June 19, 2015

Hey Frank!

Last evening my husband was tending his business booth at the county fair. He asked me to tag along.
I haven't been to the fair in over 25 years. Being raised in the San Francisco bay area, I attended the Santa Clara County Fair every year. This county fair is a mosquito on a bear's back in comparison. It makes me a little sad.

My husband is a pretty pleasant fellow, so I thought I'd go: I could check out the quilts, the booths and the sheep. After I arrived I realized that it would have been a perfect opportunity to do some long exposure shots of the ferris wheels and other flashing lights in the dark of night. (dang!)

After walking around, nodding at strangers and seeing two or three friends, I returned to Frank's booth.  Settled in on a chair at the back, I observed an incredible evening.  It appears that every fifth person in Shasta County knows my husband!

Two or three people would wander past the booth, looking at the slide show of fantastic photos taken by local photographers. Almost every forth or fifth person would spot my husband from the booth across the aisle or maybe from a couple of booths away.

"Hey, Frank!"
"Frank! Good to see you!"

"Hey Frank! How the hell are you?"

"Frank, I've been meaning to come in and see you!"

"Frank, my dad and uncle used to haul moonshine back in the old days and I have a great picture of them. Do you do restorations?"

"Frank, loved your class!"

"Frank, I messed the settings up on my camera...."

"Frank, did you get in that (fill in the blank)
               Nikon D5500;   Nikon D3200;   Olympus TG-4;  that little waterproof camera, those binoculars, that lense I ordered, Canon Powershot, etc.

"Frank! How's the family?"

"Frank, I was out at your tree during that last lightening storm. Where were you!"

"Well, if it isn't Frankie! Are you still out there?"  (didn't know if that was in regards to living in the country, working at the shop, flying hang gliders or just "out there"!

"We missed you at this year's Butterfly shoot, Frank!"

"Frank, I've got 4 memory cards with 1600 pictures. Can you make me a CD?"

This went on for four hours!  Of course, there were people who walked up to him who said, "Hey, aren't you the guy on that commercial?" There were actually people who didn't know him but had a question about exposures, apertures, point and shoots, tripods, memory cards, even film.

He welcomed them with that great smile of his, introduced himself, then answered all their questions. Damn, that man knows a lot of stuff!

By the time the strangers left, they were on first name terms with the old guy.

"Thanks, Frank, I'll see you at the store!"

Next year at the fair, they will probably join the long line of "Hey, Frank"s!

While walking back to the car after the fair, holding hands, he stopped me and pointed to the two bright lights in the sky!

"That's Jupiter and Venus. They are getting closer and closer to each other every night. By the end of June they will appear so close to each other that you will be able to hold your wedding ring up and see both in the little circle!"

Is there anything this man doesn't know!!!!

June 15, 2015

Whiskeytown Hike

The temps shot from hot to hotter yesterday. Three digits by 11 a.m.

I was peacefully splayed out on the bed under the ceiling fan contemplating a dive into the pool.

My husband, bless his heart, comes in to suggest a drive to get out of the house.

OUT OF THE HOUSE!  Is he crazy? It is 76 inside these walls and a hellish 106 outside. I wouldn't even consider jogging out to the car to retrieve the who-done-it book I have invested hours in and the murderer is just about to be outed!

Being the cooperative wife that I am (and after a short burst from the uncooperative wife side of me) I agreed to take a ride.  A RIDE!  Anyone see the words hike in the short phrase 'a ride'?

We drove out to Whiskeytown Lake to check out the Dry Creek Group Campground for a future family camp trip.

Every parking lot, every little turn out on the side of the roads, every spot of beach or rocks close to shore were taken up with cars, people, floaties of all types and coolers. And the cars were lining up behind us.

We hadn't read the newspaper yet, leaving it in it's little blue plastic wrap on the bed. I imagined the headlines must have read "MANDATORY EVACUATION OF REDDING,"  Sub headline reveals that Whiskeytown Lake to be temporary evacuation site!

We drove around the lake, past all the inviting blue water filled with swimmers, splashers. sail boats and kayaks. Did we stop to dive in? No, we kept driving.

At the Dry Creek Group Campground entrance is a long locked metal gate! Past the gate is a nice, dry, sunny trail...all down hill!  Doesn't 'down hill' mean there will be 'up hill' involved if we listen to the psycho-babble of my bat-shit crazy husband that we should venture out of the comfort of the car's AC to hike down to the campgrounds?

Again, cooperative wife smiles and agrees how much fun it would be to walk the dusty hot trail. (I am definitely having a talk with that part of me today!)

I open the car door. Who left the oven on?  Fry eggs on the side walk? Hell, we could make a pizza on any rock of our choice!

So we walk, Sun, dust, heat....it was a very nice hike. We walked hand-in-hand down the trail accompanied by the song of a bird who, apparently, loves the heat.  We saw both campgrounds and the big sign half a mile down the road that warns (in red capitol letters) REGISTERED CAMPERS ONLY.

We hike down....nice. We hike back up....nice.  I never even had to pause to rest my new-ish knee or my old-ish body!  My hubby mentions several times that he is concerned for me.

"Want to sit on a rock or rest?"

Nope, I just keep walking, though I do stick to the left side of the road which occasionally offers a little shade; about as often as Leap Years offers a February 29th!

We get to car, which is now hotter than the outside air.  My husband is blown away by how quickly we made it up the trail. He suggests we take our pulses....ever the fan of competition!

His pulse:  96
My pulse: 81

I win!!!!!!

p.s. "Now get me back to my house and my pool!"

June 14, 2015

Ferris Bueller Philosphy and Graduation

Remember the movie? Ferris Bueller's Day Off!

Most likely we have all quoted it at one time or another....."Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?"...."Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?"......"You killed the car!"..."I'll go! I'll go! I'll go! I'll go! shit!" ( might have missed an "I'll go" or two!

My oldest granddaughter graduated high school last week. Her class motto was taken directly from the movie.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Opening the graduation program to see the words Ferris Bueller's Day Off surprised me!  We expect quotations from the classics; East of Eden, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill A Mockingbird on education related literature. We don't typically see a reference to a pop-culture movie, let alone a movie that gives center stage to three kids cutting classes and making a fool of the school principal. (Though, honestly, he didn't need a lot of assistance in showing that aspect of his personality).

As I watched granddaughter-one march onto the field, remembering her sister's 8th grade graduation earlier in the day, thinking of another granddaughter graduating from 8th grade 600 miles north, the class motto hit with full impact.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Life, like Superman, travels "faster than a speeding bullet"! If you are not fully engaged, you will, indeed, miss it.

Ferris is quite the extrovert, known and loved by all. He is a full participant in life. Who is this class motto for?

The introverted Cameron's, the kids who are afraid to get out of the car, to risk failing or risk succeeding, those of us who might be a bit afraid of the world or what-people-will-think if you get out and have a little bit of fun. Maybe the Cameron's who don't think they are worthy of fun.

I have to admit, there are those times when I have buried my head in the sand and missed the opportunities for some good 'days off'! For the most part, though, I feel I have been about 95% engaged in life, especially where my grandchildren are involved.

Still, to see my little Alli cross that stage to receive her diploma was a bit of a shock! It really felt as if it was just yesterday that her father crossed a similar stage to shake right hands with a principal and take his diploma in his left.  I remember the day with crystal clarity.

I witnessed many of the grandchildrens' firsts. First swim without a life jacket, first bike ride without training wheels, first day in big-kid undies and the way to first driver's license and first car.  Now I am at ring side watching our great-granddaughter try her first steps, say her first words. (She can say Nana and reaches for me....unless Papa is in the room....then she only has eyes and heart for her Papa).

There are so many "little' moments that mean so much....what if I was moving too fast and missed them?

Yet...what have I missed because I wasn't focused on the moment but on the next moment or two or some distant tomorrow?

Stay tuned in! Slow down! Cherish the moments, the smiles, the trials, tribulations and successes!
Cherish Life and all it brings.