Please, come back soon!

Gone! A Farmer’s Market without flowers. No gifts from nature patiently waiting to be arranged, put in water and bring a room to life. Half of the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market had no stalls today. The 101 is still closed, so there is no access to Santa Barbara from the South.

Buying flowers is a Saturday morning ritual for me. I have been over the holiday look for several weeks now, looking forward to refreshing my vases and angling towards spring. When it’s over, it’s so over.  The available flowers change with the season, of course. A few people like the diehard,  people- pleasing sunflowers that smile back at them all year-long. You can find these flowers in any grocery store. But those year-round blooms long ago became boring for me. I no longer smile back.

Living in Japan part – time has accentuated my appreciation for the seasonal. Year-long availability for a flower or a fruit makes it much less interesting to my eye. Each season has its long-awaited seasonal celebrity appearances. There are the first flowers of spring. The cheery yellow forsythia branches are not particularly beautiful, but they have the honor of announcing that spring has arrived. A few weeks late the pinklicious Japanese magnolias demand attention. Sweet peas follow soon. In Japan, they sell them with long curling tendrils. So much lovelier than just the straight stem.  Let’s not forget ranunculus, flirty and fabulous and overwhelming in its choice of colors and its lighter than air texture.  Continue reading “Please, come back soon!”

But I do Love Birthday Cake!

better cake

My birthday is tomorrow.  My birthday is tomorrow.  My birthday is tomorrow.

better cake

Part of me experiences the childlike excitement that phrase elicits.  Part of me says this is no time for self congratulation or celebration if you’re living in Santa Barbara.  Too much has been lost by too many.

Anyhow, I can’t bring myself to call a party.  But I do love birthday cake.

better cake

Many of my friends are still evacuated.  But I do love birthday cake.

better cake

The 101 freeway is still closed to the south.  But I do love birthday cake.

better cake

No one cares as much about my birthdays as I do.  Most people have other things on their minds.  And, I still love birthday cake.

better cake

So just in case you’re a friend of mine and want to sing Happy Birthday tomorrow evening to someone who loves birthday cake, let me know.  I don’t care about presents, so no worries there.  But you’ve gotta love cake too.  And maybe a little champagne as a topper.

Tomorrow night, Jan. 15, 7:30 pm. Let me know, so there’ll be enough cake.  Address will be given when you rsvp if you don’t don’t know:

devapnek@mac.com.

me

 

 

Cheating Death Again

Many many years ago as I flew home from college in a small propeller plane, I sat in the bar area in the tail of the aircraft next to 1950’s celebrity Tab Hunter. He told me that he has to fly a lot and each time he lands he announces to himself, “Cheated death again!” It goes without saying I was a bit star-struck, but that phrase has stuck with me for life and comes to mind whenever I get out of or escape what could be a tight situation!

on fire!

mud

Our area of Central California has been brutally struck by back to back natural disasters. Two elements showed their power: first, the largest wildfire in California history held us hostage for weeks and then the water from winter rains arrived that we need so desperately after years of drought.  The fire was threatening, we breathed dangerous smoke from it for weeks and towards its end had to face the unthinkable thought that the fire might make its move and destroy Santa Barbara.   Continue reading “Cheating Death Again”

Some Things Do Endure

A favorite activity for many of us this time of the year, is to review photographs of the past year. It always amazes me that many of “the year in pictures” photos I see have almost been forgotten in the course of a year. We live in such a fast-paced popular culture! What we thought was shocking, unimaginable, unforgettable quickly passes into ancient history, replaced by the most recent shocking, unimaginable, unforgettable event, which of course will ultimately be replaced by the most recent scandal. Overall, the general message of the ending year is that all things must pass. But that’s too painful for most of us to dwell on so instead we put on an artificial gaiety to cover our anxiety. But this year, I’ve been happy to discover that some things in my lifetime, in this case, friendships, do endure!

Relationships. Some burn hot and flame out; others, on a slow simmer, never rise to importance in our lives. What makes the difference? Continue reading “Some Things Do Endure”