Sunday, December 13

To Sleep, To Sleep

This cleansing tide streaks the afternoon birches,
And they might sing with joy in June.
But there they stand, winterized and ready for bed ---
Red-yellow remnants shuddering slowly, silently.

Misting and drenching both as this minute passes,
The sunny shower sings alone.
Some branches stir in silent gratitude
And promise a resounding overture come spring.

To sleep, to sleep.
To dream, to dream.

Saturday, December 12


A rainy morning found us traveling down I-5 to Lathrop to meet friends for breakfast at the Country Kitchen. Then we drove down to Union Road and turned south, braving the downpour and an unfamiliar street. We were going to surprise Angel with a visit to Bass Pro Shops in Manteca. She'd been there before, but was excited about seeing the Christmas decorations and mass hubbub.

My hunting days ended long ago, and I don't have enough fishing gear to hook any mercury-laden river fare. Killing just never got into my blood over the long term.

Monday, December 7

Freeze Out

California's moniker, The Sunshine State, was tarnished today as the snow clouds moved in and dumped tons of the white stuff across valleys, hills and mountains. I don't know who took this picture or who the coffee drinker is. It was among 500 that had been uploaded to the KCRA Channel 3 in Sacramento website.

I had expected a dusting here in Stockton in the early a.m. and got out of bed to check about 6:00. Nothing, just rain --- or so I thought. Had I turned on a light to see better outside I would have seen a spattering of floating flakes mixed with the rain. Driving to work with white floaties illuminated in the headlights was pretty cool --- literally. It was freezing outside, but not cold enough to have the snow stick.

At work, we kept checking outside to see the short-lived spectacle, but the snow show stopped about 8:00. Thankful for the memories, the rest of the day was filled with news stories about the foothills east of Sacramento, where over 60,000 people were without power, multiple wrecks were taking place, schools were closed and folks didn't make it to work. A real mess for most.

But the kids were marking it as the best day of the year so far!

Friday, December 4

Lighting Your City Christmas Tree, Or Not!

Picture from The Modesto Bee, Brian Ramsay photographer.

Now this is a choice example of city bureaucracy: Local officials decide to trim the budget and save $3000 by not adding Christmas tree lights to the city tree at Modesto Centre Plaza. That's okay, but they failed to tell the City Council (or the Council misinterpreted a memo) and advertising for the lighting ceremony was printed and distributed as usual.

Saturday evening was scheduled for the event. People sang Christmas carols. Citizens gathered round along with the City Council members. Someone threw the switch, but nothing happened. Well, something happened, all right: it was a caught-with-your-pants-down moment for the those folks responsible for the snafu.

You can read about the excitement here.