Lovely day! It all started with a 5K run at Coyote Point, an open space preserve on the east side of the Bay. The early morning was cold and foggy. I encountered a sudden shower on the freeway as I drove to the Dumbarton Bridge. The promise of wonderful vistas of the Bay and foothills along the course seemed remote. Fortunately I had a good jacket. At almost the moment the run started the sun came out and I regretted my decision not to check my jacket. Too late, and a good thing too. It was sunny, but with sudden cold gusts blowing in from the Bay.
We ran along the salt marsh and on a wooden bridge over an estuary. As we ran up and around a hill a pristine view across the Bay greeted us. The Dumbarton and San Mateo bridges framed the Bay on two sides as we looked at the cloud-covered Santa Cruz Mountains across the Bay. Birds drifted by. The first poppy of spring appeared along the course.
I ran (actually walked quite a bit) with Phyllis Karsten. Phyllis had her 88th birthday last Thursday. I introduced Phyllis to the world of 5Ks a couple of years ago. She has never looked back. She trained and completed a half marathon this past year and is going to the Summer National Senior Games in Ohio this summer. I am sticking with 5Ks.
I hurried home where we awaited the arrival of a table and benches from Terra Amico. Our grandson, Brian, and his fiance had ordered these when they were here at Thanksgiving. They had met Joe Raineri, the husband of a friend, who builds beautiful furniture to order from recycled wood. We could hardly wait to see these pieces. And we were not disappointed. They will stay with us until Brian and Sydney can get here from Portland to pick them up.
This was a grand birthday present.
Gordon has a hard time with birthday presents for me since I never really want anything. I have enough stuff! But he hit the jackpot this year with a lovely fern that perfectly mirrors the print we have had hanging above the mantel for years.
And to top off this perfect day we had a lovely dinner featuring filet mignon wrapped with bacon accompanied by a nice zinfandel, part of an elegant Christmas gift from one of Gordon’s daughters and family. I have stopped counting years, but my birthdays continue to be excellent.
A leisurely, but occasionally smoky, two-day drive up I-5 to Portland culminated in a three-day celebration of two memorable events: the engagement of Brian Frost and Sydney Eustrom and the graduation from nursing school of Julia Frost and Josh Caswell. Brian and Julia represent one of the more recent branches of the family tree. Participating with us in various parts of the celebration were parents Theresa and Tom Frost, grand-parents Chuck and Lou Frost, uncle Peter Frost, and a number of members of the Eustrom family. Here is a glimpse into the weekend.
Living in the mountains, our electricity often disappears during the stormy winter months. It did today for the first time this year. A good alternative for illuminating important activities is the Bogo light, a solar powered flashlight with a bright LED bulb.
BOGO stands for Buy One, Give One. When you buy a flashlight, another one is sent to someone in the world who has no electricity.
Of course I use it only for important tasks like weaving, cooking, reading, and feeding the cat. Here it is suspended on a cord above my loom. I also have found that I can thread my raincoat sash through the loop at the top and hang it around my neck so I have light wherever I go. It has the additional advantage of being flat so it can be set on a surface and pointed in the right direction without rolling around. And an afternoon in the sunlight will charge it for a good six or seven hours worth of light. I love it.
Give Bogo lights as holiday presents. I did two Christmases ago. Here we all are with our Bogo lights.
A couple of weeks ago Tom, Brian, and Theresa arrived from Spokane and Portland to help build a new deck/stairway with a railing and wide steps that would help Gordon navigate from the house to the deck and points beyond. It was a stellar week for us, but a trial for Tom and Brian. It was the coldest, most miserable week of the winter. But they persevered with the help of classy rain gear Theresa found at a local Good Will. You can see the results here. Pretty classy stuff!
A fantastic birthday gift evening with Jeff and Susan Huff, both of whom worked in our restaurant in the ’80s cooking dinner for us at our house. The food and conversation rivaled each other for excellence. Jeff now teaches at the Culinary Academy in Monterey.
Rah, a truly fine cat, came to live with us for six months toward the end of his span of years. Lymphoma cut short his life with us on the mountain.
For Gordon’s 80th birthday, through the urging of his sister Dottie, we collaborated to make a video of his life from a drawer full of unorganized pictures. We are all still speaking to each other.
Here are glimpses of our family trip to Utah in December 2008.
Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but even pictures can not capture the time we had together.
Dottie puts together a “little” picnic every year and has found the perfect spot for it at Henry Cowell State Park. This year there was a new participant, Chloe, who had a wonderous fine time, if I am any judge of dogs. Her human companions did too!
For openers there was a little brie to go on some crackers, some veggies (including a personal favorite, asparagus) with appropriate dips and some crunchable, munchable corn chips. Wash it down with a little champagne under a canopy of trees with a river nearby on a balmy autumn day–
Chloe, the dog, settled right in while we continued on with perfect barbecued chicken, two salads, and, of course, Dottie’s homemade bread. The table decor was not too shabby either, with light blue table cloth, blue checkered napkins, dark blue plates, and a few white cyclamens And dessert and coffee, a walk along the river, what more can I say. The day was not lost on either man or beast.
To our hostess, a thousand thanks for one day in a million.