Category Archives: Ranch Life

Change

My mother-in-law Nancy planted the orchard in 1982, and she has tended to it for all these years, slowing down only recently. (She is, after all, ninety-three years old; that’s her above in the 1990s.) This year, heat and drought … Continue reading

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Moving Towards the Light

It was already hot when I went for my morning walk up the canyon, wishing I had a buddy, either canine or human. It’s become a routine, looking forward to the shady stretch beneath the oaks, hearing the canyon wren … Continue reading

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Launch

It has become a ritual. We set the alarm, bundle up, go outside, and stand on the deck looking westward and up, sometimes feeling silly. Why are we so drawn to these spectacles in the sky that we rouse ourselves … Continue reading

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In A Land of Enchantment

It rained all through the night and into the morning, and everything is different. The road is shining like a river now. The canyon is fragrant. Tiny blades of green have suddenly erupted, and the leaves are dripping and glittering … Continue reading

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In this tricky time of trump and tumors…

I spend a lot of time appreciating how lucky I am. I’m fairly well insulated from hardship, surrounded by wonders, and traveling through life with a good partner by my side. Even so, I am going to acknowledge here that … Continue reading

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California Christmas

I’ve had plenty of bleak and poignant Christmases in my life–it certainly is a season of expectations and wishes that are often unmet–but this one has been especially strange. Part of it is the fire, of course, and so many … Continue reading

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A Different Kind of Loss

We had a pine tree growing near our house for nearly twenty years. I was used to seeing it through the bedroom window bathed in the light of new morning, and now and then, at the cusp of night, with … Continue reading

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Sea Grass

Yesterday we could see a smudge of smoke  along the horizon to the south, but the air on shore was relatively clear and fresh, and we went to the beach for a walk at low tide. It wasn’t just low … Continue reading

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While The World Is on Fire

My dear friend Cornelia came very close to losing her house in the Thomas Fire this week. A sequence of text messages and pictures attests to the drama: fear and uncertainty, her husband’s vigilant presence, flames roaring in the hills … Continue reading

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Fire Light

Yesterday I walked up the canyon wearing a cowboy hat and a breathing mask, toting a pink bag with a birthday present for our neighbor’s two-year-old daughter. There was something comical about it, but also surreal. The landscape glowed in … Continue reading

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