Tag Archives: journey

Rain Result

21 Feb

Dear John,

I know you’re worried about us after all the news stories about rain and flooding in California. But we are just fine. I am writing this from somewhere in the Pacific. There has been so much rain that the house, which has been anchored to its foundation for 50 years, broke free of its moorings. I was watching a movie when it happened. Naturally, shore power immediately disconnected but my computer instantly went to battery mode, so I never noticed our house had moved until it actually bumped the neighbor’s garage as it passed. I think the neighbor’s anchor chain must be newer or stronger than mine, because his house was still there as we floated past.

All night we floated. Must’ve flowed into the American river, then joined the Sacramento River at the confluence. Downstream into the Delta, and under the Golden Gate Bridge this morning. Fogged in, as usual, we barely noticed Alcatraz until we almost hit it after an ocean-going tanker nearly swamped us in its wake.

It looks like our heading is toward the South China Sea. The Wi-fi is working, good thing we installed that long-range booster last month. Maria’s been on her ham radio so we know our current position, and we fashioned a rudimentary sextant out of the kitchen tongs and a protractor left over from geometry class. Once the rain clears we’ll be able to use dead reckoning as a navigational aid.

We have plenty of provisions, because I went grocery shopping just before we became unmoored. We’ll use last week’s mail for fire fuel, and melt the ice that surrounds Maria’s heart for drinking water. The cats have already caught a couple fish, although one of them scratched me as I took it away from him. But Maria knows first aid, having taken medical training with the sea cadets.

We’ve always wanted to see Hawai’i, looks like we’ll achieve our dream. Perhaps we’ll just fashion a new anchor out of old socks filled with knickknacks from around the house, and set up our new homestead on one of the outlying islands. Maria has already lassoed some seagulls and is harvesting their eggs, and teaching them to play piano for amusement. Their singing along though, has got to stop soon. It sounds like a quartet of Phyllis Diller on steroids.

We fear no pirates, for Chief Maria is a formidable opponent, and any seafaring criminal would do well to avoid her, especially at certain times of the month. Typhoons worry us not because our home is well-insured, and we used up all the aluminum foil as a barrier to spurious radiation from the Japanese failed reactor at Fukushima. I firmly believe if sharks sought us out, as a professional courtesy they’d leave us alone once our identity became known to them.

So John, all your worries are for naught. Maria is an able sailor and we are comfortable in our floating home. After a month of rain, we’re used to seeing water, water everywhere, so this constant Pacific is nothing new to us. We hope to see the stars and the sun again, and we’re looking forward to our impromptu vacation.

Love you!

Lisa

Need Something Lost? I’ve found your answer.

11 Nov

lost

Ever since my daughter Maria was little, she has had the perfect knack for losing things. Keys, parts, phones, money, hearing aids, the other shoe, clothes, documents, you name it, Maria has lost them. And sometimes never to be found.

One year, in autumn, she lost my keys. We searched high and low, tore the house apart. Never found them. In December, I was removing the pumpkin from the porch, getting ready to replace it with Christmas decorations, guess what we found behind the little orange sphere? My keys. What were they doing THERE??? One of life’s mysteries, I guess.
Yesterday she was in the kitchen, looking for the honey.

“It’s over there, behind the burners on the stove, next to the olive oil,” I told her. She retrieved the jar and slathered some honey on her cornbread.
Last night I wanted the honey for my tea. I looked behind the burners on the stove, the kitchen table, the counters. Not there. I searched the cabinet where the spices are kept. No honey. I looked in the pantry. Nope. The fridge? Could she have? Honey doesn’t go in the fridge, I’ve told her over and over, because it crystallizes and hardens…nah, not there either, good.

I checked where the pots and pans go, the plates and cups, even checked the dishwasher. You never know. I looked in the living room. Not a trace. Her bedroom? Fear gripped me as I thought of venturing into her room. Cautiously, I opened the door (lest any of the debris leak out), poked my head in, and a quick visual search from the doorway revealed no honey jar there either. Whew. I exhaled deeply and shut the door. The bathroom? Could she have???? I won’t tell you what I did find there, but thankfully honey was not on that gross list.
I decided then that God only wanted me to put lemon in my tea last night, no honey, dear. This lesson has been learned over the years, that my attachment to things need not be more important than my relationship with my daughter. When she was very young (and still sometimes today), I would freak out. “Where did she put that? How could she have lost it? What happened? What the hell is going on?”

There were times when I yelled and screamed and blamed Maria for her carelessness and forgetfulness. Folly of course, because she probably inherited these traits from me. The stress I caused was unbearable sometimes. Over the years I learned that it did no good to yell at Maria, on the contrary, it was counterproductive in the extreme. The anxiety of the loss of something would transfer to her developing psyche and the damage was evident. The forgetfulness increased. The losses mounted. Unhappiness and chaos reigned. Fortunately I sought counsel from people I trust. I realized that things can be replaced, but my children’s well-being could be irreparably damaged by a mother on the warpath. I am learning to let go of my attachment to things, and instead value the quality of how I nurture my children. I aim for progress, not perfection in this arena. But over the years, we’ve gotten better both at being organized and at letting go.

 
This morning Maria rifled through the kitchen looking for something to eat, and again asked,  “Mom, where is the honey?”

I reminded her that she was the last one to use our favorite sweetener, I had no idea where she could’ve stashed it, and my search had proven fruitless.
We were both in the kitchen laughing hysterically then. She’ll finish high school next year, and we’ve been examining career options. Hey, Maria could work for the Mafia, no, nothing illegal. What about the CIA? If they need something “Lost,” just hand it over to Maria, the world’s official “Hider.” She’ll hide it so well that even she can’t find it. They can torture her, won’t matter, because she CANNOT remember, it’s like it never happened. “Honey? What honey? We had honey? I like honey!” Just keep swimming, Maria.

Maria came into the kitchen as I was writing. She sauntered over to the refrigerator for water. And guess what? She found the honey, hiding behind her sister’s leftovers. Another day here.

Dream Journey

10 Oct

my-sunset

I was on a big ship with others and I was sent out alone to fulfill a mission.
I walked over to where I thought I was supposed to start but there was water.
I returned and asked, “Am I supposed to get wet?
Go through the water?”
And They answered, “No, silly, you take the little inflatable boat.”
So They helped me inflate the small boat, steadied it while I embarked,
and I was on my way.
I was on land next, still in the boat.
But I wasn’t supposed to travel in a boat on land and I got beached.
Then I was driving a little car, with my young adult daughters riding along.
But I could no longer remember my mission.
No matter, I was determined to keep going
without asking anyone for help or direction.
The road was pretty clear: It curved to the right, banked by a high berm
composed of a tall hill of mounded dirt.
I saw the sky and the ground were the hues of twilight,
yellow and purple.

There were lights on in the houses.
As I rounded the curve, I noticed a woman in a police uniform
attempting to direct me,
but I couldn’t hear her over the noise of the car.
I was pointing out to my daughters:
“Those houses over there—one of them is where the shooting was.”
It was a recent shooting I had read about, a 49-year-old man who lived with his parents.
The cops were called during a domestic dispute
the police shot and killed the man when he wouldn’t put down his weapon.
I figured the policewoman was still guarding the crime scene,
and I kinda/sorta knew where I was going,
so I’d be fine not heeding her.
But she threw her arms up in the air as if to say,
“I tried to help you.”
The next thing I knew,
I had driven the car into a flooded pathway.
We were partially submerged.
It was easy enough to exit the vehicle and
scramble back up onto the drier land we had just driven over,
but I was at a loss
what to do or where to go.
My young adult children were expressing their concerns.
I knew I could contact the Ones
who sent me out in the first place,
but I was hesitant to do so.
Embarrassed that I had forgotten my original mission,
unsure that the lines of communication were still open,
somewhat under the delusion that I had to go it alone,
I still didn’t ask for help.
I looked longingly in the direction where
I had seen the policewoman,
she was now nowhere to be found.
I wanted to keep moving forward
but there was no longer a clear path,
and going back seemed out of the question.
I woke up as I was realizing
how foolishly stubborn I was being.

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