Sunday, October 28, 2007

Last Weekend was Lovely

It had rained a lot the week before last but the weekend was glorious.

A week ago Friday, I took Sam to the surf shop. They didn't have any used suits in his size but he tried on a new one and decided to go for it. He bought gloves and boots too.

The young lady, who helped us with his gear, surfs.

She asked if we'd been to Bolinas yet. I said that we'd been to the tide pools at Agate Beach and had been to the beach as well but not with Sam's skim board. Since she mentioned it, I suggested we try it out, last Saturday morning.

There were lots of surfers out there.

But the waves were crashing hard and Sam wasn't finding his groove.

See Cam's post about our day at Bolinas for Sam's surfer scowl shot and a Flickr slideshow.

He did get a few rides in but nothing like other weekends where he's ridden non-stop for hours.

On this day, his favorite place to play was on this wall labeled "groin."

I don't know what it means but it seemed to be a little mini damn. (Scary story about the Bolinas groin.)

He, and a child he met there, had fun walking back and forth and jumping into the water that pooled around the wall. The water was chilly enough that the wet suit definitely made this a more enjoyable experience.

We'd just finished watching the movie Downfall and I started reading In My Hands.

Lying in the sun, reading about her life in Poland, with her family, before the war, was so peaceful, I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I had fun watching these two dig and build in the sand. Sam was ready for some sun too. Thanks to the wet suit, he wasn't wet and cold after playing in the water.

As we walked back to the car, I reminded Sam about how I liked to take his picture by these flower boxes.

Then & Now.

We'd driven up Hwy 1 to get to Bolinas and decided to take the Bolinas Fairfax road home for a change of scenery. We realized we hadn't driven up Mt. Tam from Bolinas on such a clear day before.

It was lovely.

We were too tired to explore that day but agreed that we'd have to come back and check out the trails on the ocean side of the mountain soon.

Downfall, Rescue & Admiration

Last weekend, Cam and I watched a German film about the end of Hitler's reign.

Downfall was interesting, educational and mind-boggling.

Seeing it prompted me to pick up a book I'd purchased awhile ago.

I'd wanted to share In My Hands, Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer with Sam, as a way to talk with him about the Holocaust and heroic people who risked their lives to care for others.

Since I was sort of between books, I decided to read it on my own. Irene Gut Opdyke, who, as a very young Polish woman, began fighting against the oppression and wickedness she witnessed, came along with me on most of my commutes this week.

I'd read the Diary of Anne Frank and seen Schindler's List and Life is Beautiful which gave me a tiny bit of insight into the experiences of Jewish people during the war.

But I didn't know much about how life was for others at that time.

Downfall gave an account of the situation faced by the German people at the end of the war. They were sacrificed without regard and sabotaged without remorse by their leader. Many felt powerless to disagree or challenge his madness, for fear of losing their lives.

In My Hands, told of the impact of the war on the people of Poland. I knew Jewish citizens were treated inhumanely but I didn't know that Polish people who weren't Jews were forced to work against their will and follow orders or die.

That some people, from every culture, took action for what was right, despite intense oppression, is inspirational. I admire their courage.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Yesterday morning, while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with my husband, I pointed to him, then back to myself, then used American Sign Language (ASL) to spell a word. LUCKY.

Sam & I are LUCKY to be sharing our lives with Cam.


All of my dreams are coming true.

We were LUCKY this coyote decided to let us spend part of our Sunday evening with him.

Melissa Etheridge sings, "I want to see how lucky Lucky can be. I want to ride with my Angel and live shockingly. I want to drive to the edge and into the sea. I want to see how lucky Lucky can be. How I love being free. Come on. Ride with me."

We must be doing something right.

Cam already posted a gorgeous Flickr set of our hike along the Coastal Trail from Rodeo Beach towards Tennessee Valley Beach but I love that my child just broke out dancing and have to post those pictures here too.

That picture isn't the first in the series but it is my favorite.

Here's the dance as it unfolded.

He had some pretty good moves on this day too.

(Click on the link then scroll down.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

We are one people.

I have the day off, today. Tomorrow, I will work a 12 hour day. So today, I'm spending some time sitting on the couch, relaxing.

I ended up watching a short video about Nelson Mandela. I was inspired by this statement and wanted to share it with you.

The greatest glory of living lies not in never falling but in rising every time you fall.

(stunning photo by)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thanks, we had a blast.

We were invited to a beach party.

Last year, Will was in Sam's class. He came to Sam's birthday party and I got to know his parents this summer. The kids have had a few fun play dates since then too.

Every year, Karen and Mike host a party at Stinson Beach. They say, We've got the band, beach, house & 'baisse. You bring the fish, beach toys, family & friends.

We did and had an absolutely fabulous time. We've finally gotten to know enough good people here that when we arrived, we saw friends. Plural. It is a lovely thing.

Sam set to skim boarding right away and was joined by Aeddan and Jarred. At the beach house, they also had small surf boards the kids could try out.

Today, Sam thinks he may want to buy a wet suit. We heard about a place where you can buy used ones (and trade in your old one when it gets too small). We may go check them out today. The boys also had fun digging a hole. The last time I saw it, Sam was standing in it and the sides were up to his knees.

Aeddan's mom, Jayni and I had fun swapping stories of moments of parental panic. You know when all of a sudden, you don't see and can't find your child at the beach or outside the zoo. You are sure they are right there but what if they aren't... We both have had those moments. We talked a bit about surviving their fluke accidents too.

Karen is such a fabulous hostess. She greeted me with an enormous hug then very quickly introduced me to another family who is also new to Tiburon. Before coming to California, Jillian's parents, Peter and Manon, lived in Chicago for 12 years. We talked about the lake, the neighborhoods and that Cameron is there now. I learned that they are originally from Germany.

The song, Ride Sally Ride came on and we started talking about the movie The Commitments and I told them about how we adore the movie Once. Glen Hansard, one of our new favorite musicians, is in both. These new friends and I were on the same wave-length about many things. They were kind, generous and so much fun. I thoroughly enjoyed their company. (photo credit)

The bouillabaisse was extraordinary. Karen and Mike got me cheering with their dancing to Wipe Out. Someone who seemed to have jumped out of a plane, landed near us in a parachute. There were hang gliders flying around above us too. The weather was perfect and the sunset was gorgeous.

We left just as it was getting dark, to make sure we could find our way back to the car, and were surprised to see it was just after 7:30pm. It had been such a full night, we thought it was much later.

It is getting dark earlier. What will we do after daylight savings time?

Well, tonight, we soaked up the sun and cele-
brated the beauty of fall (which is our summer here). Thanks so much for including us, Mike and Karen. We had a blast.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Feel better, Dad.

This week, my dad has been plagued by terrible headaches. He's been to the hospital once, back for tests and is waiting on more tests next week. In the meantime, it doesn't sound like he's had much relief.

I love you, Dad and hope you feel better soon. Mary

Thinking of you.

Cam's in Chicago with Eric, Sarah, Ian and Avery.

I wanted you all to know we are thinking of you.

Love, Mary & Sam

Tell me that you'll open your eyes.

After two weeks of working full time, in my new job, I have a lot to process.

I got what I wanted. (photo credit)

I am now part of solving one of the big problems, one of the problems that matter.

I knew that San Francisco has 2,000 kids living in foster care.

(Those kids could fill
more than four schools the size of Sam's school.)

(photo credit)

This week, I learned that LA County has 27,000 kids in the same boat. That's a big boat.

(From age 5-18, I lived in towns with much smaller populations.)

(photo credit)

California has 80,000 kids who aren't able to live with their parents.

(Those kids could populate a town the size of Lawrence, Kansas.) (photo credit)

In the United States, there are 500,000 kids in the foster care system.

There are more kids living in foster care than there are people living in New Orleans (or Tuscon or Las Vegas or Cleveland or Albuquerque or Atlanta or Oakland or Minneapolis or St. Louis or Pittsburgh or Raleigh.) (photo credit)

When something happens to cities of that size, we pay attention.

There are a lot of kids who need our help. We need to pay attention.

Snow Patrol's Open Your Eyes has been the theme of my week.

(Click here, select Open Your Eyes and give it a listen.)

I want so much to open your eyes. 'Cause I need you to look into mine. (photo credit)

Tell me, that you'll open your eyes.

Tell me, that you'll open your eyes.

Tell me, that you'll open your eyes.

'Cause I need you to look into mine.
(photo credit)