I just spent a long weekend in Yosemite with family. Mostly it was lovely, but it was also work as my parents were wrapping up the sale of their B&B. We hauled away heavy stuff, went through boxes of papers and camping gear, and looked over a lot of old photos.
My mother made a habit of keeping things we sent her, especially in our youth. Over the weekend she was kind enough to hand them back now that we’re adults. These were not always the happy things one normally associates with their parent’s keeping. For instance, mixed in with the first paid magazine article I wrote (and immediately sent to her) was a note from way back when I was a born-again that is filled to the brim with Christianese. This is a part of my past I am not always fully comfortable with, but curiously she kept a memento from then any way.
But I bring this up because I think this is a great idea. Most parents keep mementos of their children. But even better, I think its a good idea to keep them, and then hand them back to your children when they are old enough to have children of their own. Certainly it better to receive these things from your parents hand, rather than after a funeral. That way you both have time to reflect over them, the good and the bad.
One the way home I took this shot while driving south on Highway 41 near Fresno. You can see the hammerheads forming over the Sierras, which means its warm and moist in the valley. The clouds look small in the photo but each one of them is the size of a large town. These kinds of clouds are common in the Sumer, but not nearly so much in the early Spring. Also we saw yellow daffodils in bloom at my parent’s place, which is some 6200 feet in elevation. This time of year the Sierra’s are usually still packed with snow. This year I didn’t see any snow, not even in the shady parts of the road. And flowers this early, especially that high up, are very rare.
I don’t know what all of this means, except it was a lovely way to say goodbye.
Originally written on 5/25
Trevor and I went to The Aquarium of The Pacific down in Long Beach today. The drive was fast, both ways, the weather was nice, if a little cool, and there were about a gazillion people to share the experience with. Joy!
As before, the experience was outstanding. They really know how to run a place, and even with huge crowd, things went smoothly. Honestly, my only complaint is that the eating area is small enough that it can be difficult fiding a spot to eat. And if that is all I have to complain about, then that is saying something.
Trevor really loved a few of the exhibits; more than half our time there was spent at 4-5 spots. This was the first time he really got into observing at one place, which is a lot more interesting to me. You really get a better feel for an animal once you see more of it’s behaviors, and it gave me a goodly amount of time for people watching (one of my favorite pass-times).
Yes that fish is larger than you!
Jelly about to crash.
Open up and say Ahhhh
I just like the colors in this one.
Don’t jump. Don’t jump.
Cute kid. This is the only shot I did with a flash.
The boys are back in town.
This weekend we loaded up the Prius, and drove up to visit my parents in Yosemite. The occasion was to celebrate the birthday of my step-father, who is now 80, and still going strong.
Along the way we saw quite a few wildflowers growing along I-5 in an area referred to as “the Grapevine.” These two shots were taken just south of Gorman, which is just short of the 4400 ft elevation pass.
The splotching looking colors are widflowers. You can see the orange California Poppies in the second photo quite clearly.
Don’s birthday was great fun. Mom and friends put together a big party. Lots of people, lots of wine. Of note was one man (who’s name was Greg, iirc) who was a physician, and who is now a writer that converts physicanese into a language that lay-people can understand. He told me of helping a family who’s 8-year-old son had just died from a very rare blood disease. I guess he spent a lot of time with the family, helping them come to grips with a something that to them must be right out of a horror movie.
We got there early, which means we got to help set up. A good friend of my parents, Bayla, who happens to be an award winning belly-dancer, baked this rather cool cake.
The cake is of a mountain with snow on top. Emblazoned around the sides are the words, “Don Pitts, The Man, The Myth, The Legend.” With his prominent slogan from years of cross-country skiing “Ski or Die”.
The next morning we went to the Ahwahnee Hotel for their amazing brunch (thanks Mom). Afterwards we went for a short hike to Yosemite Falls, to get Trevor out and moving a bit before we drove back home. Thus the obligatory Yosemite snapshot of upper Yosemite falls below.