Sunday, May 25

A Day to Remember

May 26 is a day to remember: Memorial Day this weekend, the Star War movie debuted in 1977, and the Phoenix has just landed at the North Pole (on Mars).

Oh, and gas prices have hit an all-time high.

Oh, and we're having fried chicken, potato salad and fresh corn for dinner!

Wednesday, May 21

The Happy Post Hippie Couple

We celebrated our 37th anniversary at the Elephant Bar and Grill tonight. The hostess seated us by the door, and just in front of a totally open kitchen area. Big mistake! I could hardly hear Barb talking to me. We moved in short order to the back of the bus, where the brain didn't have to compete with so much input. Much better!

Great menu choices. Median prices. Not as much privacy as we're used to (Black Angus), but it was okay. The food was excellent. The dessert was excellent. And it didn't break the bank. So we'll give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Liz bought us a 'What Was Happening in 1971' book. Thanks, Liz. We had fun perusing the pages of factoids, fun and great ads from that year. And now we can sleep better, knowing Winona Ryder was born the year we got married!

Barb has a thingy about steaks. Tri-tip, sirloin, pink inside. So she enjoyed this $10 tri-tip and potatoes, but didn't eat the crispy lima beans. I had the kung pao spicy chicken and rice. Spicy is the key word. Wow! Just this side of that horseradish runny nose. Just right. So I brought half of it home to take for lunch tomorrow.

Sorry about all this detail. If you were expecting some great philosophical tome or rambling argument about why Hillary should get the nomination, forgive me. I'm relaxing tonight and enjoying those old memories of two young kids who started out with nothing but each other, survived by God's grace and still love each other today. Now that's a relaxing thought to treasure in the midst of an out-of-its-mind world.

Tuesday, May 13

Screaming Calla Lily Color

There is a side of me that you know not. Must be time for bed!

Saturday, May 10

Early Rising

Another scouting expedition started early as I maneuvered through the brick and glass canyons of downtown, heading toward the waterfront. A dismally thick smog covered the valley and the picture perfect city scene shot was out of the question. But there was enough color and action on and around the water to make up for it.

A few fishermen were lazily waiting for tugs, while others were netting bait fish. One told me there were more than 30 species to choose from, more than you can imagine and the best time to catch them was when it was over 90 degrees. Another said business was slow because of two sea lions that had taken residence a bit to the west of us (they've been the stars of the noon news on t.v. lately).

My telephoto lens is a cheap Sigma, so I can never get a good, sharp image even with a tripod. But there were plenty of composition opportunities with some decent color saturation, so I can't complain too loudly. The big plus was the egret that sailed in and made a perfect turn before landing. Only one of about six shots was sharp enough to post.

This little family of mallards scuttled their way to and fro across the channel. Only three of a probably much larger brood survived their first few weeks in the world.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7

Tomato Watch

My backyard tomatoes are flourishing between the apricots and roses. Plenty of sunlight, fertilizer and water (not too much, though), and I don't have to hear Barb complaining about having to buy the lousy ones at the store. But it will be quite awhile before any payoff presents itself.

The neighbor's climbing rose drapes onto our side of the fence. Pastel pinks mixed with darker rouge and white display a trinitarian theme, like many other things in nature. The flowers are about 3/4" across and have a slight fragrance.

Far from pragmatic utilitarianism alone, flowers connect us to the dimension of all things beautiful. They reflect the beauty of God's holiness that the Scriptures speak of, albeit in a diminutive sense (Psalm 29:1,2). The ability to appreciate and value beauty is another in a long list of evolutionary impossibilities. It is God-given.

"Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite." - George Bancroft

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting, a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing." - R.W. Emerson

"Every rose is an autograph from the hand of God on his world about us. He has inscribed his thoughts in these marvelous hieroglyphics which sense and science have, these many thousand years, been seeking to understand." - Theodore Parker

Monday, May 5

Wrested Realities

Not much brings me to tears these days. The sad story is usually the well to draw from. Here is a glimpse into that story, only one of many.

Saturday, May 3

When Roses Go to College

Few of us went to a college that looks like The University of the Pacific. Established in 1851, it is the oldest college in California and is loved for its Ivy League style buildings and landscape design. It's always fun to head there in the early morning to grab some low angle sunlight as it filters through the campus.

This morning's roses were color-flushed handfuls, with firstborn petals scattered on the ground. Over-tended and prolific, white-grained fertilizer had been shoveled beneath them and around them, much of it lay on the bordering boxwood.

The air was crisp and cool. Wet grass soaked my shoes and the toes of my socks as I scouted different angles and light. The maintenance man drove along the walk to the rose garden, agreeing that it was indeed a beautiful morning before stopping to empty two trashcans. I told him to take his time.

Patience is a key virtue. Waiting upon God with a sense of trust is a wonderful thing. May I know the power of this trusting when I can't see past this present tense existence.