photo of Mary Lou Taylor

Bringing Home the Moon

We all have much to learn. Always with a twinkle in her eyes, Mary Lou Taylor helps us do this and much more in her latest book of poetry, Bringing Home the Moon.

Long ago, but not far away at Monta Vista High School, I found myself in front of classes of high school students. Next door was another teacher, Mary Lou. I learned more from her, and from my students than they did from me. We have now been friends now for decades. Her new book captures her life and ours.

…”We don’ talk, my father and I content together at this ungodly hour….”, or “… Selling the house. Buying a new one…”.

She reflects on our history—“The Valley of Heart’s Delight” and “Heart’s Delight Turns Silicon”, the place we both still live. And even on “Driving Bohlman Road’, the challenging road to our house.

She explores the globe and beyond—“Drinks after Dinner, Osaka”, and even the universe ”…Christa McAuliffe, scheduled to be the first teacher in space, looks upward to gaze at the face of the sky.”

She probes the inner thoughts we all have.

It is well worth traveling these hundred pages with Mary Lou. She is all of us. She will help you find your voice.

Same Sex Marriage

Time to go on record for how happy I am that the same-sex couples I know (and don’t know) can be legally married and have the same recognition and rights under the law as the rest of us. I believe I am not alone in having several friends, relatives, and friends with children that are same sex couples. These are folks who say so openly. There are many others.

In particular today I remember Barbara and Jo. Continue reading

Summertimes (Some Are Times!)

For over thirty years five of my closest friends from my teaching days at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino have gathered for lunch at our house in the summer. This year one of our group, Mary Lou Taylor, a talented poet, honored us with a poem which I used in the invitation.

Mary Lou helped found the Poetry Center San Jose and has published several books. I recently discovered her website and would love to share her poem. For those of you have been here, you know she has captured it perfectly.

Driving Bohlman Road

The last house on an unpaved road
looks over the mountain top,
a fire road to the reservoir,
the sharp drop of a ridge on the left,
greenery on the right. Goodbye

to good friends in late afternoon, goodbye
to two deer and the Steller’s jays harsh calls.
No time to ponder recent talk of poetry,
of haiku and lyric, of classic poems
reinvented, of Pound, Hicok, Bly.

The car makes turn after turn high
above the village. In the canyon below
a glimpse of vineyards.
Just beyond the mountain peak
the ocean, flat and silver.

Redwood branches droop. Oak leaves
touch across the road. Madrone, saffron
trunks bright against the green. Sword fern
fastened to banks sprinkled with fall red
of poison oak and brown of bark.

Passing the Scout camp, the oil
of eucalyptus trees on the wind.
A breeze changes shadows.
Sun’s shades of light and dark.
One white butterfly startles.

An orange truck on monster wheels
its grill a jailhouse door
side by side with a small brown truck
the size of Bishop’s moose.
Hazard lights blink white sparkle-glitter.

Both vehicles block the road. Halfway down
the long, winding road to town
no way to move, time at last
to dream and write,
more passenger than driver.

Skyland Mountain Run

Today, one of the warmest so far, was the Skyland Mountain Run. I have done this run for many years, at least since 1998 (the year of my favorite T-shirt). Sponsored by a community church in the Santa Cruz mountains, it is one of the best! All of the proceeds go to nonprofits, both local and international.Enjoying breakfast after the run

Imagine starting at a hundred-old-ranch in a rural mountain area and running along a ridge with views of row upon row of mountains running to the ocean. A local band is playing hot rock and blue grass while the church members are cooking up eggs, sausages, pancakes, and cutting up fruit and bagels to greet you on your return. Kids are gearing up for a fun run, and raffle prizes await that include wines from great local vineyards. Radonich Ranch Picnic tables surround a lake where three hundred runners/walkers of all ages relax, their cars parked in a neighboring field at the ranch.

This year my friend, Phyllis Karsten, came with me. Last year, at 85, Phyllis started walking and used an iPhone app to show her distance and time on her walks. She posted this information on her Facebook page. She was good! So I asked her if she would like to start doing 5Ks with me. Of course she was game. She now comes close to showing me up!Phyllis at finish line

We both did well and had a great time. She is saying we should try a 10K sometime. I think she has lost her mind.

Our times

Dining with Chef Jeff and Susan

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

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.