Life

Remodeling Dysfunction’s Murderous Stink

I grew up in dysfunction. I smell dysfunction’s stink in an instant. As an adult, some of the dysfunction from my childhood stuck. Several tragedies later, I recognized my behavior and how my behavior hurt others. My stinky self begged for a remodel. (It remains a work in progress.)

Behind a Murdered Man

I wasn’t shocked when a sheriff pulled into my driveway Sunday afternoon—a magnificent Sunday afternoon colored with a blue that only the Pacific Ocean can conjure underneath a cloudless sky. We just returned from an ocean bluffs walk where we showed off our beautiful and peaceful village to a LA visitor who arrived in the wee hours of the morning with our daughter and her boyfriend.  Pelicans soared overhead and we raced to get the best photo.  I kept my eye out []

Love Thy Neighbor. Seriously?

Love thy neighbor.  Oh boy!  I’d guess it’s a direct challenge by the task’s author.  The directive is akin to a parent’s demand, “Eat thy chicken gizzards.”  (My apologies to those who love eating chicken gizzards.) But as there are foods one cannot stomach, so there are “thy neighbors” that one cannot stomach.  Yet, we’re supposed to love them. Twelve years of parochial school education lingers in my concern about the divine directives. Today, one will not find gizzards or any kind []

Is It Hot In Here or Am I Having A Hot Flash?

I don’t doubt that climate change is upon us. So when the conservative think tank, Heartland Institute, recently set up an electronic billboard that read, “I believe in global warming.  Do you?”  with a billboard sized photo showing the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, as the believer, I thought I was self-incinerating.  But I wasn’t.  It was a Six-Oh Dear! symptom–also known as a hot flash. Admittedly, I wore the pretty-in-the-morning out after more than 23,000 daily wake ups.  But there are mornings when []

My Catastrophic Molt

Seen also in The Cambrian A thousand or more northern elephant seals sprawled across the beach when I arrived for my volunteer docent duty yesterday.   These intrepid seals travelled about  2500 miles to this beach to lose their dead skin and old fur.  They must haul out  and remain on land for four weeks  in order to molt.  We call this shedding of the dead epidermis and old fur  a catastrophic molt. I posted myself at the very south end of the Piedras Blancas []

An Anniversary Card To Spouse

Serendipity introduced me to my first husband at age 17.  A week after our meeting he promised that we would marry some day.  I laughed out loud.  At age 27 I was his widow with two children. I lacked a life-plan.  And on that late summer day when my children’s father unexpectedly died, helter-skelter reintroduced itself. I involuntarily joined the Hapless Young Widows Club (HYWC).  HYWC isn’t a chartered nonprofit organization.  But HYWC does chart a rugged path of misjudgment and denial, and []

Why Do Polar Bears Like To Live In The Snow?

“Good morning, Dennis,” I greeted the Russian scientist as he sipped the hot coffee we readied for the morning workshop session. (I attended as a volunteer to help the facilitator, The California Gray Whale Coalition, tend to the business of running a workshop smoothly.)

“My grandson called me this morning and wanted me to ask you a question. He wants to know, why do polar bears like to live in the snow?”