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This Day in My History

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Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

~John Muir

Yesterday's Entries

2001:  Two in a Row
2002:  A Peanutbutter Kind of Day
2003:  Look, Ma--No Blood


Some walking around Pt. Reyes


Blood and Thunder
(David Gerrold finally writes a new book!)


West Wing
Law and Order

Getting to know me....

parents sex

(Actually, I never did--sorry!)

what's YOUR deepest secret?
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4 March 2004

"What do you remember of our rides up here?" my mother asked.

"Throwing up," I replied, unhesitatingly.

It was a beautiful morning when I got up. After yesterday’s high winds, the air was clean, the skies were blue, and I had suggested to my mother that we go for a drive out into the country. When I was there over the weekend, she told me that at this time of year, she likes to drive around West Marin County and just look at all the blossoms and the green hills, and soak up nature.

I was feeling in need of a "nature soak" myself, so suggested that we take a drive together, which would also give us more chance for visiting, which we both enjoy so much. I suggested that we drive to Inverness and have lunch.

My grandparents (my mother’s parents) lived on a small farm in Inverness, a small, sleepy town near the larger (but not much larger) Point Reyes, when I was a child.

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Our family didn’t spend lots of time there. My father hated the drive because the road was a winding one and I always got carsick. I have lovely memories of picking blackberries off of the bushes along the creek that ran behind my grandparents’ house, or picking strawberries out of Grandma’s strawberry patch. I remember Grandpa taking me into the chicken house to show me the baby chicks. I remember when I got older, climbing an old apple tree with my cousin and sitting there munching green gravensteins while we talked about the problems of our world. I remember wonderful meals that Grandma cooked on her wood-burning stove. I remember seeing Grandpa’s teeth (which he never wore) in a glass in the old bathroom.

And I remember throwing up. I don’t know if I threw up on the drive in both directions, but I think I threw up at least once every time we went to see my grandparents. My father always got angry. And he hated going to visit my grandparents. He hated the drive and he especially hated me for throwing up.

Today, my mother and I started up Highway 101, but quickly turned off to head up through the hills and out in the direction of the coast. The colors were breathtaking. The hills were a deep green, and looked like mounds of green velvet. Many hills were dotted with black and white jersey cows--the epitome of those California "contented cows."

We stopped along the way at the Rouge et Noir cheese factory, where we sampled some nice cheeses, bought some, I got a cup of coffee (hadn’t had my coffee yet today), and we took some pictures by the little lake where there was a young boy feeding the ducks, seagulls and Canada Geese.

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As we neared Inverness, "Finger Mountain" came into view.

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I smile when I think of "Finger Mountain" because it says so much about the kind of people my sister Karen and I were. The mountain looks like the hand of God (or The Hulk), reaching up and trying to grasp a handful of earth. I’m sure it has an official name other than Finger Mountain, but that’s what I always called it. Karen called it "Fist Hill." We argued about it every time we passed the hill. When I think back on the pugnacious attitude with which Karen greeted the world, her no-nonsense defense of her views, her refusal to take any guff from anyone, the name "fist hill" seems to suit her to a "T." I was always the quiet one, the easily manipulated one, the "softer" one. "Finger Hill" is a less confrontational name.

I’ve outlived her, so it is now officially, and forever more, "Finger Mountain!" (So there!)

We drove around Inverness--all three blocks or so of it. The parcel of land that my grandparents once owned is almost unrecognizable, it is so built up. Still rural by most standards, but definitely not the wide open spaces that live in my memory.

We tried to have lunch at a Czech restaurant, but a guy yelled at us and told us there was nobody there and lunch would be 1 p.m. (it was 12:15--who doesn’t open a restaurant for lunch until 1 p.m.??) so we drove into Point Reyes Station and walked around until we finally found a caf that was open. We sat outside, while the skies darkened and eventually a light rain started to fall, and we enjoyed a bowl of clam chowder and a small salad.

The Inverness-Point Reyes area, along with Bodega Bay and a many other coastal towns is where a lot of hippies settled in the 60s and still has the feel of an artist community. And the feel of an aging flower child community, with shops filled with art projects and walls filled with political statements (including a banner on the side of a building where you could sign a form to recall President Bush).

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By the time we were finished with lunch, our beautiful day had turned wet and grey, so we didn’t take much time to do any more driving around.  Instead we started home, back through the winding roads, passing beautiful fields of mustard and gardens filled with daffodils. We passed George Lucas’ ranch as we headed down Lucas Valley Rd. toward San Rafael.  We were back at my mother’s in time for me to get on the road headed home before rush hour started.

It was a quiet day, but a lovely day.

And best of all, I didn’t throw up once. 



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We passed under this turkey vulture, sitting on some
telephone wires along the highway


For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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Weight Lost to date:  43.8 lbs

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Created 3/03/04