turns. Not that I can't handle ups and downs and twists and turns. In fact, I think I am pretty good at it but, dang gum; when life shoves six months of living into a two week Big Dipper, a person's nerves get a little raw!

The final twist of the coaster ride was to be a two-day workshop in Lodi. We headed for the workshop on Friday but to be honest, I had lost my zeal for the seminar, even though I had really anxiously been looking forward to it for months. If I had seen an infomercial for

 Instant Zest and Zeal
Free for only $19.99 plus shipping and handling
I would have dialed up and ordered 10!

My eyes were swollen from crying, happy tears and sad tears, angry tears and tears "just because"!
My cup was empty. At one point, my poor husband stopped to grab lunch in a drive-thru. He nonchalantly asked me what I wanted! I burst into tears! Uncontrollable tears rolling down my expertly applied make-up from eyes already the size of golf balls!

He got me a large coke and a burger with extra onions! He knows how to make me happy.

I am usually a cup-runneth-over kind of gal but my cup was empty and raw!

The workshop was great. Aha's and epiphanies going off everywhere. I think it was Socrates that is quoted for saying an unexamined life is not worth living. He would have lifted his toga and danced, danced, danced after this class.

Class was great, learned a lot; still cried and melted down a couple of times.

We climb into car and head for home...or so I thought! Half-way home my husband pulls into a Target parking lot, grabs my hand and pulls me in. He gets a cart, drops two sleeping bags into it, two large waters and a box of granola bars.

"We're going camping!" he announces!  "I've always wanted to photograph Hat Lake at sunrise!"

Off we head to Lassen. No tent, no stove, NO RESERVATIONS on the weekend before the 4th of July and clothing completely inappropriate for mountaineering!  BUT....don't you like how there always seems to be a BUT in life's circumstances! But, mountains fill my cup! Mountains, starry nights in the mountains, the smell of camp fires (even if they are someone else's smoke!).

We pull into Lassen Park, find a site at the third or fourth campground. We put the seats down, crawled into our brand new sleeping bags and fell asleep watching a sky filled with bright shiny stars.

Just before sunrise, I woke Frank up. "Honey, I see a glow on the horizon, we should drive over to Hat Lake." He opened his eyes, smiled at me and was asleep, all in one breath!  I climbed into front seat and drove the two or three miles to Hat Lake.

What a beautiful day. Hat Lake was gorgeous, Lassen, as always, was majestic. We took some back roads once we were out of the park and discovered some meadows and vistas that could only be described as paradise. We also discovered how easily it is to get lost if you wander off of A Line. If you plan on wandering off of A Line, you should let someone know!

Our cups are full again. Thank God for mountains and lakes, for majesty and simplicity and mostly, for perceptive husbands!  Side note: hiking in gold dress-shoes isn't suggested but if that's all you got, what the hell!

"That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."
Steve Jobs

"Great things are done when men meet mountains." William Blake

"My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing." Aldous Huxley

My father was much different than Huxley's. My father taught me that walking in the mountains was God's church. He taught me that we go to church to talk to God
but we go to the mountains to listen to God.

Mountains, wilderness, wild flowers, little streams creating their own songs; all of it talks to my spirit.

My kids once asked me what they should do with my ashes after I'm gone. I told them I couldn't care less. I've changed my mind and would really like my ashes scattered in the mountains amongst the trees and granite; in the arms of God and Mother Nature. That might make being in heaven that much more special!

Where do you go to refill your cup?  What feeds your spirit and your soul?