16 May, 2009

A typical day in Chico

Having a full day off and feeling better after a two-day bout of some sorta 'bug, Don and I set out to run a few brief errands before the temperature reached it's expected 100 degrees today.

Since we had been 'under par' lately, neither of us had any coffee for the past few days, so the first order of business was a trip to Starbucks. Being that it was one year ago that Don and I ventured from San Diego up here to Chico to interview with the Board of Trustees, I decided I wanted to go to the Starbucks on the outskirts of town on Nord Avenue. This was where we stopped after we drove from the airport and I was looking for a place to change clothes and put on my make-up before my 1:00 p.m. interview.

The restroom at the Starbucks had such poor lighting I didn't want to risk putting on my make-up and looking like a cosmetic anomaly. It was 12:40 and we didn't have much time. While waiting for our drinks, I called my friend, Jessi who lives in Kentucky to ask her if she thought I could get away with being casually dressed and without make-up. The friendly barista overheard my conversation and smiled sweetly and said, "This is Chico. You are dressed just fine." I told Jessi what the young woman assured me but Jessi convinced me otherwise and Don and I hustled to the church arriving at 12:50 p.m. and I excused myself to change clothes and prepare in the restroom of the Favor Building where we the interview was being held.
Ah, only one year ago...

On our way back home today, Don and I went past the road leading back into town and ended up driving through the beautiful community of Durham. Gorgeous orchards and open spaces. For a brief time, we thought we might have to call Kristen Wilson who recently moved to Durham to suggest to us how to find our way back. Instead, we just continued driving and enjoying the view and beautiful weather. We continued on our errands to Lowe's for some household items and ran into Kristen while there. Small world, eh?

On our way to Safeway, I wanted to stop at the library to look for a novel I was eager to read. Luckily for us, Friends of the Chico Library were having a big sale and we spent over an hour pouring over the boxes of books (including hardcover!) for sale. I ended up taking so long, Don went into the library to locate the book I came to borrow while I began to fill up one of the empty boxes I found. We ran into two members from church and said hello. I bought about a dozen paperback mystery novels to send to my aunt Sunny in Los Angeles as well as a dozen or more books that I had to bring home. We engaged in a brief conversation with the lovely folks volunteering there as I bought a license plate frame to help save the Butte County Library.

nb: On Monday, May 18th there will be a special budget meeting with the Board of Supervisors and they will be hearing citizens concerns about the closure of our libraries. Monday's meeting is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. in Oroville. There will be a car pool and a bus to go to Oroville for the meeting, leaving at 8:25 a.m. at our Chico library. For more information you can call, 530-891-2762 or visit the website:

Our visit to Safeway was productive as our Vitamin Water was on sale and I had a lively conversation with the cashier about the evils of high fructose corn syrup which is one of the reasons why I like Glaceau's Vitamin Water. And why we were stocking up our supply for the warmer days ahead.

On that first visit here a year ago talking with someone about how special it is here in Chico, she said that if it wasn't for the triple-digit heat here in summer, everyone would move to Chico.

Several of our friends who travelled here for my recent Installation shared with us they really enjoyed their brief visit here and were also feeling the draw to live here. In fact, a few of them are seriously considering moving and relocating here later this year.

Now I believe it.

12 May, 2009

Shadow walk

Having slept well last night, I awakened early this morning and after my prayer time, I decided to go for a walk.

For numerous reasons, I haven't been taking my morning meditation walks. Yet, today I knew it was a strong enough call to be outside than the worry about whether or not my knee would endure it. I put on two elastic bandage wraps to give my left knee and my right ankle the added support it would require and off I went.

On this glorious spring morning here in Chico, I felt keenly aware of my being.
I was omnipresent with all the physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects of who I was moving through the air and on top of the cement. I even took a modified route so that I was not walking by rote and could be open to the possibilities around me.

There a lot more bicyclists in this town than in San Diego or Los Angeles. People ride bikes here for pleasure and purpose. I pondered the idea of getting a bike. Bikes these days are so cool! The colors and designs are very desirable. Pink? Yellow to match Miss Daisy or my favorite green? Would I get a basket, too? As I watched a bunch of young people riding past me on their way to school, then I realized that if I have to wear one of those Styrofoam laden helmets I would probably not ride my bike as much as I wanted. A moment of disappointment until I saw a few adults riding their bikes and they weren't wearing helmets. Maybe I could get away without wearing a helmet for the rare pleasure rides I would take around town. After all, most Chicoans that I see driving in their cars rarely use their cell phone headsets either.

As I turned up one new block, my ears were called to the delightful sound of typewriter keys. Someone inside the house up ahead was actually using a typewriter and not a computer keyboard. There is a distinct difference in sound (and experience) and I relished the nostalgic aural treat.

Being that I had not been doing my daily walks, I didn't want to walk too long or too hard so I headed back towards home after twenty minutes. As I turned up the street where we live, I could see The Dude aka Mr. Liebowski, Linus the Cat grooming himself on his driveway. I had not seen him as I left for my walk because the sprinklers had been on at his house. Although the sidewalk was wet, Linus was now outside at his post. I began to connect with him in thought pictures (this is the key method of animal communication) to let him know I was coming. Sure enough, he stopped in mid-groom, turned around and saw me. He sat upright but didn't come padding towards me as he normally would and I knew it was because he was choosing to not walk on the very wet pavement.

Once I got past the wet, he got up and came over to me and we had our usual lovefest. These days I am adding more into our time together because Don and I learned that Linus and his family are moving at the end of the month and I am going to miss him something awful.

When I stood up to continue my way home, I noticed how the light was such that I could walk and see the shadow of my self walking--almost looming-ahead of me. I took note of the shape and outline of my body, the way my sweatshirt hung, my unkempt hair and my arms swinging.
I wondered if at any second I would see The Dude's shadow as he was trotting to catch up alongside me. Sure enough, his round feline shadow began to precede him and I knew he was tagging along to escort me home (and to court Belle from her window perch).

As a kid, I was fascinated by shadows made by forms and light. As an adult, I began to perceive different shadows more along the lines of emotions, energies and metaphors. I think both have a place in our lives.

Just ask Peter Pan.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...