Category: dealing with stuff

One Useful Item

Two months in the desert this winter led to many fillings and emptying of our water bottles. A thin green scum eventually grows on bottom and lip at the top, but the bottle brush my husband thought to pack in our Wren camper works quickly and thoroughly.

Word from a Surfer Bumper Sticker

What appear to be seals off Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, are surfers waiting for the right wave. The wave of mountains behind them is the rest of Monterey Bay looking west (or south if you’re not from the area.) What a beautiful place.

I’ve been visiting desert landscapes since we left the Bay in early January, but I miss the surfers and the sea. When hiking, a slogan I saw or heard while on the coast comes back to me. I think it’s catchy and helpful.

Use Your God-given Gluts


Earthquake Humor

For three weeks in December, we moved out of Wren into a tiny attached housing unit with lots of light, a full kitchen and comfortable bed in a section of Santa Cruz called Pleasure Point. It’s famous for its waves and attracts surfers and those who love to walk or bike the boardwalk along the cliffs to watch them. The houses quickly become more modest as one walks away from the beach. Here among short streets packed with small houses there’s a neighborly feeling. We’re advised that our doors don’t need to be locked when we leave and as strangers, we get friendly smiles and hellos when out and about on foot.

I’ve had many pleasant interactions with one stand-out. It happened on a mild evening graced with a full moon. After dinner my husband, dog and I headed outdoors for a stroll. Around the first corner we met a man coming from the other direction on tiny Yucca Street. We nodded to one another, and then he asked had we noticed the moon and the ring around it. We murmured something about its beauty, and he said, “Means it’s going to snow or be an earthquake.” Then walked on into the night.

It never snows in Santa Cruz. I laughed in relief that this brand of dark humor is not confined to New England, but flourishes here as well. Great way to regard the real possibility that one will die in the sudden crashing of tectonic plates along the fault lines we’re perched above or in the tsunami that would follow it.

Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz CA

Better than a Mother’s Scolding

Part of living in Wren has been learning to close each cabinet drawer, no matter how small, immediately. Because quarters are so tight, one is sure to bang forehead, elbow, or temple on the corner of the heavy-duty cabinet door.  Those hinges do not give when struck by part of the human body. Although I still catch myself occasionally, the pain of impact has improved my ratio of closed to left-open dramatically. Did mom ever succeed in getting the kids to shut the drawers and doors after they found what was wanted?