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THE YIN AND YANG OF LIFE
25 August, 2011
This morning we received the sad news that we are not on "a" death watch, but on two death watches. Walt's mother's cousin Nora, in Ireland, of whom we have grown so fond over these years was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, but she is now in hospital and not expected to live, so you'll understand if I cringe a bit whenever the phone rings, wondering if this is "the call" for one of the two of them.
This is such a shitty time for too many people I know. A good friend just lost her job and is out of work for the first time in her life, and unable to apply for the type of job for which she has been working all these years because she was too busy working and raising kids and never had time to get a Masters degree. And, pushing 60, she's probably too old anyway!
Others are caught in the whole housing boom/bust thing and now having to give up their wonderful home because they owe more than it's worth and they need to find a place to rent.
My mother's hip is bothering her and the doctors can offer her no pain relief and say that even acupuncture won't help.
I feel so incredibly helpless in the face of all the pain for so many people I love.
But life does go on and today I was interviewing the Lamplighters tech crew. We met at a home in the hills above San Jose. Waaay above San Jose. In fact, Walt said that no wonder it was called Sierra Rd. because by the time you got there you felt like you had driven over one of the passes in the Sierras.
Our trusty GPS, Nigel, got us unerringly to the mail box for the house, but it's another 1/2 mile or so down what might almost be called a road to the house itself.
But when you get there...oh. my. goodness. Wouldn't you know I would leave my camera at home! There is a deck that I swear is so big you could stage a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta there. And it overlooks downtown San Jose. Miles in every direction. I swear if you stood on tiptoe, you could probably see Alaska from there on a clear day. What an amazing view.
It's a 4 (I think) bedroom house on 2-1/2 levels and each bedroom is worthy of a 4-star hotel, with the master suite (including a sauna) worthy of a 5-star hotel. The master bedroom also overlooks that sweeping vista. There are 3 living rooms and 2 pools and I don't know what else outside, since I mostly oohed and ahhed over the furnishings inside. I told them if I had that view from my kitchen sink, I might actually wash dishes.
The house had been acquired in a foreclosure and the former residents had apparently trashed the place, so it has been under re-construction for the past year, but they are having an open house on Sunday, so I will return...this time with camera in hand. (I have to get a photo of that God-Man Sistine Chapel ceiling in the dining room!)
The interview was fun. I love that group. We reminisced about the Lamplighters trip to the 2nd International Gilbert & Sullivan festival in Buxton, England, where we ran away with all the major awards. The tech crew came prepared to build the set there and didn't realize they would (a) be building it in the street, (b) have the use of no power tools, and (c) be unable to buy the right color paint! Ahhh...but these are the things of which good stories are made, if not perfect sets.
We also remembered the time the tech crew got on an old reconditioned train car, which one of them owned, and rode on the back of an Amtrak train to Reno for the day, and we talked about the ones who either died too soon or who just disappeared out of our lives.
And was that one guy REALLY a pedophile? Or did he just have the same name as someone arrested in a pedophile scandal? Nobody has seen him since. 'Tis a puzzlement.
Photos were passed around and that is always fun. I'm sorry more of the old crew weren't able to join us, but there were 5 and that made for a nice number for an interview.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Happy Birthday, Ned!