Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Nancy came for Christmas... and I had to show her my garden.  The garden consists of four tomato plants and six cabbage plants.  The tomatoes are surviving and the largest cabbage plant is forming a head.  At this point in my gardening career I am wondering if I will get tomatoes or cabbages from my garden this year, and if no produce this year, what will I do next year to correct the problems.  Nancy isn't offering suggestions.

We are only a few days from Christmas, and today I found a blue candle... one which we put on the dining room table.  It seemed the right thing to do.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The small pond in Heritage Park is one of my favorite places in Paradise Village.  I have posted pictures of crows stopping here for a drink and a bath.  There are no fish living in the pond, but I'm guessing some will be planted there soon.  Now the only things seen in the waters are reflections of plants that surround the water.  My favorite creature at Paradise Village is a little Wire Haired Terrier named Daisy.  She is the most intelligent and sweetest little dog I know.  She likes to walk up to the edge of the water and stick her nose in it.  Cali, Tommy, and Cookie are not to be told that I think Daisy is sweeter and more intelligent than they are.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

On my way outside to the backyard, parking area, of our building I saw myself in the mirror across from where I have taken a couple of pictures of my shadow (when I'm looking the other way).  I occurred to me that taking my picture of the shadow in the morning when I am coming back from
the daily visit to my friend Jim Fudge, is a good way to remind myself that I exist.  For the shadow to exist, I have to exist.  I am a real creature on a real earth.  The picture of me with the camera reflected back to me holding the camera is different from a shadow.  I can see my name, the mirror image of my name on my name tag. I went outside to the garden area and took the pictures of onions and peppers.  Life in San Diego is good.  Tomorrow the weather forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of showers, which means that there will not be much rain.  Christmas is one week from today, and the weather in San Diego/National City is anything but Christmasy.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

How can I pick out this crow from the hundred that settle on the hillside behind our house and then settle all around in Heritage Park waiting for what?  I don't know, but I do know that I like and I trust this creature.  It sits on the rock and waits until I am standing almost beside it before it flies away.  It doesn't turn its head to look at me.  It seems to know that I am approaching.  It seems to trust me and it seems to know that I mean it no harm.  This is Sunday and it should be a day when we all mean no harm to anyone... or to anything.

I'll go by the same place tomorrow to see if I can tell this crow from the others.  I'll try to see if there is one among the hundred who will be there that knows me... that trusts me. In the little garden area there is a gray plant that I like.  Perhaps the crow sees the plant and likes it too.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Some guys from National City brought old cars to Parkview at Paradise Village this morning.  Wow! I saw a brightening in eyes that had been only dull until they saw these cars.  I heard one guy say, "You see that red car there.  I'll never forget the day I took my girlfriend, I think she was my first girlfriend... on a date in a car just like that one.  Wow!"  I was glad to see how these residents, especially the guys, brightened when they saw the cars.  I remembered my first car, a 1942 Chevrolet coupe.  Wow!  What memories!

Friday, December 15, 2017

The tangerine was part of a Hanukah celebration at Paradise Village tonight.  Today is the fourth day of Hanukah, and a very nice lady who is a resident of our village brought a bag of these wonderful citrus fruits... and we were all invited to take one.  When I was home later, I ate mine and it was delicious. I've been wondering all day why some people find reasons to be offended by the acknowledgement of a holy day of a religion other than one's own.  I've decided today that I will never consider another person's religious beliefs to be contemptible.

And why"taking the knee" at a football game instead of standing is offensive.  The President of the United States was furious when athletes dropped to their knees when the National Anthem was played. There is definitely something scrambled in the man's brain when he makes a point of ridiculing people whose intentions are good.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

This is our second Christmas in Paradise Village, and I probably am forgetting how the place looked one year ago.  This year the decorations for the holiday are definitely over the top.  Down the hall from our apartment a Norwegian St. Nicholas, almost life size, stands guard at the door of a neighbor's house.  The grounds are filled with Christmas cheer. This is the peak season for the Bird of Paradise flower.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

This afternoon I walked around the park near where I live, and I saw through the camera lens things
that are not as they really are.  For example, I don't know what the shadow on the small building is. I'll go back tomorrow to see if it is there again.

The images aren't related in any way except that they are all gathered from the area near the little Heritage Park.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

SITTING ON PINS AND NEEDLES...all day I watched and listened and feared the majority of Alabamans would vote to elect Roy Moore to the Senate.  I heard what the pundits were saying about the dilemma a Moore win in Alabama would present to the senate, and it didn't happen.  The majority of the people of Alabama who voted in this election showed that they listened to and believed the women who said Roy Moore had misbehaved when he was younger and then lied about his misbehavior when he was older.  Perhaps this election will begin to straighten out what has become wrong with our culture.  Women are important citizens and must be heard... and much more was said by Alabama people in this election.

Monday, December 11, 2017

All the pictures posted on the BLOG today were taken in the area between the building where we live and Parkview, the building where our friend Jim lives.  The first picture is a portrait of Daisy, the sweetest little Wire-haired Terrier in the world, and I got the photo of her while she was thinking important thoughts in Heritage Park.  The second, third and fourth photos are of cabbage I planted six months ago in a little garden plot that was assigned to me.  The last photo is of leaves of a palm tree highlighted by the late afternoon sun.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The sunset over the Pacific Ocean, seen from our living room, reminds me that just up the coast from where I live a terrifying fire is burning toward towns and homes.  I am reminded that I am very, very fortunate to live in a safe place where the sunset reminds me of fire, but doesn't horrify me.  It is just another beautiful piece of my life.

I am trying to figure out why I got to church, especially to the church I attend on most sunday mornings.  I am wondering these days how to explain to myself and to anyone else who is interested in knowing why the ridiculous man who is President of the U.S.A. was elected to the office by evangelical Christians who go to church regularly, I guess, but don't see what is wrong with and inconsistent with the central message of the Bible that says we should do what we do with the other people in mind, to do no harm, to do as much good as we possibly can... without thinking we must work to make our group the most powerful... the first.

I am also going to try to fix my computer tomorrow, so I can post pictures after I edit them... but that's another story.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Christmas Season in National City... Southern California.  Today is a typical Southern California December Day.  The temperature this afternoon is warmer than usual... 80 degrees.  I participated in a National City quarterly city breakfast/meeting, and I couldn't avoid the feeling that these people don't know what Christmas is like in the northern sections of America.  Before I went into the MLK Center where the event was being held, Sant Claus and two young ladies who were supposed to be elves greeted guests who were coming into the meeting.  People were getting ready to watch the Army-Navy football game and taking about the snow in Philadelphia.  I had talked with daughter Nancy before I came to the meeting, and she was expecting maybe three inches of snow at her house in Rockville, Maryland.  In the National City meeting, an announcement was made about the "winter" festival that was taking place in a park behind the City Council's meeting place.  I walked back to the festival after the meeting and watched with real interest at children and some adults were playing in snow that had been brought in from somewhere in the mountains.  People were dressed for San Diego/National City weather.  It was hard to imagine that winter weather is happening not far away.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Except for my daily visit to Jim Fudge early this morning, I stayed home all day before Margaret, Irene, and I went to a Christmas party at the condo community where we lived before moving to Paradise Village. While I was at the party at Steve's house, I thought about the same party several years ago when Jim was a younger "old man..." before Alzheimer's.

When I visited Jim this morning, he was sitting asleep at his place in the dining room of Parkview when I got there, and when I woke him, he looked at me and said “I hoped you would come today.”  I said to him, “Of course, I’ve come to see you because you and I are special, close friends.  He smiled and I was reminded  that somewhere in that old head of his was all the goodness and hope for good things for people around him that I recognized soon after he and Irene moved to their apartment in our old neighborhood.  There are several things about his old life that I try to remember to talk with him about when I see him every day.  At the top of the list of things is to tell him that I know that he is a good man.  He is experiencing changes that surely must scare him. He is sinking deeper and deeper into that fog of Alzheimer's disease.  He always recognizes me, and I consider that a great gift because he is forgetting so much of his former life.  He has known me only since I was beginning to be an old man...almost twenty years.   The memory of anyone whom he has known since that person was young, like his beautiful, wonderful wife Irene, he sometimes fails to recognize because she is no longer the young woman who married him more than sixty years ago. He always knows me because I have always been an old man to him.  

Today the weather was warmer than usual outside so I pushed him around though Heritage Park rather than inside the halls of Parkview.  He liked that.  The world is fresh and new to him every day, especially in the park.  He doesn’t recognize the people or the pets we see there, but he is cheerful and likes saying good morning to everyone.  

We sat today in the morning sun, and I was especially glad and thankful to have the blessing of this good person as a friend.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

I came into the Elevator Room this morning and the sun shining through the window cast the shadow, and I couldn't resist taking the picture with my iPhone... even though I came into the same room yesterday and the shadow seemed to be definitely me, I took another picture today and changed the color.  Ah, well... I'm going to go out looking for pictures again soon.

The Melaleuca trees are irresistible, too.  I've probably taken these same trees on other days, but it doesn't hurt to repeat something that pleases me.