Sunday, December 26, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Facebook is a weird thing. You create a profile and let people look at it and you look at other profiles and you all decide if you want to be friends. It feels kind of like being on the playground in grammer school and waiting to be picked for a team in kickball. I have been thinking about dropping off of Facebook cause I just didn't see the point.
You find or are found by people you have not seen in a long time or people you see every day become a more intimate part of your daily life.
Some people feel the need to put every detail of their day out there. Do I really need to know that you are hitting the floor running with a cup of coffee this morning or you are not hitting the floor this morning due to an influx of mucus in your life?
Sometimes you are sent back into your past to places you might not want to go. I am Facebook friends with someone that I was friends with a long time ago. The first year of high school is hard for anyone. I grew up on a small island and went from the first day of kindergarten to the graduation ceremony of eighth grade with the same core group of kids. I knew every single person in my class and my parents knew their parents. When it was time for high school we were bussed to the mainland to a school most of us did not know existed. I can only imagine now after the gift of time how difficult it must have been for Marge to enter that school, that island, that life.
She just kind of showed up. I am not even really sure how we met. Our mothers were friends, perhaps they put us together like a blind date. All I knew was that I thought she was cool. She was goth before there was a name for it. She came to live with her mother and her mother's second husband and their children. I probably never even asked her how hard that must have been or what her life was like before she came to our little town. Where did she come from? How come she was here? She spent the night at my house, but I don't remember staying at hers. Our mothers drove us to Providence one night to see my first concert. Jethro Tull. I think we had a good time? Then one day she was gone. I'm not sure she even finished the school year and sadly I am not sure I even asked where she went. I think that says an awful lot about me and it is not very complimentary.
Well, one day close to forty years later she friends me on facebook and truthfully I am not sure why. I don't think I was a very good friend then, why would she want to find out if I was going to be any better now?
After trading a few pleasantries we did what most facebook friends do, we exist. We read postings, we look at pictures, we say nice things. This all changed a few days ago when her postings changed to vague things about how horrible this Christmas season was going to be. Other friends, that seem to be geographically and emotionally closer were comforting her with words that contained no information for me. All I really knew what that someone she loved had died from suicide.
So I did what I might not have done if it were not for Facebook, I asked. At first I felt as if I might be intruding where I really was not wanted or had any right to be, because in truth I am a stranger to this grown woman and her life.
Her oldest son had been missing for over two years, his body had been found hanging from a tree by two strangers out hunting. Her pain is evident in her words, in the posting of songs she has put up on her page, to the lack of postings of her daily life which I had come to enjoy reading about.
So I reach out and ask questions. I say a little about my experience with suicide and hope they help. But, what I really want is just for her to talk to me. To tell me about her son. To help in the little way I can.
So maybe this Facebook think is not as lame as as I thought. Maybe this Facebook thing might just catch on.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
admit, this is not one of my favorite hikes so far. It was pretty, but
just not as pretty as some others, I guess.
In this park the cows were back on the trail. At one point my hiking
buddy Susan had to shoo them off the path. They moved, but they really
looked like they did it because they wanted to, not because of her.
One part of the trail was The Ivan Dickson Memorial Loop Trail. As I
passed the little signs I could not help but wonder who was Ivan
Dickson? So I took to my favorite research tool, the internet, to find
Ivan Dickson was a lifelong member of the Berkeley Hiking Club and was
one of their first presidents in the 1920s. Ivan was a hiker - he hiked
well into his 80's and averaged about 10 - 20 miles a day, mostly in the
. He did not need any special equipment;
he hiked in his wing tips or loafers and would have a nutritious
breakfast of doughnuts before starting out. Lived in the same house for
70 years and had a watch repair shop on Shattuck Avenue. He did not own
a car, or TV or even a refrigerator. The people that knew him thought
him an eccentric poor person. However, when he died in 1993 at the age
of 95 he left a ton of cash to the East Bay Regional Park District to
"take good care of the trails". Thank you Ivan.
About the only wild flowers left are the ever present poppies and
lupine. Still beautiful, but I fear they will be gone soon.
We went up and I saw these steps, lots of steps that went up the side of the mountain and for a minute I thought - no, we are not going that way - then we turned a corner and walked right at them and then went up them. Steps are hard!
This is looking down at the beach at Tennessee Valley, our very first hike. I can remember looking up at the hills on that hike and being happy we were not going up there. Well, those days are gone, if there is a hill we climb it.
This hike took us thru the Green Gulch Buddhist Zen Center. I can walk thru their gardens on the way back to the beach. The gardens are really beautiful and full of very quite people and they have a really nice bathroom.
We needed to ask directions at one point and imagine someone whispering to you and then make it softer. "go down the path, open the gate, make sure to close the gate behind you, then walk thru the gardens to another gate. go out that gate and make sure to close it behind you. then go thru the horse pasture, making sure to close the gates behind you and you will be at the beach"
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
We made it to a place called Rock City for lunch. It is a collection of sandstone rocks that pop out of the ground in one location in the park. There were stairs
There was one formation that looked like Half Dome and I tried to convince my hiking partners that we should go there and take pictures, it has steps and cables and maybe we could convince those not in the know that we had in fact climbed Half Dome. They thought about it for a minute, but decided honesty is the best policy.
The wildflowers were just at their peak. California poppies covered the hillsides along with lupin, daisies and a beautiful ground cover that had beautiful little coral flowers mixed in with small green leaves. It was beautiful, really beautiful.
And I did! For almost four hours! Up and up and up. Every time I made it to the top of one segment I wondered if I could do it. Our nature guy told us at the begining of the hike that there were rattle snakes on the mountain, but don't worry because you won't die from a bite, you will be a bit uncomfortable for awhile, but you would live. I thought of this on the way up and decided I would rather be bit by a rattle snake then go one step further. At least then I could sit down and wait for a ride. But I kept going and going and going and did finally make it to the top.
I wish my camera got better pictures of the wildflowers. There were beautiful wild iris' all over the mountain.
This was one of two rusted old cars we saw on the trail. I wondered how they got there and more interesting to me was why could they then not go back down.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
We hiked for about an hour when we came to the first falls, if you have seen the falls of Yosemite or Niagra Falls you might not be impressed. I have seen them both and while they both are spectacular this little fall took my breath away. I could hear it before I could see it and the water flowed over the rocks covered in moss. The water was clear and the air was crisp and it all made me so glad to have seen it.
The largest fall had about seven levels and was worth the two and a half hours it took to get to it. We met up with the big dogs, the A-level hikers, the ones that go really fast and longer than the rest of us. Me, I am not a big dog. I am a puppy, I hike slow and steady and am usually in the last group in, so to say they were surprised to see us is an understatement. Of course, they were on their way back up and we were on the way down. We got the evil eye from the team captain because we had been told not to come down this trail, but all us puppies were really glad we did.
I can see why this is the favorite hike of so many in my hike group. The hike back did not take us as long as we thought, even with all the stairs, yes stairs, we got back early because we missed a trail so we turned around and hiked back down the trail for half and hour and then back up for half and hour.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
There are lots of trees down all over the ridge. This one seemed to have been down for a while. I am not sure if with all the rain trees are just falling over cause the ground is so wet or if it is just the natural way of trees.
While looking out over the hills you really believe that you are out in the wilderness, miles away from civilization. I think we only saw six other people during our hike until we were on our way back down when we met more people starting their hikes a little later than we did. There were so many different greens this day that I did not even have names for all of them. One of the most beautiful was a tree that had fallen down over a stream and was totally covered in emerald green moss, it looked like velvet.
Another road less traveled, this beautiful path lead to a dreadful downward part of the hike and I have learned that when you go down you have to come back up, but we actually were able to go around and up the other side that was not as steep.
Then there was the water. You could hear it long before you saw it and once we saw it, it was beautiful. After all the rain we have had this season the streams are full and musical.
This is looking back from where we came. If you look closely you can see my wet footprints on the rocks. I learned some valuable lessons, don't put both feet on the same rock. This can only lead to bad things and I realized it as soon as the rock started rocking back and forth. Then I learned the next lesson - place your trekking poles solidly in the stream to help keep your balance. Thank you Theresa and Janice for the instructions because of them I did not fall into the stream.
This journey has been difficult, I really did not think that hiking would be this hard, but wow do these places make it all worthwhile.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
There was a part of the trail that looked like this. This part is flat and was not to difficult, until it started going up and I started noticing the pretty extreme drop off down the hill.
And here we have the ever present cows. I like that they don't pay much attention to us as we hike by.
So today's hike was a five hour butt kicker. I did about 8 miles in total. In addition to the cows and ground squirrels I saw hawks and turkeys. One big old tom with his tail all spread out to the admiring glances of the girl turkeys. The wild flowers are starting to bloom and I think next week after the rains forecast for this week they should be popping out during next weeks hike. One would think this should be getting easier and in some ways it is. At least I can move on Sundays now, unlike the first couple of weeks where moving on a Sunday required great thought and lots of aspirin. In other ways it is getting harder, the hikes are getting more difficult to prepare us for the end result - the big hike we choose. I keep telling myself I can do this and I will. I want to keep hiking after my big hike, it just might not be 5 hours or 8 miles every Saturday morning.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
We hiked up to the ridge at 1888 feet. Now when you get up there you think "wow, I made it". Obviously I must be new at this, cause I don't think "geez, now I have to go down." Well, I think now I'll be thinking that, cause the way down was really steep. I am so glad I got trekking poles cause they saved me from falling on my butt quite a few times on the way down.
I got a feeling that someone hit their head, what do you think?
We came down off the ridge at the Eugene O'Neill House. It seems Mr. O'Neill and his wife lived in this big beautiful house in the 30's & 40s and it seemed to inspire him since he wrote The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night and A Moon for the Misbegotten. I tried to imagine how remote this location must have been then.