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!


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”

December Gift

December, Santa Barbara, CA, late afternoon, low low tide.

I stand on the edge of North America gazing out at the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. Other creatures such as surfers, sea gulls, ibis, ecstatic dogs, photographers and ordinary strollers are there as well. We all meet just at the edge of the continent, where sand meets surf.
It is the time of day when an ocean can turn to a frosty baby blue, almost reflecting the color of the sky, but not quite.The breaking waves show just a tinge of pink as the sun drops lower on the horizon.

Just in from the immediate shoreline is another world of its own. This scene fascinates me. Before me lie dozens of miniature worlds that could have been designed by a master landscape architect. There are miniature rivers, plateaus, islands, peninsulas, streams, and mountains. Lonely stranded anemone await the return of the tide to lift them safely under cover again. Strands of waving sea grass paint swaths of brilliant green, draping over the earthy colors of the watery landscape. The waters in the “rivers” lie still briefly, they are stirred, as the power of a wave thrusts more water forward, soon reversing itself. It’s a land of sensuous curves, with a few straight lines. It changes by the second.  I am captivated. Continue reading “December Gift”