Saturday, June 05, 2004

Partying Hardy

Went over to Lisa's last night, to help her with an end-of-the-school-year Graduation and Promotion party for 3 kids she home-schools. My main job was to hold Shawna, her little new-born foster baby, so Lisa could deal with the rest of the ceremony and party. I had no problem with this arrangement. I love holding that baby. She's such a sweet thing, and so tiny! She seems to like me, because any time she's crying, I can pick her up, bounce her for just a moment, and she stops crying right away. I think she's a bout five weeks old.

So, I get to Lisa's about 5:30pm. I held Shawna while Lisa finished up the preperations, and the ceremony went off without a hitch. In fact, I was rather impressed at what she'd put together. I mean, she runs a day-care out of her home, and home-schools her foster daughter and two other little kids. It's not exactly what you'd picture as a "school". But a friend made a small stage in the backyard for her, she orderd trophies, made several certificates, and had an actual Kindergarten graduation for one child, and promotion for the other two. It was quite cool. Several parents and all her daycare kids were there, and it was treated like the real thing. The kindergartener even got one of those flat graduation hats! Very, very cool.

I cooked up some hamburgers and hotdogs on the bar-b-que afterward, and we all had dinner. I got to know a few of the parents there. They all thought I was a parent of a child, but no, just I was just a gadfly over for a free meal. Hehe. Overall, it was very nice, and I'm glad I went. Lisa constantly suprises me with what she does with her "day-care" and how much of an impact she has on the lives of these kids and their families. Reminds me in many ways of my mom and the impact she had on the families of those kids she cared for all those years.

I went back to my apartment and took LMJ (she didn't feel like going to Lisa's with me, and I understand that) to pick up her dog and come back to the apartment for the night. I miss having LMJ stay with me, and I'm looking forward to summer and spending more time with her.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Going Home

I packed up camping and came home on Tuesday. It was just too windy for me to deal with for another day. Had a nice drive home; saw some more coastline, and took my usual lovely drive through Jenner, Duncan's Mill, Monte Rio, Forrestville, Sebastapol, Agua Caliente (I'd love to live in a town named "hot water"), on into Santa Rosa and Sonoma, and home. Oh, and I took pictures. Lots of pictures. I'll post some as soon as I get a moment to sit down and upload them.

The camping trip was very helpful in clearing my mind and relieving some stress. I just needed to get out of town and remind myself that the world is a beautiful and wild place. Living in a big city sometimes weighs me down and I forget there's a great big world out there where things are different, and that I can be a part of it once in a while.

I really connected with a phrase in "Wild At Heart" where the author noted that, after God created the world in Genesis, God call it "good". This huge wild world, with bears, tigers, snakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild rivers, towering mountains, crashing ocean waves, deserts, rain forests, bugs, eagles, kittens; creatures that would just as soon eat you as look at you; things that can kill with a single sting or bite;.... everything from the gentlest, most helpless baby and beautiful vistas of mountains or sea, to the most dangerous grizzly bear and fiercest hurricane.... God created it all and called it "good", then told man to go subdue it. Mankind (in general, but here I'm talking about me, a man, personally) was not made to spend time in an office. Oh, he can adapt and learn to live in an office, but I think the heart of most men is not IN that office, but someplace else. Somewhere he's challenged and at least made to feel a little alive. I believe, just as the author of Wild At Heart does, that the essential heart of a man is wild. It was made that way, to live in this wild world. It's complex, but that's the allure of camping and the outdoors for me. I'm not a thrill-seeker or great mountain climber, but I enjoy the outdoors in way that moves my heart. That's why I go to the coast or on drives to the mountains to clear my mind.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Camping: Day One

I left Sacramento about 3:30pm, and rolled into Salt Point State Park at about 8:30pm, right after sunset. Yes, I turned a 3 hour trips into a 5 hour trip. I took Hwy20 out of Davis to Winters, then Hwy128 from Winters all the way to Geyserville. Remind me never to do that again. Oh, my what a long drive! I was hoping for a drive that was a bit off the beaten track - something different and new. Well, it WAS that. I think the road out of Geyserville to the coast was little more than a paved mule-track at times. At one point I felt like I was driving straight up hill! The road right near the coast (close to Stewart's Head) was literally one lane, with hairpin turns on a crumbly road, through a prehistoric looking forest. I expected to see a dinosaur come out of the trees and bite my car!

But I made it, just in time for the sunset. It was beautiful. I set up camp in about 30 minutes, then settled in for a few minutes with my book - Hidden Prey, by John Sanford. I've read every one of his books, and although they are somewhate R rated, they are the best police/detective books I've come across. I went to bed around 11pm. Winds were light and it never did get very cold. There was a bright moon, bright enough to read by.

Today, I woke up around 8am. About half the campground was awake, and most everyone else bugged out after breakfast. Right now I think there's about 6 out of 30 campsites taken. I had oatmeal and a couple of fried Danish rolls for breakfast. If you've never had your Danish pastry fried, I highly recommend you try it. Anyway, I cleaned up, then went down to the sea.

It's been very windy today, probably 15-20mph winds all day. This morning I hiked all over Gerstle Cove, and climbed the rocks. I prayed and got moved by the Spirit, and preached a sermon to the rocks and grass. All about our purpose in life, and our mission, which is to worship God. I must have talked for 30 minutes or more. It was strange: kind of an out of body experience. All I know is, God told me to preach, so I did. I realize that God was moving me to preach to myself. Practice for what I'd like to do some day, but also things I needed to hear myself.

In the afternoon I drove up to Gualala to go to the pharmacy and get a phone-card. I bought a few small trinkets for my girls and Lisa. Then I wandered around the Gualala Point Regional Park, and walked down to the beach. It was incredibly windy. I mean howling wind! The beach was literally covered with the oddest things - jellyfish. By the thousands they were being washed ashore. Probably by the high winds. You could see thousands more bouncing around in the surf.

After, I drove back to camp, and settled in to read. Dinner, and more reading next to the fire after sundown made for a pleasant evening, but the wind! It made a cool evening quite cold.