I found some photographs

Clearing out a drawer
I found a few photographs.
There were some good ones
And I stuck them in my suitcase.

Among them were photos of Leslie, Pov Lon, David, and Keo on the front porch; my Mom/Grandmother Mary and David in our kitchen; Leslie and Baby David; and David and his siblings.

I looked at these pictures of life and I realized I’d helped take care of four of those people in the last days of their lives. My Mom, Leslie, Keo, Phana. What sadness. But I’m glad there were not more than those four. Here they are with some of the photographs.

Photo: Leslie, Pov Lon holding David, Keo on the front porch (Keo and Lon had been in a war, concentration camps, and refugee camps until about two months before this photo was taken)

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My Mom I’d known all my life. She was about 70 when she died in the cottage behind Leslie’s and my house. David, Leslie, John, and I were with her every day. John and I were with her when she passed sometime in a long night.

When she was first diagnosed with small cell cancer of the lung I worked to understand the natural history of that disease. I mapped the likely metastatic pathways of her specific tumor type and the manifestations of metastases so that I could be sure to prevent or treat early any resulting problems (like hypercalcemia or spinal cord compression) or at least understand those problems. That became the basis of a book on end-of-life care in which I mapped the 18 most lethal tumors and associated problems.

A month or so before she passed, my Mom and I journeyed together. Among the things that happened that day (What a day!) was that she forgave herself. After that her pain lessened and her suffering was much less – all the way through to the end of her life.

How my Mom died: http://ckjournal.com/how-my-mom-died

Photo: David showing his Grandmother how to play golf

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Leslie and I were together for nearly all of the years since we were 16. She died in my arms at Baylor Medical Center.

In Leslie’s last month I would read to her when we were in bed – first from my blog (the traveling parts), and when that became too difficult for her to track, I would read from Little Golden Books and similar books I had stored in David’s closet. I realized that everything I read was related to going home, finding a safe place, and the like. Books I read to my sweet Leslie included:

Melanie Mouse’s Moving Day
The Fuzzy Duckling
The Shy Little Kitten
The Pokey Little Puppy
Home for a Bunny

Once when I was in David’s closet looking for another book to read to Leslie I saw a book titled, These Happy Golden Years. I burst into tears.

From my journal: Dying is often not easy. These were hard times for her. She underwent profound changes starting at almost exactly 6pm that last (Thursday) night. She went to surgery about 1:30am Friday morning and she passed away back in her room surrounded by pure love about 4:30am. (I’m actually not clear on times, and maybe even days.) I was with her, embracing her, whispering words of love, of remembrance, people she loved, people who loved her, the Song of Ruth…

We are fulfilled. Nothing is undone between us. We have loved and been loved, lived our beliefs, had a happy home, had a beautiful son, had a grand partnership with one another, had many adventures, and so much more—really, it’s been amazing!  

Photo: Leslie and David

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Keo I’d known since she was about 10, when she and her Grandmother lived with us for a few months in 1985. When she became so sick with cancer I went every day to Keo’s apartment. It was a hard time. Keo was ready to die, but nobody in her family was ready for her to go. She begged to die. I spent time with her and her husband and mother on her last day. She was 39 when she died. A few days before her passing I sang this song to Keo:

Keep on walking where the angel showed
(All will be One, all will be One)
Traveling where the angels trod
Over in the old golden land

In the golden book of the golden game
The golden angel wrote my name
When the deal goes down I’ll put on my crown
Over in the old golden land

I won’t need to kiss you when we’re there
(All will be One, all will be One)
I won’t need to miss you when we’re there
Over in the old golden land

We’ll understand it better in the sweet bye and bye
(All will be One, all will be One)
You won’t need to worry and you won’t have to cry
Over in the old golden land.

(Robin Williamson)

Some of Keo’s gripping story is here: http://ckjournal.com/keo

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Phana (David’s sister) I’d known since she was four. She was in her 30s when she passed. I took her to chemotherapy almost every week in Dallas and in Houston, to other appointments, and we hung out with David, Charles, and John in San Francisco. We spent many hours together in the car, infusion room, and elsewhere. We shared a lot. When she was close to dying, I thanked her for helping me through my grief from Leslie’s passing. Phana understood immediately. She died right around Christmas while I was in Berkeley.

Photo: David, Chhouen, Phana, Soda in front of our house

Once John and Phana and I were at the corner of Judah and 9th) in San Francisco and Phana was vomiting in the gutter. In just moments a young woman from a clothing store across the street came over with a bottle of water. After Phana passed, I went to that store and thanked the woman. I’m still thankful for her

————–

I’ll try to be around and about.
But if I’m not,
Then you know that I’m behind your eyelids,
And I’ll meet you there.”

(Terence McKenna)

Another week in Berkeley: Covid-19 days

In 2017, I wrote a post on “Another week in Berkeley.” This seems like a good time to do it again: everyday life, during, but removed from the virus and suffering. We are living a very fortunate life, indeed. Photos may or may not correspond to text. Nearly all were taken during shelter in place days.

Thursday, 4/09 – 21 days since shelter in place began in the Bay area.

Jean in the studio

Awaken about 6:30. Fix coffee, get morning snack together (banana and grapes to have before meds), meds for each of us, water for Jean (500 ml with electrolytes), I drink my 500 ml in kitchen, back to bed, coffee, talk, watch the morning show (the ever-changing sky over Golden Gate to Mount Tam). Breakfast is the usual fruit bowl, today with mango, strawberries, Cara-cara oranges, blueberries, yogurt, and maple syrup. I also had toast and almond butter.

Worked in garden and Jean did business things. I “had lunch with David” – via Facetime. We talked. It’s good to see you! We ate. I took David for a tour of the garden. “You can see these tiny leaves just poking above the soil – these are lettuce, these are chard. Oh and look, here are two tiny cantaloupe leaves coming out of the soil.” Pretty exciting!

Sunset

Nap together.

We went to the hardware store on San Pablo. I got a cultivation tool, seeds, fertilizer, potting soil, and was looking around and spotted some XL gloves, so bought a box of those too.

Jean worked in the studio. I spent time in the garden.

Fixed enchilada sauce for tomorrow night (roast peppers, garlic, onion, tomatoes).

Sourdough starter has been working for several days and today started sponge (or poolish) of whole wheat flour using a recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book. The Tassajara book was where I learned to bake bread in 1969.

Jean fixed a stellar vegetable and tofu stir-fry. Ginger and tamari made the difference. As always, we stayed at the table for awhile, cleaned up, read, watched a Seinfeld episode.

Friday 4/10

Awoke about 6:30. Meds and snack ritual, coffee, sunup on the Bay 

Chocolate chip cookies, sourdough bread

Breakfast – same as yesterday, with slight variations in the fruit. It’s difficult to keep a good supply of ripe fruit in these virus days. We currently have an abundance of cara-cara oranges and mangoes (WooHoo!), and a few days worth of strawberries, blueberries, pears, and bananas. I’ve been dehydrating fruit for several days (mangoes, pears, apples, strawberries) in case things get difficult. 

 

Started working on the bread – folding flour, salt, and oil into the levain, kneading, cutting into pieces that ultimately became a whole wheat batard, mini-baguette, pecan/currant/cinnamon round loaf, cheese round loaf, spread some of the dough out for cheese and some for the pecans, etc., then into bannetons or couches, proofing, slashing, egg wash, and baking on a stone. Bread! Crusty old whole wheat loaves. Good crust, good crumb, great tastes. Old-time hippie bread.

“Bread makes itself, with your kindness, your help, with imagination running through you, with dough under hand, you are bread-making itself, which is why bread-making is so fulfilling and rewarding.” Edward Espe Brown, Tassajara author

Nap 

Dinner: cheese enchiladas, guacamole and chips, salad.

Saturday 4/11

6:30, snacks, meds, coffee.

Same breakfast. I had limited goals for today as we’ve actually been busy and moving fast the past few days.

Exercise, brisk walk, come home, write, lunch, nap, take it easy. I’m doing stretching and strengthening exercises to deal with hip and shoulder pain from osteoarthritis. I’ve started doing some stretching exercises before I get out of bed, as the exercises are the best way to prevent pain. Alas, alas! I miss NSAIDS! Acetaminophen, even at max of 4 gm/day just doesn’t manage the pain well. Acetaminophen + exercise does okay job, and that’s the way it’s going to be. Icy-Hot helps as well.

Afternoon on The Bay

 

It’s a Schubert kind of day.

Jean in her studio.

Jean and I are very much in relation to one another – the Endless Summer continues, albeit quietly. We talk endlessly. I talk with David and with John every day. In touch with David O and Ron every few days, and with Charles B, Peter, Larry, and Jim Z about once/week. I think of Leslie every day. Wonderful to have these connections.

Two years ago in Udaipur we had a dinner on a patio on the lake in the center of town. One of the dishes was roasted new potatoes stuffed with nuts, paneer, spices. I’ve made some variation on this several times. Tonight I stuffed the potatoes with potato, mixed feta and goat cheese, roasted walnuts, lemon zest, and lemon thyme.

Kitchen and dining room at Orr Hot Springs – from the porch of our cabin.

Watched Dr. No. Pretty goofy and definitely not sexy, but hey…

Sunday 4/12

Awoke about 6:20. Meds and snack ritual, coffee, no sunup on the Bay today: solid grey 

Van in the morning (“every line in that song is like a chapter”), now Chopin.

Buckwheat crepes with fruit (strawberries, mango, blueberries)

Stretching exercise, walk for 30 minutes.

Planning big trip to Berkeley Bowl tomorrow.

I talked with Jeff. His Mom has far advanced cancer. Jeff is taking care of her. Lucky Mrs. Wiseman!

Udaipur palace across lake from the hotel restaurant patio (our room had the same view)

Dinner roasted small chickens on bed of lemon and onions, roasted asparagus, carrot, potatoes from last night.

Watched the last 30 minutes of Dr. No.

Got ready for grocery shopping tomorrow. Fix part of breakfast (slice mango, prep orange, get strawberries ready).

Monday 4/13

Awake at 0530. Stretching exercises in bed. Fly through getting breakfast ready. Coffee with Jean. Eat. To Berkeley Bowl – gloves and mask. I was #3 in line. Waited for an hour. Huge shopping trip. Spent $280. Shopping is a big production, even at senior hours.

Unpacked groceries, giving quick wipe to boxed or canned goods

Aes Luz and other musicians in dining room at Orr

, washed produce, put stuff up. Tons of produce – some, like apples, mushrooms, kalamatas destined for dehydration.

Video conference with PT at Kaiser re hip and shoulder pain. I’ve been doing specific exercises for these for 6-8 weeks. Pain better and I’m stronger, but I want to decrease acetaminophen intake and felt that a refresher encounter was a good idea.

Walked up to Raxakoul Coffee and Cheese to buy 5# whole wheat flour, 5# all-purpose flour, 5# brown rice, and some cheese.

Jean is making borscht with beets from Monika. In a little while she’s getting on a Zoom birthday call with Marika, Amy, Janet, and Lori. Then to studio. I’m writing this…

One of the pools at Orr

Grateful that right before all this began, we spent three days at Orr Hot Springs, a beautiful two days at River Ranch in Carmel Valley, and a beautiful day in Bolinas. We had dinner with David and Charles and Hobe and Jennifer right before the shut-down.

Tuesday 4/14

Up at 0630. Snack, meds and water. It takes about 25 minutes to get everything done and back to bed. Early morning sky begins with the faintest blue/grey of the Bay into blue mist around the mountains, edging into transcendental pink and finally grey/blue skies. I gave Jean a 15 minute shoulder, neck, and head massage. 

The usual breakfast – bowl with mango, orange, strawberries, blueberries, pear with yogurt and maple syrup with toast and almond butter – the bread was whole wheat with pecans, cinnamon, and currants. I may be going too far with this California life. What a way to go.

Morning

I spent the whole morning deleting emails and responding to some. I’ve been dodging this task for weeks. But I got it done. Meanwhile, my partner had it even worse, dealing with credit card stuff.

 

Chicken sandwich for lunch; Jean had egg salad.

Nap together.

To garden. Planted blueberry bush that Nancy and Peter gave us. Straw around strawberries. Tied up sweet peas. Strangely, climbing sweet peas aren’t very quick climbers and have to be coaxed and tied up to strings. Jean was clearing underbrush, getting ready to plant some succulents.

We rearranged the outside studio downstairs. That area has long reminded me of some place in Cambodia or Thailand – two large work tables, poles for hanging fabric, chairs, and then the garden, vegetables, flowers, bamboo, Buddha image, cascades of fragrant white flowers. Really.

Generally speaking, I have the more energy in the mornings and Jean has more energy in the afternoons. I’m tired by about three. Jean kept on trucking, finishing 5:00-5:30. I have an afternoon and evening bowl.

CK in back garden

I’m listening to Murder Most Foul. Bob Dylan is back!

 

I heard from Hermanson today. We were in the Corps together. After Boot Camp and Infantry Training Regiment (ITR) he went to recon and I went to infantry – exactly where I wanted to be. He has had a very difficult last two months with pancreatic cancer, surgery, and pneumonia. Hermanson is a very, very tough man. There is a dangerous edge to him.

The ground olives we’ve been dehydrating for two days should be ready tonight. Though I rinsed them thoroughly, there is still much oil, hence slower

January – UC Berkeley campus, chorus at Sather Gate. No more of that!

dehydration.

 

Wednesday 4/15

Up at 0630. Fixed coffee, meds, snack. Pink and blue and gray skies, few clouds. Serious lounging. Jean gave me a 15 minute massage this morning.

Jean had oatmeal with fruit and I had fruit and yogurt and toast with almond butter for breakfast.

Started 1.5# mushrooms dehydrating.

Exercise. I’ve discovered that some stretching exercises are the only things that help with the hip and shoulder pain. I exercise before I get out of bed, after breakfast, and before dinner and a few abbreviated exercises in between.

Chancellor’s Garden before the shutdown

Our neighbor Monika again offered to shop for groceries for us. Thank you, Monika!

Made beef stew with caramelized onions and pinot.

Worked a little in the garden. Pruning by negotiation, LOL.

Mushrooms finished dehydrating in about 6 hours.

Lunch with David via Facetime.

Nap

Jean worked in garden, then to studio. She talks on the phone with friends throughout the day, so that’s a real nice thing.

I went for a 30 minute walk, showered, computer.

Stew for dinner. Read, watched a little of The Crown.

Thursday 4/16 – today begins week 5

Sunset

0630, awake, snack, meds, coffee, lounging, massage. 

Same breakfast – so good!

A few days ago Monika told me East Bay Nursery is open. I went today and got Sungold and Early Girl tomatoes, jalapeno and serrano peppers, eggplant and some potting soil. We’re set. In the front garden we already had strawberries, blueberries, chives, lemon grass, lemon tree, lime tree, sage, thyme, oregano, and many flowers. Seeds planted include basil, cilantro, parsley, Thai basil, peas. In back garden there are strawberries, lettuce, chard, Sungold tomatoes, mint, and many flowers. There is also a kaffir lime tree and a miniature lemon tree.

How am I doing? Pretty good. I think I’m emotionally a little blunted, a little prone to irritation, but overall, okay. We’re happy together, getting along, loving. We’re surprisingly busy; we haven’t even gotten to deep cleaning the house.

Sunset

Jean is in the studio more. She’s gotten a wonderful response to her covid mask. The deYoung Museum Textile Arts Council put the pattern and instructions up on their site, and a very nice store, Britex, has the pattern and cut materials for six masks for $10 (a community service). Nice affirmation.

Nap, nice afternoon, me in the garden or living room and Jean in the studio.

Dinner was blackened catfish tacos with all kinds of sides, garden salad, guacamole.

We are living a very fortunate life, indeed.

Well, I see trees of green and red roses too
I’ll watch them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Well, I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white
And the brightness of day
I like the dark
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow so pretty…

(Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)

And here we are, at the end of another week in Berkeley, and a month into this covid 19 scene.

 

 

 

Afternoon magic, The Dreamer, gratitude for her presence, love on the way to the toilet, what matters now, epic journeys, John Chase, years of living dangerously

David, Jean, The Dreamer in David’s office

In the afternoon, taking a short nap, then lying spooning, tangled up together for I don’t know how long – 20-30 minutes, warm, so comfortable, comfortable physically, emotionally, puppies, lovers, friends, the afternoon sun starting to come in the doors, crystals sparkling, alive, rainbows on the walls and our bodies, knowing that literally this is as good as it gets, grateful. Remembering and writing this is as close as I can come to preserving the magic.

The Dreamer photo was taken in David’s office at UC Berkeley. Jean gave him The Dreamer. When we put it up, she explained some of how and why she made it. It’s felted wool. All of the lines on the body and face were sewn in and everything was shrunk.

Another day, kind of cold, taking a nap. Under the covers I encircled your warm, soft right thigh with both hands and we fell asleep like that… and awoke 20 minutes later – like that. This too, is as good as it gets.

The Chancellor’s Garden – in the Berkeley Hills

—————

Going through flyers and things related to events I’ve attended (mostly psychedelic forest gatherings) I ran across this from an Each Moment Matters event:

Remember not that she died; but that she lived.

Of course it’s not one or the other; it’s both, in varying degrees. But there is movement toward more good days than bad. And now, five years later, the days are all good. I think of Leslie a number of times every day. Her presence is like an overlay to my life and I think of her more in brief moments than in endless sad ruminations; more in gratitude for her presence in the world and in David’s and my life. More in being inspired by her. Just the love. Not the awful pain.

—————

I told my doctor that when I was getting up four times a night to pee, it was okay, because I’m happy, including when walking in the hall (“with hangings rich of many strange design”) on the way to the bathroom. But five times is too much.

Morning has broken, like the first morning…

—————-

We were talkingabout being with a friend with ALS – a friend who is moving inexorably toward the end of life, who is unable to speak; but who can use her eyes with a computer to spell out messages. What do you say when there is nothing left to say? This specific question emerged:

What matters to you now?

Burning Man art – at Oakland Museum (Kristina!)

And it’s a question for us all, all the time. What matters now? Jean asked her friend this question. Love was right there at the top.

We see that personal growth can be part of the process of dying; that values clarification has value until the end; that the human spirit turns toward the light – toward love.

—————

Jean’s sister, Ginny and brother-in-law, Jim were here for a couple of days. They had flown from Tucson to Chicago, then caught the California Zephyr (Amtrak) to Denver, through the Rockies, across Utah, through the Sierras (all of this in deep winter), and on into Oakland. From Oakland (Emeryville) they’ll take the Coast Starlight to Los Angeles and from there, the Sunset Limited to Tucson. Pretty cool!

Back gate I made for Dallas house

Years ago, Jim’s doctor in New Jersey told him he had to quit smoking or die. So he flew to the west coast and rode his bicycle back to the east coast and by the time he got to the Atlantic Ocean, he had truly quit tobacco. Epic.

I was looking at Ginny and Jim’s New Zealand cycling blog: 59 days, north to south, 30 nights in a tent, seashores, up hill and down dale. More epicness. This man understands epic journeys.

So I was thinking about epic journeys in life. It’s worth thinking about. Some of my epic journeys are 13 months of combat, the hippie years, taking care of Leslie at the end of her life, a 10 day solo trek into the Wind Rivers wilderness, and other journeys across geography and mind/heart.

—————

From the deck

In 1988, when I was operating community health programs out of the East Dallas Police Storefront, a police officer was murdered in downtown Dallas. John Chase was shot three times by a homeless man who had grabbed John’s pistol. John pled for his life while a crowd was urging the man to shoot: “Kill him!” they were shouting. “Kill that white mother-fucker.” I had only met John once, but the killing hit me hard because he was a nice guy and because nobody tried to stop the killer. Afterward I made a clear commitment that I would never let something like that happen in my presence, regardless of the risks. I’m older now, and not much of a badass, but here it is again: the same commitment to the memory of John Chase.

As with all other murders, John was autopsied. His partner, Gilbert was there for the entire procedure. Gilbert is a true warrior.

—————

Can you see how this blog functions as a kind of memoryizer (new word meaning promotes remembering)? I guess it’s a way of keeping my shit together, as we used to say.

—————

Sunset from the deck. NOT Photoshopped

My high school class (1962) has a Facebook page. 20-25% of the class is on that page. It’s nice. Everyone on the page is about 75 years old. There are all kinds of realities associated with that age. In a recent discussion three people noted that they are homebound. Death is near for most of us and not far for the rest. I recently posted on that FB page:

These are truly the years of living dangerously. A classmate’s recent listing of classmates who have passed (about 20% of us) was such a powerful document. And here we are, still living after all these years! We’re all kind of like people living with cancer (and some actually are) – each day, each moment, each touch, each kind or loving word… Treasures. Here’s to each one of us, here and not here.

And it feels so good, and it feels so good

In a meadow, 2016

Three years ago, right before our Endless Summer began we went from Aptos (near Santa Cruz) to La Honda (where the Merry Pranksters had a scene). On the way we stopped in the Coastal Range on the side of a mountain and walked “in a green field, in a meadow, through the buttercups, in the summertime” (from Take Me Back by Van Morrison).

The moment the Endless Summer began in Mendocino in May 2016

Sometime around February 2019 we talked about doing that same thing as a goal in the process of going through the physical challenges we were going through. There was a time (December, January, February, March) when there was no way we could have walked together in a green field like that.

Take Me Back is one of “our songs” – along with The Healing Has Begun and Sweet Thing.

And so last week we went to La Honda. We walked in the green meadow, in the flowers, down an avenue of trees (big trees!), in the misty morning, We took a hot tub (with the Coastal Range spread out before us) with Bill and Lisa, had dinner with Larry and Judith and Bill and Lisa, and spent the night on the floor of Lisa’s studio where early in our relationship we had one of the best nights of our lives – rainy cold night, fire in the pot-belly stove, air mattress leaking, so warm and beautiful…

Down an avenue of trees, 2019

Below are some words from Take Me Back. In this past week we went back, back to when we understood… now, understanding, we’re back, living like this and for the first time in months we…

We didn’t have no worries,
We didn’t have no care.

And yet

In the most difficult times,
In the dark hours

We felt good about life,
About one another – about our loving life
Never losing focus

It was a good hike to and from this beach. Like the beach where the Endless Summer began. No other people, 2019

Van (Here is YouTube of Take Me Back – opens in separate window):

Take me… way, way back, way back
When you walked, in a green field, in a green meadow
Down an avenue of trees
On a, on a golden summer
And the sky was blue
And you didn’t have no worries, you didn’t have no care

You were walking in a green field
In a meadow, through the buttercups, in the summertime
And you looked way out over, way out
Way out over the city and the water
And it feels so good, and it feels so good
And you keep on walking

And the music on the radio, and the music on World One radio

In a meadow, 2019

Has so much soul, has so much soul
And you listen, in the night time
While we’re still and quiet
And you look out on the water
And the big ships, and the big boats
Came on sailing by, by, by, by

And you felt so good, and I felt so good
Take me back, there, take me way back there
Take me back, take me back, take me back
Take me way, way, way back, way back
To when, when I understood
When I understood the light, when I understood the light
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon

Our little yurt in the forest, 2019

Take me back, take me back, take me back
Take me way, way, way, way, way, way, way
Back when I, when I understood, when I understood, yeah
Oh, ah, take me way back, when, when, when, when, when, when
When, when, when, when, when, when, when
I was walking down the
Walking down the street and
It didn’t matter
Cause everything felt, everything felt, everything felt
Everything felt, everything felt, everything felt, everything felt
Everything felt, 

In the rhododendron forest at Mendocino Botanical Gardens, 2019

everything felt, everything felt so right, ha!
And so good

Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good, ah!
Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good, so good
In the eternal now, in the eternal moment
In the eternal now, in the eternal moment
In the eternal now

Bed and breakfast

________________
Back to Berkeley for a few days and then drive to Mendocino – north on 101, through the hills and vineyards, west on 258 through Navarro Redwoods State Park where we turned off on an unmarked road and walked for a bit among the redwoods and then up to Highway 1 to Albion and winding up along the coastal headlands, and there’s Mendocino, from a distance looking like I imagine old New England looked like with beautiful old white buildings, and up close the gardens are pure lush California!

We stayed for two nights at the McCallum House, a nice bed and breakfast a short block from the main street. We walked the headlands, we walked in a rhododendron forest, we sat on the same bench above the crashing surf where we sat three years ago, we laid on a sarong on a beach in a golden

Inside our yurt

afternoon with waves rolling in and hissing back out, we hiked down to another completely deserted beach in a cove and lay alone with just the sky and sea and rocks and surf and sand and sea gulls soaring (this was exactly how the Endless Summer began). The hike back up from the beach was steep and by the time we got back to the trailhead, we knew this hike was a measure of where we are in the process of healing – and it’s a good place.

From Mendocino we took a winding and sometimes rough road to Orr Hot Springs. Along the way we walked in a redwood forest – the only people there, walking down an avenue of trees along a stream bubbling along beside the flat(!) trail. A few miles down the road we got to Orr. We checked in, put our stuff in a cart and hauled it up a path and then carried it  up two flights of stairs to our fine little yurt in the forest. No locks on the doors of the rooms at this place, except when you’re in a room you can latch the door.

Jean – Mendocino headlands, 2019

The vibe at the pools and elsewhere was so good. Good mix of ages and orientations. It felt sexy to me, but there was no acting out. The hot pools are small, but Orr limits the number of day users and campers, so it was never crowded. Everyone has to bring and prepare their own food, so, as so often before, there we were in a kitchen full of nice people cooking/cleaning up whatever – a scene I’ve always enjoyed. There was one little grove where smoking was allowed. The smoke of choice was grown right there in Humboldt county.

Front garden

We were only at Orr for an afternoon, night, and into the next afternoon. It was beautiful, peaceful, quiet (no wifi), a loving and affirming place for us. Berkeley in about three hours. Look at those sweet peas! Pick some strawberries. We’re home.

Random writing – lunar eclipse, the way to the back yard, ER, cardiac cath, lion…

Photo from David Prosper in Richmond, California, a mile our two from us.

I write things that never get posted. Here are some things I found in a few files from several months ago.

We got up at 5 in the morning to see the lunar eclipse. Wrapped up in blankets and a sleeping bag on the deck with the moon hanging perfectly far away above the sea and us getting all dewy damp.

————

Back garden from the deck

The mystic way to the back garden lies down a narrow stairway with patterned textiles and warm golden light and a couple of turns and through a workroom – now through a narrow hallway, turn right, then left and down four steps into Jean’s studio with high ceiling, the big work table, the sewing machines, journals, materials and mystic masks on the wall – wolf, goat, crows, spirit animals all – through the door onto the covered back porch, past a chaise on the left and on the right, chairs and two big work tables, and now the back yard.

The back yard is small. A path curves off the back porch/deck. Step down 1 – 2 – 3, with chamomile growing between the steps and mint on either side and the path curving past a low stone wall on the right with the large flax plant and earlier in the year there were tomato and pepper plants, and basil, lettuce, and chard. On the left succulents, day lilies, hydrangeas, a bush with purple flowers, calla lilies, and a stone Buddha statue. There is a bamboo grove and a patio where I’m building two raised bed grow boxes.

————

Streams of consciousness…

The past, running through me alive, beautiful, love not lost love alive and within, reborn, 73 years, death not too far away and how can I lose? Love behind, Love now, Love beyond. Reborn into this!

This endless summer, this endless summer of love.

Jean drove me to the ER at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. I had been short of breath for several days, waiting to go like any other dodgy patient. (I asked myself, what would I say to a friend or patient with sob – go to the ER, of course. So I did.) They took me back right away while Jean waited out front. They took vitals, drew blood, EKG and put me in a room. I went out to the waiting room. “Go home.” “No.” “Go, I’m fine.” “I’ll wait.” But finally she went. CXR, chest CT. Out of cell phone touch.

The past, Love; the now, Love; the beyond, Love. In the room, thinking of Leslie, David, Jean, David, Jean, Leslie, Jean, Leslie, David, life, love. It won’t be, but what if this is the last thing I write? I’ve lived, I’ve loved, I’ve been loved. My epitaph.

And I will never grow so old again. Close to three years ago I was so old. I was dark and dying and now I’m reborn.

The things I will leave.

I imagine when it happens – when I die – I’ll feel a pulse of fear.

Bill, Lisa, Charles, Jean in New Orleans

Finally, they cut me loose, with some abnormal findings and instructions to follow-up. More on that in a moment.

———-

We flew to New Orleans with Bill and Lisa to celebrate Bill’s 70th. In a club in the Treme, sitting in the back (kind of the senior section). Rock & Roll will live forever.

I am happy. It’s 12/1, 2017, 747 pm.

And we’ll walk down the avenue in style,

And we’ll walk down the avenue and we’ll smile,

And we’ll say, “Baby, ain’t it all worthwhile.”

When you hear the music ringing in your soul,

And the feeling in your heart just grows and grows…

———-

The moon was shining bright when we awoke in the alive night. We made love in the dawning light.

————

A page from Remember

Reading Chops WanderWeird’s book, Remember: “I’ll tell you of many things, but the first and most important is that you already know all of this” (one of the hippest things I’ve ever read), and you, Jean already know all of this. I don’t think Chops was trying to tell us anything we don’t already know; he wants to help us Remember.

———–

Three days in New Orleans with Bill and Lisa. We stayed in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house a block off Magazine Street and a few blocks from St. Charles. Gumbo, fried oysters, hush puppies, beignets, all of that. We went to Frenchman’s Street and had a good time bar-hopping (no drinking, no problem). The second night we (Lisa, that is) tracked down a really good singer (Myschia Lake) we’d heard the first night. Hanging out at Chickie Wah-Wah bar. The third night we went to a bar that Jean had been to a few years ago. There we were in the Bullet Sports Bar in the Treme’ – Rock and roll, black and white, young and old, good and good.

———–

I went to my internist today. At the beginning of the visit I said this to her:

I’m 73. I’ve lived longer than anyone ever in my family – partly because of the way I live and partly by luck.

I was married for 45 years to my high school sweetheart. She passed away almost three years ago. The grief was terrible. “It never occurred to me that you could love someone the same way after he was gone, that I would continue to feel such love and gratitude alongside the terrible sorrow, the grief so heavy that at times I shiver

and moan under the weight of it” (from When Breath Becomes Air). I know about this.

For the past year and a half I’ve been in a relationship with a remarkable woman in Berkeley, so I’m there more than here. I have a ticket to return to California next week. And we have tickets to India in January.

All this to say, I have a strong sense of my mortality and I’m intent on living as well as possible.

The internist responded to my situation and got a hurry

-up echocardiogram scheduled. The echo showed a need for further assessment, specifically a cardiac catheterization.

————–

On Friday morning at 0900, the cardiac clinic called to ask if I was coming to my appointment at 0920. This was the first I’d heard of the appointment. I said I could be there in about 40 minutes, but they were unwilling to do this (to my great irritation) and so scheduled me for an afternoon appointment, which was okay with me. When I got to the appointment, I learned

Leslie in the Circle of Friends

that the doctor’s name was Aslan ___.

About 15 years ago in a wilderness area of Big Bend National Park I had a very close encounter with a mountain lion. I had walked away from my campsite to pee and as I started to unzip, I heard a sound and looked up to see the cougar standing about 40 feet away looking at me with those great golden eyes (later, I paced it off; the animal really was that close). Feeling that I should be cool about the situation, I went ahead and unzipped and urinated, all the while talking to the cougar in what I hoped was a reassuring voice. It sat down and began licking its chest, but still looking at me. I zipped back up and turned and walked away – later to learn that you’re not supposed to turn your back on a mountain lion. This encounter had great significance to me. I

Band playing in the garage next to David’s house.

realized that this was my spirit animal.

And now, a doctor named lion (Aslan) was going to perform a cardiac catheterization on me. Talk about a feeling of confidence and synchronicity – glad I didn’t make it to the earlier appointment!

Jean flew in to be with me through the process. Jean and John and I went to UTSW.

On the day of the procedure they took me into the cath room (not quite an OR, but not your average procedure room, either). Everybody is gowned and

Jean and Kristina in Dallas.

masked and it seems serious. I was looking around wondering if this would be the last thing I saw. Someone asked me if there was any music I’d like to listen to. I said no, whatever the doctor liked was what I wanted. They said, oh, never mind, what do you like? I said I’d been listening to the Ramones, I Wanna be Well. They didn’t think they had any Ramones and then someone said, don’t they have a song called I Wanna be Sedated. So I sang part of Sedated to them – “20-20-24 hours to go, I wanna be sedated. Nothin’ to do, nowhere to go, I wanna be sedated.” We had a good time with that, though I can’t really sing like Joey. Then someone walked up to me and said, “I heard you want to be sedated.” I said, “Oh yeah.” And so she started the versed or fentanyl, whichever goes first. I woke up however long later – all was well – Jean was there – they had not needed to put in a stent. “Oh yeah, I wanna be well.”

Some of G-5 men’s Bible study group at Bryce’s ranch

—————

The endless summer: an endless summer is not something that just happens. It needs intention and focus and a high consciousness (like “I embrace your anger.”), and above all, Love.

—————

John and Sherry gave me a copy of Devotions (Patti Smith), one of a series of books on “Why I Write.” The first paragraph of this book sparked this…

Saturday at the Albany Bulb Landfill full of “outsider art”

When I was about 10 I had a vision of the suffering of the world (embodied in my own small suffering – though it didn’t seem small at the time).

When I was 21, home from the war in Vietnam, I made a commitment to myself to never waste my life (though I believe that nothing is something worth doing – Shpongle). And I had a vision that we all are one and took the bodhisattva vow. What was I to do? Leslie was already doing service. I had a groovy little store, The New Store, where I sold waterbeds, waterbed frames, shelves, tables – the store motto was “The New Store is a Wooden Ship.” Then I saw a way to integrate

At the Bulb

the visions and commitments. I went back to school for a year of prerequisites and then on to nursing school, worked as an RN, then graduate school, then hospice, refugees, education, nurse practitioner, primary care. I started writing in 1984 as a way to expand on the vision – healing the sick, relieving suffering (going back to the bodhisattva vow), working toward one world, and so on. Following are titles (pasted from c.v.) of some of what I wrote:

 

Books: Infectious and Tropical Diseases: A Handbook for Primary Care, Refugee and Immigrant Health, Terminal Illness: A Guide to Nursing Care.

Jean at the Bulb

Book chapters: Promoting Healthy Partnerships with Refugees and Immigrants, Culture and Spiritual Care at the End-of-Life, Spiritual Care in Terminal Illness, Anorexia and Cachexia, Six Stories, Promoting Healthy Partnerships with Refugees and Immigrants, Grief and Loss, Refugee and Immigrant Health, The Baylor Community Care Program, Grief, Refugee Health and Community Nursing, Cambodian Refugee Health Project.

Articles (in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Cancer Nursing, etc. – with thanks to co-authors): Living as a refugee, Cultural issues in palliative care, Community health nursing: Where we are going and how to get there, Culture and the end of life: Major world religions, Culture and the end of life: Chinese, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Hookworm, Culture and the end of life: Nigerians, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Viral hemorrhagic fevers, Culture and the end of life: (Asian) Indian health beliefs and practices related to the end of life, Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part II, Sudan, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Giardiasis, Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part I, Somalia, Bioterrorism: Introduction and major agents, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Filariasis, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Echinococcosis (hydatid disease), Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part I, Sudan, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Dengue fever, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Chagas’ disease, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Brucellosis, Culture and the end of life: East African cultures-Part I, Somali, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Ascaraisis, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Amebiasis, Infectious diseases of refugees and immigrants: Introduction, Culture and the end of life: Hispanic cultures (Mexican-Americans), Culture and the end of life: Cambodians and Laotians, Culture and the end of life: Introduction (to a series), Vietnamese health beliefs and practices related to the end of life, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and uterine cancers, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, oral cavity, and ovarian cancers, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Lung cancer, melanoma, and multiple myeloma, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Renal cancer, leukemia, and hepatic cancer, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and esophageal cancer, Laotian health care beliefs and practices, Metastatic spread and common symptoms: Introduction, bladder cancer, and brain cancer, Palliative care for respiratory problems in terminal illness, Cancer detection activities coordinated by nursing students in community health, Managing chronic pain in patients with advanced disease and substance-related disorders, Islamic cultures: Health care beliefs and practices, Palliative care for patients with acquired immunodeficiency disorder, Spiritual care in terminal illness: Practical applications, Community health clinical experiences: The primary care setting, Teaching strategies for operationalizing nursing’s agenda for health care reform, Preparing for death: A Christian guide for individuals and families, Health services for refugees in countries of second asylum, Writing successful grant proposals for services to clients, Addressing the needs of underserved populations, Basic counseling skills: the refugee client. Cambodian refugee health care beliefs and practices, The dying process.

Announcing Our Domestic Partnership

Bolinas, California!

The day began in bed with coffee, talking, watching the day break, Mt. Tam, the hummingbirds, the light, the Bay, the bridge (and beyond that, the endless Pacific), the trees, our “bowl of light,” our loving. As always, we were there for a good while. For breakfast, Jean made buckwheat crepes with fruit and maple syrup.

We met David for a nice lunch at a typical Berkeley restaurant (diverse customers, good food, flowers). Then on to Marcia’s garden where we walked around the garden and then sat by the pond and signed Domestic Partnership papers. This is the garden, where two years ago on February 23rd Jean and I connected.

So, with joy, I announce that

Jean Cacicedo and I are domestic partners

One of our main considerations is that we want full access to one another if either of us is in a healthcare situation, as well as other legal considerations. We had exchanged vows about a year ago in a deep night – over the waterfall, for better and worse, in sickness and in health… now we’ll be recognized by California as domestic partners.

Charles, David, Jean day of commitment 2/23/2018

David’s presence was wonderful… his acceptance and love for Jean has been beautiful. We all know what we have and we all work to make it work – to be as beautiful as we can be… thank you David,

A card Jean made -one photo superimposed on another

Jean, Charles B. I love you, Son. You keep on quietly going beyond. Text from DK: “It was an honor being there. Our little family grows as we grow.”

We had dinner at a new restaurant on San Pablo. I was thinking, it wouldn’t be easy to be more romantic than we are much of the time. It was a lovely anniversary dinner, interested up by our small sharing plates were cold, so Jean warmed them by sitting on them. This is, after all, Berkeley.

We entered into a legal partnership primarily for legal reasons, but that night into the next day (and beyond), the significance of what we’d done began to open up within us. A piece of paper doesn’t change hearts, still, it was a big step and I felt and continue to feel the tender commitment brought into focus.

Snow/ice storm in the Snowy Range, Wyoming 2017

The next day (Saturday) we had David and Charles for dinner. First course was champagne and crab, fresh, steamed, served with lemon. Then

grilled chicken with Indonesian marinade; salad with orange, avocado, mint, greens, oil and vinegar; asparagus with horseradish sauce; Acme levain; and for dessert, fresh blueberry galette and peppermint tea. California! I said grace, including an incomplete quote from the apostle Paul: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love… the greatest of these is love… love.” Conversation was wide-ranging – life, death, food, ethics, television, books,

Colorado, 2017

travel, and not any talk of Trump. It is a beautiful thing that we all are so connected

with one another. Every day I am consciously grateful for this.

Another week in Berkeley

Sunday

Door – bedroom/temple

Notes made during a week in Berkeley. Photos were not necessarily taken during this week and most don’t correspond to the text – but they do correspond to the heart and promise of life.

In the morning we had coffee in bed, talked, . Had a bowl of fruit (mango, melon, pear, blueberries), then went to a café on The Arlington for eggs, potatoes, etc. Hanging out at home. Monterrey Market for fruit (Why would the NYT publish a piece on a small independent produce market on the left coast so far from New York?). Home time. I made some maple-glazed pecans.

Mango, melon, banana, blueberries, yogurt, maple syrup

Dinner with friends – another couple, a single friend, the couple’s son for part of the time. What a house! What a meal! What company! The son is headed to a detention camp to volunteer with “detainees” from Latin America. I told him these true words spoken to me by Paul Thai: “If you spend time with refugees, you’re gonna be sad.” True hearts. Tribulation.

Dinner conversation: if you were going to be an expat, where would it be. Everyone said Berkeley, except one person said

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

the town that adjoins Berkeley.

Monday

We had coffee and talked and in the morning light. Fruit, yogurt, levain with almond butter for breakfast. We talked about textiles on the walls in Dallas and ways we are congruent. Went to a friend’s house to look at some prints he was giving away. I took one and Jean two. She then took me to North Berkeley BART to catch the train to San Francisco to have lunch with David.

With David

On the train the thump thump thump began and someone dancing in the open area at the other end of the car. Got off at 16th and Mission, up the escalator and onto the plaza with lots of homeless and drugged people

around. Walked up 16th and a few blocks up the 22 bus stopped right beside me – why not? And I jumped on. There was a pretty Central American woman with a baby strapped to her back, so that was nice. I got off at Church and Market and walked up Market and met David

Walkway to Susan’s house

on the sidewalk. We walked to Slurp on Castro – David had a curry soup and I had pad Thai. We’ve been apart for a week, so lots of catching up. What a highlight of my life these lunches with David are. What warm, easy times these are.

 

After lunch we walked down Market as far as Noe and then I headed back up Market to catch the Muni to BART, then caught Richmond train to downtown Berkeley. My bus home (7 bus) came at wrong time and I was looking at a 30 minute wait, so took Uber home.

Looked at news and FB on computer, then lay down

Jean’s house

on the floor to take a nap. Jean came home and lay on the floor with me, then she went to bedroom to take a nap and I went on internet looking at India, Lonely Planet, FB.

Living room

Made a supplies run to Costco – got 2 pounds Peet’s Major Dickason’s for $14.95. Home: glass of wine, risotto with chanterelles, chicken, salad, bread. As always, we sat at the table for awhile, talking, then cleaned the kitchen, reading and computer stuff in living room. At one point Jean was saying something and my mind kind of wandered back to the computer and I realized that the internet is an expert at capturing my consciousness. I had let it! I started reading the new Alice Waters book, Coming to My Senses. Then Jean gave me a shoulder and neck massage – we lay together on the couch.

We both took showers and now we’re in bed and Jean is reading and I’m writing this and we’re going to sleep in a moment. But then we started talking and kissing and  and we went to sleep.

Tuesday

Coffee in bed, talking, and as day breaks.

Somebody did this and similar art on the far side of the Bulb

Fruit, yogurt, levain with almond butter.

Computer – daily dose of outrage at Trump and Republicans. I think the news is becoming unhealthy for me.

Talked with contractor re sump pump – hey, where y’all at?

Did business paperwork/computer – Aaargh!

Monterrey Market. Sandwich on deck for lunch. Took bulky trash out for the once-yearly pile of stuff. Nap. Went to the Albany “Bulb” for a bayside stroll.

Jean went to a friend’s birthday party for dinner and I stayed home, beef stew, salad, bread for dinner, reading, hanging out on internet – travel, FB, news.

Acme Bakery

Jean came home about 9 and we had tea (peppermint, orange from garden) on the deck. Then to bed, to facetime, to talk, to be.

Wednesday

We lay in bed talking and having coffee as the day dawned. Grey, cloudy day, clouds like stacked folded fluffy blankets.

The usual breakfast – pears (“French butter pears”), mango, blueberries, yogurt, granola, pain au levain, almond butter.

From the deck

Taking it easier today. I think lifting and carrying bulky trash, as well as other activities aggravated my left shoulder pain. It’s bad enough that I’m blunted physically and emotionally – emotionally because I don’t have reserves to truly manifest the love like usual. Taking 600 mg ibuprofen 4xday.

Went to Vik’s Chaat for a great lunch of fish curry, raita, etc., + Dahi Papdi Chaat. Then to http://www.berkeleybowl.com/. There is no

Jean and Marcia in Marcia’s garden

other store like Berkeley Bowl. Central Market in Dallas and Austin comes close, but the BB scene and vibe is beyond CM.

For dinner we had left over risotto with chanterelles, chicken, salad (lettuce, mint, tomatoes from our garden, bread. Hung out at the table talking. Tea inside as it was cold and wet outside. Watched part of an Indian movie about Rajasthan – not a great movie, but a good time with Jean. After movie, talking, drifting off to sleep.

Indian Path

Not having personal existential struggles with reality and truth and so on these days. I used to wonder, is this me? What am I doing here? It’s so fucking painful! Now. Now I am happy. I am fulfilled. I am satisfied. Satisfied!

Thursday

Coffee in bed (I’m the barrista – getting up first about 6 to make Peet’s Major Dickason’s strong coffee), talking, looking down on you, your beauty – love.

The usual breakfast. Then getting ready to go to The City together, Jean to meet Sherry for lunch and me to meet David for lunch – and I finally figured out how to order my last blog post. Drove to El Cerrito Plaza BART station where the train came a minute after we got to the platform. Riding through the East Bay, listening to music, Jean reading the 20th Wife and me writing.

16th and Mission

We got to the 16th and Mission station as I was listening to Desolation Row. Perfect, because here we were, on desolation row… There was a bloody paper towel by escalator. At the top of the escalator an old man with a deformed body in a wheelchair and the old man who lets the pigeons in his hands and on his shoulders and legs was feeding the pigeons as always and of course, there’s pigeon shit on him as well. People slumped against the railing, drinking, in a daze, talking to themselves, the usual, but maybe the energy in the plaza was edgier than usual.

We walked to the Walgreen’s corner, past two people with weird tattoos around their eyes and mouths buying heroin or something in a tiny plastic bag from a tall, unremarkable looking man with a dangerous looking bodyguard. We leaned against the wall waiting for Sherry. Up the sidewalk a man and woman were walking toward us. They began fighting with fists and feet. He quickly got the better of her and then they continued

16th and Mission

walking up the sidewalk. We stepped to the curb toward the bus stop where the guy selling dope was standing with his bodyguard and the couple walked past us, the woman crying. Pretty soon Sherry pulled up and Jean got in the car and I walked up 16th. I’d had enough weird.

You would not think to look at him, but he was famous long ago, for playing the electric violin on, desolation row.

We baked this: sourdough with currants, pecans, cinnamon; sourdough with cheese; sourdough

Got off bus at Church and Market and walked up Market to meet David on the corner, then to Dinosaur for banh mi and a nice time, sitting by an open window. Nice life. Walked to Castro Muni station to catch train to BART.

Persian breakfast for Bill and Lisa

I rode the train back to Berkeley and got there well before Jean, so drove to El Cerrito Recycling Center to drop of a shredder and dehumidifier, then home. Did some writing, then Jean called from an Oakland BART station, so I drove to El Cerrito Plaza and waited for her. We went to Tokyo Fish to get something for dinner, then to Acme Bread to pick up a “pizza Bianca” (a large flat loaf with lots of olive oil) for Friday dinner.

We rearranged the furniture in the downstairs bedroom so I can have some dedicated and more useable office space. We were lying on the bed, talking and ended up in the afternoon, OH!

Bedroom wall. In memorium, Barry

Jean worked on dinner for Friday when David and Charles will come over from San Francisco and I helped – spectacular chicken dish, rice (a long way from plain), Persian salad, za’atar, crab raviolis with cream sauce (these from place that just makes ravioli). I fixed most of tonight’s dinner – blackened catfish with panko, salad, bread with olive oil and fresh za’atar. Tea, reading, writing. Bedtime, facetime.

Friday

Jean coming up the hill at the Bulb – Alright!

Woke at 4:30 with pain. Got up, had bread and almond butter and 600 mg ibuprofen. Never really went back to sleep. Got up about 6, fixed coffee (French roast given to us by our next-door neighbor, Akbar, who owns a coffee roasting company), back to bed, talking, profound.

Fruit, yogurt… My shoulder pretty painful. Jean went to gym and shopping and I started on cake for tonight. It’s a NYT recipe that I had all the ingredients for, but I couldn’t access the directions on my computer. Then I got it on my phone and tried to email it to myself, but it would only send me the link I couldn’t open. I

The cake!

wrote the directions down and by then Jean was home. We had lunch and I continued with the recipe.

After several mishaps, It’s done now!

It’s Friday afternoon. Had a bowl. Hanging out, getting ready for David and Charles. Putting salad together, icing on cake, clean-up…

The dinner and company were great, but I had gotten behind on pain meds and suddenly was feeling very bad and unable to contribute to the conversation. I excused myself and went to the bedroom to be alone. David and Charles stayed for awhile and left, but I didn’t help at all in clean-up. When Jean came to bed,

John and Jack

we talked for a bit and then I moved to the living room and sat up until 12:30 and the pain lessened.

Saturday

This was my day to totally do nothing to really rest my shoulder. Jean made coffee and breakfast and everything else.

Our kitchen, our life, our committment

One thing I’ve noticed during this shoulder pain stuff is how active I am. Lifting things, carrying, reaching up, on my knees under something, garden stuff, just on and on.

But today, I pretty much didn’t do anything. Jean was in the City to meet Chris from Montana and then to a play with Linda. I spent much of the day downstairs. A few days ago we rearranged the bedroom/office so I can use it better and start doing all my business there.

Dinner was leftovers from dinner with David and Charles – excellent!

We watched part of Wonder Woman (? not so great). To sleep early, tired from the night of little sleep.

And thus ends another week in Berkeley, another week in Paradise. What a life! These are the days.