A journal of the day: Betty!

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by cheri

There she is two years ago picking olives for us.

My mother-in-law Betty is 91 1/2 -years-young and still living independently in her home, a two-story.

Although she confesses to moving  more slowly and skipping her afternoon walk with her small Yorkie-poo Lilly,  Betty still travels up and down her carpeted stairs to her bedroom and although the love of her life, Doug, passed away several years ago, she is still in “the game,” reading her iPad daily, watching hip movies on Netflix and checking in with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, one of which is sixteen.

Last year, she had a flat-screened television installed and new bed in her guestroom in case ” she needs live-in help someday. ” She has made the decision not to go into a senior living facility unless she absolutely has to do so.

I find Betty to be wholly inspirational and true member of the Greatest Generation. She is a determined woman with common sense. Imagine! A person with common sense, one who doesn’t overthink every little decision.

She still has a glass of wine (or two) at 5:00 PM, still maintains a  flower garden, and still commands the respect of her adult children (some of whom are approaching 70 years old themselves).

This month, Betty and her 94-year-old sister Ellen, will be picking olives for our annual olive harvest again.

I read in the Wall Street Journal this past week that the projection that baby-boomers (not the Greatest Generation) will gravitate toward senior living arrangements has not proven to be true. Turns out, many of us have made the decision to do exactly what Betty has done: stay in our homes and not downsize to a small apartment unless physical maladies make it impossible to do so.

The advantages, if one can financially, mentally, and physically do it, are many.

Most importantly, you maintain age diversity in your life. How wonderful to have a neighbor in her 40’s or 50’s who provides a different point of view! How wonderful to see children playing, kids screaming Marco Polo in the pool and try this one on for size: trick or treaters!

You continue to move your body to the grocery story, the mail box, and God knows, up and down stairs if you have them. If you can’t drive, you can take a taxi.

You do some or all of your own cleaning and cooking.

You put your trash can out and in.

You stay 100% in the game of life.

You keep your independence and confidence.

You go girl!

 

 

Posted in Aging, fitness, Growing Olives, Life, People | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

A journal of the day: posture

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by cheri

Annie Oakley, whom I intend to paint, could hold and shoot a shotgun while riding a horse. I can barely hold my 20 gauge shotgun for 2 minutes without feeling pressure on my back. Even in her older days, she manipulated heavy guns as if they were toothpicks. In studying Ms. Oakley over the last month, one factor (other than her sheer guts and bravado) has become clear: she had erect posture all of her life.

I’ve noticed that most back problems begin with poor posture.  I know mine did.

For a number of years while cheer leading in high school and later instructing cheer leaders on the west coast in my early twenties, I stood for long periods of time on the sidelines of football fields and basketball courts around the SF Bay Area and then on expansive cement staging areas at college campuses.

My posture was poor. I parked my upper body back on my hips and hyper-extended my knees,  thus creating a little cradle to rest my back. Surprisingly, no one ever mentioned this to me.

Because I have never abused my joints with over-exercise or weight gain, they have generally functioned well throughout the years but my bad posture caught up to me several years ago when my back began aching along with one leg.

Despite consultations with all of the usual folks (docs, PT’s, more docs) it wasn’t until a physical therapist called me out saying, ” Cheri, you are slumping! Oh my. ”

The word “slumping” has horrible connotations and my English-teacher sensibilities startled that such a  word that creates images of decay and resignation would be applied to my posture.

No one had ever observed that I was slumping.

Changing one’s posture is difficult but I have done it. Each morning for the last two years, I remind myself to suck in my gut, elongate my spine, hold my shoulders back and be mindful of my posture.

My pains have lessened.

More importantly, I am able to power walk up a one-mile hill, strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, and quad muscles.

As a bonus, I’ve noticed that those horizontal lines that hold up fat and  occur between the breasts and the hips go away if you are standing up straight. Really.

 

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A journal of the day: an old dog being fed

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Dinah in 2008 the day I brought her home.

Today, a first happened.

My dog Dinah was so asleep in her lambswool bed that she did not wake up when I came down to fetch my coffee. I say “fetch” because it seems to go with the theme of this journal entry…the tenderness of an old dog as told by an older girl, myself.

I padded over to the coffee pot, poured my cup, added a little vanilla creamer and started ever so gingerly by her bed, hoping to check my email and read the bad news before feeding her. However, while her hearing might be less acute than  in her puppy days, her nose is working at full capacity; that is, a Labrador’s nose is legendary for bomb sniffing, human flesh sniffing and dropped crumb-of -cracker sniffing.

Coffee is food, you know, so Dinah awoke with a start, quite surprised to see me. Our normal routine is this: she is waiting at the foot of the stairs, and has been waiting, for many minutes listening  for me to open our bedroom door. Click. She hears the dead bolt. Then, tail begins banging the wall and bladder (hers) flexes once again. Out the front door she goes, flying almost to her spot on our gopher-dug lawn to “do her business.” Thankfully, there were no skunks, bobcats, or deer on the lawn this morning.

Then, she rushes back into the house in a starvation frenzy until…she realizes that  the flooring has changed (remodel).  That solid floor of adobe tile is now a light porcelain material and has become something scary, unstable, and watery to her. She freezes. Baring her nails, she tries to move four shaky legs across the entry tile.

“Come on,” I say. “Do you want your breakfast or not? “The word breakfast trumps her floor fear and she straightens herself out, picking her way now to the garage door as if she is walking on cactus.

There, in the shadow of the water heater, she inhales her 1.5 cups of kibble in less than 30 seconds even though she has only a few good teeth left. Although her teeth are sparse from chewing rocks, her tongue is an Olympic star, which she uses to lick the doughnut-shaped bowl again and again and again until she is positive there is not one piece of food left. This entire process takes a minute.

Back into the house she flies, until her paws tell her she is on a weird and unidentifiable surface, one capable of swallowing her up like quicksand. By now, my coffee has cooled, so into the microwave it goes too. I’m happy to report that I have not developed any odd idiosyncracies in my advancing years.

The routine of it all we sometimes take for granted. The act of airing and feeding an old dog, of pouring hot coffee, of adding luscious creamer, of cheerily encouraging her (or a toddler 40 years ago) to ” do her business.”

We forget that the precious moments of our lives are in the everyday occurrences, just as Thornton Wilder reminded us of in his play ” Our Town.”

 

 

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The Highland Coo

by cheri sabraw

The last time I visited Scotland, my husband and I took a leisurely but long walk out a wind-swept old gate and down along a narrow grassy path to the Atlantic Ocean. We were on the Isle of Mull, at that time, a part of Scotland rarely traveled by Americans.

Upon following the path around a large rocky outcropping, we  ran head-first into a small herd of  maybe five Highland Cattle. I crow-hopped off the path and shouted a bit in surprise. They spooked at me and backed down their plot of grass.

It was lambing season back then in May of 2013, so I was expecting lambs not  large orange hairy cows whose eyes were hidden behind a curtain of shaggy bangs that made my bangs look too organized.

Like most tourists who have never seen one of these spectacular beasts before, I was immediately taken by their thick  coats, splendid horns, and gentle dispositions. That day I was ill-equipped with an uncharged camera; I lamented at dinner that night at Cafe Fish that a wonderful photographic opportunity had slipped away.

So. One of my photographic goals on this trip to the Scottish Highlands was to see Highland cattle out free-roaming in a pasture again and find the perfect coo to photograph and then paint.

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Bob, our driver, said he knew where we could see these creatures. Alas, the location, while indeed hosting several beasts, was next to a coffee shop, with clever owners, who knew that just the presence of Highland Cattle would necessitate a stop from coaches. Not what I was looking for.

Besides trying to maneuver my lens through barbed wire and mud, it was feeding time.

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And the old girl was tired of tourists, cameras snapping, and people speaking an English she did not understand. She did what any self-respecting coo would doo: turn her back and say phooey on yoo.

I told Bob that we should continue our search. I would provide the eagle eyes; he could concentrate on the windy roads that make up the Scottish Highlands.

Finally, I saw a beautiful pasture that rolled up to a neatly landscaped home. Coo of all colors lay peacefully in the grasses, chewing their cud, unsuspecting of camera-laden women with apples in their pockets, sugar in their purses, and photographic designs in their minds.

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It was if we were in a Coo Candy Shop.

Which one to choose?

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Cindy, my sister, and I ran around like a couple of coos ourselves, clucking, calling, begging and bribing these ladies. DO get up, won’t you coo?

And then I thought I was in Montana.

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Bob motioned from the coach. ” Time to go, girls. We must get to Loch Fyne before the sun sets, ” he reminded us, “and before the bar closes.”

And we did.

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The Joads in Scotland, part one

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The Four Block siblings in Scotland. Note that mine has a large kosher dill pickle in front of it.

by cheri sabraw

We exited Limerick, Ireland, heading to Shannon Airport to drop the VW Van off at the rental lot. We Americans are a wee bit spoiled. Why, we just assume that there will be personnel at a rental car return at 8:00 am in the morning. We also just assume that signs will direct us to  the rental car return.

In Ireland, such assumptions are rawmaish. Not only were there no signs for Sixt Auto Rentals– so we became stuck, twice in short term parking–all six of us and our  luggage, now gorged with souvenirs. Once located, the Sixt Rental lot, a mile from the airport, was dark and vacant.

In a mini-panic, we called the office and a sleepy young man answered. “We are here to return our van, hired in Dublin last week. Are you coming? (We did not mention its condition, wisely.)

“Ok, right! now, guys. On the way..” And so it went.

On to Scotland, home of golf, rain,midges, golf, lochs, haggis, rain, and kilts.

These robust Scots are wearing the Campbell clan tartan. We learned from our guide that the Campbell clan is Scotland’s (so to speak) black sheep and in a country where the sheep outnumber the people, that is saying something. They warred with the McDonald clan during the Massacre at Glencoe in 1692.  These guys, as you can see for yourself, boast some impressive calves and mighty shoulders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should mention at this point that my sister and her husband, who had wisely decided to tour alone for part of the trip in London, arrived by train to Edinburgh, filled with tales of Brexit, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey and the like. Schooled in One-Upsmanship, the McBlock clan (known for warring with each other) tried out limericks and side-swiping but to no avail.

Now, there were four. Four siblings and four spouses, two of whom are related. Eight people between the ages of 58-69.

The group’s size, coupled with certain siblings’ and spouses’ decisions to cart duffel bags full of sport coats, golf shoes, and dresses!, had now burgeoned so much that we were attracting attention wherever we went. The word “went” is far too eloquent to aptly describe our gait. We trundled.

To get away from overdoing it in the whiskey category, we left Edinburgh and headed in a small bus over the Firth of Forth to the beach in the Kingdom of Fife, Elie, Scotland, where we had been told it would be easy to get up to St. Andrews, only 14 miles away. As it turned out, Elie is a charming sleepy beach village with two buses an hour, one deli and one souvenir shop. Where would we test fish and chips in Scotland? But more important, where would we buy our wine, vodka, tonic, limes, cheeses, chips, dip, meats, wine, yogurt, berries, wine and other foods?

 

 

 

We had been told that Scotland was modern, so “I know, ” said one of my wise siblings. ” Let’s call Uber.”

Look at this street. Do you really think Uber will come?

And no, it did not, so we were forced to all get on the same bus with the local school children to head to Anstruther, where we had heard the best fish and chips in Scotland is made.

 

 

 

The theme in the Anstruther Fish and Chips was the color white.

We downed the fish and chips, agreeing that they were delicious but those of us who had been to Ireland, voted the Fish Box still the best chips around.

To fully describe shopping in the Anstruther Co-op Market with 8 people, I will need to take a writing break, so as to fully characterize why being the oldest child can send said oldest children into therapy.

 

Posted in Life, My photography, Nature photography, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Joads in Ireland

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by cheri sabraw

Pack three siblings and their spouses into one VW Van with the express purpose of driving together–on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car–and you have the basics for a good story, complete with vivid characters, typical themes, and the tension necessary to keep your readers’ attention. The saga all started in Dublin, Ireland.

There, from my dry but chilly perch in a hop on-hop off (what a misnomer) bus, I spied my grandmother and grandfather reincarnated into the two well-dressed individuals I remember them to be.

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We as a group of six people had at least one thing in common: we were searching first, for the best fish and chips in Ireland, and second, for the sun,  the former of which was easy to find; the latter, not so easy.

We headed south to the small  coastal village of  Kinsale, where we had been told there was sun, fewer people, and Irish music. There we did find sun, Irish people playing American rock, and a funny couple from Bandon celebrating their 40th anniversary. Since we were clearly a group of noisy Californians, and judgements were being silently rendered, we sent dessert  to their table and all was forgiven.

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Photo property of Cheri Sabraw, 2019

The next day in Kinsale at the harbor,  I found the buoy, boat, and shadows for which I had been searching as a reference for future oil paintings. Please note: there has been no photo enhancement here.

That afternoon, we siblings separated so as to capture some “space,”  two family members taking the VW van on their own little trip to Old Head, complete with wine, cheeses, and meats. The rest of us wandered aimlessly around by ourselves. Little did we know that not only had the van been side-swiped in the grocery store parking lot, without a note left, but on the way back from Old Head,  my family member herself hit a parked car, thus equalizing the scrapes, now on both sides. Only the back and front of the van were left unscathed. Keep posted.

When they were unable to locate the owner of the dented parked car, they found the local police station in order to fess up and file a report. If you have watched the British comedy Doc Martin, you will remember the local police officer, PC Joe Penhale. He or his twin was there in the Kinsale Police Department.

When asked for the VW’s license plate number, my family member fished deep into her purse, finally so frustrated at not finding the keys, she begin to empty it out entirely. Perhaps it was jet lag or a lapse of focus, but she ended up pulling out the brown paper sack with 1/2 bottle of wine left in it and put it without hesitation on the counter. Office Penhale’s eyebrows raised into a kind Irish arch. Let’s leave it at that.

We scheduled a tour of Kinsale with the local tour guide, who reminded us that the Lusitania had been sunk by a German U-Boat just off the coast of Kinsale. Although I had read Erik Larson’s book “Dead Wake: The Last Voyage of the Lusitania,” and should have been listening to the guide’s story, I found myself distracted by the number of kegs emptied at the Grey Hound, waiting for pick-up.

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We left Kinsale, heading for the Dingle Peninsula where we had heard through the Irish grapevine that sunshine had arrived.

But before any sunshine could be relished, we piled into the Fish Box, a restaurant we had heard about all the way across the pond in California from my friend Sharon. Fresh off the family’s trawler every morning, fresh haddock, hake, and sole arrive for the daily Dingle crush of visitors heading for the best Fish and Chips in Ireland.

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The owner and I agreed that Brexit should happen. He told me that the EU sends other member states’ fishermen to fish in Irish waters. As might be expected, this does not go over well with Irish fisherman when Greek, French, and Belgian fisherman draw up nets of white fish.

Speaking of chips. one cannot be in an Irish cab without the cab driver somehow slipping into the conversation the resentment they still feel about how they were treated by the Ulster protestants, especially during the potato famine.

Look at this gorgeous scene and study the tops of the hills, where hedgerows still can be seen, surrounding brownish fields.

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The Dingle Harbor, photo property of Cheri Sabraw, 2019

I learned that those abandoned plots were formerly potato fields. That is how high the farmers had to plant to try to eke out food for their families.

Several of us had read Leon Uris’s Trinity before our Ireland trip and doing so, helped me understand why the Irish people have not forgotten what happened to their ancestors.

But back to the story.

We stayed at a lovely B&B, whose canine emissary provided a welcome greeting.

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We six travelers piled back in the van in order to drive a long loop but before doing so, we thought to buy some ice. It was at the local Dingle grocery store parking lot, full of very small hybrid cars, that the third insult to the paint job occurred. My brother feigned whiplash as his wife backed into a pole with conviction. Now, we only had to demolish the front (God forbid) and the cause would be complete.

I’m making a joke about this but before I left, I did leave a long thorough note to my son-in-law about what to do if all of the siblings were wiped out on the wrong side of the road in the wrong side of the car. Happily, the damage to the van was only a trifecta and we had purchased damage waiver insurance beforehand as if to foreshadow the insults to come.

We had only two days before we had to leave Ireland and about 4 hours of free time. Why not drive to the Cliffs of Moher, where the wind speeds must have been 40-60 mph?

Everyone agreed, so off we went, the van looking like a demolition derby car.

Maybe it was the GPS and its Irish brogue. Maybe it was that several members in the far back seat of the van had started nipping at last night’s left over wine and cheese.  Maybe it was lack of concentration.

All I know is that before we knew it, we were on a single track road with one blind turn after another passing lovely Irish estates. No one seemed to be concerned but me. I politely suggested honking the horn around said blind curves but was ignored.

Suffice to say, we made it to the Cliffs of Moher. Aside from my 107-lb body almost being blown off a cliff, seeing these magnificent cliffs was worth the long drive. Please note the tiny people on the first big cliff to get a sense of scale. Such is the power of the Atlantic to erode.

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We headed to Limerick, a stopping place to spend the night and ready ourselves for our flight to Scotland from Shannon Airport. One member of the family began making up limericks about two hours before our arrival and would not stop his merrymaking. (This is the same family member who was at the wine and cheese. He suggested that each of us create our own limerick to recite to the receptionist upon arrival.

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The Murray Hotel and other thoughts

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Photo by RM Sabraw All Rights Reserved 2019

We’ve stayed at the Murray in Livingston, Montana, many times.

Its Art Deco sign and sparkly marquis are the jewelry that this 1904 structure wears in hopes that modern travelers on the their way to Yellowstone National Park will be drawn to its sparkles.

On the other side of Park Street, to the left of the Cafe sign, is a rather earthy bar, which attracts locals and tourists alike, who are in varying states of inebriation.

The music pounds into the late evenings but is overcome by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains that rumble by about 75-yards from the Murray at 1-2 hour intervals all day and all night. The hotel even provides ear plugs.

Our room this trip was on the 4th floor by the H, so we had a corner view of the railroad tracks, the grain elevator up the street, and the Masonic Hall across the way. When I woke up to the sound of the train’s horn blowing as if it were trying to shoo people off the tracks, I saw the red neon of the H and thought to myself, ” How charming.”

If you cannot walk up four flights of stairs several times a day, you might want to stay in a generic hotel by the interstate because the elevator, circa 1904, has to be operated by one of the people who man the desk.

The floors creak, the shower is hot but not really, the furnishings are worn but the experience is the best.

I went down to the bar after a long day of hiking around with my husband to secure some ice teas. A glassy-eyed woman with her Bloody Mary seemed amused that I was ordering such baby drinks and sidled over to me on a bar stool.

” How do you like your room?,” she asked.

” I like it,” I replied, watching the bartender squeeze a lemon into our teas.

” You do know this hotel is haunted, right?” she slurred.

” I do know that but disappointingly, I have never seen a ghost here.”

On my way up four flights of stairs with ice teas in my hands, I ruminated on the concept of ghosts.

That night, as my sweetie slept like a dead one and I like a live-wire, I wondered if Sam Peckinpah might appear. After all, he spent 4-6 years living in the Murray.

Finally, I fell asleep, oblivious to the trains, the bar below, or the pounding music.

And then, around 6:00 am, I heard a ghost, sputtering and grinding.

I sat up like a conductor whose track is blocked by a car.

“Who’s there?” I asked.

“Just me, Mr. Coffee,” the pot mumbled.

 

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Values in a painting of Lake Como

IMG_5434by cheri sabraw

I haven’t been to Lake Como but my grandson Noah traveled there this  summer and took a lovely photo reference for his grandmother to try to paint.

This is the second version. As you can tell, I am no architect and any buildings I paint seem to have a wiggly quality to them.

I like this painting very much.

Although it is only 9×12, the world it portrays is mural size.

Walking down that shaded cobblestone pathway toward a beach with that view of the lake and boaters puts me in Italy now.

It is the late afternoon. The wind has come up. Sailboats leave their moorings. Motorboats retreat to their berths. If you turn right, in front of the watermelon-colored building, there will be outdoor chairs and small tables with young lovers sipping wine. Old marrieds are having espressos in the hopes that they will get a second wind for the late dinners that Italians love to serve.

The last vestiges of the sun warm the upstairs windows on the right.

The trees and bushes along the pathway are healthy and fresh. If you look carefully you will see rosemary in a box by the restaurant. The aroma of sauteed garlic comes from the restaurant in the butternut squash-colored building by the beach.

I choose to have wine instead of espresso.

 

 

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Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam…

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“Montana Conference Call” 20×20 oil on Belgian linen 2019 by cheri sabraw

by cheri sabraw

These two girls above are back in Browning, Montana, with their calves born this past spring.

Bison, be they Wood Bison or Plains Bison, look different from individual to individual, just like humans. I find them appealing, not only because of their symbolism of a time in our land when they ran free, shepherded by various Indian tribes who, while using them for meat, respected what they stood for, but because they are symbols of an earlier America, albeit imperfect, but at least full of can-do people.

What did they stand for?

Certainly not Colin Pumpernickel, who needs to fight in a war (other than with his own ego) in order to bring him back down to earth.  And let’s add Nike, Inc. and Mr. Phil Knight to that list. Why even the Black Caucus of Ministers  asked Nike to get rid of Pumpernickel.

Certainly not the edgy four freshmen women in our House of Representatives. They need to go to Israel where women spend several years in the military, defending a country existing a bad neighborhood. Did I say Israel? Silly me.

Certainly not golfer  Brooks Koepka and his  girlfriend, who wore a see-through bodice so that her fleshy fake weaponry was on parade at an ESPN function.Would Jack Nicholas and Arnold Palmers’ wives have done this? I don’t think so, as they lived in an era where modesty was an attribute and let’s face it: they felt good about themselves.

Certainly not mopey Tiger Woods? (Sniff sniff)  Does he really stand for something that we in this country can be proud of other than “…he endured four-ten back surgeries, was married to a lovely woman, had two nice kids, and a gizillion dollars…” Really Tiger? You need to change your name to Theodore Woods, read about Teddy Roosevelt, and then come back to play golf again without the drama.

The big bison this weekend was Ireland’s Shane Lowry, a joyful golfer (those are hard to come by) who carried his country’s hopes and dreams on his shoulders all the way to the final hole in the British Open. He smiled. He let it all out. He seems to enjoy food and drink and doesn’t look like some of the American male golfers who walk about the golf course like robots on steroids and by the way, their interviews seem the same.

Shane Lowry–just a regular guy (see my previous post). His wife–just a regular gorgeous mom with a raincoat on,  not a garish sequined see-through umbrella over mini-shorts and a torn tee-shirt revealing a beaver tattoo, sitting between two enormous rocks.

Yep.

Oh give me a home,

Where the buffalo roam,

Where the deer and the antelope play,

Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word,

And the sky is not cloudy all day.

 

 

 

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Stripes and Solids, Eccentrics and Regular Guys

 

 

Photography by cheri sabraw

Eccentricity can be marked by the pets one keeps, the ties one wears, or the hobbies one develops.

Take William Randolph Hearst, for example. Not only did he collect valuables from around the globe to place in his castle high on the hill above Piedras Blancas, he also insisted that plastic mustard and catsup bottles be used on the long table where sat vaudeville stars and starlets. Never mind that he and Marion Davies lived in sin 2500 miles away from his wife. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

What is left of his exotic zoo of bears and tigers is this lovely tailored zebra contingency, replete with striped suits.

I’ve known several eccentrics personally.

My step-grandfather, Harold, an obstetrician to the stars in Beverly Hills in the 50’s and 60’s was one such man, whose small manicured fingernails, natty tie, matching suit and jewelry, not to mention his new Mercedes every year, drove my Beverly Hillbilly Grandma Rosie to a bout with shingles that never really went away.

Harold took my brother Stevie and I to meet Zorro (Guy Williams). I’m sure somewhere in my scribblings here on Notes From Around the Block, I have told this story. As an avid Zorro fan ( I recognized handsome dark-haired men with bravado very early in my life), I almost died and went to Zorro Heaven when Harold pulled his Mercedes up to Zorro’s ( I mean Mr. Williams’) palatial mansion in Brentwood, next to Westwood, where Harold and Rosie lived. I dashed into the hallway, almost slipped on the marble, but not before taking my index finger and swishing several Z’s at the sculptures.

Then there was Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Tony Curtis, who was a friend of Harold’s. Are you getting the picture? Since my mug above professes my grammatical acumen, I must clarify here: Tony Curtis was a friend of Harold’s. Harold delivered Jamie Lee.

My father Hugh, who was not an eccentric, but rather a “regular” guy, as he liked to muse about himself, thought Harold a dandy–a Primadonna of the first order–the kind of guy you want to take out by the barn, hoping he will slip in his leather loafers, loading them with manure. Then, as he tries to regain his balance, you grab his wrist and dampen his starched cuffs and diamond-shaped cuff links, with your sweat.

 

Then there is a man I know who has hundreds of ties, all filed by color and theme in his closet. When time came yesterday to finally, and I stress the word finally, cull old shirts, pants, socks, shoes and ties from his overstuffed closets, he was able to part with five ties. You read correctly: five ties.

When I ponder all of the eccentric people I have known, they are all men.

At some point in our lives, we must each ask ourselves the question: Am I an eccentric?

Let’s see.

I study food labels and will only eat foods where the fiber grams are more than the sugar grams.

I pack my own groceries because I like soft fruits on the top and hard veggies on the bottom of the grocery bags that I wash every week.

I silently correct people’s grammar and take great joy in the act.

I check my bank account several times a day.

Well?

How about you?

 

 

Posted in healthy eating, Life, My childhood, My photography, Nature photography, People, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments