The bike rack may not go back on. With San Francisco ahead of us, we may leave our bikes here (Jake will take his back to AK) since we hardly use them in Homer. And carry on, scaled down to fit the cityscapes ahead. It will be all walking and trollies and skateboarding and searching for a decent place to park and sleep as soon as we hit Frisco. And now I’ve added a new wing to my plans. I’m going to spend two weeks in France cuddling Jiggy as much as possible, cooking and cleaning and discussing and reading Molly Lou’s latest poems. I just can’t stand the thought of her little boy missing his mother's touch during this trying time that she’s flat on her back with bedrest to mend her spine...three months! My heart aches for him and for her so much. Two weeks is little time, but I can do it. We’ve all talked about it. Jake will be in Alaska for the first week, then he and Michael will have their first duo adventure ever. Camping by Big Sur? Joshua Tree? Disneyland? My heart swells with love for Michael, who is excited at the thought of this time with Jake.
Being here, I’ve been leveled to a new, profound awareness of the importance of holding family close. Its wonderful to be around Tara’s kids. I actually haven’t had more than a few days here each year for the past 20 years. Its so lovely to go with the flow as a passengar, to absorb the place, and the energies of those who I don’t often see, like Sandor. He is so dear, stopping by for frequent and brief bites of family time. A bit scruffy in jeans and plaids, but always in a bowtie, his signature style sets him apart as an arborist a bit like like the Kookaburra in the Old Gum Tree. Yesterday we drove through a neighborhood of beautiful older Arcata homes. Sandor sees all properties in terms of their trees. Left at “The Mayor’s Tree” we stopped for icecream. He spends a lot of time pruning some of the larger trees in these parts.
“Looking at these trees, like those big Japanese Cedars makes me tired. It takes a lot of work to maintain their shape.”
Sandor and Tara pointed out several lovely older homes that were boarded up, some partially inhabited, some tagged. I could imagine them as dignified little homes, or shops. Arcata wears its air of weathered charm like an eccentric old lady in a vintage hat. I’m not seeing any pretensions. Michael loves its gritty edge, like the emerging arts scene around Arcata Playhouse. There’s some cute old houses down there he wants me to look at. Jake has other priorities, like snow. He’s looking forward to skiing over Thanksgiving, back in Alaska. He feels that 65 degrees is wiltingly hot. But he is very distracted by any opportunity to wheel around, or chase Tara’s new Sheltie puppy, Suki.
“Michael, there’s a pretty adorable scene going on in the bathroom!”
Suki, three months old and about the size of a small cat, is getting a bath. Today she demonstrated promise at delicately herding chickens. The family is dog-crazy, and its all very cute. Trevor greeted us warmly on Halloween in a giant fuzzy grey dogsuit. He was dressed as Wilfred, a certain virtual dog persona known to a younger generation, handing out candy to kids and hosting a party for friends.