past and present reflected

sunset-boathouseMy Beautiful Oakland

I moved to Oakland in 1998 after five years of grad school in Washington state, and a lifetime in Rochester, New York. When I was 12, I remember walking down the street in a clear sunny day in September, a bit chilly, stunning cumulus clouds in brilliant billows of white across a cerulean sky, thinking, “I wish I could live somewhere that the temps are in the 60’s most days of the year with blue skies and breathtaking clouds.” Northern California was the place that I’d envisioned almost five decades ago. Evidence to the powers of envisioning what you want. My first apartment was on Harrison Street in Oakland and I biked or jogged over weekly to make the 3-mile circuit of Lake Merritt, sit and watch birds at the first American National Wildlife Sanctuary at the eastern tip of the estuary, and find my way in adult life, West Coast style. One of my favorite spots is the Lake Chalet restaurant at the renovated Boathouse. The public dock is part of the restaurant and the unique Gondola Servizio, a transplant from Venice, with authentic gondolas, gondola captains and gift store. After meeting Greg, we solidified our romance with many a gondola ride on Lake Merritt.This place holds fond memories in many directions. My daughter was married along the adjacent stretch of park at the Cameron Stanford House.  One of my favorite past-times is coming to this dock and simply appreciating its immense beauty, in full splendor as the sun sets and pinks up the clouds, reflected in calm waters. This is my visual metaphor for past and present beauty swirling in the present moment,… savored.

letting go

sb6Santa Barbara Sunset

Often I get overwhelmed by details and scheduling for holiday vacations; balancing school finals, sending out holiday cards, coordinating travel dates, booking lodging, coordinating family schedules. This year I asked Greg to coordinate all of the cards and newsletter mailings for his family, coordinate travel dates with family in two cities, and to book our stay in Santa Barbara over New Years weekend. I get anxious when I start micro-managing him when he doesn’t do things in my the timetable. This year I just let go and was willing to be lead by his process. The results were radiant. We scheduled two days in Coalinga and met his mom and sister at Harris Ranch for an elegant dinner the first evening. His mom invited us to binge-watch the series This Is Us and we enjoyed it immensely (caution: do nothing but watch, as this series jumps around in time through 3 generations of plot). The finale was New Years in Santa Barbara at an AirBnB with a spectacular view of the Pacific just 10 minutes from the grandchildren. Letting go put the holiday enjoyment back in my life,… with benefits.