Monday, December 28, 2009

Year-end Meme

Got this idea from Michelle at Bleeding Espresso :

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Married Sam. Watched my firstborn graduate from college. Started learning Italian; started learning Spanish. Grew eggplant. Stayed in Boulder, Utah. Had a colonoscopy. Hosted my high school roommate for a visit after 30 years!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t really make resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No one really close.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No one really close.
5. What countries did you visit? Unfortunately I did not visit any countries in 2009. Only in even years!
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Time in Europe. A son who is studying in grad school. A step-son who has a job. A daughter who graduates from college and is following her dreams.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 9th because we got married that day.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? It wasn’t mine, exactly, but it was sure satisfying to watch Andrew graduate Summa Cum Laude from college!

9. What was your biggest failure? Not finding more ease in being a step-mother to Kristen.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Strange pulled muscle in my stomach that has kept me from doing sit-ups for over 5 months now.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Rosetta Stone – Italian and Spanish. Also the BMW 328i!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Sam for being so pleasant during the long visit from my parents.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Most of the Fox News folks and Rush Limbaugh.
14. Where did most of your money go? Hard to pin point!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Marrying Sam!
16. What song will always remind you of 2009? “God Bless the Broken Road That Led Me Straight To You.” Rascal Flatts
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? (a) About the same (b) fatter, but I was too thin last year and (c) definitely richer, in every way!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading, writing, communicating with Kristen, meditating.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Complaining and obsessing.
20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas Eve with Andrew and Heather and Kristen and Tom and Sam and Christmas day at home with Sam and Kristen and Tom.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009? Every day.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Castle and Cold Case
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don’t think so, although my ex-sister-in-law is stirring some unpleasant emotions!
24. What was the best book you read? South from Granada, Gerald Brenan – I know there are others, but I can’t think of them right now.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? James Taylor is always the greatest
26. What did you want and get? Sam – time in Utah
– more kayaking
27. What did you want and not get? Trip to Maine to visit my parents before they moved
28. What was your favorite film of this year? Don’t know yet..I’m at least a year behind
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 48 and my parents were here for Andrew’s graduation and we had a couple friends over and Heather and Seth (her boyfriend) were here too.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I think if I was retired and if we were living in Europe, but there is no way to know that for sure. I have many reasons to be satisfied with things as they are.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
32. What kept you sane? Planning next year’s trip to Spain and reading blogs and of course, running!
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Obama
34. What political issue stirred you the most? Health care and war
35. Who did you miss? Many people at various times.
36. Who was the best new person you met? I have made several on-line friends, but Heather’s boyfriend Seth has to be the “best” new person!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. My perspective is never the only one and rarely the correct one.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I set out on a narrow way, many years ago
Hoping I would find true love, along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two, wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign, pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream, led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes He did

I think about the years I spent, just passin' through
I'd like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand, you've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan, that is comin' true

Every long lost dream, led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Facebook dimension

I'm contemplating the whole idea of my Facebook "community." At first I used FB only to stay in touch with my kids while they were studying abroad.

Then, while snowed in last Christmas, I discovered lots of high school friends with whom I had not communicated in 30 years and it was fun to get a glimpse of their lives and to share some of my own.

Over the next months I was found by lost friends from as far back as summer camp - girls (because that is how I remember these now-middle-aged women) who I had not seen or talked to in over 35 years!

I started to feel like FB was a small town where I knew everyone and I could walk down the street and say hello, or not, and if I heard snippets of conversation that interested me I could stop and comment. My birthday came and I enjoyed the well-wishes of friends from all over the world and - even though there is little easier than writing "Happy Birthday" on someone's FB wall- it still made me feel cared for.

From time to time I was asked to "friend" someone I could not even remember, but they had gone to high school at the same time I was there and remembered me, and a few others who I swear I never knew, but we have several mutual friends, so what the heck. I have 2 friend requests right now from people that have no connection to me. I don't want to delete the requests (that seems rude and, who knows, in time perhaps I will figure out a connection), but I also don't want to accept them as friends in case they are weird stalker types pretending to be the normal looking person in their photo! I have also asked others to be my friend and have never gotten a response. I like to think it is because they don't actually log onto their FB account - surely it isn't an actual rejection - is it?!

I am "friends" with some of my nieces and nephews and a couple cousins who all live on the East coast and this has provided a way for us to know each other a little bit. I enjoy the updates on their lives and being one of the first rather than the last (as I have been since moving 3000 miles away) to learn of engagements, pregnancies, grad school acceptances, etc. I am even friends with one ex-husband and his sisters and their kids, although I have limited what they can see in my profile.

Through FB I have also become "friends" with two couples who live in Spain. I had originally found them through reading their blogs and then connected on FB and now I have a frequent glimpse into their worlds. When we are in Spain next fall we are going to visit with both couples. I have never known anyone through the internet before meeting them in person, but they have come to feel like a real part of my world.

Last night I updated my status and someone from Connecticut - someone who was 4 or 5 years behind me in high school but, apparently thought highly of me at the time and was so pleased to have "found" me-went on a total rant. Much of what she said had nothing to do with my post, but she was going off about immigrants and such. When I commented back to her trying to bring her back to my very basic point (that I was choosing to study Spanish) she went on further about our society taking God out of everything, and how her world is about responsibilities so she doesn't have time to learn another language and that I should go and enjoy my trip and post all my photos on FB! Wow!

I discovered, sitting at my dining room table, that someone 3000 miles away seems to resent my life as she assumes it to be, based on what I have put on FB! I started to respond but then decided it just wasn't worth it. I would not know this person if I tripped over her and I was puzzled about how my words, or my life, could get her so agitated. I wanted to e-mail her and explain - to fill her in on the realities of my life since she last saw me in 1979 so that she could know some of the hard times and then maybe accept me and be happy for the life I have now. But why? I thought about un-friending her, but don't want to hurt her feelings. Geesh! How ridiculous is that? Why doesn't she un-friend me if my postings are so offensive?

This morning I re-read the comment string on my post. It turns out that her comment was posted just behind the comment of another I-don't-really-know-you-but-I-see-you-sometimes-and-FB-has-made-us-closer friends. Eddie Baba. Eddie is an immigrant from Romania. After this woman's rant about immigrants Eddie ceased to add any more comments. I found myself wanting to write to her now and tell her about Eddie - or I wanted to publicly apologize to Eddie for her comments and also to let him and everyone else know that I do NOT agree with her. But, in the end I just deleted the entire post. I'm sure that no one will even notice. If, by some off-chance this woman were to ask, I would tell her more. I will hold off on un-friending her. That my life matters to her at all is something she is choosing.

But, as I walk down the street of this odd FB community, I think I'll take the long way around the block to avoid her house for awhile!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I travel and dream of traveling more...

There is a quote from some Peace Corps paperwork that I can relate to:

If we do not offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull, our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes will not lift to the horizon; our ears will not hear the sounds around us. We pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We soon wake up to find we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days. Fear of the unknown and the lure of the comfortable space will conspire to keep you from taking the chances you should take.

But if you take a chance, you will never regret the choice. To be sure, there will be moments of doubt when you stand alone on an empty road in the pouring rain, or when you are ill with fever in a rented bed. But as the pains of the moment will come; so will they ever fade away. In the end you will be so much richer, so much stronger, so much happier and so much the better person for having taken risk, and hardship.

There will be nothing to compare to the insight you have gained.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trip to Utah

We are in Boulder, Utah. We arrived yesterday and tried to check in at the Boulder Mountain Lodge where I made a reservation back in March for 2 couples, for 3 nights. There was no record....we showed the e-mail confirmation to the competent young woman and she discerned that our reservation was at the Boulder Mountain Lodge in Boulder...Colorado! That would be 485 miles east of where we are. I was totally humiliated since I like to believe that I NEVER screw up! So, we lost our $150 deposit and now had to find lodging for the 4 of us in a "town" of less than 200 people with only 3 small hotels. There was no vacancy at the lodge, and none at the next hotel, but fortunately we were able to get 2 rooms at the third hotel and then made reservations for the following 2 nights back at the Boulder Mountain Lodge. I wanted this screw up to be the fault of someone else, but it really was my mistake.

This trip has been wonderful in many ways. Traveling with another couple is trying at times and probably not something we will attempt again any time soon, but the locations, the activities and the weather have been fabulous. I feel like a lizard sitting in the sunshine trying to absorb every bit of it before we return to the long rainy northwest winter.

The driving has provided endless amazing views - the geological history of the southwest is fascinating and the formations and colors are stunning. We enjoyed several days of riding our mountain bikes while in Moab, and had a good day of hiking in Arches National Park and today we took 2 wonderful hikes. The first was down the side of a canyon to a water fall. There were no people around and it was peaceful and so good for my soul. I could easily have sat next to the water sunning myself for many hours. Next we took a short hike on an un-marked trail and discovered some petroglyphs of antelope and perhaps goats and then about 100 handprints. It was such an exciting site to stumble on but unfortunately there were obvious signs of previous visitors. Clearly someone had tried to remove a slab of rock that had 2 petroglyphs on it, and then there was graffiti and initials dating back to the early 20th century. What is wrong with people?

There is a restaurant here in Boulder that has written up in Oprah magazine back in 2003. The Hell's Backbone Grill They have won numerous awards and the food really is excellent, but who would think there would be such a find in this tiny little corner of the world? This really is fairly close to the middle of nowhere! Anyhow, check out the link and read their is pretty cool.

Tomorrow we will hike some more and then Sam and I will part ways with Vicki and Steve and we'll head to Las Vegas for a few days with Sam's family. That will be quite a switch after more than a week in such peaceful natural settings!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Random thoughts

I have been doing an odd thing this fall. Each day I look at the photos taken on the same day a year ago, or three years ago to see where we were in either Spain or Italy. Then I choose a photo from one of those folders and make it my desktop photo on my computer.

Today's desktop photo was taken on a hike in the Alpujarra mountains in the Andalucia region of Spain. We spent a week in Ferreirola, a tiny village that was established by the Moors in 1492. Each day while we were there we took a different hike. The trails were steep, the drop-offs steeper, but the views were spectacular. We encountered very few people, but many goats grazing on the hill sides. When we stopped we could hear the sound of the bells on the necks of the goats echoing across the canyon. This photo was taken looking back towards Ferreirola. The landscape was beautifully barren.

This was the place, more than any other on our Spain trip, that we hope to return to someday.

Three years ago we were in Tuscany. The moon was full outside our room at the Agriturismo near Sienna.

There is no doubt that Tuscany has picture-book beauty and endless historic offerings to explore. We arrived in Tuscany at the end of our trip - a bit exhausted and having seen numerous cathedrals and quaint villages. We were full with so many experiences; from Umbria to Puglia, from Calabria to the Aeolian Islands near Sicily. What we had cherished most in the weeks that led up to our time in Tuscany was the absence of tourists, and specifically American tourists in the locations we visited. It seemed that in Tuscany, each time we stopped we were arriving just behind a bus load of tourists from Alabama or Texas or New York. The voices were loud and there was a frantic rush to the various shops which clearly depend on these same tourists.

Today I picked tomatoes and peppers (as it seems I have been doing for weeks!) The tomatoes have been sliced and salted and are drying in the oven and the peppers will probably get roasted and then frozen for late-fall chili rellenos.

I have just spent 4 days showing a high school classmate around Oregon and seeing my home through the eyes of someone who had never been to the northwest. It is a magnificent place to call home. When I moved here 27 years ago I swore that I would never get used to the beauty, but I did. It was renewing to marvel at the moss-covered trees in the coastal mountains, and to watch someone draw in their breath at the awesomeness of the Columbia River Gorge.

All of this reminds me that I am living a blessed life.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another memory

I think that the best way for me to get blogging again is to use another photo meme.

Today I chose the 20th photo in my 9th folder (for today's date).

This was taken on September 29, 2006 on the island of Salina. Salina is one of the Aeolian Islands off of Sicily. When Sam and I stayed in Roccella Ionica, Calabria, we took a train to Reggio Calabria and then a ferry to Salina. We stayed in a spa/hotel and this photo is of the swimming pool there.

I am going to include some other photos of the area. The movie "Il Postino" was filmed on this island. From the patio of the hotel we could see the red lava of Stromboli glowing in the night. It was a magical setting and we hope to return someday.

One of our most memorable meals was from our stay there. We had wandered around the town of Malfa and mid-afternoon popped our head into a tiny cafe. The owner ushered us to an outdoor table and then brought a pitcher of local red wine, and the most wonderful seafood salad, and bread. It was a luxury to have a slow lunch of such delicacy.

Perhaps next time I'll have some more current material to share.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photo Meme

Open the fourth file where you store your photos. Pick the fourth photo. Explain the photo. Pass the challenge on to four other bloggers.

Thanks to my blogger "friend" at: for this idea.

My photo is from the Amalfi Coast taken in September of 2006 in the town of Maiori. Anyone who has made the trip knows that it is a drive during which the driver does not want to let their eyes wander from the curving road. I'd love to be there now!

Monday, August 24, 2009


It has been many months since I have posted. I get ideas...I take photos....I write in my head, but time hasn't really allowed me to spend time recording the words here. Soon I hope to write more regularly. I look forward to that. Writing seems like one of my basic, water, exercise, affection, sunshine, and writing.

Just starting right now has made me feel better...I'll be back soon.

I have been enjoying my summer though.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Busy, busy, busy, busy....many thoughts but no time to record them. Fortunately this drain on my mental adventures is short lived....get through April, fill the class and then ahhhh..... back to life as I have come to enjoy it! Not only is work busy but the visitors are starting at home - Sam's brother and then my parents and my uncle and then Lauren and perhaps my niece....and various kids mixed in as well. I keep checking my web cams and when I can I sneak a read of various blogs, but for the most part I am working during the day and collapsing at night! Geesh!
More soon....

Monday, April 6, 2009


This weekend I spent many hours out in our yard. It was the first dry weekend since January and the warmest since October, so being inside was not an option! The Japanese maple trees are budding, the cherry tree is in full bloom, rhododendrons have bursts of color all over and everything feels alive.

I wondered how many people never have the chance, or take the time to stop
and hear
and feel
and smell
and see the world around them.

I stood under the cherry tree and wondered if it might levitate - the buzzing of hundreds (thousands?) of honeybees sipping the sweetness from the blossoms was a steady, raging, sound. I could almost feel the vibration of thousands of wings above me. I cheered the bees on, having recently read that humankind can only exist for 2 years if honeybees disappear.

The hummingbirds were focused on sucking the nectar from the currant blossoms but they don't stay in one place for long and when a hummingbird whirs by on its way to the next treat, the sound is a sudden reminder that one false move could result in hummingbird beak impalement to the head. They go with such speed - they act frantic with hunger, but they always seem playful. I suspect that they buzz humans just for the thrill.

As the day warmed I became aware of a loud and distinct snapping sound coming from the Douglass Fir trees in the neighbor's yard. The fir cones open up on warm days, spilling their seeds to the ground - even after the sun set last night I could still hear the pops and snaps of cones opening.

The frogs in our pond were especially noisy last night. Sam had cleaned the pond and it was as if the frogs were hosting a party for their newly cleaned and restored abode. Rather than the occasional "ribbit," there was a steady, roaring chorus all night long. I suspect that no one in the neighborhood had a sound sleep.

And then the smells - the creamy sweetness of Daphne floats on even the slightest breeze and there is an Italian bush of some sort next to the pond that has a deep fragrance...the lilacs will bloom soon and I breath deep their scent for as long as the flowers last.

Last night the moon was clear and the stars were bright and we took the dog out without needing is good.

"No man sinks under the burden of the day. It is only when yesterday's guilt is added to tomorrow's anxiety that our legs buckle and our backs break. It is delightfully easy to live one day at a time!" --Corrie Ten Boom

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Keep dreaming


In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

From Benedictus: A Book of Blessings
By John O'Donohue (Bantam Press 2007)

I could probably stop right there.

I read this to Sam last night and it was not necessary for me to comment.

I didn't need to tell him that this speaks to my soul - that it washes over the place in me that wants a life far away from the current patterns and demands.

I especially love the line "find ease in risk."

Today marks 10 years at my current job. That is the longest I have ever committed to anything (other than the kids.) Before this my longest stay in any job was three years - I remember passing the three year mark here and being amazed that I had stayed so long and now here I am. I was "nearly 40" when I started here - you can do the math on that one.

Quick update on previous blog entry: When Robert F Kennedy Jr spoke here he talked about the coal mining in West Virginia and how they were blowing the tops off of the mountains there.

Yesterday there was a report on NPR about this:

The EPA is reviewing this practice with concerns about the pollution to waterways. I was astounded to hear evidence of a real change in policy, only 10 weeks into Obama's administration. RFK Jr was correct - this current administration really does get it! I have been reading articles on the BBC and also in The Olive Press (an English language newspaper about Spain and specifically Andulucia -southern Spain)

Both publications have so much more information about the condition of the environment than anything that gets reported in the US. It really is an urgent situation and so to have Obama make a move to reverse the free-for-all that Bush oversaw for 8 years is really encouraging.

That's it for today. Cheers-

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dreaming of warmer days

4:05 PM: Outside it is partially cloudy

So the calendar tells me that it is spring, and yesterday I even mowed the lawn for the first time this season, but today we have had bitter cold mixed with hail, periods of sun and then darkness and torrential rains. I wish that each type of weather would glump up together so we would have enough sunshine to work outside or go for a walk, and then enough rain/hail to justify indoor projects. Instead, on days like this Sam will go outside in the sun and have his tools ready for an outdoor project (currently building a deck) just in time for a rainy spell to chase him inside where he gets out the needed items for his indoor project (currently re-modeling the half-bathroom) and then the sun blasts through the window making us both feel guilty that we aren't outside taking advantage of the good weather.
And on and on it goes.
For months.

4:15 PM: I just looked out the window and it is snowing.

On a warm sunny day I can instantly forget what it is usually like in Oregon for 9 months of the year. I don't hold a grudge, I am happy to move on and live fully in the moment, when it is warm and sunny. On a cold, dark, wet day (i.e. November-May) I get irritable, depressed, resentful and often ask how anyone can live in this "god forsaken land." But then a sun break will tame me again. I have done this for 27 years now. My first winter in Oregon I could not believe that anyone would choose to stay in such a place. I had no doubt that my one-year experiment would end and soon be forgotten while I settled in a more habitable climate. But then the daffodils bloomed in February and I started to soften a bit. By April we occasionally had days warm enough to sunbathe, and by June it was hot, and for weeks the 10-day forecast showed nothing but full sun....I was hooked. By the time reality hit again I was commited to a job and it was too late to make other plans.
So, here I am.

4:17 PM: I just looked out the window and it is sunny with large patches of blue sky.

I have always been puzzled by the fact that weeds and grass grow year-round in Oregon. Well, as long as they get watered in the summer. How is it that we can have 9 months of rain, but if we don't start the sprinklers within a week of the rain stopping, the grass starts to die? It is the only place I know of where the grass needs to be mowed as early as February, but not in August because it is dead.

But it is beautiful here.
And so I stay.
For now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Time to Stop at the Market

If I lived in Barcelona I would go to the Boqueria Market on my way home from work each day, but Fred Meyer doesn't have the same pull on my soul, so I am getting pretty good at using up the food in the pantry and fridge.

My latest snack:

Mock Chips

Pre-heat oven with pizza stone to 400 degrees
Cut a whole wheat tortilla into chip-sized pieces
Spray pieces lightly with fat-free cooking spray (top only)
Sprinkle with Kosher salt
Put "chips" on pizza stone in oven
Cook for 8-10 minutes until chips are crisp
Serve warm with salsa, pico de gallo, hummus, or whatever is available


Protein-packed pasta
1/2 package whole wheat pasta (I prefer farfalle - bow-tie)
1/2 -3/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (preferably ones stored in olive oil)
1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup pine nuts
pepper flakes

Cook pasta -
While pasta is cooking mix cheese, sun dried tomatoes and black beans in deep serving bowl
Drain pasta and add to serving bowl
stir pasta until cheese is melting and other ingredients are mixed in
lightly toss in pine nuts and top with pepper flakes to taste

This also works well with left-over pasta

One more:

Moroccan chicken with a splash of peas
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, or 8-10 chicken thighs
1 can low-sodium garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
several carrots, peeled and chopped, or 10 baby carrots
1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes
hot sauce
frozen petite peas
olive oil

In a large skillet, cook chicken (if using a breast, slice into bite-size pieces) in small amount of olive oil
Once chicken is mostly cooked, add diced tomatoes - let simmer for 2 minutes
Microwave carrots in bowl of water on high for 2 minutes
Drain carrots and add to skillet
Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes
Add garbanzo beans
season with cumin (1 teaspoon, or to taste)
generously add cinnamon (again, to taste, but I use 1-2 teaspoons)
Add hot sauce (about 1-2 teaspoons)
Cover and simmer for 2 minutes
Add 1/2 package of frozen peas on top and cover and let cook just until peas have warmed through (about 1-2 minutes)
Mix all together and serve with brown rice or couscous

Imagine how much fun I would have with the fresh veggies, spices and meats of the Boqueria!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Life, Death and Nutella

First, on Nutella...discovered today that there is a World Nutella Day!
The calendar has been marked so that this will not be overlooked next year. I have started making hot chocolate with Nutella - one heaping tablespoon stirred into 8 ounces of milk over direct heat...yum. For snacks I have switched from graham crackers to Wasa bread as the foundation for my Nutella, since Wasa bread is less fattening than graham crackers! Nutella is a good thing - always makes me happy. And it is gluten free, for those who wonder.

On death...I've been listening to John Denver lately while I run - his songs set a nice easy pace and the words and melodies are comforting. I wonder as I listen to "Poems, Prayers and Promises," if he had any feeling that he might not live to old age:

I've been lately thinking
About my life's time
All the things I've done

And how it's been

And I can't help believing

In my own mind

I know I'm gonna hate to see it end...
...And I have to say it now
It's been a good life all in all
It's really fine

To have a chance to hang around...

...The days they pass so quickly now
Nights are seldom long

And time around me whispers when it's cold

The changes somehow frighten me

Still I have to smile
It turns me on to think of growing old
For though my life's been good to me
There's still so much to do

So many things my mind has never known...

I think that he would have been very sad to see the direction our country has taken and especially to see the anti-environmental policies that have dominated the past 8 years - he sings of West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in "Country Roads."

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains,
blowing like a breeze
...Country roads, take me home
To the place, I belong

West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads

According to Robert F Kennedy Jr last weekend, West Virginia's mountains are being mined to the point where they are becoming non-existent and look more like parking lots from the air - and the Shenandoah River has become a dumping ground for all types of waste. All practices protected by the Bush administration.

But more on death....the other night Sam was snugging in for the night when he asked me what I think it is like to die in your sleep. Hmmmm....I think it is something we all hope for (a longggg time from now!), but I never thought about what it is like. I suppose it isn't like anything. You go to sleep and you don't wake up. I said to him that it isn't like you'll wake up the next morning and think "Damn, I died in my sleep and I had so much to get done!"

You just stop.
And nothing matters to you anymore.

And now on life....well, that's what is happening. I seem much more aware than ever before of the passing of time. Each day I mark mentally as one more gone - I want to live in a way that doesn't just push the days aside trying to get to whatever is next.
This is it.
This is all I get.
If I am to spend my days where I am then I want them to count for something. We just don't know if "someday" is going to be there.