Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Monday, February 13, 2017

2/13/17 RMB Valentine Adventure

2/13/17 RMB Valentine Adventure

Happy Valentine’s Day Rita Mae Brown,

Plans were cast for a Valentine weekend of work and fun. After loading my car to capacity, okay maybe over capacity, at 7:30 am on Friday morning, I pointed the nose northeastwards. All went quite well for the first hour.

That’s when the check engine light came on. I pulled over can called my most excellent mechanic. “If it’s running okay, I’d keep going and bring it in next week.” He said.

For good measure, I went to Autozone, who he said would printout an error report for me. They did. He still could not pinpoint the problem sight unseen and gave the same advice as before.

It ran okay for the next hundred or so miles. Along the way, my cell phone died. I carried on. I managed to complete five of my eleven stops. Darkness fell and, even though my work was less than halfway done, I headed to Teddy’s to begin my weekend visit.  

Within a mile of her place, the car ceased “running okay”. But it got me there. And once there, in the shelter of her home and friendship, all was well again. After trying a different charger, the phone even came back to life!

The next morning, we loaded my deliveries in her car and spent a wonderful Saturday driving from 29 Palms to Joshua Tree, Indio, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and back again. This wasn’t how we planned to spend the day, but I greatly appreciated her transport for my work.

Sunday afternoon we enjoyed a performance of the play Almost Maine by the Hi-Desert Playhouse. It was a romantic comedy, full of wit and delightful dialogue. The acting was superb. Dinner with friends at The Saloon held a special treat, as the cast and crew filed in behind us for their closing night dinner.

It’s Monday now and I should be back at my desk in San Diego. Instead I marvel at the way some work can be accomplished from a hundred miles away via the technology of our time.

I await word on my car, while enjoying being “stuck” in an extended weekend among friends. In the middle of our chaotic world, with mechanical, electrical and humankind issues, I pray for the best for every one of us, near and far.

All my best,

Monday, February 6, 2017

2/6/17 RMB Clearer Skies

2/6/17 RMB Clearer Skies

Dear Rita Mae Brown,
It is February already! The clouds are back even though January brought us enough rain to get our Southern California Lands out of years of drought.

Our rain isn’t like your rain though. If it pours for more than a few moments, we step outside to gaze at the rare sight. I remember rains in Alabama, that went non-stop day and night, pouring down in sheets, filling the ditches along the roadway, made for just that purpose. Large pipes rested under every driveway, to allow the small river to run through town.

I’m glad to have seen the rain of the south. It makes our southern California rain seem so gentle, even at its most vicious. My heart goes out to those who were flooded or sustained damage. Our streets have gutters that barely dip below street level, not three-foot-deep by three-foot-wide trenches to catch the overflow. Streets and homes flood quickly.

Interesting how our perspectives change with everything we experience. What is gentle to one is ferocious to another. What is acceptable to some is repulsive to many. Our country is showing such a divide. Ignorance and bias is being revealed. We spent decades spreading acceptance and now the evil of prejudice has reared its ugly head to fight back.

It is in each of us to some extent. We know what we know. If you’ve never befriended a person of another color or race or who is different in any major way, even handicapped or gay, you will shy from them and gravitate to what you know. And if you become entrenched enough in only your own kind, all others become less human, of less value, unimportant, even wrong, for being who they are, for being different from you.

I hope we get to know each other, so that we might all live as neighbors and friends, so that we remember the value of life is equal among humankind.

To clearer skies,