Security Sisters

by cheri

I remember when Charles Schultz suggested that  security was “a thumb and a blanket.”

For me, security is still closely related to touch and sound.

Things soft–my lambs wool robe, downy slippers, Italian cotton blouses, and silk pillowcases.

Things consistent—ocean swells, one after another, crashing in on a breezy Aptos beach; Tahoe snowflakes falling silently, dusting my ski hat white; rows of Sonoma grapevines awaiting their September due dates, their harvest swelling, ripe, and heavy; hummingbirds in the summer sun, whizzing close to my ear, a two-ship reverie.

Our olive trees- capricious teenagers across the creek, swaying in the East Bay winds, their silvery-green hair decorated with budding fruit; the little creek chitchatting with the rocks as it heads downhill,as it has for 100 years, toward a brackish Bay



Security is five new cameras, like film directors, capturing all movement outside my fences, inside my house, recording license plate numbers, hikers, gawkers, loiterers, and sadly, those up to no good.

The cameras, fresh out of their sterile boxes, introduce themselves to the fertile walnut, the stately sycamore, and the feminine locust tree  who have reluctantly agreed to host them; three lenses perched high above the human eye, three Big voyeuristic Sisters, recording all movement, from squirrel to Jeep.

A new clinical layer adds itself to the soft texture of the Rancho.

Life moves on.



About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Growing Olives, Life, My childhood and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Security Sisters

  1. Richard says:

    These refections upon feeling safe are rich, full and lovely. Now you are fully equipped to deal with that foreign toe under the gate you are free again to savour them at home and when you are away.

  2. shoreacres says:

    My favorite nature center, where I often went to take photos, was the site of a sexual assault about three or four weeks ago. They didn’t catch the guy, the woman took a ride to the hospital in an ambulance, and I’ve been back only a couple of times. The fact that there are new cameras in those trees is good, but not entirely reassuring. The illusion of safety’s been shattered, and whether i ever will feel the same about the place, I can’t say.

    Did I tell you this already? I think about it so often, I don’t know when I’m telling about it. One thing’s for sure — no more very early morning, solitary walks. A little caution is advised.

    Learning how to adjust to a defiled Eden’s not easy, but I think it can be done. It just takes time, and determination. Creativity, too, I suppose. Heaven knows you’re long on creativity and determination, so I’m feeling sanguine about an early restoration of your personal garden.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you, Linda, for this thoughtful comment.
      I am sorry to hear about the sexual assault at a nature center. No, you did not tell me this news.
      We feel very safe here. The experience several months ago was an anomaly. We have neighbors within earshot (and God knows I have a big voice…) The cameras are no protection against most intruders but they make our place less desirable for burglary. The SF Bay Area is no Eden anymore.

      Last night we joined some friends at the Legion of Honor to see a display on the Wild West and have dinner. The days of our youth–when San Francisco was clean and populated (for the most part) with good people–has long been over but now things are worse.

      We rode public transit (BART) a noisy and unclean way to go. Both BART stations smell like urine. Exiting the Civic Center Station, we walked to the SF Pubic Library to call an Uber car. While waiting there, we had to move to get out of the cloud of pot smoke. Across the street 4 police officers surrounded a homeless man who must have been up to no-good.

      Everywhere we look in SF, edgy people–pierced like tenderized meat, tattooed like those in a side-show and folks (as Obama would say) with no shoes in restaurants.

      We concluded that culture is on the downward direction.
      Contrary to Paul’s comment below, I think Trump may actually do something, if elected.

  3. Paul Costopoulos says:

    I’m so sorry for all that insecurity and the need to transform your rancho in an armed middle ages fortress. Should I ever go your way, I will come with a white flag and raised hands…although, as seen in Miami, it does not always work. With Trump just around the corner, I may even avoid going to the U”S” altogheter.

    • Cheri says:

      Always good to hear from you, Paul. I hope this note finds you and Therese doing well. You are a fellow French Canadian–no need for the white flag. Gosh, does your last sentence mean that you think Donald Trump has a chance at being elected? Wow. That is encouraging.

      • potsoc says:

        Sorry but I can not share your enthousiam about Trump. We had Harper, much more sedate than The Donald and we sent him packing last Novemebr.

  4. Christopher says:

    “We’ve got to beat them down” – Daisy Buchanan

    • Cheri says:

      Daisy Buchanan is one of the great literary lightweights, isn’t she? I believe Fitzgerald characterized her as “hollow.” Her “brute” of a husband, Tom, was a knucklehead. But in terms of the current US election, to which your quotation refers, I’d rather hearken Nietzsche–who postulated that we are either slaves or masters.

  5. Chris says:

    What I enjoy most about writers is their ability to chose the perfect word. The use of “edgy” in describing the characters roaming SF was just that -perfect. I was right there with you gawking at all the sights – “edgy people”. Thanks for such great writing.

    • Cheri says:

      Chris!!! I have been thinking about you and Tom for the last week and told myself to drop you a line. Thank you for reading my blog. Your opinion, as an esteemed educator, means a great deal to me. I look forward to seeing you in the Fall. Thanks for the comment as well! 😉

  6. Brig says:

    Your word choices are beautiful and telling, as ever.

    Sadly the days of visits to SF to shop for clothes, catch an opera with the Mill Valley cousin, visit friends in St. Francis Wood, or have a great dinner at a classy restaurant are long gone…. I only go occasionally now to drive a friend to her endocrinologist. The caliber of the people there has fallen far…
    Good to know you are being careful, situational awareness is important these days.

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