Friday, February 25, 2011

Back Home in Kingston

Hello from sunny Kingston- around 20 degrees but sunny. As always, it seems like we never left but there are plenty of fun memories to remind us of our vacation. You know by now that California met us with stormy, windy rains  but the food, wine and company were enough to offset the weather and then some.

 Healdsburg was our first stop. It was great to see Kyrsa and Dave's new home. Their house is really great, tucked in the amazing beauty of the many grape-growing valleys around them. Dave and Kyrsa are getting into the spirit of Sonoma by combining new expertise in cocktails, wines and food in their cozy new space. How can any of this be bad?

Judy wishing for a swim
A 6 hour drive through pouring rain found us at Hearst Castle, where we met Judy and Ralph. We took a wonderful tour of this giant monument to American industrial giants and their egos. Despite that, it is quite amazing and extremely interesting to consider, as a connection to our national history. We watched giant herds of elephant seals, walked the beach between rain showers and drove the coast through towns and fields. The company of old friends was the real gift.

On Sunday morning the sun decided to shine on our last beach walk. The drive up Highway 1 was long, windy and beautiful at every turn. Because it was the middle of the 3-day weekend, the traffic was light until we turned into the city of Carmel. San Fransisco had decided to drive to Carmel! What a weird little spot of trendy shops and bistros. The streets and sidewalks were packed with gawkers of all ages and incomes. Shop keepers were almost hawker-like in their efforts to invite customers- an interesting diversion on the long drive north to Davis.

We actually met Colin and Susan in Oakland for  nettle pizza and homemade tonic water, along with much more. The next day we walked the wonderful arboretum trail in Davis, drove through the acres of fruit trees to Winters for lunch and had a great afternoon with Susan and Colin cooking, drinking and eating in between lots of sharing.

So it is back to life in the northwest after much fun and sharing. Barb and I took in the Northwest Flower Show and I bought a new pruner- yikes! I hope I don't get tree pruners elbow this weekend. Today was my first day getting back into the rhythm of Tulin Road. I did projects, cooking and animal care. I walked around in the cold sunshine, imagining new garden spaces, new ways to grow better crops and filled with hope for Spring. That is the curse of the gardener- eternal hope.

While on vacation I was gifted with many conversations about ideas, philosophies, problems and solutions. I think back on all the words now and reconsider those ideas with a different perspective. That is the best part of "free speech". We have problems to solve moving ahead into a new century. This is easily agreed upon. We also have every reason to believe that there will be hard decisions, some suffering and new solutions on the road to a future I can't imagine but am excited to watch unfold. I am so very proud of the children in my family who have grown into adults now and who all work with passion and creativity, unfolding their days into tomorrow.

Keep up all the great work and believe in your tomorrows especially when you can't see where you are headed...and keep on traveling. I believe in us all.

Mama Llama

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